10 Things to Know Before Moving From San Diego to Boston

10 Things to Know Before Moving From San Diego to Boston

Aug 14, 2023

Boston, MA, holds a certain allure for San Diego residents. As the 20th most common destination for on-the-move San Diegans, the Boston metro area offers the promise of a bustling, historic city overflowing with personality (And still close to the beach). However, while moving from San Diego to Boston may keep you in the same country, it can feel like a major culture shock to make the switch. Before you pack up and head for Beantown, here are 10 things you have to know to make your transition smoother. 

Boston winter is really cold and snowy

San Diego weather is so consistently beautiful that it may not be a topic of regular conversation. If you are not accustomed to giving the weather, or the seasons, much thought, however, you will need to prepare for your move to Boston. 

Father and daughter moving to new apartment together during winter standing outdoors near car taking boxes from trunk looking camera smiling excited

The weather here is significantly different from San Diego, which means people will be thinking, and talking, about it quite a bit more. Expect four distinct seasons: Spring, summer, and winter and wide fluctuations in temperature (From the 80s in the summer to the teens in the winters). 

The biggest difference? The winters. The Boston area gets about 50 inches of snow every year – Which is about twice the national average. That means that abundant cold weather, warm winter jackets, sensible boots and winter gear like snow shovels and ice scrapers have to be part of your Boston plan. 

Also be aware that because snow and cold are a regular part of Boston life, life does go on in the bad weather. That means that Bostonians tend to be very good about clearing snow off the roads – And driving in the winter weather. You may need to pick up that skill once you relocate. 

Boston falls are unmatched in brilliance

Whatever you feel about the Boston winters (Some love them, some hate them), you are almost certain to fall head over heels in love with the New England fall. Even if you live in Boston proper, where there aren’t as many trees to enjoy, miles of brilliant foliage await just a short drive away. The trees’ leaves turn bright colors here – Usually in October when the air gets a little cooler and crisper. 

So brilliant are the leaves, that tourists come from all over to enjoy the foliage. But when you live there, you get to enjoy all the wonders of fall for FREE! Plus, the city (And New England as a whole) enthusiastically embraces everything related to fall – From pumpkin carving to apple picking to apple cider and apple cider donuts.

Embrace all of the possibilities of the autumn season, and you could just find that fall becomes one of your favorite times of the year. 

The Boston cost of living will feel familiar

San Diego edges out Boston in cost of living with a score of 160.4 (60.4 percent above the national average), as opposed to Boston’s score of 153.4 (53.4 percent above the national average). 

However, the reality is that the cost of living may be pretty similar to what you currently pay in San Diego. In some areas (such as transportation), Boston is more expensive, while in other areas (such as housing), Beantown is less expensive. 

If you want to save some money when you relocate between San Diego and Boston, you can explore the Boston suburbs. Areas such as Danvers, Salem, and Melrose are close enough to commute into Boston but have lower costs of living that can make your income go further. 

Boston housing will be noticeably less expensive 

While housing in the Boston area  may give many people throughout the nation sticker shock (With median home prices resting around $656,500), San Diegans are likely to find these prices refreshingly low. Compared to San Diego’s median home price of more than $800,000, homes are much more affordable in the Boston area. 

Man calculating his bills while his family are sitting on the sofa

If you move to a lower-cost suburb, you may be able to buy a home for even less. Rents are similarly relatively high compared to the rest of the nation, but relatively low compared to San Diego. That should make finding a comfortable place to live easier when you move from your San Diego home to the Boston area

Boston overflows with history

Founded in 1630 by the Puritans, Boston has a storied and eventful history that is almost 400 years old. In addition, Boston was the center of numerous historical events, including the Boston Tea Party, the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Bunker HIll, and much more. 

George Washington Monument at Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

As a resident of the Boston area, you will have endless opportunities to soak up the history in and around Boston. From walking the famed Freedom Trail to see the city’s most famous historical sites to touring the USS Constitution battleship or visiting historic homes, you are unlikely to run out of places to see and stories to learn no matter how long you reside in Beantown. 

The beach is close by

One of San Diego’s central charms is the beach, and the warm Pacific Ocean. If leaving the water and all of its activities feels unbearable then take heart – Boston and its surrounding area offer easy access to its own beautiful beaches. 

The beaches in the Boston area may be a little different from San Diego beaches. The water is almost certainly going to be cold, even in the heat of summer. And they may not be as large (or as touristy) as San Diego locations, but that could be a good thing!

Looking for magnificent beaches where you can enjoy long views of the ocean, swimming, boating and family fun? Check out these Boston-area locales: 

  • Ipswich’s Crane Beach
  • Devereux Beach near Salem
  • Gloucester Beach
  • South Boston’s Pleasure Bay
  • Revere Beach
  • Constitution Beach

And for waterside activities, boating tours, sunset cruises, lodging, restaurants and access to the aquarium, visit Boston Harbor! 

Boston is easy to get around without a car

Boston is a compact city, due in part to the fact that it is built along the water and therefore experiences limited space for growth. As a result, it tends to be much more walkable than San Diego’s more sprawling footprint. 

Portrait Of Senior Couple Walking Dog Along Suburban Street

In addition, Boston’s subway system, known as the T, in 2016 was ranked one of the best in the nation. The system’s infrastructure issues can sometimes hinder your ability to easily get where you need to go, but in general, an abundance of well-located stops and reasonable prices make the T a convenient way to get around the city without a car. 

Boston is difficult to navigate with a car

When moving from San Diego to Boston, you may be tempted to bring your vehicle with you (Or purchase one once you hit Massachusetts). If you live in the suburbs, a car may be a necessity. However, if you are planning to live in the city, you may want to leave your vehicle at home. 

Why? Because any time you choose to drive in the Boston area, you should be aware of its reputation for being congested with traffic and difficult to navigate. Streets do not utilize the grid pattern adopted by many other American cities. And the city’s walkability gives rise to many pedestrians that drivers must be aware of. In addition, parking can sometimes be difficult, particularly in the winter. 

If you plan to bring your vehicle, prepare for a learning curve as you grow accustomed to the road, traffic, pedestrians and parking regulations that will be part of your Boston driving life. 

Boston offers an incredible education

San Diego’s educational opportunities are a valuable aspect of life in this California city. However, Massachusetts has the 5th-best education system in the United States, and Boston itself is the 6th-most educated city in the country. 

The Harvard Memorial Hall, at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Both the public education system in Boston and the plethora of colleges and universities are renowned for their quality. That makes it easy for students of all ages to get an exceptional education in this vibrant Massachusetts city. Here are just a few of the incredible colleges and universities in and around Boston: 

  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Northeastern University
  • Boston University
  • Berklee College of Music
  • And many more

Boston provides world-class healthcare

In addition to an exceptional education, the Boston area is also home to world-class healthcare, including some of the best medical centers in the nation. In fact, the city was named number 1 in the nation for hospital quality. Here are some of the renowned medical institutions available in and near the city: 

  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Brigham & Women’s Hospital
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Tufts Medical Center
  • Lahey Hospital & Medical Center

When you move to Boston from San Diego, expect to find numerous excellent healthcare choices defined by 

  • Innovation
  • Highly-educated physicians
  • Advanced medical knowledge and education
  • Wide variety of healthcare support, including mental health professionals and medical specialists

It may come as no surprise that this exceptional healthcare leads to a healthier population. Who knew moving to Boston could actually be good for your health?

Are you ready to make the move from the West Coast to the East Coast? Some exciting changes await! Just make sure that your move doesn’t have any surprises for you. At Oakley Relocation, we offer premier moving services in the San Diego area, and can handle moves of any distances – Even across the country! Our full-service, women-owned, and dedicated services are available to you. Contact us today for a quote!

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