Moving from California to Pennsylvania

Moving from California to Pennsylvania

Considering waving goodbye to the West Coast to settle down on the East Coast? Ready to start exploring other affordable and livable cities outside of Los Angeles, San Francisco or San Diego? Pennsylvania is a great state to consider.

However, California is around 2,734 miles away from Pennsylvania. The distance may seem daunting if you plan on moving from California to Pennsylvania without the help of long-distance movers. But the good news is with some planning and preparation you can successfully relocate cross-country to your new home in Pennsylvania.

We're here to walk you through everything you need to know before you start planning your transition from California to Pennsylvania. Let's dive in.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Benefits of Moving from California to Pennsylvania

While California is known and loved for its year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches and delicious food, the cost of living can sometimes be too much. According to the North American Van Lines U.S. Moving Migration Report, California is a high outbound state, with around 62% of its total migration outbound. More and more California residents are realizing they can get a higher quality of life and more affordable housing options by moving to a new state. 

While Pennsylvania has a much different lifestyle, there are many benefits to relocating to this beautiful state in the Mid-Atlantic. Some of the benefits include:

Cost of Living Difference

One of the main benefits of relocating from California to Pennsylvania is the difference in cost of living. You can expect food, utilities and housing to be much more affordable in Pennsylvania. According to data gathered by My Life Elsewhere the overall cost of living in Pennsylvania is 16.6% cheaper than in California. People who live in Pennsylvania also spend 35.5% less on childcare and 22% less on entertainment. 

It's important to note that the cost of living in major cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh may be slightly higher than in small towns throughout the state. However, even these cities are still more affordable than the major cities in California. So, if you want that big city feel for less, moving from California to Pennsylvania might pay off. 

The Beautiful Mountain Views of Pennsylvania

While California may have its beaches and Yosemite, Pennsylvania also has stunning scenery and mountain ranges. The Appalachian Mountains run through Pennsylvania for over 229 miles. Pennsylvania is also home to over 121 state parks and 20 state forests. Some of the most popular state parks in Pennsylvania include:

  • Kinzua Bridge State Park
  • Ricketts Glen State Park
  • Ohiopyle State Park
  • Cherry Springs State Park
  • Cook Forest State Park


The most famous mountains in Pennsylvania include:

  • Mount Davis
  • Butler Knob
  • North Knob
  • Bald Mountain
  • Evitts Mountain


This state is an outdoor lover's paradise. If you're committed to an outdoor lifestyle, you'll find several hiking trails and camping spots available at each one of these mountains and state parks.

Active Outdoor Lifestyle in Pennsylvania

What makes Pennsylvania different from California is that residents get to experience all four seasons. From weekend hikes through a state park to skiing in the winter at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, you'll never be bored in Pennsylvania, no matter what time of year it is.

Whether you want to spend more time outdoors or love the city lifestyle. You'll find that there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy. The most popular hobbies include hiking, camping, biking and fishing. There are also many outdoor attractions, including:

  • Longwood Gardens 
  • Hershey Park
  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • Fallingwater 
  • Ricketts Glen State Park
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Presque Isle State Park


During the winter, you can enjoy other winter sports and activities, including:

  • Ice skating
  • Sledding
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoeing
  • Skiing and Snowboarding


No matter where you settle down, you'll find Pennsylvania is a very outdoorsy community. You'll also notice that many outdoor activities are more affordable and accessible than in California. Once you move from California to Pennsylvania, you can start planning fun-filled weekend getaways and city sightseeing.

Better Traffic and Commute

Depending on where you decide to live, you may find the traffic and commute are much more manageable in Pennsylvania. There are more walkable cities and better public transportation options. So you don't need to rely on your car to get to work or the grocery store. 

You'll also find that many smaller cities and towns have less traffic than California, meaning you can look forward to spending less time in your car outside your 9-5. 

Best Cities to Live in Pennsylvania

Once you're set on moving from California to Pennsylvania, it's time to pick the perfect city for your lifestyle. If you have some flexibility on where you can live, it's best to take some time to compare the pros and cons of the different cities. Some of the best cities in Pennsylvania to consider include:

  • Pittsburgh: An affordable big city with highly-rated universities, affordable suburbs and a diverse culinary scene. It also has a booming economy, filled with jobs in the tech industry, education and more. 
  • Philadelphia: Known as the birthplace of the United States, Philadelphia is a thriving city with a deep-rooted history. It's incredibly walkable, and affordable and features many cultural sites you can explore on the weekends. 
  • Scranton: Scranton is the sixth largest city in Pennsylvania. It's known and loved for its affordable housing and low cost of living, making it a top choice for retirees. 
  • Lancaster: An up-and-coming city with a low crime rate and succeeding economy. Lancaster is known for its rich history, culinary scene and live music weekends. It's an excellent place for young professionals or families looking for an affordable place to settle down.
  • Allentown: A top choice for the younger generations. Allentown is around 90 minutes away from NYC, making it a great city for working professionals who want accessibility to the city. It's also got affordable housing and a great nightlife scene. 


Cost of moving from California to Pennsylvania

Moving from California to Pennsylvania is not an easy task to take on by yourself. If you're planning to relocate cross-country, consider working with a long-distance moving company that can help guide you through the moving process. They'll help you plan and prepare accordingly while ensuring your belongings arrive at your new destination safely.

As you prepare to move from California to Pennsylvania, you are probably concerned about the cost of your move. Long-distance moves can be expensive, so it’s important to choose a moving company that offers excellent service at an affordable price. North American is proud to offer superior service and competitive pricing. The average linehaul moving cost from California to Pennsylvania with North American Van Lines is $8,100.

The actual price will be dependent on other variables such as the number of items being moved, the exact distance of the move, and any additional moving services such as packing and unpacking. The best way to get an accurate quote is by using our Quote on Demand or calling our customer service representatives.

Average cost to move: $8100

At North American Van Lines®, we believe in empowering our customers. That's why we offer flexible pricing and custom moving plans. You have the freedom to select the moving services that best fit your relocation budget. Additionally, you can enhance your moving plan with specialty services like auto shipping, storage or fragile-only packing, giving full control over your move.

The cost of moving from California to Pennsylvania will depend on how much you're moving and when you're moving. For an accurate price for your relocation, request a free, no-obligation quote today to get started.

Start your free quote now!

California Movers