Moving From California to Oregon: What to Expect and How to Make the Move

Moving from California to Oregon is a significant transition laden with tasks, from packing belongings to handling mail forwarding and utilities. Despite the overwhelming nature of a long-distance move, knowing what lies ahead and a few helpful tips can ease the process. The shift involves selling your California home and purchasing one in Oregon, along with myriad other details. However, the prospect of settling into a new Pacific Northwest (PNW) home makes the journey worthwhile.

If you’re contemplating this move, you’re among the many Californians eyeing Oregon, drawn by job opportunities, proximity to loved ones, or the allure of a lower cost of living. This article will explore why Californians are moving to Oregon, the finest Oregon cities to reside in, the best moving options, and invaluable tips for a seamless transition from California to Oregon. Let’s delve into what awaits and how to navigate this relocation.

Why Are People Moving From California to Oregon?

If you ask someone from Oregon, they’ll agree that there are many more cars with California license plates on the roads lately. That’s because many people from California are moving to Oregon. California is the most significant source of people moving to Oregon from other states, and Oregon is the fifth most popular place for Californians. There isn’t just one reason why this is happening, but it’s clear that many people are leaving California and choosing to live in Oregon.

Here are some reasons why this might be.

Lower Cost of Living

Although it’s not significantly low, Oregon offers a more affordable living cost than its neighboring state, California. With a cost of living index of 114.3, Oregon sits about 14 points above the national average, making it a relatively more budget-friendly choice. However, the difference becomes stark when contrasted with California’s staggering 149.9 cost of living index.

The substantial cost savings between these states primarily manifest in housing and utilities. Oregon’s median home sale price hovers around $510,000, notably lower than California’s average of about $760,000. Generally, across the board, expenses in Oregon—from housing and groceries to transportation and taxes—tend to be more affordable. For instance, according to Best Places, transitioning from a $50,000 annual income in Los Angeles to a similar lifestyle in Portland would require around $37,570. It’s a considerable financial benefit!

Beyond day-to-day savings, relocating to Oregon can also mean holding onto more of your earnings. California has the highest income tax rate nationwide, up to 13.3%, while Oregon’s top income tax rate is 9.9%. This discrepancy translates to a more favorable financial landscape for residents in Oregon.

Lifestyle in Oregon

Oregon, with its renowned laid-back vibe and distinct cultural scene, stands out as a new haven for those transitioning from the hustle of Los Angeles. While Portland and Eugene take the spotlight among Oregon’s major cities for their relaxed, grungy atmosphere, the state offers a rich diversity extending beyond initial impressions.

Oregon’s allure lies in its expansive rural landscapes and vibrant urban centers. Whether seeking tranquility or urban energy, Oregon caters to diverse preferences, providing an array of choices. The state boasts many activities suited to various tastes, particularly for nature enthusiasts enamored with lush greenery.

Location of Oregon

Oregon, also known as the Pacific State, is bordered by the Pacific waters, earning its name. It shares borders with Washington to the north and California and Nevada to the south. The state is home to several major cities, including Portland, Eugene, Gresham, Corvallis, Beaverton, Medford, Astoria, and Springfield. With its vast area, Oregon ranks ninth in size among all states in America. If you have an affinity for nature and green landscapes, Oregon’s rich vegetation and lush forests will surely captivate you.

Oregon State Taxes

One of the crucial factors to consider when moving to a new state is the tax structure. In Oregon, there is no local income tax. However, corporate tax rates range from 6.6% to 7.6%, but this applies only to income over $1 million. It’s important to note that there is a 21% corporate tax for profits generated within the United States. Oregon also levies inheritance and gift taxes and property and stamp duties at the state level. Personal income tax rates range from 10% to 37%, with higher rates applicable for incomes over $1 million or estates totaling $1 million.

Population of Oregon

According to the latest statistics, Oregon is home to approximately 4.176 million people, and this number continues to grow. The state’s population is diverse, representing various ethnicities and nationalities, including Ukrainian-speaking, Russian-speaking, Armenians, Belarusians, and individuals from other countries. Regarding racial composition, about 83.5% of the population is white, 3.1% is of mixed race, 8.0% is Hispanic, 3.0% is Asian, 1.6% is African American, and 1.3% is Native American.

Distance from California to Oregon

If you’re considering a move from California to Oregon, it’s essential to understand the distance between the two states. The distance from Oregon to California is approximately 1022.9 miles or 1649.3 kilometers. The journey by road takes around 16 hours and 34 minutes, depending on traffic and route. If you prefer air travel, it is the fastest way to reach your destination, with a flight duration of approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes. However, air travel can be expensive, ranging from $100 to $900 for a one-way ticket, depending on factors such as class, luggage, and other considerations.

Transportation Options from California to Oregon

When traveling from California to Oregon, several options are available to you. Let’s explore each option in more detail:

  1. By Plane: Traveling by plane from California is the fastest way to reach Oregon. However, it can be expensive, with airfare costs ranging from $100 to $900 or more, depending on various factors. The flight lasts approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes, providing a quick and convenient travel option.
  2. By Bus: While there is no direct bus route from Oregon to California, you can still reach your destination by taking multiple buses with transfers. This option is suitable for those who have a limited amount of luggage, as carrying large quantities of belongings may take a lot of work. The journey by bus can take approximately 24 hours, providing a more affordable but time-consuming travel option.
  3. By Train: Traveling by train is an excellent option if you prefer a scenic route. The train journey from Portland to Los Angeles takes approximately 31+ hours, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful landscapes. Train travel offers a unique and relaxing experience, although it is a longer journey than other modes of transportation.
  4. By Car: Traveling by car is the most cost-effective option for many people. The only expenses you need to consider are fuel costs for your vehicle. The trip by car from California to Oregon takes around 16-17 hours, depending on your specific route. If you own an electric car, planning your route carefully to ensure access to charging stations is essential.
  5. On Foot: For adventurous souls, walking or cycling from California to Oregon is an option. While this is not an easy journey, it is legally permitted, and some individuals may choose to embark on this type of trip. It would require overnight stops and careful planning, but it can be a unique and memorable experience for those up to the challenge.

Living in Oregon: Pros and Cons

Many Californians are considering a move to Oregon due to various factors that make the state an attractive place to live. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of living in Oregon compared to California.

Advantages of Living in Oregon:

  1. Affordability: Oregon offers a lower cost of living compared to California, making it an attractive option for those seeking more affordable housing, groceries, and overall expenses.
  2. Natural Beauty: Oregon’s diverse landscapes, from mountains to coastlines, provide endless outdoor activities and scenic beauty opportunities. The state is known for its lush green forests, picturesque beaches, and stunning waterfalls.
  3. Moderate Climate: Oregon’s climate is generally mild, with Mediterranean-style weather in many areas. While it has rainy and cloudy days, the state experiences four distinct seasons, allowing residents to enjoy various weather throughout the year.
  4. No Sales Tax: Unlike California, Oregon has no sales tax. This means that you can save money on your purchases, as the price you see is the price you pay.
  5. Outdoor Recreation: Oregon is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The state offers numerous hiking trails, camping sites, fishing spots, and skiing resorts, providing ample opportunities for adventure and exploration.

Disadvantages of Living in Oregon:

  1. High Income Taxes: While Oregon does not have a local income tax, the state has one of the highest income tax rates in the country, ranging from 5% to 9.9%. This can significantly impact your overall tax liability.
  2. Higher Cost of Farmer Food: Compared to California, farmer food in Oregon can be more expensive, which may affect your grocery budget.
  3. Rainy and Cloudy Weather: Oregon is known for its frequent rain and cloudy weather, especially during winter. If you prefer constant sunshine, there may be a better climate.
  4. Lack of International Airports: Outside of Portland and Salem, Oregon has limited options for international airports. If you frequently travel abroad, this may pose some logistical challenges.
  5. Higher Cost of Living: Although Oregon is generally more affordable than California, it still has a higher cost of living than the national average. Housing, healthcare, and other expenses can be higher than in other states.
  6. Limited Beaches: Oregon has a stunning coastline, but the beaches may differ from California’s. If beach activities are a significant part of your lifestyle, you may miss the sandy shores of California.
  7. Narrow and Winding Roads: Oregon’s roads can be narrow and winding, especially in some rural areas. This can be challenging for newcomers, particularly those accustomed to California’s more extensive and straightforward road networks.

Considering these pros and cons will help you decide whether moving to Oregon is the right choice for you and your lifestyle.

Best Places to Live in Oregon

Once you’ve decided to move to Oregon, it’s time to explore the best places to live in the state. Here are seven popular cities and towns that offer unique advantages and opportunities:

  1. Portland: With a population of 647,805, Portland is the largest city in Oregon. Known as the “City of Roses,” Portland is highly regarded for its environmentally conscious culture, vibrant arts scene, and excellent outdoor recreational opportunities.
  2. Eugene: With a population of 166,575, Eugene is a city that celebrates its natural environment and offers a wide range of outdoor activities. It is often called an “emerald” or “track town” because it focuses on arts and athletics.
  3. Salem: As the capital of Oregon, Salem has a population of 167,419. The city is home to several colleges and universities, making it a center for education. Salem is also known for its agricultural and food processing industries.
  4. Corvallis: With a population of 55,298, Corvallis is a small city that is home to Oregon State University. It offers a supportive environment for small businesses and is known for its beautiful landscapes and recreational opportunities.
  5. Astoria: Located on the Pacific coast, Astoria is a charming port town with a population of 9,527. It is a popular destination for tourists due to its beautiful beaches, museums, and vibrant arts scene.
  6. Medford: With a population of 81,780, Medford is a city that thrives in the healthcare and agricultural sectors. It is a popular retirement destination and offers a wide range of outdoor activities, thanks to its proximity to mountains and forests.
  7. Beaverton: Beaverton has experienced significant population growth, with 97,590 residents calling it home. It is an important economic center, housing several large corporations. Beaverton has been recognized as one of the best small cities to live in, offering a high quality of life.

While these cities and towns offer unique advantages, the choice ultimately depends on your preferences and lifestyle. Consider factors such as job opportunities, cost of living, outdoor activities, and community atmosphere when deciding on the best place to settle in Oregon.

Cheapest Places to Live in Oregon

Oregon is a state that offers a range of options for those seeking an affordable cost of living. Here are a few places in Oregon that are known for being more budget-friendly:

  1. Coos Bay: Located on the south coast of the state, Coos Bay is the largest city in the region. The cost of housing is relatively low, with the average house price being less than $200,000. The city strongly focuses on production, trade, and social assistance.
  2. Sheridan: Situated in a farming area, Sheridan offers more affordable housing options, with the average house price around $230,000. The city benefits from the Columbia River and is known for its beautiful landscapes and historical houses.
  3. Baker City: Baker City is a small town with a relatively lower cost of living compared to larger cities in Oregon. The average house price is around $360,000, and the town is known for its thriving agriculture and healthcare industries.
  4. Albany: Albany is a city with a rich history and picturesque views. The average house price in Albany is approximately $275,000, making it an affordable option for those looking to settle in Oregon.

While these places offer more affordable housing options, it’s essential to consider other factors, such as job opportunities, access to amenities, and overall quality of life, when making your decision.

What is Oregon Known For?

Oregon is renowned for its natural beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, and vibrant culture. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things that make Oregon famous:

  1. Stunning Landscapes: Oregon’s diverse landscapes, including mountains, coastlines, forests, and deserts, offer breathtaking views and a wide range of outdoor activities. The state is home to the famous Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the Western Hemisphere.
  2. Outdoor Recreation: Oregon is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With its numerous hiking trails, camping sites, fishing spots, and skiing resorts, there is no shortage of recreational activities to enjoy throughout the year.
  3. Breweries and Craft Beer: Oregon is known for its thriving craft beer industry, with over 200 breweries in the state. The annual Oktoberfest and other beer festivals attract beer lovers from near and far.
  4. Portland: Portland is renowned for its vibrant arts and music scene, eco-friendly culture, and unique neighborhoods. It is often called the “City of Roses” and offers diverse culinary experiences, shopping opportunities, and cultural events.
  5. Laid-back Lifestyle: Oregonians are known for their friendly and relaxed demeanor. The state is known for its laid-back lifestyle, where people value outdoor activities, community engagement, and a connection to nature.
  6. Education and Innovation: Oregon is home to several prestigious universities, including the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. The state strongly focuses on education and innovation, fostering a culture of creativity and intellectual growth.
  7. Food and Wine: Oregon’s fertile soil and mild climate make it an ideal location for agriculture. The state is known for its high-quality produce, including berries, fruits, and vegetables. Oregon’s wine industry has also gained recognition for its excellent Pinot Noir and other varietals.

These are just a few reasons why Oregon is celebrated and loved by residents and visitors alike. The state’s natural beauty, outdoor activities, cultural attractions, and welcoming communities make it an appealing destination for those seeking a high quality of life.

Cost of Moving from California to Oregon

Moving from California to Oregon involves careful planning and consideration of the costs involved. While the distance between the two states is insignificant, it’s essential to factor in the expenses associated with the relocation process. Here are some options to consider when moving:

  1. Hiring a Moving Truck: Renting a moving truck and handling the move yourself can be the most cost-effective option. However, it requires careful organization, packing, unpacking, and loading and unloading your belongings. You will also need to consider the fuel cost and any additional expenses.
  2. Professional Moving Service: Hiring a professional moving company can provide a stress-free and efficient moving experience. The cost of professional movers will depend on various factors, including the size of your move, distance, and additional services required. It’s essential to obtain quotes from multiple moving companies to compare prices and services.
  3. Shipping Valuables: If you have valuable items requiring special handling, such as fragile or valuable artwork or antiques, you may ship them separately. This option allows you to ensure the safe transportation of your valuables while focusing on other aspects of the move.

Whichever option you choose, it’s essential to budget for moving costs, including packing materials, transportation, and any additional services required. By planning and obtaining multiple quotes, you can make an informed decision that suits your budget and ensures a smooth transition to your new home in Oregon.

Moving from California to Oregon: Top Moving Companies 

Are you searching for the right moving company to assist with your move from California to Oregon? There are various options available, ranging from renting a moving truck and handling everything on your own to hiring a full-service moving company to take care of the entire process. Let’s explore these options to find what suits your move best.

Secure Space Moving Company

Secure Space is a reputable moving company that offers comprehensive services for relocations from California to Oregon. They specialize in ensuring a smooth and hassle-free transition for individuals and families moving between these states. Their services encompass various aspects of the moving process, including packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and unpacking. They prioritize the safety and security of your belongings, employing trained professionals who handle items with care throughout the journey.

Secure Space understands the intricacies of long-distance moves and tailors their services to meet specific needs. Whether it’s a small or large move, they provide personalized solutions, offering flexibility and reliability. Moreover, their customer service is commendable, providing clear communication, transparency in pricing, and timely updates throughout the moving process. With a track record of satisfied customers, Secure Space is a popular choice for those relocating from California to Oregon.

Consider reaching out to Secure Space to inquire about their services, receive a quote, and discuss how they can assist you in making your move from California to Oregon a seamless and stress-free experience.

Full-Service Movers

If you have the financial means and seek a seamless relocation experience, a full-service moving company could be the ideal solution.

A reputable full-service moving company boasts extensive expertise in handling all facets of a move. Their comprehensive service entails expertly packing all your possessions, efficiently loading them onto the moving truck, transporting them to your new residence in Oregon, and even assisting with unpacking. However, it’s important to note potential drawbacks: this option tends to be the most costly, and once you’ve booked your move with them, you’re committed to their schedule. Any alterations, such as changes in your closing date, would necessitate rescheduling and might result in additional fees.

Moving Truck Rental

Proven effective, yet potentially involves the most effort among your choices. Opting for a rental truck could be the optimal solution depending on the volume of your belongings and the distance of your move, especially if you’re comfortable driving it yourself.

It’s crucial to remember that with most rental trucks, you’ll be responsible for covering expenses like fuel, insurance, and any potential damages that may occur during the journey—incidents that are more common than one might anticipate. Moreover, if you lack experience driving through Oregon or prefer professional assistance, entrusting the task to experts like PODS might be a wiser choice.

Tips and Tricks for Moving From California to Oregon

Moving from California to Oregon comes with its own set of tips and tricks to ensure a smooth transition. Here are some helpful insights for your move:

Consider Cycling

Oregon is renowned as the second most bike-friendly state in the US. Embracing the local culture, many commute on bikes, offering a practical and eco-friendly way to navigate your new community. Joining this trend not only allows you to get exercise but also aids in easy parking and saves on fuel costs. Depending on your needs, a mountain or hybrid bike can be ideal for exploring the outdoors.

Prepare for Housing Prices

While Oregon’s typical home values are relatively high at around $515,500, they’re notably lower than California’s housing market, which averages at $769,400. This difference might relieve those concerned about transitioning into Oregon’s housing market.

Be Aware of Natural Disasters

Living on the West Coast means being prepared for earthquakes. Oregon experiences numerous small quakes, with around 15 larger ones annually, though they typically cause minimal damage. Familiarizing yourself with earthquake safety measures is essential. Additionally, while not as severe as in California, wildfires are a concern in Oregon due to its wooded areas.

Explore Coastal Towns

Oregon boasts numerous charming coastal towns, each offering its unique appeal. Exploring and visiting places like Astoria, Seaside, and Cannon Beach can help you find the ideal community that resonates with your preferences.

Understanding Oregon’s Weather

Oregon’s climate is relatively moderate, characterized by warm and wet summers due to significant rainfall and cold, windy winters. The state tends to have partly cloudy weather throughout the year, which might differ from California’s climate. Despite the cloudy days, locals appreciate the beautiful summers that Oregon offers.

Moving from California to Oregon involves adjusting to various aspects, from transportation choices to weather patterns. Understanding these tips can help ease your transition and make settling into your new Oregonian life an enjoyable experience.


Moving from California to Oregon opens up a world of opportunities and a vibrant lifestyle surrounded by natural beauty. With its diverse landscapes, outdoor recreational activities, and thriving communities, Oregon offers a unique living experience that attracts many individuals and families. By considering factors such as location, taxes, population, distance from California, and the pros and cons of living in Oregon, you can make an informed decision about your move. Whether you choose the bustling city life of Portland or the peaceful charm of a small town, Oregon welcomes you with open arms. So, pack your bags and get ready for an exciting new chapter in the magnificent state of Oregon.

Ready to make your move from California to Oregon stress-free? Choose Secure Space for a seamless relocation experience. Contact us today to ensure a smooth transition to your new home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

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