Moving to a New City in the States: Stories and Tips

Whether you’re moving for a new job, a fresh start, or because you fell in love with the place you visited, making a move to a new city can be both exciting and daunting. As someone who has moved cities several times, I understand the challenges that come with it. However, with the right mindset, planning, and support, you can make your move a successful and happy transition. We’ll hear some stories from people who have moved to a new place, and share some helpful tips for a smooth move to a new city in the states.

Moving to Portland, Oregon

By: Karen from Moving Memos

Moving to Portland from Ottawa, Canada was not an easy decision. Despite coming here for work many times, packing my life, leaving my friends, and familiar surroundings was quite overwhelming. Also, doing an international move was challenging, with no credit history in the new country, having to apply for a social security number, etc. However, my admiration for the lush forests, easy access to green spaces, coffee shops, art galleries, and great restaurants made it easy to say yes. Portland has many great neighborhoods, making it difficult to choose one. When I first moved here, I was advised to live in downtown Portland or Nob Hill. Although downtown was an attractive option, I chose Nob Hill because I wanted a neighborhood that was bustling with people walking on the streets, and pubs and coffee shops. Moreover, with many young professionals, older homes, small businesses, and tree-lined streets, Nob Hill made me feel at home. I’ve since then moved to two suburbs of Portland, Tualatin, and finally West Linn, which is my home now. West Linn is a suburb 30 minutes away from Portland downtown, with a great school district and lots of parks.

A historic house in West Linn
A historic 1895 house in West Linn, OR

My search for the best Portland neighborhoods led me to visit many areas, including the Pearl District, Southeast Portland, Northeast Portland, North Portland, and the West Hills. 

Since I moved to Portland, I have discovered many great neighborhoods, made great friends, and found comfort in this beautiful city. The Portland area has a lot to offer, from residential areas, apartment buildings, to single-family homes. The city’s real estate market, tax-free shopping, and easy commute make it an attractive place for young families and young professionals. Although the metro area is growing rapidly, the city of Portland has been doing an exceptional job of keeping the city beautiful and preserving its history. If you’re considering moving to Portland, take the time to explore the city’s neighborhoods, and use a reputable real estate agent to find the best home for you. Trust me, with Portland’s vast array of green spaces, food trucks, live music, and great beer, you won’t regret it!

Clackamette Park
Clackamette Park

Moving to Denver, Colorado

By: Abby from Trekking Prices

One of the best places to move in the United States is to the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado. Between the endless delicious restaurants, countless outdoor recreation opportunities, events and festivities, professional sport teams, and close proximity to the mountains, Denver truly has it all. 

Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado. Photo by Acton Crawford on Unsplash

There are several tips and recommendations you should know before moving to the Mile High City! 

To begin, make sure that you are prepared for the high altitude. Many people get sick quickly because they are not used to it. Be ready for a period of adjustment and know that some activities that require high energy and exertion may make you out of breath more easily. 

Another tip when it comes to moving to Denver, Colorado is to look into properties well in advance and reserve your accommodation ahead of time. Like many U.S. cities, places to rent or buy come and go quickly so you will want to sign a lease well in advance to make sure you have a great place in your price range!

Another tip for moving to Denver is to try all of the outdoor activities! The state of Colorado is known for its many outdoor recreational opportunities including skiing, hiking, climbing, camping, and so many others. Make sure to try all of the different activities so that you can truly appreciate all that Colorado has to offer and so that you spend a significant amount of time outdoors.

Moving to Asheville, North Carolina

By: Victoria from Southern Trippers

“Moving to Asheville, North Carolina in the USA? If so then you are in for a real treat since this artsy city is brimming over with incredible street art murals. In fact, you’ll easily find pieces that depict icons like Dolly Parton and epic scenes from movies like The Goonies. 

It’s also a safe place to live where you can easily meet friendly locals who will be happy to meet you at amazing breweries like the taproom at Burial Beer Co. You also won’t have to worry about access to delicious food since Asheville was actually named the Best Food City in America in 2020 by Food & Wine Magazine.

However, the real highlight of moving here is your location at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which come alive with vibrant fall foliage during the second and third week of October. So, grab your car and go for a drive on the world-famous Blue Rudge Parkway. You can even stop at Linville Falls and go for an amazing hike through the mountains. 

Just be aware that Asheville is a pretty small town of only around 93,000 residents. However, it still has a big city feel since there are so many cultural attractions for visitors to enjoy. 

North Carolina Arboretum. Photo by Victoria from Southern Trippers

Additionally, there is a great job market in the area. So, many locals choose to take jobs in tourism, health care, hospitality, education, and more.

Moving to Boulder, Colorado

By: Amber from Amber Everywhere

Boulder, Colorado is the perfect place to move in the US if you love spending time outside. Set right at the base of the Flatirons, there are outdoors activities for all ages. From meadow walks in Chautauqua to summiting South Boulder Peak to skiing at Eldora, locals in Boulder live active lifestyles throughout the year. 

Flatirons, Boulder, Colorado.
Flatirons, Boulder, Colorado. Photo by Intricate Explorer on Unsplash

The city is also very dog friendly, with a number of dog parks in the city, along with dog-friendly hiking trails. You’ll often see dogs lounging on restaurant and brewery patios while their owners grab dinner with friends. 

The area does have a very high cost of living and low growth rate, so it can be an expensive place to try to buy a house or find a spot to rent. If you’re considering moving to Boulder, Colorado, start looking for housing as early as possible.

You can start to make friends by joining a local Meetup group for activities like hiking or board games. BumbleBFF is also a great way to meet potential friends in Boulder. 

To get around Boulder and explore the Rocky Mountains, you’ll want to have a car. Four wheel drive is definitely a bonus, as Boulder is subject to heavy snowstorms in the winter

Moving to Kansas City, Missouri

By: Devon from Say Yes to the Trip

Kansas City provides the perfect balance for those seeking a “big city” atmosphere coupled with a small-town charm. Known for its affordable housing, friendly locals, jazz music, and of course, award-winning barbecue, here are five things you should know before moving to this Midwestern metropolis.

Kauffman Center, Kansas City, Kansas
Kauffman Center, Kansas City, Missouri. By: Devon from Say Yes to the Trip

Kansas City has one of the lowest costs of living in the country. Forbes ranked KC the No. 7 Best Place for Young Professionals, factoring in rent and home prices, and employment rates. You get more bang for your buck here.

You’ll experience all four seasons. If you’re moving from a warm weather climate, be sure to invest in insulated jackets for the cold weather months. In January (the coldest month of the year), the average high is 39°F and the average low is 21°F.

It’s a great place to raise a family. For the best family-friendly neighborhoods, I would suggest exploring Brookside, Leawood, Lenexa, Overland Park, or Prairie Village.

A car is needed to get around. Although public transportation is gradually improving within the metro area (e.g., downtown KC streetcar expansion), Kansas City covers an area of 319 square miles, so having a car is the most convenient option.

BBQ is a huge part of the city’s culture. You’ll constantly hear locals debating about which is the best spot in town. Top BBQ joints to try include Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, Q39, and Jack Stack, making exploring these eateries a must-do in KC.

Moving to New York City, New York

By: Lanie from Make More Adventures

When I was in college, I attended a conference for special education teachers in New York City. While I had been to NYC before, I never thought about living there until that conference. I didn’t attend one meeting, I just spent my time going to Broadway shows and exploring the different neighborhoods.

A few months before graduation, one of my friends and I decided to move somewhere together. We had both grown up in Florida and had never lived out of the state. After deciding on a large city on the east coast of the US, we visited Boston and decided it just wasn’t big enough for us.

A few months later, we packed all of our belongings in a Penski truck and drove ourselves to Park Slope, Brooklyn where we found an apartment.

For those who are thinking about moving to NYC, my advice is to explore the different neighborhoods before deciding where to live. Of course, budget is a huge factor as many areas of the city are extremely expensive. For us, we wanted to be close to a subway line and within walking distance of lots of shops and restaurants.

Street Art in New York City
Street Art in New York City. By: Lanie from Make More Adventures

New York City is made up of 5 boroughs and many different neighborhoods. Have fun exploring to find the place that is best for you.  

Moving to Washington DC

By Amanda from Hey! East Coast USA

Recent college graduates and young professionals should definitely consider moving to Washington DC for a few years. 

The city is small enough to feel familiar and manageable while still being incredibly multicultural and interesting. 

As the political hub of the US, people come from all over the world to DC for a variety of reasons — diplomatic missions, nonprofit work, protests and peace marches, lobbying, and more. With the constant turnover of politicos and diplomats in the city, there is a regular rotation of new people moving to and leaving DC. 

This makes it always feel like a fun new place to explore with new people to meet!

Washington DC Capitol Building with Cherry Blossoms. Photo by Amanda from Hey! East Coast USA

To make the most of living in DC, be proactive about your social life. There are endless opportunities to meet people and make new friends. You could (and should) join coed sports teams, trivia nights, running groups, or whatever interests you.

You should also take advantage of the city’s proximity to a wide variety of popular destinations. Taking day trips from DC can bring you to beautiful east coast beaches, challenging hiking trails, historic sites, and cool cities.

DC is a hub for all types of people; you’re sure to find yourself a new group of friends and a fun city life to enjoy here!

Moving to Raleigh, North Carolina

By: Sam from Find Love and Travel 

Known as one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, Raleigh, North Carolina, has been making the list for years! With a growing economy, prosperous job market, and affordable living, it is no wonder the capital of North Carolina has caught the eyes of many. 

There are certainly pros and cons of living in Raleigh, NC, but I made the move from New York and haven’t looked back yet. Some of the main pros I have enjoyed about living in Raleigh are being surrounded by nature, including many greenways, a quaint downtown area, access to nearby cities which is great for road trips, and more affordable living. 

Downtown Raleigh NC. Photo by Sam from Find Love and Travel 

There is also a sense of community in Raleigh, and you are located about 2 hours from the North Carolina Coast and 3 hours from the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. 

A tip to know when moving to Raleigh, NC, is first to get a short-term rental. Raleigh is a huge transplant city, so short-term rentals are usually abundant, and this will give you time to house shop. Because Raleigh has become quite competitive in purchasing homes, it is best to look in the off-season (winter) and to make a strong offer of both due diligence and earnest money. 

Additionally, you can also consider some of the suburbs, including Wake Forest, Holly Springs, and Cary.

Moving to Hoboken, New Jersey

By: Eleanor from Elevate Your Escapes

Hoboken, New Jersey is a small city of 50,000 residents located right outside of New York City. Hoboken is so close to NYC that it’s affectionately known as the “sixth borough”. The city of Hoboken is a lovely, largely residential place to live with a mix of gorgeous brownstones, smaller apartment buildings, and larger complexes flanking the city. 

Hoboken offers no shortage of food, and is most well-known for Italian food. You can find delicious, authentic Italian food, as well as pizza throughout the city. Plus, a number of adorable coffee shops add to work-from-home or hybrid work life.

the iconic Hoboken tower, Hoboken, New Jersey
The iconic Hoboken Tower, photo by Eleanor from Elevate Your Escapes

Most residents of Hoboken go to office locations in Manhattan. The Port Authority of New Jersey operates a subway-like commuter train called the PATH that runs into Jersey City, Newark, World Trade Center, the West Village, Chelsea, and Midtown. The full ride from Hoboken to midtown takes about twenty minutes with trains operating around every five minutes during rush hour.

Additionally, NJ Transit operates bus service into Port Authority Bus Terminal at 8th Ave and 42nd St in Manhattan. NY Waterway ferries run from both uptown and downtown Hoboken to 39th St, Brookfield Place, and Pier 11 Financial District in Manhattan. 

Hoboken can be an expensive place to live, with rents averaging around $3,000 for a one bedroom apartment. The city requires rent control on a number of buildings, so be patient ith your move. You may find a gem!

Moving to Bellevue, Washington

Are you thinking of moving to Bellevue, Washington? As the fifth-largest city in Washington State, Bellevue is a popular destination for families, young professionals, and retirees alike. With its beautiful view of Lake Washington, natural beauty, and excellent schools, it’s not difficult to see why this city is a great place to live.

Bellevue Washington
Bellevue, WA. Photo by Zac Gudakov on Unsplash

Bellevue and the surrounding area offer a high quality of life unparalleled by other metropolitan areas. The Bellevue School District is one of the best in the state, boasting numerous elementary, middle, and high schools that offer advanced placement courses and excellent education opportunities for students of all ages. Bellevue also offers easy access to cultural and recreational opportunities, such as the Bellevue Arts Museum, the Bellevue Botanical Garden, and the Meydenbauer Center. With easy access to nature, residents can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing, and soccer in nature parks like Mercer Slough Nature Park and Lake Sammamish.

If you need to commute to work or travel long distances regularly, Bellevue offers excellent public transportation options, including light rail and buses. The nearby University of Washington and Seattle University provide employment opportunities and are just a short drive away from the city center. Whether you’re looking for fine dining, coffee shops, or a quiet park to relax in, Bellevue has something for everyone.

Moving to Hawaii

Are you thinking about making a big move to the sunny state of Hawaii? Perhaps you’ve been dreaming for years about living amongst palm trees and exploring the beautiful golden beaches that Hawaii has to offer.

First things first, why is Hawaii a great place to live? There are a multitude of reasons, but let’s start with the tropical climate. Hawaii’s average temperature hovers around 80°F, providing sunshine throughout the year with only slight variations in temperatures. Apart from the perfect weather, there are endless outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, and snorkeling that you can take part in.

Moreover, Hawaii is home to a unique and vibrant Hawaiian culture with a rich history and customs. Native Hawaiians make up a significant portion of the population and the island’s identity and culture. Additionally, since Hawaii was the only state in the U.S. to have been its own country (Kingdom of Hawaii), it has a fascinating blend of history and diversity.

Hawaii is an island paradise with the main islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. Each location offers its own unique charm and beauty, ranging from the bright lights of Honolulu to the stunning natural beauty of the North Shore of Oahu. Moving to Hawaii can be expensive, but access to the beautiful nature is worth it.

Tips for Moving to a New State

Prepare your mindset

Moving to a new city can be an overwhelming experience. You may feel anxious, lonely, or homesick at times. However, it’s important to keep a positive mindset and focus on the opportunities that await you in your new location. Think of it as a unique opportunity to explore new places, meet new people, and have new experiences. Keep in touch with your friends and family and seek the support of like-minded people in your new area.

Three friends at Cannon Beach, OR
I met some amazing new friends in Portland. Here we are visiting Cannon Beach, OR

Plan ahead

Moving to a new city requires planning and organization. Create a to-do list and set a timeline for each task. Research your new city and plan for the essentials such as grocery stores, public transit, and medical facilities. If you’re moving with family, involve everyone in the planning process and assign tasks. If you’re moving alone, consider hiring professional movers, packing services, or recruiting the help of your best friends.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Budget wisely

Moving to a new city can be expensive. Factor in the cost of living in your new city, moving truck or storage unit rental, packing supplies, service provider charges, and additional expenses such as eating out. Set a moving budget and stick to it. Consider selling or donating bulky items that you don’t need to save on moving costs.

Organize your paperwork

Moving to a new city also requires organizing important documents such as account information, receipts, and payment reminders. Keep them in a safe and accessible place and label them with your new address. Notify your service providers, banks, and government agencies about your change of address. Update your cell phone number and stop transaction calls from your old home.

Embrace new experiences

Moving to a new city can be a good way to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Explore your new city, attend events, join clubs, and meet people with shared interests. Use social media, Google maps, and public transit to discover new places and activities. Be open to new experiences and take advantage of the spontaneity that comes with living in a new city.


Moving to a new city can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By keeping a positive mindset, planning ahead, budgeting wisely, organizing your paperwork, and embracing new experiences, you can make your move a successful and happy transition. Remember that it takes time to adjust to a new environment, and it’s okay to feel homesick or lonely at times. But as you meet new friends, discover new places, and create a new life for yourself, you’ll find that moving to a new city was the best thing you ever did. Good luck with your move!

Tryon Creek, Lake Oswego, OR
Tryon Creek, Lake Oswego, OR

Similar Posts