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San Diegans Love Affair with California: Exploring Where They’d Relocate in the U.S.

San Diegans Love Affair with California

San Diegans Love Affair with California

California, with its golden coast, stunning landscapes, and thriving job market, has always been a dream destination for many. However, it’s no secret that the high cost of living and various factors have led some San Diegans to contemplate a move.

In a recent survey by Axios San Diego, residents were asked where they would relocate in the U.S. if they had to leave California. The results provide an intriguing insight into what makes Southern California so special and what other states have to offer. Let’s dive into the details.

  1. Pacific Northwest: A Clear Favorite

    The Pacific Northwest stole the show as the preferred destination for San Diegans contemplating a move. Here’s why:

    • Washington (16%): Seattle, in particular, was praised for its tech job opportunities, diversity, and proximity to nature. Some even believe it will become a West Coast paradise in the coming decades.
    • Oregon (9%): Portland, with its progressive and laid-back vibe, still offers coastal proximity and beautiful surroundings.
  2. Mountain States and the South: Alternative Choices

    While the Pacific Northwest led the pack, other regions also received attention. These include:

    • Colorado: Known for its mountains, outdoor lifestyle, and a culture reminiscent of San Diego, Colorado was an attractive choice.
    • Texas, North Carolina, and Tennessee: These southern states were appreciated for their lower cost of living, lower taxes, and more conservative politics. North Carolina, in particular, was praised for its climate, culture, and affordability.
  3. Common Themes for Relocation

    It’s evident that the reasons San Diegans love their current home are the same factors drawing them to other cities across the U.S. These include:

    • Job Opportunities: A robust job market is crucial for most. The tech industry in Seattle and the diverse job offerings in other cities were significant draws.
    • Proximity to the Ocean: Living by the coast is a lifestyle choice that many are unwilling to sacrifice.
    • LGBTQ-Friendly Atmosphere: Inclusivity and acceptance are vital aspects of San Diego’s appeal, and readers sought these qualities in their potential new homes.
    • Family Ties: For many, the desire to move closer to family is a primary motivation for relocation.
  4. Why Some Prefer Warmer Climates

    While the Pacific Northwest and mountain states are favorites, there are those who lean toward warmer destinations. Here’s why:

    • Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida: These states offer a lower cost of living, more conservative politics, and, in some cases, a warmer climate.
  5. The Unwavering Love for California

    Despite these considerations, California remains a hard place to live for many residents. Some say they would stay unless “physically expelled.” The allure of the Golden State, with its diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and endless opportunities, continues to captivate people from across the country.


The Axios San Diego survey reveals that while San Diegans love their current home, they’re open to exploring other parts of the U.S. The Pacific Northwest stands out as a preferred choice due to its tech industry, diversity, and natural beauty.

However, warmer states also appeal to those seeking lower costs and conservative politics. The unique blend of factors that make Southern California special is mirrored in the qualities San Diegans are looking for in their potential new homes.

As the survey suggests, the love for California runs deep, but the country is filled with diverse destinations that can be equally enticing for those considering a change.

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