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The Best Places to Live Out West
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The Best Places to Live Out West

Narrowing down the best places to live out West is certainly a challenge, but we took the bait anyway. Discover the West Coast hot spots now

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5 min read

November 06, 2021

The West Coast of the United States has been calling on newcomers since the 1800s. Think about it, the Oregon Trail, the Gold Rush era, 1960s hippie culture, and an overall promise of opportunity and freedom have all contributed to a westward expansion that started and never seemed to have stopped. On top of that, the sunny coasts, verdant forests, brilliant minds, and forward-thinking culture makes it a magnetic place to be.

Narrowing down the best places to live out West is certainly a challenge, but we took the bait anyway. Learn about why we think these are some of the best cities to live in out West. And, if there’s a city that you think should’ve made the list but didn’t, we’d love to hear all about it from you!

The Best Places to Move Out West

San Francisco is known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks.

1. San Francisco, California

Median home price: $1,504,310
Median household income: $112,450
Population: 874,961

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San Francisco is a world full of potential wrapped in a pint-sized package and located in the best state out West to live. Built on more than 50 hills, S.F. has cemented itself as a city booming with innovation—it’s an epicenter for human rights movements and a launching pad for some of the world’s most ambitious technological advancements. On top of that, the City by the Bay offers great educational facilities, museums, architecture, diversity, and recreational opportunities. For those who can afford its astronomical real estate prices, San Francisco is quite the treasure.

Denver is located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.

2. Denver, Colorado

Median home price: $562,920
Median household income: $68,590
Population: 705,576

The capital of Colorado is as underrated as great cities come. With 300 days of sunshine, thriving arts and cultural scene, diverse neighborhoods and natural beauty abound, this awesome city is unarguably one of the best places to live out West. And the best part? Living in Denver won’t drain your wallet. You get to enjoy the Mile High City with all of its beauty, adventures, and opportunities for costs that are definitely not astronomical or unreasonable.

Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area around San Jose was inhabited by the Tamien nation of the Ohlone peoples of California.

3. San Jose, California

Median home price: $1,302,400
Median household income: $109,590
Population: 1,027,690

While San Francisco is hailed for its booming tech industry, it has serious competition from neighboring cities such as San Jose. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose is one of the best places to move out West for people looking to start building a career in the tech industry. Young residents and recent graduates of nearby colleges have no trouble finding jobs in the area, which lists Facebook, Google, Apple, and more grand companies as some of its largest employers. 

Another factor that helps San Jose beat out other candidates as one of the best places to live out West is its relative affordability and comfortable lifestyle in comparison to other Bay Area cities, which many people favor over the fast-paced, always-on-the-go way of living life.

San Diego's main economic engines are military and defense-related activities, tourism, international trade, research, and manufacturing.

4. San Diego, California

Median home price: $858,230
Median household income: $79,670
Population: 1,409,573

San Diego is a Southern California gem and one of the best places to live out West for so many reasons. With a population of 1.5 million, this sunny city is a fantastic hub for locals and visitors alike. Top attractions, amazing climate, beautiful white-sand beaches, prestigious universities, and more great perks truly make it America's Finest City. You'll also have your choice of beautiful residences in San Diego, which have a distinct vibe. And if a high-end lifestyle is what you seek, the most expensive neighborhoods in San Diego don't disappoint.

Seattle's jazz scene nurtured the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, and others.

5. Seattle, Washington

Median home price: $871,740
Median household income: $92,260
Population: 724,305

Situated between water and mountains, Seattle is a cosmopolitan city packed with restaurants, art galleries, and more awesome recreational venues you’ll love to discover. Originally nicknamed “Queen City,” Seattle is now referred to as the “Emerald City,” and we don’t mind where the yellow brick road takes us. While the man-made points of interest are many, the natural beauty of Seattle doesn’t disappoint either. As one of the best places to move out West, the beautiful city of Seattle is rich with lakes, forests, and mountain towns unlike any other. As for jobs, opportunities here are mostly concentrated in the tech, healthcare, and maritime industries—manufacturing is also pretty big in this awesome West Coast destination.

Santa Monica became a resort town by the early 20th century attracting celebrities like Marion Davies to build magnificent beachfront homes.

6. Santa Monica, California

Median home price: $1,820,780
Median household income: $96,570
Population: 91,557

It’s no surprise that Santa Monica makes the list of best places to live out West. Sitting on the north coast of Los Angeles Bay, this beautiful destination draws visitors with its sandy beaches, world-famous pier, and thriving dining and shopping scene. But, what makes people stay here goes so much deeper than just recreation spots. For one, the vibrant community of Santa Monica is focused on progress yet still mindful of the history of the city. Combine that with good schools, great diversity, awesome weather, and safe neighborhoods, and you’ll easily see why Santa Monica is one of the best places to move out West.

Santa Barbara has a diverse economy that includes a large service sector, education, technology, health care, finance, agriculture, and manufacturing.

7. Santa Barbara, California

Median home price: $1,508,150
Median household income: $76,610
Population: 91,376

Santa Barbara has an undeniable allure, serving as a magnet for celebrities, tycoons, and A-listers from all over the world. And who can blame them? The beautiful architecture, attractive real estate, world-class amenities, and privacy make the city one of the best places to move out West for those who can afford its hefty price tag.

But the gorgeous coastal town is not reserved for the rich and famous only. In fact, a significant portion of its population is made up of students who have come from all over the world to attend the wonderful colleges. In short, the combination of dynamic residents, awesome recreation spots, great climate, safe neighborhoods, and more desirable traits make it a prime destination and one of the best places to live out West.

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