Moving from San Francisco, CA to Vancouver, WA

Find similar comforts at a slower pace in the Pacific Northwest 

There’s a lot of things to love about living in San Francisco — crisp air, majestic views, endless outdoor pursuits and artisanal coffee, to name a few. But if you’re planning a move to Vancouver, WA, here’s some good news: you won’t have to give up any of that! Plus, you’ll be living in the nation’s top state, according to one major publication (more on that below). 

Learn what to expect when relocating from the City by the Bay to the ‘Couve, and discover the easiest and most affordable way to do it. 

High praise for the Evergreen State 

What’s it like living in Washington? According to U.S. News & World Report, there’s no better state in the country to call home. The publication has ranked it No. 1 in the U.S. based on data analysis in eight key metrics — health care, education, economy, infrastructure, opportunity, fiscal stability, crime and corrections, and natural environment. 

Plenty of amenities, with room to enjoy them 

San Francisco is a big city (population of 883,000) packed into just 47 square miles. Vancouver is roughly the same size geographically at 52 square miles, but with just 180,000 people, you’ll feel much less restricted.  

But if you occasionally crave the energy and options of a bigger city, Portland, OR is just 10 miles south. In fact, many choose to live in Vancouver and work in Portland, getting the best of both worlds. 

Brave the rain — get out and explore 

We’ll let you in on the world’s worst-kept secret: it rains a lot in the Pacific Northwest. It can also get chilly and foggy around the San Francisco Bay. The point is, don’t let a little drizzle stop you from experiencing the beauty of Vancouver. Just consider reliable rain gear the price of admission. 

Rated No. 12 on Niche’s list of Best Cities for Outdoor Activities in America, Vancouver is located on the Columbia River between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains. It has multiple lakes and parks within the city and ample green space, farmers markets (Esther Short Park Market on Saturdays features more than 250 vendors) and urban farms to visit. Despite its recent urban development, Vancouver remains a scenic, woodsy paradise. Portland’s Mount Hood is visible from practically every location in Vancouver and 14 metro-area trails draw bicyclists of every level. 

Locals celebrate Independence Day at Fort Vancouver each year with the biggest fireworks show west of the Mississippi. Enjoy San Francisco’s historic Pier 39? Check out Vancouver’s sparkling $1.5 billion waterfront, which includesa host of dining and shopping establishments, a park and a trail. 

Say goodbye to San Francisco and hello to savings in Vancouver 

With the median home valued at $286,500 and average rent $1,200, housing in Vancouver is one-third the cost of San Francisco’s. Overall, the cost of living is almost 60 percent less in Vancouver. 

You’ll save even more because there’s no income tax in Washington, a feature that also attracts retirees to Vancouver. And for an additional break, Vancouver residents commonly make their major purchases across the river in Oregon, a state with no general sales tax. 

Green living translates from San Francisco to Vancouver 

According to a CNBC report, San Francisco sends less trash to the landfill than any other U.S. state. Vancouver is also serious about its green initiatives. With the free RecycleRight mobile app, you can get quick answers to questions about how to recycle, reuse and properly dispose of hundreds of items. 

Also, it pays to save your bottles. Literally. Let them build up until you’re ready to make a run to Portland, where you receive 10 cents back on every bottle you recycle! 

Start your new life up north with U-Pack 

How will you move to Vancouver, WA? Going the DIY route with a rental truck is always an option, but isn’t always the easiest one. U-Pack® can save you time, effort and money on your long-distance move, and we’ll even handle the driving. Find a service center location near you and get a free quote today.