25 Things You Need To Know About California Before You Move ThereA lot of avocados, a lot of tech nerds, and a whole lot of area code pride.
1. In-n-Out Isn’t Just A Burger, It’s A Way Of Life
Just a burger? You’ve got to be kidding. In-n-Out is a must-try for anyone visiting and locals still love it. Besides, who wants to pass up ordering off the secret menu? Don’t take my word for it, go get yourself a Flying Dutchman and discover the awesome.
2. NorCal vs. SoCal Puts All Other Sibling Rivalries To Shame
And you think your family had problems. California is all about that Norcal vs. Socal thing. Whether it’s college sports teams, professional sports teams, music, lifestyle, or just about anything you can imagine, there’s a little edge of competition between the two halves. So be ready to be judged based on what part of the state you’re from.
3. Other States Are Going To Judge You, Hard
The assumptions here are so numerous it’s hard to count. People all have preconceived notions about what it is to be Californian, and they’ll let you know even if you don’t ask. You’ll quickly realize most of these assumptions are false, and you’ll need to explain that pretty regularly to out-of-staters. They’ll also assume you’re going to die in the next big earthquake, but more on that later.
4. California Does Mexican Food Right
We’re not talking Taco Bell here either. The Mexican restaurants here are to die for, the best in the nation, getting progressively better the more southern you get. Heck, even our roadside food trucks and taco stands put most other states to shame.
5. You’ll Learn Where People Are From By Area Codes
Okay, this is mostly a Southern CA thing, but it happens in Norcal sometimes too. People will find a strange sense of camaraderie, or maybe rivalry, with each other by what areacode they called home as a child. What’s weirder is that no one who does this seems to realize that most other states do NOT.
6. It Might Take You A While To Pick Up On The Slang
Sup, dude? It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl, you’ll probably hear that at some point. People will ask you to come over and chill, you might hear someone call you “brah.” And of course, people say “hella” a hella lot. Each region has their own specific set of words as well, and there’s even still Boontling, a language all its own, though few can speak it fluently anymore.
7. You’re Probably Not Going To Live Next To A Movie Star
Remember how I said that California isn’t Los Angeles? Contrary to popular belief, most of the state isn’t home to rich and famous movie stars on every corner of every neighborhood. So wherever you move to, you probably won’t be waving to Angelina Jolie or Neil Patrick Harris when you get your morning paper. Sorry to burst your bubble.
8. All The Teenagers Either Snowboard, Surf, Or Skate
Would you believe that surfing is probably the least likely of those three? Growing up, most kids go for wheels, since all of CA is not beachfront property, and most try snowboarding or skiing when they’re visiting Tahoe of Big Basin. But we’ll get to snow later.
9. There Is Literally A Festival For Everything
No idea why this is, but Californians love festivals. Maybe it’s that we have better weather here, so it’s easier to have them, but from renaissance festivals to internet cat festivals, we’ll celebrate just about anything imaginable.
10. You’ve Never Seen Nature Like This Before
Oh gosh, where to start? Yosemite, Tahoe, the massive forests, Death Valley...this place is a jigsaw puzzle of different natural habitats and wonders. We’ll admit, Yosemite is probably the best of them though. I mean...come on...Half Dome?
11. There Are Earthquakes, But They’re Really No Big Deal
Seriously. They’re not. What most people don’t realize is that we have this earthquake thing on lock. Earthquake safe wall-hangings, special building foundations, and that lovely habit of positioning all objects to the back of shelves is a way of life. Most people also don’t realize that the majority of quakes are tiny, just a little rumbling and that’s it. Of course, whenever the next “big one” hits will be a totally different story.
12. Californians Know Everything About Fresh Produce
Believe it or not California is full of farmers. We get amazing vegetables and fruit, the best artichokes you’ll ever find, and some pretty high quality meat as well. Our farmers markets are often huge, varied, and more like a food festival than a weekly shopping trip. Just prepare to be spoiled rotten, even if the produce is fresh.
13. Other States Think They Know Bread—That’s Adorable
Sourdough bread is only made right in CA. That’s all there is to it. But we also have a ton of local bakeries that make Pan Dulce, a treat beyond compare, especially around el dia de los muertos. Other states may brag about their rye, their french bread, but no. Boudin At The Wharf, Tartine Bakery and Café, Proof Bakery, Porto's Bakery, and Big Sur Bakery mean that this is the best bread state there is.
14. Avocados. Avocados Everywhere
Remember that produce thing? Well, there’s one thing we seem to grow and use in abundance, and that’s avocados. In sushi, salads, and even in burgers, you’ll find Avocado on every menu. And don’t even ask about fresh-made California Guacamole. It doesn’t get much better than that.
15. California Is NOT Los Angeles
The Golden State isn’t all movie stars and beaches, despite what you’ve been led to believe. In fact, most of the state isn’t even on the water at all, and we have our fair share of mountains and wide open spaces. Sorry, Hollywood.
16. And It’s Not San Francisco Either
California: The land of the hippy-dippy laid-back lifestyle, right? Not everywhere. There are plenty of spots that are more along the rodeos-on-Saturday-nights and American-flags-displayed-proudly-on-every-storefront. To be honest, most of CA makes fun of SF. So leave that tie-dye behind.
17. Yes, California Does Actually Get Snow
We have Tahoe, we have Yosemite, Big Bear, Mammoth Mountain, Squaw Valley...the list goes on and on. And what’s more, is that a lot of people go seek out the snow every year for fun and really love the stuff. The weather is amazing here, better than just about anywhere else, but there’s so much variety that just about everyone has made a snow angel at some point.
18. Japan May Have Invented It, But California Makes The Best Sushi
Ever heard of a California Roll? Yeah, there’s a reason one of the most popular rolls of all time is named after this state. The fish is fresh, the chefs are masters, and the genius they use in creating new and unique rolls is just insane! We even have delivery sushi in most big cities, believe it or not.
19. All Your Tech Are Belong To Us
Yahoo? Google? Apple? We own them. More than that, some of the best engineering and technical colleges call this place home. We have Silicon Valley, even our kindergarteners have iPhones, and the tech you’ll see in clubs in SoCal will blow your freakin minds. Heck, even some of our best music is electronic.
20. “Historic” For Us, Starts At 1849
All those beautiful houses on the east coast are pretty amazing, but you won’t see a whole lot of old brick buildings here. Why? Because civilization here only really got booming after the gold rush in 1849. So if a building is “historic” it’s most likely from around 1900 or later.
21. Hippies Were A Real Thing, And They’re Still Everywhere
While most of them try to keep around the northern part of the state, hippies pop up just about everywhere. The history of them is amazing, sometimes even tragic, and what’s more? Being one isn’t really super frowned upon. Especially if you head to Big Sur or Santa Cruz.
22. The Governator Is Out Of Office, You Can Stop With The Total Recall Jokes Now
Yes. We did have Schwarzenegger as our governor for a while. Yes, he was the terminator. Yes he was in a movie called Total Recall, we know. We hear it a lot. But he’s not in office anymore, so it’s time for those jokes to die.
23. From Bulking Up To Slimming Down, It’s Absurdly Easy To Get Healthy Here
If you want a healthier diet or lifestyle, California makes it easy. There are plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and specialty restaurants, as well as health food stores and gyms galore. And if you’d rather jog, most places have superb hiking trails. Plus there are all those new Hollywood diets you see in every magazine. No promises those will work though.
24. Casual Friday Is An Every Day Sort Of Thing
You know what CA tech company employees never say? “Boy, I can’t decide which tie to wear to work today.” In general, in any part of CA, office attire tends to be much more relaxed. Even if there’s some form of dress code, you probably will never need to own a full suit in this state unless you want to.
25. Every Californian Can Do Two Accents: Valley Girl And Surfer
Go on. Ask them. No idea if it’s something in our genetic code or not, but every person just reaches a point where they can imitate valley girls, surfers/stoner, and even our former governor. Though, for that last one, there’s no guarantee that it’ll be a good impression. What do you love about living in California? Leave a comment and let us know!