California is an interesting state. It’s big, extremely diverse, and it’s the fifth largest economy in the world. So you’re thinking about moving to Southern California? I’m here to talk to you about the top 10 things to know before you do.
First things first. Despite what a lot of people from out of state think, Southern California is much, much more, than just Los Angeles. The population of the city of Los Angeles is just shy of 4 million people, and the greater Los Angeles county has around 10 million people, compared to an estimated 24 million people living in Southern California. So even if you’re talking the broader LA county, less than half the population actually lives there.
1. We Love Our Sports
Here in California, we love our sports. In California as a whole, there are nineteen professional sports teams. That’s just counting MLB, NBA, WNBA, NFL, NHL, and MLS. Of those nineteen, twelve of those are located in Southern California.
Another thing we love in California, is our rivalries. And if you are located in the Los Angeles area it’s Dodgers or Angels, and it’s Lakers or Clippers. I actually think that it might be illegal to like them all.
2. Nor Cal vs So Cal
Speaking of rivalries, Southern California and Northern California are quite different. California is so big, that it could easily be two different states, at least. There have been 220 different proposals to do just that since California’s founding in 1850. So far, none have gained much traction.
So, what of this rivalry between the North and South. Well, for the most part, it’s all in good fun and there isn’t much, if any real animosity between the two halves of the state.
Northern California is full of major tech companies and startups, think Silicon Valley, wherein Southern California is mostly about entertainment, ever heard of a little place called Hollywood?
3. Our Weather is Awesome
Another big reason why Nor Cal is jealous of us here in So Cal? On most days of the year, the sun comes out, you can’t really say the same about Northern California. All around, our weather is pretty awesome. If you’re into rain, fog, gloom, endless, inescapable darkness, I suppose you would probably be happier up in Nor Cal.
The average daily temperature in Los Angeles during the heart of winter is between 68 and 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Talk about cold.
4. Surf and Snow in One Day
Do you like the beach? How about the mountains? How would you like to go surfing in the morning, and snowboarding in the afternoon? Well, we’ve got that too. A drive from Santa Monica beach to Mount Baldy Resort is less than an hour and a half, if you don’t hit any traffic.
5. We Have the Best Beaches
Speaking of surfing. Southern California has some of the nicest beaches in the country. Malibu, Santa Monica, Zuma, Coronado, Venice. Do these names ring any bells? Well they should. They are all amazing beaches and easily accessible for those living around Los Angeles.
Do you remember that old show called Baywatch? They recently made it into a movie. I’m sure you haven’t seen it. The original show was filmed at a lot of the same beaches that I just mentioned.
6. What About Earthquakes and Wildfires?
We get earthquakes. Actually, we get a lot of earthquakes.
California gets around ten thousand earthquakes every year. Sounds scary right? Most earthquakes are in the range of magnitude 2.0 to 3.9, which you can’t really feel.
Major earthquakes are a lot less common. When they do occur, they can result in significant property damage, but typically, they don’t cause many deaths. So although earthquakes sound scary to those who have never felt one, historically, they aren’t very deadly.
Same goes for wildfires. If you’ve watched the news any time in the last few years, you’re probably aware that California suffers from wildfires. This isn’t a new problem, but lately it seems that wildfires have become more abundant and more devastating. Similar to earthquakes, they can result in significant property damage, but they don’t typically cause a significant loss of life.
7. California is Naturally Beautiful
California is big. I mean, it’s really big. It’s around 770 miles long, and up to 250 miles wide. It’s the third largest state in the US, behind Alaska, and Texas. To put that into perspective. If California was a country, it would be the 59th largest in the world. That’s
Because of it’s size, California has one of the most diverse climates in the US, and some amazing national parks. In fact, California has nine national parks, that’s more than any other state in the country. In Northern California, we’ve got Redwood National Park, and of course Yosemite National Park. In Southern California, we have Death Valley National Park, and Joshua Tree National Park.
8. There Are Lots of Celebrities
As you could probably guess, there are a lot of celebrities that live in Southern California. But if you are planning on heading down to Hollywood to check out some movie stars, you are likely to be disappointed. Although Hollywood is the quintessential movie town, few celebrities actually live there.
You are much more likely to run into a celebrity in the ritzier areas around Hollywood. You should check out Beverly Hills, Malibu, Brentwood, to name a few. And if you do happen to run into a celebrity, just remember, although they’re famous, they’re just people, so temper your expectations.
9. The Best Mexican Food Outside Mexico
A little about me. I lived in East Asia for ten years. The one thing that made me homesick the most was the lack of good Mexican food. Southern California really does it right, and after growing up eating it multiple times a week, it really was a huge loss.
The key is to stay out of the major chain restaurants and stay away from Mexican fast food. For the absolute best Mexican food, eat at your local mom and pop restaurants. If you are in a more urban area, food trucks are outstanding as well.
10. In-N-Out Burger is a Stable
Last but not least, I can’t make a video about Southern California and not mention In-N-Out burger. There is no restaurant that is more California than In-N-Out. Burgers, Fries, and Shakes. Simple, yet tasty. It is a staple among many So Cal natives, and holds a special place in many of our childhoods.
Just a quick tip when eating out at In-N-Out. Eat in your car, or at the restaurant. The burgers don’t travel very well, and their just not the same if you wait to eat them.