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Northern California vs. Southern California: Who rules the West Coast?

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JULY 21, 2015

Some of us here at the Clog are Southern Californian natives recently introduced to the rivalry that Northern Californians rage against their southern counterparts. The fact that most of this summer Southern California has been enjoying warm, sunny weather while those in Berkeley have had to wear a sweater to their summer classes is cause for reflection on this rivalry. We wonder: Is Northern or Southern California better? To help us all make up our minds in this polarizing debate, we have gathered a list of what we think are the most important pros and cons. Read on below to see who ultimately rules the West Coast.

A chef working at Chez Panisse.

Northern California pros:

Foodie heaven

Birthplace of the farm-to-table movement, home of wine country and location of four of the 12 three-Michelin-star restaurants in the country, Northern California seems to empirically have Southern California beaten on this one.  Southern California, however, has better and more authentic Mexican food as it’s much closer to the Mexican border.

Refined culture and intellectuals

Having a city like San Francisco, which has a history built within its core, Northern California has more of an array of unique museums, libraries and distinct architecture. The presence of the Silicon Valley, Stanford University and UC Berkeley also contribute to this sense of brainiac atmosphere.

Public transportation

It’s much easier to get around if you don’t have a car, which many Berkeley students appreciate. Thanks to BART and the Bay’s bus system, you can wander where you please without a huge hassle.


Northern California cons:

Gloomy weather

It’s generally cooler and (allegedly) rainier in the north, whereas most of Southern California is a warm desert.

Use of the word “hella”

We think “really” is a perfectly sufficient adverb. You can’t just add words to the English language like you’re Shakespeare. Just hella stop.


Southern California pros:

Superior beaches

The beaches in Southern California are world famous — and you can use them all year. Additionally, more shark attacks occur in the north compared to the south, and if that’s not enough to make you prefer the Southern California coast, we don’t know what is.

Better attractions

Disneyland is really a reason all by itself, but Southern California is home to other theme parks, museums and attractions just as worthy of recognition. The San Diego Zoo, for example, was just named the best zoo in the world by TripAdvisor.


Last time we checked, California was called the Golden State, right? With average temperatures in the 70s year round, rays of sun continually shine brightly on this part of the state.


Southern California cons:

Beware of local surfers

One of our fellow bloggers was struck in the head by a kook’s surfboard, resulting in a trip to the MRI. Some locals act like lions in Africa, with a territorial instinct over “their” ocean kingdom. They definitely need the reminder that the ocean belongs to everyone.


Many parts of freeways become congested, and you could be stuck for hours at certain times of the day. Not only is the traffic itself miserable, but it also contributes to the pollution that exists most prominently in the L.A. area.

The lack of rainfall

Northern California is filled with lush forests like the redwoods, which contrasts with the dry climates of Southern California. And we all know that although the sunshine may be beautiful, the drought is no joke.


And so, without further ado, we give you the ultimate victor …



Dun …

Neither! It’s ultimately a personal preference. If you live in California, you’ve already won.

Image source: abear-andabowAaron Goodwin under Creative Commons

Contact Natalie Dardaine at [email protected].

JULY 20, 2015