Cali to Austin: 11 Facts to Know Before Packing Your Bags

Thinking about trading in your California dreams for a taste of Texas charm? You’re not the only one! Lots of folks are eyeing Austin as their next big move. With its booming job market, vibrant music scene, and that famous “Keep Austin Weird” vibe, it’s no wonder this Texas capital is drawing in Californians like bees to honey. But hold your horses!

Before you start packing up your surfboard and loading up on cowboy boots, there’s a whole bunch of stuff you need to think about. Moving states is a big deal, and Austin might be more different from California than you think.

I’ve rounded up 11 super important things you’ve got to consider before making the leap, from weather shockers to taco competitions. These should help you determine if Austin is really the right fit for your California-grown self!

1. The Heat Is No Joke

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Say goodbye to mild California weather and hello to Texas-sized heat! Austin summers are scorching hot, with temperatures often hitting 100°F or more. You’ll need to get used to cranking up the AC and planning outdoor activities for early morning or late evening. Don’t forget to stock up on sunscreen and stay hydrated. The good news? Winters are much milder than in other parts of the country.

2. Traffic Can Be a Nightmare

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Think California traffic is bad? Austin’s roads might give you déjà vu. The city’s rapid growth has led to some serious congestion, especially during rush hour. You might want to consider living close to your workplace or get comfy with public transportation. Biking is also popular in many parts of the city. Just be prepared for a different kind of commute challenge.

3. The Cost of Living Is Lower (Usually)

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Your wallet might breathe a sigh of relief in Austin. Housing costs are generally lower than in many California cities, though prices have been rising. You might be able to afford a bigger place or even buy a home. However, don’t expect everything to be cheaper. Some things, like utilities and property taxes, might actually be higher than what you’re used to.

4. The Food Scene Is Amazing (But Different)

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Get ready for a taste bud adventure! Austin’s food scene is incredible, with world-class BBQ, Tex-Mex, and food trucks galore. You’ll find yourself craving tacos at all hours and debating the best BBQ spots. However, if you’re used to California’s abundant fresh produce and health food options, you might need to search a bit harder. Don’t worry, though – Austin’s food scene is diverse and always evolving.

Also read: 15 American Stereotypes That Are Hilariously True

5. No State Income Tax (But Higher Property Taxes)

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Here’s some good news for your bank account: Texas has no state income tax! This means you’ll keep more of your paycheck each month. But don’t celebrate too soon – Texas makes up for it with higher property taxes. If you’re planning to buy a home, make sure to factor this into your budget. Renters might feel the impact too, as landlords often pass on these costs.

6. The Job Market Is Booming

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Austin’s job market is on fire, especially in tech and creative industries. The city has earned the nickname “Silicon Hills” for good reason. You’ll find opportunities with big tech giants and exciting startups alike. However, competition can be fierce, especially for popular roles. It’s a good idea to secure a job before making the move. Don’t forget to network – Austinites are known for being friendly and open to new connections.

7. The Outdoorsy Lifestyle Is Real

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If you love being outside, Austin won’t disappoint. The city is packed with parks, trails, and green spaces. You can swim in natural springs, paddleboard on Lady Bird Lake, or hike in the nearby Hill Country. The Colorado River runs right through the city, offering tons of water activities. Just remember to plan your outdoor adventures around the heat, especially in summer.

8. Culture Shock Is a Thing

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Moving from California to Texas can be a bigger culture change than you might expect. Austin is known for being a liberal bubble in a conservative state, but you’ll still notice differences. People tend to be friendlier and more talkative with strangers. You might hear more “y’all” and see more cowboy boots than you’re used to. Embrace the change and keep an open mind – you might just fall in love with Texas charm.

9. Allergies Might Hit You Hard

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If you’ve never had allergies before, Austin might change that. The city is known for its intense allergy seasons, especially cedar fever in the winter. Many newcomers find themselves sneezing and sniffling for the first time. You might want to stock up on allergy meds and consider seeing an allergist if symptoms get bad. Don’t let this scare you off, though – plenty of people adapt just fine.

10. The Music and Arts Scene Is Incredible

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They don’t call Austin the “Live Music Capital of the World” for nothing. The city is packed with music venues, from tiny dive bars to big concert halls. You’ll find live music every night of the week, covering every genre imaginable. The arts scene is thriving too, with galleries, theaters, and festivals galore. If you’re into culture, you’ll never be bored in Austin.

11. Housing Can Be Tricky

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While housing costs are generally lower than in California, finding the right place can be challenging. Austin’s popularity means the market moves fast, especially in desirable neighborhoods. You might need to act quickly when you find a place you like. Consider working with a local realtor who knows the city well. Also, be prepared for homes that look different from what you’re used to in California – think less stucco, more limestone.

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Mary Apurong

Mary Apurong is an experienced editor and ghostwriter who enjoys writing and reading. She loves researching topics related to life and creating content on quotes, gardening, food, travel, crafts, and DIY. Mary spends her free time doing digital art and watching documentaries.

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