I have heard good things about Washington State, except for the rain, but if you're an artist that would be a good choice to relocate. We have several people on this site that live there and they love it. Not sure about the apartment rates, but I know they are cheaper than California.
Washington is cool. I was there for 8 months. Good jobs and cost-of-living is decent. Scenic with lots to do. Legalized gambling. The Seattle Seahawks (not the Mariners), Pike Place Market. I often wish I hadn't left.