CALIFORNIA: 31 Reasons It Is Better Than Everywhere

Listening to Tupac’s “To Live and Die in LA” right now as I start to type this. Life is good in California. And yeah, it’s expensive, but that’s because life is good here (and people keep moving to Cali). As a native of the 31st state, born and raised in LA, then moving to East Oakland for college, I have a good perspective on how dope California truly is. Y’all are always welcome to come visit, though… we don’t mind sharing our state with tourists. In no particular order, here are 31 reasons why California is the best.

  1. Mexican Food: man listen. You might have decent Mexican food wherever you live, but it ain’t like California. And if you’re mounting an argument in your head, hush! Your Mexican food is relatively trash. At all tiers, from street food to casual taquerias to high end restaurants, we got it on lock. Take that L and move on. 
  2. The Lakers: I mean, 17 championships, which is the most in the history of the NBA. And even though boston can claim they have 17 as well, The Lakers have 11 since 1980, and six since 2000. So once the league became highly competitive, the standard of greatness in the NBA has resided in Los Angeles, California. 
  3. The Warriors: as if that wasn’t enough, you have The Dubs in The Bay dominating the last 10 years of the NBA with four championships on six trips. And a lot of people complain about their bandwagon fans (it is true that a lot of their fans used to root for the Sacramento Kings), but their Oakland fans are some of the realest fans I’ve ever seen. Not to mention, the team has been the personification of greatness on the court. Steph and Klay changed the game #SplashBrothers. So yeah, Cali is home to ten of the last 22 NBA championships. 
  4. Coachella: I mean, we took a nowhere city in the desert and turned it into the best music festival in the country (arguably the world). And not just one time! Coachella is a year after year must attend/must see event. From the Tupac hologram to Kendrick shutting ish down as Kung Fu Kenny, Coachella is as good as it gets, inspiring thousands of youngins to scam their parents into paying for their tickets. 
  5. The Weather: haters from the east coast, especially NY, try to downplay California for not having 4 seasons. And in my best NY accent: FOH!! Fall is overrated. I’ve lived where they have all four seasons. The beautiful leaves changing color only last for a couple of weeks; after that, it’s just gray and ugly and cold. And then, it somehow gets even colder and more miserable. I like living where you can reasonably expect the temperature to reach the 70s in all 12 months. It definitely helps my golf game! And if I really need to see the leaves turn, or need to see snow, I don’t even need to leave the state. I can just hit Tahoe. 
  6. Beach Life: we don’t have the clear blue water beaches of the Caribbean, but you don’t have to stay at a 5-star resort to enjoy our beach life. Whether you want to sunbathe, swim, surf, play volleyball, throw a bonfire, skate, skateboard, bike ride, or play street hoops, you can do it all in Cali without crazy humidity, mosquitos, or confederate flags. 
  7. Serena Williams: I mean, she’s The GOAT. People throw GOAT (greatest of all time) around pretty loosely, but Serena Williams is the single greatest women’s tennis player of all time. There is no credible argument against that. And some say that she is the single greatest tennis player, period. However far her queendom of GOATness reaches, she’s a “Hub City” (Compton) legend.
  8. California is rich bi**h!: if California was a country, it would be the 5th largest economy in the world! And without going deep on macroeconomics, just recognize we have industries on industries. You can make money here in Banking or in Entertainment or in Agriculture or in Tech or in Entrepreneurship or…. And it’s expensive to live here, but that’s because we’re making money! 
  9. NWA: in classic California fashion, NWA created its own lane in Hip Hop… and then the rest of the world had to catch up. By making dope music and going platinum without radio play, Dre, Cube, and Eazy laid the foundation that gave rise to legends like Snoop, The Game, and Kendrick. 
  10. Too Short: by getting it out the trunk on pure player principles, Too Short created his own lane in Hip Hop, giving East Oakland game to the world. And The Bay ain’t looked back since, producing legends like Pac, Digital Underground, and E-40. Now people worldwide are trying to get hyphy while screaming, “What’s my favorite word?!!!” 
  11. Issa Rae: the funniest, flyest, most creative woman in the entertainment game right now is a California icon. She not only created one of the best shows ever, the HBO smash hit Insecure (#TeamLawrence), but she also stole the show as the leading lady with her goofy freestyles, million dollar smile, and flawless sense of humor. We got Issa and y’all don’t. We win. 
  12. Carlos Santana: when it comes to guitarists, you don’t get better than the OG Mr. Santana! I mean, he’s originally from Jalisco, Mexico, but he moved to San Francisco when he was young and we’re claiming him. His style is a blend of Afro-Latin meets Rock N Roll and it’s pure fire. If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to the legend do his thang, treat yourself
  13. Wine Country: most of y’all might have heard about Napa, which is indeed dope af, but that’s not the whole story. Whether you’re talking about Sonoma, Healdsburg, Monterey, or Santa Barbara, we turn water into wine as good as anybody in the world (yeah, I’m talking to you Philippe). It’s been said the best wine grows in the most beautiful places, and we agree with that. 
  14. Diversity: we got everybody! And I’m not talking about just generic groups, but I’m talking about specific subcultures. For example, some places might proudly claim that they have Asians, but in Cali we got Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, Thai, Vietnamese, Hmong, Cambodians… and that’s before we get into South Asia or Pacific Islanders. We got everybody. 
  15. Women Rights: yeah… that part. While some places have taken away a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body, we celebrate women and their agency to decide what’s best for their health and their life. 
  16. LGBTQ+ Rights: love is love. It ain’t complicated, and we celebrate the beauty of humanity, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We live by, “do you!”, especially if it doesn’t infringe on me doing me. 
  17. The Black Panthers: in the heart of Oakland, CA, The Black Panther Party was born and that makes us proud as hell (gentros have stolen “hella”)! Because Black Lives Matter. 
  18. Delores Huerta: I mean, how cool is it that we get to claim that we’re from where Delores Huerta is from? California isn’t perfect, but legends like Delores Huerta have helped make it more equal for migrant workers… which ultimately made California more inclusive for everyone. 
  19. Asian/Pacific Islanders: since the 31st state was a state, Asians and Pacific Islanders have been a central part of our rich cultural tapestry. They literally helped to build Los Angeles and San Francisco, turning both cities into two of the best places in the world to live or visit. 
  20. Yosemite: arguably the most beautiful national park, year round. If you’re into the hiking, rock climbing, wildlife thing, Yosemite has got you covered, fam. From Half Dome to El Capitan, the park is filled with natural wonder.  
  21. Lake Tahoe: you mostly see our dope California beaches and beautiful people in movies, but you can get some serious skiing done in the golden state as well. A few hours northeast of The Bay Area you’ll find the majestic ski town of Lake Tahoe nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains. You can get out on the lake, hit the slopes, or chill at the spa.  
  22. Carmel/Pebble Beach: if you set out to describe the natural beauty of Carmel and Pebble Beach, you will run out of ink. It’s simply majestic… and that’s when it’s gray and cloudy. But fam, when the sun comes out, it elevates into a one of a kind location. Lush green hills, rocky shores, and powerful waves collide, creating a vibe that’s just bananas. And in true California style, the area is filled with world-renowned restaurants, golfing, and events like The Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival. 
  23. Tiger Woods: not one of the greatest, but the definitive greatest golfer to ever play the game; yeah, of course he’s from California. Young Tiger was first on TV as a toddler, and then went on to exceed expectations. This man was so dominant, they had to redesign courses to “Tiger-proof” them to slow down his assault on the record books. 
  24. Catalina Island: just off the coast of LA, Catalina Island is perfect to lay low and do the beach thing, or to get out to do the adventure thing. You can chill in the city of Avalon, or you can hit the ocean and go spear fishing. 
  25. Car Culture: our public transportation sucks. But when you get lemons, you make lemonade colored lowriders, sports cars, and jeeps. From candy paint jobs, plush interiors, fly rims, sound systems, and hydraulics, when we pull that bish out the driveway we’re about to put on a show! 
  26. Street Food: we don’t play when it comes to street food. First and foremost, we have the best street dish in the world: the street taco. Then we expanded on that with Roy Choi’s Korean street tacos. But we aren’t only about tacos… we took food truck culture to another level with restaurant quality food served at street events like Off The Grid. We’re like that!
  27. World Cuisine: we got fire ass cuisine from just about everywhere. Mostly because we have people from everywhere. But we also have great agriculture, cattle ranches, farms, and seafood from the pacific. And our innovative culture has led to mouth-watering culinary styles that push the envelope and please the palate. Don’t hate. 
  28. Golden Gate Bridge: I mean, it’s the golden gate muthafreakin bridge. It’s an architectural wonder that’s so beautiful that it’s the most photographed bridge in the world. If you haven’t seen it in person, quit trippin and treat yourself. (But bring a sweater if you come in the summer LOL.) 
  29. Award Shows: so when the best of the best want to get together to party and give each other awards for being the best, they come to Los Angeles, California to make it happen. From movies (The Oscars) to music (The Grammys) to sports (The Espys), if you want to be recognized for excellence, you gotta come to the golden state. 
  30. Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara might be the greatest place in America with the least amount of recognition. To be clear, it’s a grown person’s paradise, but it’s definitely paradise. Amazing food, some of the best wine in the world, and the beaches are everything. It’s like, if you set out to create a coastal paradise for the 30+ crowd, you would create Santa Barbara. 
  31. Palm Desert: Coachella goes down in Palm Desert, and that’s reason alone to put it on the list. But there’s a lot more to do in Palm Desert than just rock out. A lot of y’all that claim to love four seasons end up coming out West in the winter time to golf, shop, hit the casinos… and generally not be miserable. Palm Desert is one of your popular destinations. 

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