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Moving From NYC to LA: 5 Things to Consider

woman winter clothes on beach

Perhaps it’s the allure of the weather. Perhaps you’re craving beaches. Or maybe you’re just looking for something new while still having a big city life. Whatever the motivation, you’ve made the bold – and perhaps socially controversial – decision to leave NYC for LA.

Whether you’ve made the choice or you’re weighing the options, it’s good to consider the bigger picture before moving day. If you’re moving from NYC to LA, here are 5 things to consider.

Goodbye Boots, Hello (Swimming)Suits!

One apparent downside to moving to LA is the “I’ll miss the seasons!!” perspective. Well, that’s fine. But will you miss layering up to leave the house? Wearing functional boots with a chic outfit so you can trudge through the snow? Losing the feeling in your face and hands while you wait to be seated at a bar or restaurant?

LA beach surfers

LA “cold” is NYC “early summer” and your wardrobe will reflect that. You can leave behind the jackets, scarves, boots, sweaters, and all of the other heavy clothes you’d otherwise depend on for a long period of the year. Not only is LA a pool and beach city, but it’s not so far from that “weather” you may miss. Let’s be honest, snow is much better when you’re a tourist!

Hit the road to Tahoe or hop a flight to Telluride if you need to get your snow fix. In LA you can wear light clothes, meet friends by the sea or the pool, and be grateful you’re not listening to snow plows while you’re trying to get some sleep.

Traffic is Traffic

In two major cities like NYC and LA, it’s impossible to completely give up the need to navigate busy hours and traffic while getting across town. It just depends on which traffic you find the most manageable. 

NYC has the rush of the subway. Rushed staircases, crowded platforms, and packed subway cars can get a bit exhausting. Add to the mix the need to just rest after a long day of work only to be met with performing artists, and sometimes you just want to stuff yourself into a car.

los angeles train

LA has an innercity train system too, of course. Public transport saves you money and the hassle of navigating the massive freeways and neighborhood roads. But having the option to drive your car can be pretty nice. You don’t have to fight for a seat, you can belt out your favorite songs on the long wait on the 405, and you can take a detour to a sunny patio if you feel the temptation.

Just don’t expect that you’re leaving all of the hectic commuting vibes behind when you leave the NYC subways for LA.

Cleanses Over Carbs

Okay, that’s a generalization and not a rule of thumb. But hear us out.

LA isn’t exactly known for its bagels and pizzas. Sure, those things are available, but the culinary scene is different there. There are juice bars, vegan everything, and it often feels like every restaurant has a gluten-free menu. Both cities are spoiled for choice for global cuisines, it just seems like LA’s allure is a bit different.

smoothie juice bar venice beach

With Griffith Park, Runyon Canyon, Topanga State Park, and so many more in close proximity, you can walk off your green juice with a hike on any number of trails. LA has more sustainable, predictable, sunnier weather so it’s a very outdoorsy city. You’re sure to find friends who like to run, hike, swim, do yoga and more. And you won’t need to rent a car to get into outdoor trails.

Daily Life or Daily Fights?

We don’t mean literal fights, of course. But we’re referring to the battle of getting anything done.

NYC requires you to be on your toes from the time you leave your home. You need to be assertive or you’ll get left behind, or eclipsed while waiting for something. The energy of the fast-paced lifestyle is infectious and can be exhausting. Add to that the extreme nature of the weather – the rain, the bitterly cold winters, the sweltering summers, and everything in between – and you’re bound to be a bit on edge.

In LA things are a bit more… Open. Most cafes and bars have outdoor seating and happily welcome your dog to join you on the patio. The movie theaters allow you to reserve a seat when you buy your ticket. You can easily move your shopping cart in the grocery store aisles and park your car. Trouble finding a parking spot? You can toss your keys to the valet more often than not.

The River or the Beach?

This is one you’ll have to decide for yourself. Both cities have their natural water scenery, and it depends on what you prefer. Want to shop and jog along the Hudson? Or sunbathe at any number of beach spots? Yes, NYC has some beaches, but once you get to LA you may start thinking of them differently.

beautiful los angeles

NYC definitely wins, hands down, when it comes to the vibrance of tall, modern buildings. If that’s your thing, maybe you’ll remain happier there. But LA has a mixture of modern architecture, beaches, natural spaces for hiking, and a pretty appealing day- and night-life. You’re not going to find yourself sunbathing by the river with a big sandwich from Katz’s Deli, but you could easily lounge in Malibu with your favorite green juice.

When you’re ready for the big move, Unpakt can help. With the click of a button, we’ll connect you to a reliable, trusted mover near you.

About the author

Unpakt Team