East Coast vs West Coast Living: Costs, Lifestyle, and Expectations

The United States has so much to offer. The beautiful landscapes, unique cultures, beaches, differences in weather, culture, and lifestyle are just some of the differences between the West and East Coasts. Choosing which coast you would prefer to live on is a difficult decision. So, is East Coast vs West Coast best? Let’s dive into the different ways of life both coasts have to offer.

West Coast vs East Coast Lifestyle 

West Coast vs East Coast have much different lifestyles. Most East Coast cities are known for having a fast-paced lifestyle, especially New York City. The people of the East Coast are often rushing from point A to point B to catch the next bus, subway, or taxi.

This lifestyle can be difficult to adjust to and can be overwhelming, but it is also really exciting to experience firsthand. If that sounds a bit too much for you to handle, the West Coast is much slower-paced and is more relaxed. 

West Coast living is often much calmer. People on the West Coast are laid back, are into nature and health, and love to live a stress-free life. If you do a West Coast move, you will notice that those who live there are rarely in a rush and they take the time to enjoy every minute of the day.

East Coasters enjoy their days too but typically are in more of a hurry to get through the day. One of the best moving apps, Agoyu, can help you get ready for your move to the East Coast so you don’t have to worry about moving into a fast-paced city. Moving to somewhere like New York City can be extremely overwhelming if you are not used to city life.

east vs west

Moving from one coast to the other is incredibly stressful, not to mention the risk of flight cancellations or emergency medical expenses.

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East Coast vs West Coast Personality 

The East Coast vs West Coast stereotypes are much different than each other. New York is a prime example of a city of culture, especially when it comes to theater, music, and fashion. This tends to be the reason why people from all around the world visit the city, enjoy Broadway performances, and attend ballets and orchestras. New York has “Fashion Week” twice a year where models and designers reveal new fashion for the next season.

New York plays a small role in the filmmaking industry when comparing it to Hollywood. If you visit Los Angeles, you can take a tour to view the homes of many celebrities and see the locations where many well-known movies were filmed. The Northwest region of the United States is the reason why coffee shops are so loved throughout the country, as Starbucks began in Seattle by a graduate of the University of San Francisco in the 1970s.


Both East Coast vs West Coast have much different senses of style. It is amazing how the sense of style changes too much in the same country depending on which side you live on. California’s style tends to be relaxed, beachy, and Earthy. Those on the East Coast tend to dress more sleek and polished.

Being that it doesn’t get too cold in Los Angeles, the people there have lightweight coats that they rarely wear and usually wear sneakers or sandals.

East Coasters, especially in New York City, take their coat fashion very seriously and usually keep up with modern coat designs and boots since they deal with cold weather every year. West Coasters like their athletic wear and leisure clothing while East Coasters’ clothing has more edge.

east coast vs west coast lifestyle

East vs West Coast City Life 

The largest comparison between the East Coast and West Coasts, like New York City and Los Angeles, is that New York is very small and Los Angeles is vast. If you wanted to take a subway to the other end of Manhattan in New York City it would take less than one hour. In Los Angeles, you can spend hours in a car trying to get across the city. Los Angeles traffic is much more of a problem than a lot of people think. 


The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are practically the same, but the beaches that surround them are very different. The West Coast has only 3 states that have beaches, while the East Coast has 14.

During the summer, the West Coast has dry and hot weather, which makes it more comfortable while visiting a beach. The East Coast has more humid weather during the summer. It may be hot, but it is difficult to be at the beach when it is humid and sticky.

Beaches on the West Coast have rougher sand with more rocks when comparing it to sand on the East Coast which is very fine and smooth. Since the West Coast has a more laid back style, it makes sense that many people who live there surf. You will rarely find many people on the East Coast who know how to surf or do it for fun. 

West vs East Sports

One great thing about living on the West Coast is that if you are a sports lover, you can start the game early. East Coasters typically cannot start watching a game until later in the day and need to stay up late to finish. West Coasters can make a whole day out of it and still finish early, which is helpful of it is a Sunday and you have work the next day,

The East Coast is home to New York teams, Boston, and a variety of teams throughout Florida. Teams in Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Diego are west coast favorites. Depending on who your favorite team is, you might want to carefully consider if you want to live on the West Coast or East Coast.


The West Coast is generally much warmer than the East Coast. The East coast continuously deals with long and snowy winters followed by humid and hot summers. The West Coast may be warm year-round, but the northern part of the West Coast is cooler and foggier. Areas in the Pacific Northwest experience a lot of rain in the winter months, with occasional snow. 

California rarely sees much rain or thunderstorms, while this is a common occurrence on the East Coast. The weather is a major deciding factor when choosing which coast you want to live on.

You will need to think about whether you want to shovel snow in the winter, if you want to live in rainy and foggy conditions, or if you want to be in dry, hot weather. If you are moving across the country, it is important to understand the differences in weather as it might affect your decision on moving.

History of East vs West Coast

The East Coast was settled first by European colonists starting in the early 1600s, whereas the West Coast was largely explored and settled much later in the 1800s. This 150+ year time gap gave the East Coast colonies and later states more time to develop their societies, economies, and political structures.

By the time of the American Revolution, there were well-established cities along the East Coast like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. In contrast, West Coast cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle didn’t really boom until the mid to late 1800s. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 helped speed up development and population growth in the West.

Slavery was common in the South along the East Coast and was the key issue leading to the Civil War. Slavery did not play as central of a role in the history of the West Coast, although there were still tensions between white settlers and native populations.

The West Coast became important for trade with Asia starting in the late 1700s once European and American ships could sail there. After the U.S. acquired the West Coast from Mexico in 1848, ports like San Francisco became vital for commerce across the Pacific. The East Coast also benefited from trade, but more so with Europe across the Atlantic.

In the 20th century, the East Coast remained home to centers of culture and finance, like Broadway in New York and Wall Street. The West Coast became known for its technology industry, with Silicon Valley driving innovation. Hollywood also established California and Los Angeles as the entertainment capital.

In terms of landscape, the East Coast is known for its green rolling hills and forests, along with major rivers. The West Coast is more varied with deserts, mountains like the Rockies, temperate rainforests in the Northwest, and of course its long coastline and famous beaches of California.

The climates also differ – the Northeast has four distinct seasons, including cold snowy winters. The West Coast enjoys more mild temperatures year-round, especially in southern California.

While both coasts have vibrant, diverse cities, the East Coast tends to be more focused on tradition and established cultural institutions. The West Coast is seen as more laidback and open to new trends. Of course, there are exceptions on both sides like liberal Boston and conservative Orange County.

In summary, the earlier settlement of the East Coast allowed more time for development of cities, trade, and agriculture. Slavery and the resulting Civil War was a defining experience. The West Coast drove growth in the late 19th century, with major ports and the allure of gold guiding expansion.

Both coasts have distinct personalities, landscapes, and historical experiences. But they have both contributed greatly to the growth and success of the United States.

Final Thoughts 

Both East Coast vs West Coast have so much to offer and deciding where you want to live is a huge decision. Whether you’re moving to the east coast or west coast, you need the right moving company. Agoyu offers free online moving quotes no matter the size or distance of your move. Check it out today!

Bill Mulholland

Bill Mulholland is the owner of ARC Relocation, a company that relocates thousands of employees annually, to every state in the United States, and more than 90 foreign countries, for organizations like DHL, Overstock.com, GNC, and the U.S. Government. Bill also owns a real estate brokerage and title company in Virginia.