What You Need to Know Before Moving from California to Florida

Thinking of leaving the Golden State behind in favor of the Sunshine State? Before you start packing and book a one-way California to Florida flight, here’s what you need to know before you make your move.

1. Tropical Terrain: Significant Climate & Terrain Differences

Florida and Calfornia are both known for sun and sand — but there are a few key differences to take into account before you make your move. 

Day-to-Day Weather

Used to mild Southern California winters? You’ll feel nearly right at home in Florida — just prepare to brace for a little more humidity and rain. Compared to California’s Mediterranean climate, Florida’s subtropical climate is generally more humid, warmer, and receives more rainfall. Winters are mild, and summers are hot — perfect for a beach day! 

Severe Weather

California experiences prolonged dry seasons and sits on a fault line — meaning earthquakes and wildfires occur. In contrast, Florida doesn’t typically experience earthquakes or wildfires but is located in the Atlantic hurricane belt, which makes it vulnerable to tropical storms and hurricanes. Tropical storm season typically ranges from June to November, with a peak in September.

Tropical storm season can bring with it surges of rains and heavy winds — and the potential for hurricanes. If you opt to move near the coast, stay prepared with an emergency supply kit and heed evacuation notices when necessary. 


California is the most biodiverse US state and boasts various geographical features, including deserts, mountains, forests, and beaches. Much of Florida is low-lying and flat — however, there are a handful of unique features in Florida, too!

With sandy beaches, grasslands, forests — and of course, the Everglades — outdoor enthusiasts are bound to find natural beauty in spades.


Florida is home to a variety of wildlife. You can expect more frequent manatee, bottlenose dolphin, and loggerhead turtle sightings compared to California beaches. Much like in California, you’ll need to be wary of jellyfish, stingrays, and sharks when swimming in the ocean and snakes when on land.

Unlike in California, you’ll also need to be aware of alligators. Florida alligators can be found in freshwater ponds, lakes, rivers, and swampy areas. It’s important to be cautious around freshwater bodies, particularly through April and June when alligators are most active.


2. Lower Housing Costs, Cost of Living, and a Booming Job Market

Florida tends to be more affordable in comparison to California — while still providing plenty of career opportunities. Read on to learn more about home pricing, cost of living, and the job market.

Lower Housing Costs

Compared to California, housing costs in Florida are generally lower. As of August 2022, the median price of a home on the Florida real estate market was $407,000 compared to $786,750 in California. However, housing prices can vary depending on the city and neighborhood you choose to live in. Major Florida cities, like Miami, tend to be pricier than other parts of the state.. 

Lower Cost of Living

Unlike in California, Florida does not have state income tax — meaning residents only pay federal income tax. This means that Florida residents get to keep more of their take-home pay. Costs for day-to-day items, including food and utilities, also tend to be less expensive than in California, depending upon where you’re located. 

A Booming Job Market

Florida’s job market is diverse, but the largest industries are tourism, healthcare, technology, and agriculture. If you’re looking to start a career in any of these industries — or relocate to Florida from California in search of a new job — you’ll find plenty of opportunity, though perhaps at a lower pay rate due to Florida’s lower overall cost of living. 


3. A Diverse Culture (and Plenty of Ways to Spend Your Weekends)

While California is the largest state in the US, Florida is right behind. Florida is jam-packed with rich culture, higher education opportunities, and entertainment. 

A Diverse Culture

As the third largest state, Florida boasts a diverse population. Like California, Florida’s culture has historically been shaped by a large immigrant population, whether European, Caribbean, or Cuban.

Florida is a popular destination for retirees and snowbirds looking to escape the cold winter months. Florida has become a popular destination for retirees, resulting in many retirement communities and active adult communities being developed in the state. However, Florida is also popular with college students, young professionals, and families.

Higher Education 

Like California, Florida is home to a number of public and private universities. A few examples include: the University of Florida, Florida State University, the University of Miami, Florida A&M, Valencia College, and Miami Dade College. Therefore, whether you are a prospective student or an education professional, there are plenty of great opportunities. 


Florida’s major cities are known for their nightlife (hello, Miami!), while beachside towns are the perfect place to relax and unwind. You’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of beach days and temperate weather year-round — meaning outdoor activities and dining al fresco are always great options. 

Looking for an in-state weekend getaway? Orlando is a tourist — and family favorite — and is home to Walt Disney World, Seaworld, and Universal Studios, while Key West is the perfect destination to go deep sea fishing and take a dip in the temperate Atlantic waters. 


Make Your Move to the Sunshine State With CORT

As you say goodbye to the Golden State and hello to the Sunshine State, let CORT handle your temporary furniture needs. CORT Furniture Rental can be an excellent option for folks who aren’t sure what life may look like in six to twelve months.

Renting furniture gives you the freedom to move often without the hassle of moving furniture multiple times. Simply start with a furniture subscription package. Pick out the furniture you need, decide how long you need it for, and schedule a delivery date. Our movers will deliver and install your furniture, so you don’t have to lift a finger. Then, walk into your new Florida home, kick back, and relax! When you’re done renting furniture, our crew will return and remove the furniture you no longer need. Make your move to Florida simple with CORT Furniture Rental.


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