Similar But Different
There are quite a few similarities between Colorado and California. The big differences are geographical, and there’s a subtle political inversion. For example, Colorado has a fairly temperate climate with mild winters except in the high mountains. Much of Los Angeles is extremely temperate, except in the surrounding mountains.
While Colorado will see snow, California’s coastal areas seldom do. But there is no ocean in Colorado, while there is an ocean in California. In California, they surf waves, in Colorado they “surf” or “board” the snow. Additionally, political and economic changes have to lead to a sort of citizen exchange rate between Colorado and California.
As people leave California for Colorado, people leave Colorado for California. Admittedly, this hasn’t been a large percentage of the population, but believe it or not, the price of an apartment within ten miles of Denver’s city center is about the same as one in Los Angeles proper today. This is notable.
Where To Go
So the question becomes: if you’re going to this coastal state, where will you live? It’s essentially possible to keep the majority of what you’re used to in Colorado, simply exchanging it for California’s coastal extremes. Many from Colorado find themselves more comfortable in Central California than Southern California, or SoCal as the locals say.
The Bay Area is even more pricey than L.A., though. Still, if you were living at a place like The Palmer at Inverness, CO, a comparable living situation in Oakland, California may be Atlas. Being across the bay, Oakland actually has more affordable housing than much of The Bay, but there are even more affordable living solutions further up north.
Here’s the thing about Humboldt County, the most populous northern county on the coast: a lot of inner-city people from central and southern California travel that direction, so there’s a strange sense of “inner city” crime among The Redwoods. Still, around Eureka and Arcata to the north, there are some downright beautiful homes and communities that have a deep history.
While prices are comparable between Colorado and California, it’s important to note that they’re not quite the same. Additional taxes in terms of shopping, living, and driving exist. You might want to buy a cheap motorhome and tread water a year before you decide on a rental property—you’ll save money over rental if you buy used and live frugal. Also, living mobile need not necessarily feel mobile, if you do it right.
Traffic, Population, and Potential
Something else you’ll want to consider with such a move is the traffic. California traffic is downright insufferable, and you’ve got to be strategic. Your best bet is figuring out how to coordinate travel at low-volume times during the day. In the late evening and early morning, you’ll find the emptiest roads. If you have to drive at mid-day, things get difficult.
Still, there’s much to recommend the state in terms of opportunity, natural beauty, entertainment, sightseeing, and historical significance. The east side of the state, over the mountains, is an entirely different communal atmosphere. It’s like the mountains are the shore between midwestern culture and the venerated coast.
California has the population it does for a reason. With that population comes many issues, some good, some bad, some surprising and unexpected. It’s an exciting place where excitement percolates through the air. There’s a sense that the right move at the right time could ruin or make someone’s entire life. Colorado and California have much in common, and it makes sense for citizens of one state to move to the other.