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Sunshine to Sunshine: Your Ultimate Guide to Relocating from California to Florida

A coast to coast move from California to Florida can be challenging, but if you plan it right (and get help from the pros), you can head back east with minimal fuss. Check out our guide and make moving easier than ever.
Moving From California to Florida 2023 - Moving APT

In this article

Professional movers can handle the heavy lifting, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Your California to Florida mover can help you pack, haul, and even disassemble and reassemble all your big furniture. But with so many movers on the market, you have to choose wisely…

At Moving APT, we know a thing or two about moving. We’ve been in the industry for over 20 years, and over that time, we’ve collected plenty of insider information to make your long distance move easy, efficient, and even fun.

As part of our commitment to easy moving, we’ve put together a list of the best California to Florida movers in the industry. Read on to get started, and get packing for the Sunshine State today!

Adams Van Lines - Best Movers from NYC to LA

Adams Van Lines

Rockstar Pro Movers - Moving From California to Florida

Rockstar Pro Movers

Roadway Moving - Best Movers from NYC to LA

Roadway Moving


How Much Does It Cost to Hire Movers from California to Florida?

Professional movers from California to Florida will cost you from $1220 to $9850, sometimes more, and sometimes less. It’s a pretty big window, but it all comes down to a few key measurements.

Distance 1 Bedroom 2 – 3 Bedroom 4 – 5 Bedroom
San Diego to Miami  $1220 – $2500 $1800 – $4100 $3900 – $7200
Los Angeles to Miami $1420 – $2700 $2100 – $4800 $4700 – $8500
San Francisco  to Miami $1650 – $2900 $2400 – $5300 $5200 – $9850

When you’re budgeting a long distance move, your price depends largely on the distance you’re traveling, and the amount of stuff your movers have to haul. Transporting a single bedroom apartment from Blythe to Pensacola is going to be a lot cheaper than moving a five-bedroom home from Santa Monica to Miami.

If you really want to save some cash on your move, it’s a good idea to downsize and get rid of stuff you won’t be taking with you before you even get a quote. Just remember, a smaller haul may actually take longer than you expect to transport.

How Long Does Moving Take?

Better pack a suitcase: a move from California to Florida will take between 10 and 21 days, and sometimes more.

You may be a bit surprised to find out that small moves actually take more time. Moving companies don’t like to send half-empty trucks all over the place. It’s a waste of usable space, and it’s a waste of gas. Instead, long distance movers will bundle multiple moves together in the same truck, making pickups and dropoffs along the way.

Moving a lot of stuff? If you manage to fill an entire semi trailer with your belongings, your long distance movers will send it directly to your destination. No room for other moves means no delays for delivery.

Moving to Florida? Check out these Helpful Articles…

3 Best Movers from California to Florida

Adams Van Lines - Moving From California to Florida

Adams Van Lines


Licenses Info:

DOT#: 2886867

MC#: 969195

Lots of fragile furniture? Adams Van Lines is your pick. They’re premium moving specialists, and they know their way around pianos, pool tables, artwork and more.

Even if you’re not moving a Picasso, they’ll treat your stuff like it. While Adams’ extra TLC may come at a slightly higher price, you still won’t be paying as much as you would at the big-brand moving companies.



Why We Recommend Adams Van Lines

Adams is one of our most-recommended moving companies, and for good reason.

Their moving teams are well-trained and equipped to handle challenging relocations, and they always go the distance to make sure your stuff is safe and secure.

If you need some extra protection – or you just want some peace of mind – we definitely recommend Adams Van Lines.

Rockstar Pro Movers - Moving From California to Florida

Rockstar Pro Movers


Licenses Info:

DOT#: 2774464

MC#: 1104857

Rockstar Pro Movers are based in California, but they can get you moved across the country with ease.

They offer a wide range of helpful services that you can pick and choose for moving day, and they also offer some sweet discounts if you qualify.

Rockstar is a great choice for California to Florida moves, and their care and attention to detail won’t let you down.



Why We Recommend Rockstar Pro Movers

We’re always happy to recommend Rockstar Pro Movers, especially if you’re moving to or from the West Coast.

They go the extra mile to keep their customers happy, and even though they’re California natives, they can still get you hauled out of state and to the East Coast with ease. Plus, we really love their website: helpful, easy-to-use, and super informative!

Roadway Moving


Licenses Info:

DOT#: 1854436

MC#: 671325

Roadway Moving is a great East Coast shop. They provide excellent customer service and their movers place extra emphasis on getting your stuff delivered on time.

Plus, they offer a lot of extra services if you want to have a completely custom move. While their HQ is up in New York, they handle a lot of nationwide moving, as well.



Why We Recommend Roadway Moving

We definitely recommend Roadway Moving for your California to Florida move. Every time we’ve had to interact with their staff, we’ve been impressed by their professionalism and commitment to communication.

Plus, having access to a lot of in-house services is a great bonus.

What Factors Will Affect the Cost of a California to Florida Move?

There’s a lot that goes into the final price of a California to Florida move. If you’re scratching your head at your quote and trying to figure out where the cost is coming from, check out these factors behind the price of your move:

  • Distance: California to Florida is quite a distance. Your long distance movers will charge you based on the mileage of the trip, so plan accordingly if you’re going coast to coast.
  • Volume of Belongings: Aside from distance, the amount of stuff you’re hauling is the biggest factor behind the price of your move. The final price of a long distance move is calculated largely by distance and weight, so try to downsize before booking.
  • Additional Services: Packing-averse? We get it. While packing, furniture disassembly, and specialty crating all make life much easier, these extra conveniences come with an extra price.
  • Packing Supplies: Whether you’re DIYing your move or paying for full packing, you’ll have to pay for those packing supplies. We recommend checking out offices, liquor stores, or bookstores if you want to score some sturdy boxes on the cheap.
  • Moving Date: Summer is peak moving season, and moving during peak season will be more expensive due to higher demand. Flexibility with your moving date can help you secure a better rate. Try to avoid June, July, and August, as well as major holidays.
  • Insurance Coverage: Protecting your belongings during the move is important. Moving companies offer varying levels of insurance coverage. Basic coverage is usually just $0.60 per pound of items lost, damaged, or destroyed. Anything more costs extra.
  • Accessibility and Complexity: The ease of access to your current and new residences can also affect costs. If there are obstacles like stairs, elevators, narrow hallways, or a lack of parking, your movers will charge you extra.
  • Specialty Items: If you have bulky or delicate items like pianos, artwork, antiques, or large appliances, they might require special handling and care. That extra care and attention comes with an extra price.
  • Storage: Need a bit more time to get situated? Underestimated how much stuff you own? Fortunately, storage provides some extra flexibility. While a storage unit does come with a monthly price tag, many movers offer 30 days of free storage.
  • Choice of Moving Company: Every move is different, and so is every moving company. We recommend getting quotes from at least three different movers to get a better picture of how much you’ll end up spending – and to sort out the obvious scammers, too.
  • Travel and Accommodation: You’re pretty much taking an extended vacation during your move. If you’re flying or driving to the Sunshine State, don’t forget to consider travel expenses and accommodations you may need between California and Florida.
  • Utilities and Settling-In Costs: The expenses don’t really stop when the boxes arrive. You’ll still need to arrange for your utilities to be transferred, and you’ll also need to get parking permits (if applicable) and anything else you’ll need to get settled in.

A California to Florida move can be pricey, but if you know what goes into your final price, you can get a little creative to cut down on costs. Schedule smart, score some cheap packing supplies, and downsize as much as possible before you book.

Why do People Move from California to Florida?

Cost of Living: California’s high living expenses (especially housing costs) drive many to seek more affordable options. Florida’s lower home prices and lack of state income tax make it an attractive choice for anyone who’s tired of overpaying for fading quality of life.

  • Climate: Florida has warm and sunny weather, which makes for a consistent tropical environment. The Sunshine State’s sandy beaches and lush landscapes add to the allure of a more relaxed lifestyle.
  • Job Opportunities: Florida’s growing economy also offers a range of job prospects, particularly in industries like tourism, healthcare, and technology. You’ll find plenty of work – and again, there’s no state income tax.
  • Retirement: You’ve heard it before: Florida is great for retirees. Florida’s reputation as a retirement destination is bolstered by its favorable tax environment, recreational amenities, and services tailored to retirees.
  • Desire for Change: If you’re looking for a change of pace from California’s bustling urban centers, you can find a mix of vibrant cities and quieter suburban communities in Florida. Depending on where you go, you’ll enjoy a totally different lifestyle.
  • Pursuit of the American Dream: The opportunities to own a home, provide quality education for children, and achieve financial stability all seem perpetually out-of-reach – at least if you’re living in California. Florida makes it a little easier.

Everyone has their own reasons to move to Florida, and everyone has their own reasons to get out of California. If you’re ready to make your move, you’ll be in good company.

Things to do in Florida

Florida offers a wide range of attractions and activities for newcomers and visitors alike. Here are a few of the top to-dos in the Sunshine State:

  • Beaches: With 8,436 miles of stunning coastline, Florida boasts numerous world-renowned beaches. From the powdery sands of Miami Beach to the tranquil shores of Clearwater, there’s a beach for every mood..
  • Theme Parks: Orlando is a theme park paradise, home to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. These iconic parks offer entertainment for all ages, from thrilling rides to magical experiences.
  • Natural Wonders: Explore the unique ecosystems of the Everglades, where airboat tours offer a chance to spot alligators and diverse wildlife. Additionally, visit the scenic Florida Keys for snorkeling, diving, and the renowned Overseas Highway.
  • Cultural Experiences: Looking for culture? Head south! Miami’s vibrant art scene and multicultural influences make it a hub for galleries, museums, and cultural festivals. The Art Deco Historic District is a must-see in South Beach.
  • Golfing: Florida is a golf lover’s paradise, featuring world-class courses and a year-round golfing climate. The PGA National Resort & Spa and TPC Sawgrass are among the most famous courses.
  • Wildlife Encounters: The warm waters around Florida are perfect for dolphin and manatee watching. You can also visit the Sunshine State’s range of zoos, aquariums, and sanctuaries to get up close with various species.
  • Space Exploration: Kennedy Space Center on the Space Coast offers an immersive look into the world of space travel, including historic launch sites and interactive exhibits.
  • Cruise Getaways: Ready to get pampered? Depart from ports like Miami and Fort Lauderdale for Caribbean cruises and enjoy the luxury of floating resorts and exciting shore excursions.
  • Historic St. Augustine: History buffs rejoice: as the oldest city in the U.S., St. Augustine offers plenty to see. Explore cobblestone streets, historic sites, and the Castillo de San Marcos.
  • Food and Dining: Florida’s culinary scene is wildly diverse. You can easily enjoy fresh seafood, Latin cuisine, international flavors, and even more exotic cuisine if gator is up your alley. Don’t forget the waterfront dining or food festivals celebrating local delicacies.

From chilling on the beach to thrilling at amusement parks, Florida has a little something for everyone. It’s a big place with plenty to see and do, and with about 230 days of sunshine every year, you’ll always be able to make the most of your new home state.

California to Florida FAQ

What is the cost of living like in Florida compared to California?

The cost of living in Florida is generally lower than the cost of living in California. While California’s median home price is about $740,000, Florida’s is about $400,000. You’ll also find that gas, utilities, and groceries are cheaper across the board. Don’t forget – Florida doesn’t have state income tax, either.

How do the schools in Florida compare to those in California?

Florida has some excellent universities and schools, such as the University of Miami and the University of Florida. While there may not be as many options for higher education, Florida makes up for it in sheer affordability.

What are the best neighborhoods or cities to live in if I’m moving from California to Florida?

Florida has several attractive areas to call home. Cities like Miami, Orlando, and Tampa all offer urban amenities, while towns like Naples and Sarasota can offer a more relaxed lifestyle with beautiful beaches. The final choice is up to you, so make sure you research crime rates, cost of living, job opportunities, and the overall lifestyle of each of these spots.

What is the cheapest way to move long distances?

Renting a moving truck and DIYing your move is usually the cheapest option… on paper. Unfortunately, after you factor in the price of the rental, the gas, the food, the lodging, and the missed paychecks, it may only be slightly cheaper than hiring full-service pros.

How far in advance should I hire movers in Florida?

We recommend you start researching and contacting moving companies at least 2 to 3 months before your planned move date. This gives you ample time to gather quotes, compare services, and secure a reservation with the moving company of your choice.

What items can’t be moved long distances?

Every mover has their own no-go list, but they have a few items in common: Nothing flammable, nothing pressurized, and nothing alive or perishable. It’s also a good idea to keep your important paperwork close at hand, rather than in the moving truck.

Get Packing and Get in Touch!

In conclusion, the decision to move from California to Florida is influenced by a myriad of factors, ranging from cost considerations and lifestyle preferences to career opportunities and climate allure. 

While the cost of living and affordability play a pivotal role, Florida’s diverse attractions, including beaches, theme parks, and cultural experiences, provide a compelling draw. 

It’s essential to thoroughly research the aspects that matter most to you, whether it’s financial savings, a change of scenery, or new experiences, to ensure a successful and fulfilling transition to the Sunshine State.

Tons of people are leaving California, and the luckiest of the bunch are headed to Florida. If you’re thinking of heading from sunny coast to sunny coast, get in touch with some of our top movers today and get planning your move!

Don’t forget to check back in with the team at Moving APT for more tips to make moving day even easier, and use our moving cost calculator to start planning your budget!

Joey Sasson

Joey Sasson

Joey Sasson is an executive and author with over 30 years of experience in the moving industry. As president of sales and logistics at Moving APT, Joey’s been a driving force behind our company’s success. He’s known around the office for his expertise and dedication, and he’s probably working on another article right this moment. Joey has a lot to say about the moving industry, but he also writes about other elements of business, leadership, self-improvement, and more.
Green Group

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