Moving from San Diego to Seattle might be the furthest move you’ll make in your life, so it’s important to plan if you want to make the process as smooth as possible. 

Relocating can be an adventure, but it can also be a major headache if you aren’t prepared and don’t have the right tools to make your transition from San Diego to Seattle as smooth as possible. Here are just a few pointers to help get you started in making the transition.

seattle skyline

Seattle is the biggest city in the Pacific Northwest. According to the US Census Bureau, roughly 733,000 people are living in the city. With a population increase of approximately 21% since 2010, it is also one of the cities in America with the greatest population growth.

Seattle is renowned for its natural beauty, outdoor activities, coffee culture, and many more. In this lovely city, there are no shortage of activities to do and sights to visit. Seattle is the ideal city to start over if you’re moving from San Diego whether it’s for work, college, or just to be near your family.

Moving Process From San Diego To Seattle

Here are some things to consider as you plan your moving process from San Diego to Seattle.

How Far is Seattle, WA From San Diego, CA?

The distance from San Diego to Seattle is about 1,261 miles and the drive would take approximately 20 hours to complete without stopping. If you’re driving from San Diego to Seattle you’ll need to account for the cost of gas, food, and lodging along the way. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is in good condition for the long drive.

grounded airplanes

If you’re going to take a commercial flight, the flight time will take less than 3 hours. You will likely land at one of Seattle’s three main airports: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, King County International Airport, and Renton Municipal Airport.

What is the Average Cost to Move From San Diego, CA to Seattle, WA?

The average cost to move from San Diego, CA to Seattle, WA is more or less $4,500. This includes the cost of renting a moving truck, hiring movers, and other miscellaneous expenses. However, the total cost will vary depending on the size of your home and the distance you are moving. 

If you are moving a one-bedroom apartment, the cost will be on the lower end. If you are moving a four-bedroom house, the cost will be on the higher end. The best way to get an accurate estimate is to contact a few different moving companies and get quotes.

Is Moving From San Diego, CA to Seattle, WA a Smart Idea?

Moving from San Diego to Seattle is a smart idea for many reasons. Although Seattle has a slightly higher cost of living, it’s still one of the country’s best places for quality of life.

Many people who have moved to Seattle have also said that it’s one of the best places to live in the US. The city has a vibrant culture, a thriving economy, and an abundance of nature.

If you are contemplating making the move from San Diego to Seattle, here are several considerations that you should take into account before making your decision.


The weather in Seattle is much different than in San Diego. While San Diego has desert air, Seattle is a lot colder and has more rainfall. The average high temperature is in the mid-70s while the average low temperature is in the upper-40s. So, if you’re moving from San Diego to Seattle, be prepared for some changes in the weather.

seattle weather

Seattle also has a mild climate year-round with mild temperatures in all seasons, except for some winters when it can get cold enough to snow at the high elevations of the city’s mountains. In addition to the rain, occasional snowstorms can happen during any season. 

Natural Beauty

One of the first things you’ll notice when you move to Seattle is its natural beauty. The city is filled with evergreen trees, mountains, and water. There’s also a lot of public art and green spaces, making the city feel very alive and vibrant. That said, if you’re a person who enjoys nature, Seattle is for you!

With the city filled with lush greenery and clean air, there are plenty of opportunities to get outside and explore. The city is home to more than 485 parks, including the largest park in the Pacific Northwest, Discovery Park. The city also has scenic lakes that provide excellent opportunities for recreational activities like boating and fishing. 

Public Transportation 

One of the biggest differences between San Diego and Seattle is that Seattle has much better public transportation. This means getting around town is easier in Seattle than San Diego, if you don’t have a car. 

Another thing that’s great about Seattle is that there are many bike lanes throughout the city. Almost all neighborhoods in Seattle are also very walkable. So if you plan on walking or cycling instead of driving, you’ll have plenty of opportunities in Seattle.

seattle biking

Seattle’s extensive transit system can get you just about anywhere you need to go. 

This is in contrast to San Diego’s transport system which is not as well developed. In San Diego, you may find yourself having to take a taxi or ride-sharing service more often than you’re used to. 

Food Scene

The food scene in Seattle might be different from what you’re used to in San Diego. Seattle is the heart of the Pacific Northwest, home to some of the country’s most celebrated dining scenes. You can expect to find a wide variety of cuisines and ingredients in this city, from traditional fare to fusion and even experimental styles.

seattle market

In Seattle, you’ll find a lot of seafood options, as well as Asian cuisine. There are also a lot of farm-to-table restaurants, which is great if you’re into healthy eating. And of course, no matter where you go in Seattle, you’ll be able to find a good cup of coffee. 


The crime rate in Seattle is higher than the national average. This might be alarming for those who are moving from San Diego, where the crime rate is lower than the national average. So, if you’re moving from San Diego to Seattle, you might feel less safe in your new city.

Property crimes are the most common type of crime in Seattle, and violent crimes are relatively rare. Still, you should always use precautions when traveling around the area at night. Assaults and thefts are often more likely to happen at night.

Outdoor Activities

If you love the outdoors, then you’ll definitely want to move to Seattle. There are so many amazing outdoor activities to do here, from hiking and camping in the North Cascades to kayaking and paddleboarding in Puget Sound

seattle ocean cargo

The city has its beautiful parks and gardens, which are great places to relax and unwind after a long day at work. Also, don’t forget about all the great festivals and events that happen throughout the year. You’ll never be bored in Seattle.

No Income State Tax

One of the biggest financial advantages of moving from San Diego to Seattle is that Washington does not have state income tax. This means that you will not have to pay state taxes on the money you earn, which can save you a significant amount each year. 

In San Diego, people who make over $80,000 annually will owe around 20% in personal income taxes. After considering these pros and cons, it may be worth it for some people to move from San Diego to Seattle just for the financial benefits alone.


If you’re moving from San Diego to Seattle, you’re in for a treat when it comes to coffee. While both cities have a great coffee scene, Seattle’s is on a whole other level. 

seattle coffee

In Seattle, you’ll find world-renowned roasters and baristas who take their craft seriously. And with so many great coffee shops to choose from, you’ll never be far from a delicious cup of joe.

What’s the Cost of Living in San Diego, CA vs. Seattle, WA?

The cost of living in Seattle is slightly higher than in San Diego. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in San Diego is $2,393, while in Seattle it’s $2,724. Additionally, groceries and transportation costs are also higher in Seattle. Overall, the cost of living in Seattle is about 11% more expensive than in San Diego.

In comparison to the rest of the US, both San Diego and Seattle have a high cost of living. According to, Seattle has a cost of living index of 167.8, which is a little higher than San Diego’s score of 160.4. With this, you can expect to retain the same standard of living after relocating, though you might notice the difference in terms of purchasing power.

What’s It Like Working in Seattle?

Seattle is a great place to work, thanks to its thriving economy. Some people even find that Seattle has more job opportunities than San Diego. Seattle is also one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. The unemployment rate here is below 3%, which means you can find plenty of jobs to apply for. 

seattle at night

Plus, Seattle has one of the highest median salaries in the US. Based on a report from the U.S. News, Seattleites have a median annual salary of $74,330, which is 32% higher than the national average. 

There are also tons of employment opportunities in Seattle’s tech sector. The Seattle area even became the hub for tech companies in 2020. This indicates that job prospects in the tech industry are abundant here.

What Are the Best Neighborhoods in Seattle?

Seattle is a city with a lot of great neighborhoods. There are many different areas to choose from, depending on your tastes and preferences.

If you’re looking for the best neighborhood in Seattle, you should start by considering the area’s amenities. This can help you determine whether or not it’s a good fit for you or your family. Here are some of the best neighborhoods in Seattle:


Ballard is a great neighborhood for young families or anyone who wants to be close to nature. The neighborhood is known for its Nordic heritage and tree-lined streets. Ballard also has an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars as well as plenty of small businesses providing services such as farmers’ markets, breweries, gift shops, and more.

Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill is an area of Seattle, Washington that is home to the city’s most famous attractions and cultural institutions. The neighborhood has a rich history as a center for political activism and arts, music, and food. The area has also seen an influx of new businesses recently, including trendy bars, restaurants, and more traditional shopping districts. 

Queen Anne

Queen Anne is another upscale area with beautiful homes. In addition to being one of the top areas in Seattle, Queen Anne also offers plenty of beautiful views of downtown and the Space Needle.

The neighborhood has a lot of amenities, like shops, restaurants, and bars. As we previously mentioned, they also have a lot of parks where you can enjoy a picnic lunch with family or friends.

University District

The University District is one of the best neighborhoods in Seattle. It’s an urban area with a student population, but it’s also close to downtown and has a lot of great restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. It has a vibrant vibe that comes from the mix of young professionals and college students who live there.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot to consider when moving from San Diego to Seattle, such as job growth, cost of living, weather, and more. If you are thinking about moving to Seattle, consider all the great resources here. Find out which neighborhoods would be a good fit for you, and create a list of things you plan to do once you settle in your new city. 

By staying organized and doing your homework, you can make a more informed decision and adapt to any unexpected changes when moving to Seattle.


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