If you're dreaming of a new life in California, you're not alone. Surveys have found that the Golden State is one of the most popular destinations for Brits deciding to undertake removals to America, rivalled only by Florida. That means hundreds of thousands of people from the UK live there, and there is a thriving expat community.
However, the fact that many other people have successfully made that journey of more than 5,500 miles does not make the prospect any less daunting. Moving your business or household such a long way is a complicated process which can be difficult and time consuming to organise on your own. Fortunately, as specialists with 40 years of experience, Greens Removals are ready and able to take over the job of arranging shipping to America on your behalf, and sort everything out from start to finish.
We have organised many moves to the USA, including Californian cities such as Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, as well as other American destinations such as Miami, Orlando, Boston and New York City. We hold all three European and British removals industry quality standards, so you can trust us to make sure your relocation goes smoothly.
As a starting point, we discuss your move with you and give you a range of options, to ensure our service is tailored to your requirements. Greens offers full insurance and helps to deal with legal and Customs paperwork. We can either pack and/or unpack for you, or provide top quality packing materials if you decide to do this task yourself. During shipping to America, your goods can be transported either in a dedicated container or a shared one, while air freight is also available. Special arrangements can be made for transporting more valuable or fragile items, vehicles or pets.
Removals to California, America: Living in California
California has the largest population of any state in the USA, and is the third largest state in terms of space. The climate varies widely, but much of the state has a mild Mediterranean climate, making it very attractive to expats undertaking removals to America. More than 700,000 British tourists fly to California every year, with the number forecast to grow further over the next few years. World-famous theme park Disneyland and the studio tours in Hollywood draw many families to visit, while the state's beaches are another draw, along with the Yosemite and Redwood National Parks.
Tribes of Native Americans have lived in the region for up to 15,000 years. The first European to arrive in the area was Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, in 1542, who died not long afterwards. He was followed by Spanish explorers in the mid-16th century, who gave it the name "California", believed to be derived from the name of a mystical land in a romance novel. Francis Drake landed in 1579 and claimed part of the coast for England, but it mainly continued to be a Spanish territory.
When Mexico gained independence from Spain in the early 19th century, California was included as a province of the new state. It was finally handed over to the USA following a war and became a state in 1850. From 1848 onwards, the Californian Gold Rush saw around 300,000 people flocking to the area, all hoping to make their fortunes, and the small settlement of San Francisco grew into a booming city as a result.
The 1920s saw the growth of Hollywood's film studios in Los Angeles, while in the 1990s the growth of Silicon Valley turned California into a world leader in high-technology industries. Agriculture, especially fruit and vegetable growing, is also important. The state has had a budget crisis in recent years, but an economic recovery is now being hailed, with the creation of many new jobs.
Removals to California, USA: Places to Visit
When it comes to sightseeing, anyone visiting California or moving there will be spoilt for choice. The state has a hugely varied landscape, something underlined by its sheer range of national parks. Yosemite has a breathtaking array of waterfalls, lakes, sequoia groves and spectacular valleys, while the Redwood National Park covers a vast stretch of woodlands and rivers. By contrast, Death Valley, near the border with Nevada, boasts a spectacular desert landscape.
California has more than 1,000 miles of coastline, with beauty spots including Venice Beach in Los Angeles, a popular place to see street performers. One of the many top surfing locations is Malibu Beach. You can also drive along the Big Sur, a celebrated stretch of coast visited by millions of motorists every year, and see some of California's most dramatic scenery.
Many families of course make a beeline for Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom which is famous around the world, with a host of thrilling rides plus the chance to meet Disney characters in person. Another top theme park is Sea World in San Diego, with shows and displays featuring dolphins and killer whales. Then there's Hollywood, with its iconic sign and the chance to see a host of landmarks, from the Walk of Fame to the Sunset Strip. The studio tours are extremely popular, offering a blend of rides and the chance to see the sets where famous films were made.
Removals to California, USA: Accommodation for Expats
The San Francisco Bay area is one of the most popular areas among Brits making the move to America, because of its hi-tech jobs base. San Diego and Los Angeles are also major urban areas where a lot of people moving from the UK are likely to end up living. However, Brits do also move to smaller Californian towns and cities.
The price of accommodation will vary depending on where you live, but a three-bedroom apartment in an outlying area of San Francisco could cost an average of £1,700 to rent per month, while a similar apartment in a suburb of San Diego would set you back around £1,200.
Moving to California: Out and About in California
California is known for its road network, in particular its freeways – and in much of the state a car is an essential to get around. However, the major cities have good public transport systems, including light railways and San Francisco's famous cable cars. The state has two major international airports, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and a number of other busy airports, as well as numerous seaports and harbours.