Photo: Pascal Constantineau/Shutterstock

13 Differences Between California and the Rest of the West Coast

by Julia Kitlinski-Hong Feb 17, 2017

1. Major city pride.

People who live either in Greater Los Angeles area or the SF Bay Area make sure people know if they are from Nor or So Cal. Sporting a Dodgers or a Giants hat is more than just showing your fan loyalty for a certain sports team, it represents your deep dedication to your hometown. The rivalry between these two major cities is a uniquely Californian thing that you do not mess with.

2. Rain is not a constant in the forecast.

Unlike its neighboring states to the north, California is known for its sunshine and generally mild weather. During the wintertime it rains, especially in the northern part of the state, but it does not compare to the constant drizzle that is present in the Pacific Northwest. In the summertime, rain is very rare in California, since it is a Mediterranean climate.

3. And when it does rain, we can’t function.

Drivers become erratic and everyone becomes hermits in their homes. The world seems to stop in California with the first sign of rain, whereas in the Pacific Northwest business goes on as usual.

4. Tacos are a lifeline.

If you have ever seen a Californian out of their state and they start talking about tacos you know they are seriously homesick. The best tacos are from a beat-up street truck where you can smell the grilled meat long before you can actually see it. The Pacific Northwest may have their coffee and craft brews, but us Californians never miss an opportunity to talk-up our favorite adopted street food.

5. Technological influences.

It is hard to top Silicon Valley as the technological hub of the country and its innovative influence on the Bay Area and LA’s Westside. In Seattle there are tech giants Amazon and Microsoft, but they do not even come close to California’s tech influence.

6. Diversity.

A post shared by 安奇文 (@sippystraw) on

Vietnamese, Mexicans, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Salvadorian, and Iranian are just a few of the larger minority groups that call California home. Compared to it northern neighboring states, California seems like a mini United Nations and has the diverse culinary landscape to prove it.

7. Good wines.

A post shared by Napa Valley (@visitnapavalley) on

Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Barbara-California has it covered from Pinot Noirs to Cabernets due to its ideal Mediterranean climate. Sure there is wine country up in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, but it does not come close to the diversity of California’s wine countries.

8. Mild winters.

A post shared by Scott Sporleder (@spoart) on

California’s winter temperatures typically do not go below freezing (unless you are in the mountains) and especially in the south they can be around 60s or low 70s. Compared to the chilly temperatures of places like Seattle and Portland that can dip down into the 30s and 40s, we’ll take 50s any day.

9. The landscape.

From the dry dessert plains of Death Valley to the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada, California’s geography and climate is as diverse as its population. The same cannot be said about the Pacific Northwest, although it is stunning in its own right.

A post shared by ChrisBurkard (@chrisburkard) on

10. The sheer vastness of the state.

You could be born and raised in California, and still be discovering new places throughout the state. From the small coastal towns of the north to the dessert land of the south, there is so much to see and do. Plus there is almost 900 miles of coast to road trip to your heart’s content.

11. Plenty of farmland.

A post shared by Dennis (@growingnutz) on

Thanks to Central California’s prime soil, most of the country’s produce is grown in this fertile region. With abundant sunshine and mild winters, this is every farmer’s dreamland to grow their crops. Up in the Pacific Northwest, farms tend to be smaller and have limited crops due to the wet climate.

Featured image: Mitchel

Discover Matador