Do Californians Regret Moving To Tennessee?

The allure of Tennessee with its warm southern hospitality, lower cost of living, and beautiful scenery has attracted many Californians to relocate in recent years. However, swapping coastal life for country living is filled with major adjustments. If you’re wondering whether Californians end up regretting their move to the Volunteer State, here’s a quick answer: Many Californians find the slower pace of Tennessee appealing at first but end up missing the diversity and opportunity of California in the long run.

Why Californians are drawn to move to Tennessee

California and Tennessee might seem like worlds apart, but an increasing number of Californians are finding themselves drawn to the Volunteer State. So, what exactly is it about Tennessee that has caught the attention of these West Coast residents?

Lower cost of living, especially housing

One of the biggest reasons Californians are flocking to Tennessee is the significantly lower cost of living. Housing costs, in particular, are a major factor. In California’s competitive real estate market, finding an affordable home can be a daunting task.

In comparison, Tennessee offers spacious and affordable housing options, allowing residents to enjoy a higher quality of life without breaking the bank.

Warmer climate and changed scenery from mountains and beaches to rolling hills and farmland

Californians are accustomed to the sunny climate and diverse landscapes of their home state. However, Tennessee offers a refreshing change of scenery. With its rolling hills, lush farmland, and picturesque countryside, the state provides a unique and captivating backdrop.

Plus, the warmer climate in Tennessee appeals to those who are tired of California’s coastal fog or chilly winters.

More politically conservative region

Tennessee’s political landscape leans more conservative compared to California’s traditionally liberal reputation. For some Californians seeking a change in political environment, relocating to Tennessee provides an opportunity to immerse themselves in a community that aligns more closely with their values and beliefs.

No state income tax

One of the most attractive aspects of moving to Tennessee for many Californians is the absence of state income tax. Compared to California’s high tax rates, the lack of state income tax in Tennessee allows residents to keep more of their hard-earned money.

This financial advantage can be a significant motivator for those looking to improve their financial situation.

Slower pace of life

Life in California can be fast-paced and hectic, with crowded cities and constant hustle and bustle. Tennessee, on the other hand, offers a more relaxed and slower pace of life. Residents often find themselves enjoying a greater sense of community and a more laid-back lifestyle.

This change in pace can be a welcome reprieve for those seeking a calmer and more peaceful environment.

Ultimately, the reasons why Californians are drawn to move to Tennessee are as diverse as the individuals themselves. From the lower cost of living and warmer climate to the more conservative political landscape and slower pace of life, Tennessee offers a variety of attractions for those seeking a fresh start.

Whether it’s the allure of affordable housing or the desire for a change in scenery, many Californians have found a new home in the Volunteer State.

Reasons some Californians regret the move

Culture shock coming from progressive California to the traditional South

One of the main reasons some Californians regret moving to Tennessee is the culture shock they experience. California is known for its progressive and liberal values, while Tennessee tends to be more conservative and traditional in its mindset.

This stark contrast in cultural and political ideologies can be challenging for those who are used to the more open-minded and diverse environment of California.

Lack of diversity in Tennessee

Tennessee, compared to California, has a less diverse population. This can be a significant adjustment for Californians who are accustomed to living in a multicultural society. The lack of diversity in Tennessee can make it harder to find a sense of belonging and may lead to feelings of isolation for some individuals.

Fewer amenities, entertainment options, and conveniences

Californians may find themselves missing the abundance of amenities, entertainment options, and conveniences they were used to back home. In California, there are endless choices for dining, shopping, and recreational activities.

Tennessee, although it has its own unique charm, may not offer the same level of variety and accessibility when it comes to these aspects of daily life.

Missing the natural beauty of California’s mountains and beaches

One of the most renowned aspects of California is its breathtaking natural beauty, with its majestic mountains and stunning beaches. Moving to Tennessee, a landlocked state, means leaving behind the scenic coastlines and the opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes that California has to offer.

Californians may find themselves longing for the outdoor adventures they enjoyed back home.

Job and business opportunities not as abundant

California is a hub for various industries, including technology, entertainment, and entrepreneurship. Many Californians move to Tennessee in search of a lower cost of living, but they may find that the job and business opportunities are not as abundant as they were in their home state.

This can lead to frustration and regret for those who were hoping to continue their successful careers or start new ventures in Tennessee.

Tips for Californians considering a move

Considering a move from California to Tennessee? It’s important to do your research and make an informed decision. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process:

Rent before buying a house, and experience all four seasons first

One of the biggest differences you’ll notice when moving from California to Tennessee is the weather. While California is known for its mild climate, Tennessee experiences all four seasons. Before committing to buying a house, consider renting in your desired city to experience the weather firsthand.

This will give you a better understanding of what to expect throughout the year and help you make an informed decision about where to settle down.

Research the job market and cost of living in your target city thoroughly beforehand

Before making the move, it’s essential to research the job market and cost of living in your target city. While Tennessee generally has a lower cost of living compared to California, there can still be variations between cities.

Take the time to assess job opportunities in your industry and compare the cost of housing, transportation, and other essential expenses. Websites like Bureau of Labor Statistics and Numbeo can provide valuable information to help you make an informed decision.

Make sure political and religious views align with the region

It’s important to consider the political and religious climate of the region you’re planning to move to. California and Tennessee have different political landscapes and religious demographics. Make sure your values and beliefs align with the local community to ensure a smooth transition.

Engage in open-minded conversations and research local news to gain a better understanding of the political and religious climate in your target city.

Travel to Tennessee beforehand to experience day-to-day life

Before making any final decisions, take the time to visit Tennessee and experience day-to-day life. This will give you a firsthand experience of the culture, people, and atmosphere of the state. Visit different cities, explore the local attractions, and interact with the residents.

This will help you gauge whether Tennessee is the right fit for you and your lifestyle.

Connect with other Californian transplants to Tennessee

One way to ease the transition is to connect with other Californians who have already made the move to Tennessee. They can provide valuable insights, tips, and advice based on their own experiences. Join online forums, social media groups, or attend local events to meet other transplants.

Building a support network of like-minded individuals can make the transition smoother and help you feel more at home in your new state.


While many Californians are initially drawn to Tennessee for lower costs and a slower pace, the drastic lifestyle change can lead to regrets down the road. By renting first and really exploring the area and culture, Californians can make sure a move to the Volunteer State is the right one for them. Though Tennesse offers a beautiful setting and friendly communities, California transplants may miss the economic opportunities, diversity, and natural wonders of their home state. Weighing the pros and cons of leaving California for Tennessee can help potential movers make the best decision for their future.

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