1. Diverse food choices
If there is a food you crave, there is likely to be a restaurant nearby that can fulfill those cravings. From authentic Turkish kebabs to Peruvian ceviche, we are truly spoiled in California when it comes to diverse cuisine. Only after moving away to a small town in Montana, did I realize how lucky I was.
When you have creamy delicious avocados available to you year round, it’s easy to take them for granted. It’s not until you move out-of-state, and find they are rock hard and twice the price that you realize how good you had it back home. Without a great avocado, guacamole, sushi, salads and tacos will always be slightly off.
From Muir Woods to Redwoods National and State Parks, there is no shortage of these majestic giants throughout California. These state treasures can be taken for granted until you bring an out-of-state visitor to see them and remember how stunning they are.
4. Mild winters
While cities like Chicago and Boston are being buried under five feet of snow from the latest snowstorm, California has mild temperatures and the occasional rainstorm. It is true we Californians tend to whine about the rain, but in reality, that’s nothing compared to below zero temperatures and having to dig your car out of the snow.
5. Our National Parks
Point Reyes, Yosemite, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, and Lassen are just a few of the National Parks that grace the state with their beauty and solitude. Living in the Golden State, it can be easy to forget that there are so many beautiful places to explore solely within California alone.
6. Close proximity to Disneyland
You’ve probably lost count of how many times you’ve been to Disneyland. Going to the Happiest Place on Earth is second nature, and you do not realize how lucky you are to live so close by. Sometimes Disneyland is not so economical for those folks from out-of- state, especially when they don’t have the benefit of a yearly pass.
7. Close proximity to Hawaii
A trip to the Hawaiian Islands may not seem close to California, but in comparison to the East Coast, it’s really not that far. From New York to Honolulu it’s about 9 hours flying time, whereas it’s around 6 hours from Los Angeles. Those three hours definitely make a big difference.
8. Ocean views
Driving down Highway 1, we have spectacular views of the Pacific. Over time these views become the norm, but it is important to remember that not every state has these oceanfront panoramas. A lot of states are landlocked, with equally scenic views of their own, but nothing quite measures up to being on the coast.
9. Having fresh produce
California grows a staggering amount of the country’s produce in its Central Valley, and as residents, we benefit from having a wide range of fresh produce. From year-round Farmers’ Markets with organic products to local supermarkets fully stocked with a dizzying variety of fresh fruits and veggies, it is no wonder Californian cuisine focuses on sustainable, locally grown food.
10. Our baseball teams
We may not have the all-star teams like the Red Sox or the Yankees, but our teams like the Dodgers or the Giants are not half bad. It seems like a lot of fair-weather fans show up when our teams make it into the finals, but it wouldn’t hurt to show some fan love even when they are not doing so great.
11. In-N-Out Burger
With drive-thrus all over the state, we’re spoiled with this fast food chain. It can be hard to remember how unique In-N-Out is with its quality ingredients like beef patties without preservatives, additives, or fillers. Also, we cannot forget Animal Style burgers on the Not-So-Secret menu — the perfect twist on the classic burger.