17 Pros and Cons of Living in California: Must-Read Before Moving to California

If you are on the fence and wondering whether California is a good place to work or live, then let me tell you the bare truth. 

There are both pros and cons of living in California, but the real question is it worth moving to California? You should know what California is known for!

pros and cons of living in California

The “Golden State”, California is on the coast of the Pacific Ocean with a beautiful coastline. 

If you have seen the satellite images you might feel that Mother Earth has decorated it with her own hands. It has perfect weather with glamorous life and all that you can imagine.  

The gorgeous beaches and appealing climatic conditions may excite you to pack your bags and come to the West Coast of the United States of America. 

But moving to California can be overwhelming but yes it’s worth it if you accept its flaws. 

Do you believe in “Perfection”? If you say yes, then I’m sorry to pinch your bubble thought because no one or no place is perfect. 

“Perfection is a myth!” 

It’s better to accept this fact and then I can drive you into and explain to you all the pros and cons of moving to California. 

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What is Life in California Like?

California is full of sunshine and great warming cultures. Its location, weather, and topography are perfect for great living. The tech jobs and other opportunities will bring a remarkable change to your career. 

This place offers well-maintained parks like Sequoia, Joshua Tree, and Yosemite and plenty of Southern California hiking trails like Mount Shasta, McWay Waterfall Trail, Sea Lion Point Trail, and a lot more.  Yosemite’s easy hiking trails are so gorgeous for first-timers.

Dog-friendly beaches in California like Coronado Dog Run Beach, Huntington Dog Beach, Mesa Lane Beach, including my favorite Mesa Lane Beach, and a lot more are the best places to spend weekends with your canine best friend.

Pros and Cons of Living in California: Is it worth living in California?

Other than natural criteria, California has a lot to offer and I think you should know other facts before moving to California

Are you moving to California? Then learn the Pros of living in California: 

1. Great Colleges and Universities for Education:

This is one of the prime reasons why you should live in California and boost your career growth.  

California is not only a hub of tech companies but also has great education facilities for your child. California University offers varied subject options with low academic expenses. 

moving to California | Stanford University
Stanford University

2. Industrial as well as Agricultural Hub Too:

The great reasons to live in California are that it produces large agricultural products on which the whole country depends. 

The great news is in California that the farmers work hard to grow their crops in the Central Valley. They directly come to the market to sell it. Therefore, there is no hoarding or chance of high prices. 

3. California Believes in Renewable Energy:

California has ushered in a new pavement for nature and a healthy ecosystem. 80% of houses in California have solar panels on top of their house. 

Solar energy is a great source of power for California people. This is one of the great advantages of living in California because it has a clean environment. 

Moving to California may take a huge toll on your savings if you are a retired person or not earning enough to afford a high standard of living.

Apart from these, there are also a few cons that can greatly bring a change in your decision. Some of these are:

4. The Constant Rivalry Between North and South California:

Do you like choosing sides? Yes, you have to choose North or South if you are moving to California. Although several cities from both parts of the state are growing rapidly there are still lots of differences in culture and upbringing. 

Do you want to enjoy charming sunny weather or gloomy rainy weather? Based on your needs, you have to choose anyone.

5. Income Tax Will Take a Lot of Income Share:

If you are earning a lot, you have to pay tax a lot too. There is no alternative because you have to pay your income share to the State Government in the form of income tax.

READ NEXT:  The Ultimate Guide to One Day in Yosemite on a Budget

The progressive tax system in California is the biggest con for people like us. We don’t earn 1 million dollars but have to pay a tax of about 9%. 

Do I Regret Moving to California? 

No, of course not! This place has my heart forever. The morning’s bright yellow sun rays, the splendid beaches, the opportunities, and my kind fellow neighbors, are always there to help me. 

California has so much to offer in terms of jobs, career opportunities, and a better standard of living. This “Golden State” offers a diverse array of cuisines that are mouth-wateringly tasty with acceptable and easy culture. 


I’m so proud that my state has legalized same-sex marriage and they respect it. Therefore, one of the greatest benefits of moving to California is if you love someone of the same sex. 

I moved to California in 2017 when I was transferred from Georgia from my company which has its base here. 

If you are bothered with what are the pros and cons of living in California then you are in the right place. I’ve been in California for years now and can give you the true scenario. 

You can count on me and take an important decision. 

In this article, I’ll mention – 

Pros of Living in California: 

6. The Amazing Weather That Always Brings a Smile to Your Face:

There is no one I can find who complains about California’s weather.

Everyone loves it; its pristine coastline, picturesque vineyards, wineries, and snow-clad Sierra Nevada Range which maintain its warm weather perfectly. From San Diego, Loma Linda to Seal Beach there are plenty of amazing places to live in Southern California.

If you want to experience humid, rainfall, or snowfall then the climate is suitable then moving to Northern California is a great idea. 

Therefore, your location plays an important role in determining the climatic factors you want to experience. Certain areas in California also experience extreme types of climatic conditions. 

California beach |  pros and cons of moving to California
Fantastic Weather in California

For example,

Death Valley which is North-East of Los Angeles and near the California border from Las Vegas has recorded 54-degrees Celsius and is one of the hottest places on the Earth. 

Bodie is considered one of the coldest spots in California. At the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the White Mountains, the temperature falls to a minus degree. 

If you want to enjoy a warm temperature that is near about 60 degrees during the coldest month then Morro Bay, San Francisco, San Diego, or Santa Barbara is your perfect place.

Therefore, California has snow, bright sun, humidity, and all the other extreme types of climate. Where do you want to stay? I love its warm spring weather. 

Read More: Top 10 Ski Resorts in California

7. Vibrant Cultural Scene

California boasts a vibrant cultural scene that captivates residents and visitors alike. The state offers a rich tapestry of cultural activities, from the strong arts and music communities to the varied assortment of festivals and events.

With renowned theatres, galleries, and museums displaying a wide spectrum of artistic genres, major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco are centers for cultural expression. California’s booming entertainment sector draws artists, musicians, and filmmakers from all over the world.

Additionally, the state’s cultural diversity fosters a melting pot of traditions, languages, and cuisines, creating a dynamic and inclusive atmosphere that celebrates and embraces different cultures.

8. Strong Job Market

The job market in California is thriving and active, with many opportunities available in a wide range of industries. With Silicon Valley serving as a base for both established and emerging tech companies, the state leads the world in technology.

California also has a major presence in industries like healthcare, aerospace, banking, and renewable energy, as well as a large entertainment business in Hollywood. Talented experts from all over the world are drawn to the state because of its entrepreneurial spirit and inventive atmosphere.

People have access to a wide selection of professional pathways and networking possibilities because California is home to a large variety of businesses and organizations. The robust employment market supports economic expansion and promotes an atmosphere for career promotion.

9. Romantic Getaways in California That Steal Your Heart:

The perks of living in California are that every day is a day of celebration and love.

You can celebrate at palm-fringed beaches, crescent-shaped bays, seaside towns, and under the blue clear skies with the beauty of mountains and a variety of landscapes. 

The idyllic experience in the town of Santa Catalina, Carmel, and Santa Barbara is another gateway to happiness. The beach weather is perfect for couples looking for a romantic vacation in California.

If pages of history excite you then Sonoma and Mendocino are the perfect places. Learn about California’s history and also experience the beauty of Lake Tahoe and its surrounding hiking trails and the stunning alpine landscape. 

For example,

Vineyard in California
Vineyard in California

Sonoma Country is famous for producing award-winning wine in the pages of history. You can experience a beautiful vineyard and pastoral landscape of rolling hills and a variety of food.  

Mendocino County has a windswept long coastline with redwood trees and is home to a variety of flora and fauna. With gorgeous views and fresh air, this place is an ideal place for vacation.

READ NEXT:  14 Best Places For Babymoon in California

Steal the vintage charm and life of the Victoria era at Humboldt County’s Ferndale, which is known as a sleeping village. The rural area provides you peace and rejuvenates your life. 

Therefore, these places are perfect for vacation or weekend plans with your loved ones. I love Hotel Ivanhoe, the oldest hotel in Ferndale, away from city commotion. 

10. Activities That Will Help You to Lose Weight:

Pack your video games and put them into your cupboard and let’s enjoy the sun and water. 

You can spend your day at some picturesque natural hot springs in California relaxing your body and mind. Or climb mountains or drive into water sports or witness awe-inspiring views of California.

Let’s rest and soak your body in –

  • Vichy Springs: The Vichy Springs has its location to the North of San Francisco where you can take a dip into the pool.
  • Wilbur Hot Spring: The Wilbur Hot Spring is situated towards the east of the Clearlake lays. It is beautiful and is preserved with minerals.

Let’s spend a day at National Parks where you can climb, hike, and get views.

  • Yosemite: In Sierra Nevada Mountain, there sits the amazing glacier-sculpted geology which is considered as the “jewel of America’s national park system.” If you are planning for a weekend trip, read this one day in Yosemite itinerary guide.
  • Joshua Tree: On the north of the Mexico border, it is filled with trees where you can see tall species of Yucca and rock formations, big size glitter boulders, and poles and can experience another joy and satisfaction. You can plan a Joshua Tree itinerary trip from San Diego or Los Angeles. Adventure seekers would definitely love to explore these secret spots in Joshua Tree National Park.
  • Lassen Volcanic Park: In Wyoming, it has a great landscape of volcanic features like geysers, fumaroles, and mud springs.
  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon: In central California, lies a rugged and remote park for hiking and exploring mountains among huge tall trees.
  • Redwood: On the coast of northern California, there lies the largest and the tallest tree including Hyperion which is 115.7m in height. 

Read Also: Best Redwoods to Visit from San Francisco 

Let’s be adventurous and try some water sports – 

Do you like living in California? Yes, because other than these above places California offers so much.

It is also called a wine country and it has beautiful vineyards. It has theme parks for kids and a clean environment

pros and cons of living in California

11. Health Food for a Healthy Body:

Clean fresh air around California not only keeps your lungs healthy but fresh food products keep your stomach fresh too. 

California is a leading producer of agricultural products and fresh dry fruits. Some of them are – 

  • Avocado
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Almonds
  • Apricots
  • Olives
  • Lemons
  • Kiwi fruits
  • Melons
  • Grapes 
  • Plums
  • Peaches
  • Prunes
  • Walnuts
  • Strawberries and a lot more. 

I love the strawberries which are fresh and have a different flavor. You should taste it!

If your taste buds are bored with chicken and eggs then give them a shock with flavourful seafood. The “Sunshine State” has an amazing seafood variety. They are – 

  • Tuna
  • Squid
  • Salmon
  • Sea bass
  • Swordfish
  • Prawns
  • Spiny lobsters
  • Oysters

I love eating California’s pizza more than Italian pizza. Call me weird but my taste buds are addicted to it. 

Please taste California’s wine and cheese, they are delicious. 

12. Real-Time Opportunities That Will Make You Rich:

Who doesn’t want a high standard of living and wants to be a successful six-figure entrepreneur? 

California has the largest economy compared to the other states in the United States of America

California has a strong tech, famous, and agricultural economy which makes it one of the flourishing economies of the times.

First, Silicon Valley is present in California, providing a great opportunity for starting a business. There are skilled entrepreneurs, as well as some are unskilled too, but most of them can start up their own businesses. If you want to make money, this place is perfect with all the opportunities waiting to be uplifted by you

Second, California is a place for all artists and creative workers. It has Hollywood and provides a direct opportunity to step into the entertainment industry. 

Third, California is the greatest producer of agricultural and dairy products. They export and earn a huge amount of money. 

Therefore, if you want to grab all these above opportunities then come to California. 

In the process of discussing the Pros and Cons of Living in California, we’ve discussed all the pros.

Cons of Living in California

13. High Standard of Living:

I’m earning huge but I can’t save huge- Why? 

Because California is expensive and the cost of living in California is very high

Therefore, you have to be very conscious about the place and know all the pros and cons of moving to California before you come in.

For example,

I’m giving you my expenses in California so that you can figure out that it will work for you or not –

  • Energy Bill: $ 190.47
  • Doctor’s Visit: $ 130.51
  • Gallon Gas: $ 3. 45
  • Loaf of bread: $ 3.70
  • Miscellaneous: $ 150.62

Hence this is my expenses and I’m from Los Angeles. You can now do your calculation and see whether you can afford it or not

If you still want to come to California but don’t have a loaded pocket then I can suggest to you a few cheapest places to live in California. They are Oxnard, Bakersfield, Simi Valley, Clearlake, and Stockton. 

READ NEXT:  12 Best Zoos in California: Experience the Magic of Wildlife

Read Also: 12 Pros and Cons of Living in Oregon

Pros and Cons of Living in Southern California: 

Southern California has all the glam and fame but is the most costly place.

Did you know that you have to pay 50 cents a gallon on gas tax? 

California is staunch with its environmental policies and also has a unique blend of gasoline, making it more expensive for the Californian people

14. Natural Disasters

California is susceptible to a range of natural disasters. Strong winds and dry weather conditions make wildfires a serious concern since they can damage houses and entire ecosystems. The state is vulnerable to earthquakes of different magnitudes because it is situated on multiple fault lines.

Additionally, California experiences occasional droughts, which can damage agriculture and cause water shortages. Flooding can happen as a result of overflowing rivers or intense rainstorms.

Due to the lack of vegetation that held the soil in place following wildfires, mudslides are frequent in hilly places. Natural disasters continue to be a concern for Californians despite the state’s efforts to reduce these risks.

15. Housing Affordability

In California, it is quite difficult to find affordable housing. High demand, limited land supply, and the state’s favorable location have all contributed to soaring home costs. The cost of buying or renting a property is far higher than the national average, making it challenging for many locals to afford adequate accommodation.

Low- and middle-income individuals and families are particularly impacted by this problem since they may have difficulty finding reasonable solutions that fit their budget. Lack of cheap housing can contribute to overcrowding, a rise in the number of homeless people, and pressure on the financial security of households.

Affordable housing campaigns, rent control laws, and greater home construction are all being used to try to solve this problem, but it still remains a major issue in California.

16. Direct Democracy and Laws: 

There are advantages and disadvantages of living in California, its government, and its laws. We are well aware of the controversy over Proposition 8, same-sex marriage, and a lot more. 

Gun Control laws on the purchase of ammunition, and limits on who can own a firearm are also very tough. In Los Angeles, citizens are not permitted guns. 

17. Urbanization and a Lot of People:

California has turned out to be the 13 most populated state in the US. The most populated places in California are San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco. The adverse effects of urbanization are affecting every people in California.

Urbanization in California
Los Angeles

They are –

  • A lot of traffic
  • Crime
  • Homelessness

Related Post: 11 Most Violent Cities in California

How Much Does It Cost to Live in California? 

Price of rental residing in California:

  • Studio Apartments: $ 1,160.00
  • 1 Bedroom: $ 1340.00
  • 2 Bedroom: $ 1900.00
  • 3 Bedroom: $ 2,900.00

Median Home Price in California:

  • San Diego: $ 950,000
  • Los Angeles: $1.1M
  • San Francisco: $ 1.4M
  • Bakersfield: $ 385,000

I know you have seen so many sequences in Hollywood movies but the biggest pros and cons of living in San Francisco is it is very expensive.

Pros and cons of living in Big Bear

Big Bear has a beautiful scenery, lake, perfect landscape, mountains, and mouth-watering Mexican restaurants.

Along the North Shore, you can walk and spend your evening, relaxing and enjoying yourself but as the name suggests, this place is generally stuffed with Black Bears. Be safe! 

Pros and cons of living in Eureka

Are you searching for affordable places to visit in California? Then you can consider Eureka because considerably the cost of living is low but be very safe and conscious about your surroundings. This place has a high crime rate.

Best Places to Live in California

You might be thinking of Los Angeles and San Francisco, but I have got a surprise for you. I’m mentioning a few places which are the best to live in California in terms of quality and affordability. They are – 

  • Fresno
  • Salinas
  • Santa Rosa
  • Vallejo and Fairfield
  • Sacramento

Final Words:

If you are wondering what are the pros and cons of living in California? Then hopefully, I had the confidence in explaining to you all the advantages and disadvantages of living in California. 

California has beautiful coastal beaches and it is full of life and opportunities. Sometimes, people get confused about choosing between Florida and California. Here is the ultimate comparison article between California vs Florida.

Read Next:

FAQ on The Pros and Cons of Living in California

1. Is it nice to live in California?

A: California is a great place to live with beautiful weather and warm people. It has people from various parts of the world. It has the highest number of immigrants.  

2. Is California a good place to retire?

A: Yes, but for retirement, it is a little expensive. But, if you can afford the above places, then it is a good choice. These California cities have a healthy ecosystem that will help you feel lively.  

3. What is bad about living in California?

A: The only bad thing about living in California is that it is too expensive. Therefore, you have to earn well to support your family in California.  

4. What is the safest area for living in California?

A: Danville is the safest place for you to live because it has a lower crime rate. 

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