Moving To Oregon From California Guide

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By Visit Oregon

Jul 17, 2020 / 5:50 pm

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Perhaps you’re a native Californian who is looking for a simpler life without leaving the Pacific Coast altogether. In your everyday life, you are accustomed to a high cost of living, terrible traffic and crowded beaches. Fellow citizens are not the friendliest, smog regularly infiltrates your lungs and the price of a cup of coffee is equal to the price of 5 cups of coffee in other states. In other words, you’re itching to book it out of California and into a calmer life along the Pacific Coast.

I am here to offer you some helpful information on moving from California to Oregon. I can guarantee that you will NOT look back! Oregon is the perfect blend of pristine, uncrowded beaches, mild weather, green forests, majestic mountains, deep valleys, wide open desert and rich history. With every type of landscape packaged into one state, who wouldn’t find happiness in Oregon?

For starters, let’s review the basics such as the cost of living, cities, transportation, education and climate. Then I will provide you with a list of 10 locations in Oregon to check out!

Cost of Living In Oregon

Before you take the plunge and consider moving to Oregon, it’s wise to investigate the cost of living in your place of interest. After all, you don’t want to seek a better life to only fall further down the rabbit hole, do you?

When researching the cost of living for each state, you will see that the U.S. average cost of living sits at 100. Anything above that number is considered higher than the U.S. average and anything lower than that number is considered below the U.S. average, according to the Cost of Living Indices.

With that being said, California’s cost of living sits at a painful 149. That’s a whopping 49 points ABOVE the U.S. average. Ouch. No wonder you’re wanting to venture into Oregon!

Oregon’s cost of living sits at 113. While that is still above the U.S. average for the cost of living, it is considerably lower than California’s. This means that you can relocate to Oregon and enjoy the smaller population, the breathtaking views and serene lifestyle. (And believe it or not, the citizens of Oregon are VERY friendly folks!)


As a resident of California, I know you are familiar with city life. The traffic, the smog, the busyness of everyday life and so on. However, cities in Oregon are not the same. Yes, you’ll find some traffic jams in Portland during rush hour, but nothing like that of Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Most people are familiar with the city of Portland, Oregon. While it’s the state’s largest city, it’s not the only city. (Keep in mind that these cities are not home to millions of residents. Only thousands. The population of Portland is 650,000 people.)

Bend is another popular city in the central portion of the state. It has a population of 97,000! As a Californian, this may feel like a country town to you. However, to Oregonians, this is big city living! It’s nestled just east of the Willamette Valley and the Cascade Mountains.

Hillsboro is also a growing city in Oregon with a population of 108,000 people. Situated just west of Portland, it’s not too far from the beach!

Eugene is also situated on the central western side of the state with a population of 171,000 people. And might I add, this is a GREAT place to live if you love hiking and canoeing. Additionally, it’s only a short 50 mile drive to the beach!


I am not surprised that any Californian has transportation concerns when relocating to another state. When you’re used to frantic rush hours, stalled highway jams and drivers filled with road rage, how could you NOT ask about transportation? Let me reassure you that transportation in Oregon is effortless and easily accessible. If that doesn’t give you a sigh of relief, I don’t know what else will!

However, please keep in mind that if you don’t have your own personal vehicle, the bigger cities and communities would be the best place for you to relocate. They are well-equipped with public transportation. Much of the state of Oregon is still full of wide open spaces with very few people.

There are 5 bus services throughout the state:

  • Greyhound
  • Amtrak
  • Rogue Valley Transportation District
  • TriMet
  • Cherriots

There are 4 airports throughout the state:

  • Portland International Airport
  • Port of Astoria
  • Salem Municipal Airport
  • Bend

There is one railway company in the state:

  • Amtrak

And might I add that Oregon highly encourages folks in the larger communities and cities to walk or bike wherever they go. You’ll find biking lanes EVERYWHERE. And honestly, people who live in the big cities prefer to transport on their bicycles as it saves money on fuel AND helps maintain the waistline.


Oregon believes in the importance of valuable education. Many Oregonians boast on their state’s ability to properly educate the younger population by comparing it to expensive private school instruction. The difference between the public and private education system is little to nothing! If you’re curious to further investigate Oregon’s public school system, then visit the Oregon Department of Education website. You won’t be disappointed.

Climate and Weather

People from across the country (California Especially) are considering moving to Oregon because of the Mediterranean-style climate. With the state sitting next to the Pacific Ocean, the climate and weather is tremendously influenced by this. The western side of the state that borders the Pacific Ocean is fairly wet. In fact, you can expect around 70 days of sunshine year round. The dry days are mostly in the summer with the rainy, cloudy days hanging around in the fall and winter months. The western side of the state also stays a few degrees cooler than the eastern side of the state. The average summer temperature sits at 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The eastern side of Oregon is on the dryer side of things much like many parts of California. After all, in the southeastern corner Oregon, it shares a desert with Nevada. This dryer climate is largely due to the Cascade Mountains that splits down the center of the state. Don’t be fooled though! Eastern Oregon still receives a healthy dose of rain every year. You can also count on Eastern Oregon to be a few degrees warmer during the summertime.

10 Great Places to Live in Oregon!

Now that I have shared with you some of the basics to leaving California and moving to Oregon, I am going to share with you a few Oregon towns and cities to check out! These locations are not something you should limit yourself to because Oregon is altogether a wonderful place to explore and live in. The idea is to help you become more acquainted with your future state: The Beaver State!

  1. West Linn, Oregon
  2. Bend, Oregon
  3. Portland, Oregon
  4. Hillsboro, Oregon
  5. Eugene, Oregon
  6. Sherwood, Oregon
  7. The Dalles, Oregon
  8. Medford, Oregon
  9. Cannon Beach, Oregon
  10. Lake Oswego, Oregon

Do yourself a favor and check out these fantastic Oregonian locations. Whether you’re desiring to live on the beach near Cannon Beach or in the northern river portion of the state in The Dalles, your choices are nearly limitless.

Moving To Oregon – Housing

We hope you enjoyed our article on moving to Oregon from CA. Be sure to check out our Oregon real estate search for possible houses you may be interested in and availability. 

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