It’s not until you live away from your home that you learn about all the misconceptions that exist about it! Coming from California I’m surprised about how others view my home state – especially non-Americans. So, before you start planning your trip to California, please take note of the below – the truth about California

  • California is not tropical! We have almost every climate type besides tropics. Did you hear about our multi-year drought? We call ourselves the Golden state but we’re more like the brown, dried out state. If you are looking for the tropics, head to Hawaii!
  • And since California is not tropical, please be aware that… the Pacific Ocean is f**king cold!
  • Much of our coastline is temperate and can be chilly and foggy, and not all of our beaches are ideal for sunbathing. In fact, where I’m from (Sacramento) it can get VERY hot during the summer – and we retreat to the Bay Area to take a break from the heat! Have you ever heard this brilliant Mark Twain quote “The coldest winter I ever spent was the summer in San Francisco.” Nuff said.
Dillon Beach, our cool down spot in the summer
  • We have mountains, beautiful mountains (including quite a few volcanoes), and SNOW! Yes I’m from California and I grew up skiing. In fact, I never even surfed until moving to Europe!
  • .. and there’s a good reason I never surfed… the closest beaches to where I grew up are home to great white sharks. In fact, much of the California coastline is in the so-called Red Triangle  — an area that accounts for 38% of shark attacks in the US. Surfing there? No thanks 🙂
  • Want to fit in on your California road trip? Skip renting that Mustang convertible. If you really want to be like a Californian, rent a Toyota Prius so you can drive in the diamond lane with less than 3 people in the car at rush hour.
  • We don’t call California “Cali.” Say it to a Californian and they might cringe. Just be aware that the “Going back to Cali” is by Biggie Smalls, who was an East Coast rapper (so clearly had no idea of how much people hate the word Cali)

See also: What not to miss on your California road trip

  • Californians enjoy some Mary Jane. My boyfriend from the NETHERLANDS, a country famous for its long time legalization of marijuana, made me aware of this. He was surprised at how common it is for people in California to light up. Now its legal of course, so maybe it doesn’t surprise anyone anymore.
  • We might be the state most associated with healthy diets and trendy food (I’m looking at you poke bowls and kale), but we are very proud of In & Out Burger – a fast food chain which is not comparable to any other. When you visit California, you must visit.
  • California is huge…in many ways. It’s not only geographically bigger than many countries, but it’s also got the 6th largest economy in the world.
  • The only parts of California worth visiting are SF and LA: WRONG! There are so many parts of California that visitors overlook. Most people who visit fly into either SF or LA and drive Highway 1 between the two. Of course you will see great places along the way. But you should know there is so much more to see if you keep going north!
    • Other great places to check out are:
      • The Lost Coast : farther up the California coastline, you can visit forests that will remind you of Jurassic Park and see moose in the wild
      • Napa and Sonoma : go a bit farther north of San Francisco and visit the best wine region in the world 😉
      • Lake Tahoe : North east of San Francisco on the border between California and Nevada is Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. During the summer go hiking, biking, or do water sports, or if you’re lucky enough to visit during the winter, hit the slopes.

So, there you have it, the truth about California. Did I miss anything?

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about your home?

The Truth About California

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