By Sadie Scott
When one thinks of Northern California, that easy and laid back California life comes to mind. Northern California is famous for its outdoor activities such as hiking, ziplining and kayaking, all of which can be done in picturesque scenic locations including great lakes, dense forests and wild rivers.
While we do have beaches, they are not something you necessarily want to swim in without a wetsuit, since the Pacific is colder and less forgiving up here than down south. The frequent appearance of great white sharks might also be a deterrent.
Unlike Southern California, Northern California winters deliver fresh powder on the ground making for an ideal Tahoe getaway. Skiing? Yep. Snowboarding? Sure. Dogsled racing? A little weird, but that too.
One major difference between Northern California and Southern California is the language, specifically the slang terms used. The majority of slang in Northern California comes from the Bay Area, or as they call it, “Yay Area.” Other commonly heard slang words include, “giggin”’, “fasho”, “yee”, and “hella”, which recently was added into the Merriam Webster dictionary, meaning “very,” or “a lot.”
You can’t talk about Northern California without giving a shout out to some of hip hop’s heaviest hitters. E40, Andre Nikatina and Too $hort all call the city by the bay home.
Since the 60’s, San Francisco, and everywhere north of it, has had a reputation for embracing a hippie culture more than its southern counterpart. From Humboldt County, all the way down to the city, it is not uncommon to befriend a marijuana growing hippe on your travels. Why would you ever leave, though?
By Macie Wilson
San Luis Obispo has come to be known as a little pocket of sunshine tucked behind rolling green hills and hugged by the beautiful pacific coast shoreline. Centered almost exactly center along the coastline of California, the city has become a melting pot of everything someone might think of when the golden state comes to mind.
From northern California you get a sense of the outdoors here in SLO. With beautiful hikes everywhere you go it’s easy to get a sense of up north when you’re hiking the hills, until you see all the LuLu Lemon workout gear on your fellow hikers and remember that you are just a short 3 hour drive from Los Angeles.
There is an extremely laid-back vibe everywhere you go and folks seem to be pretty proud of it. With “Livin the Slo Life” on what seems like every license plate frame around town, San Luis seems like the quintessential California beach town. Coined “Happiest City in America” by our lord and saviour Oprah Winfrey, SLO is home to some of the nicest and relaxed people you will ever meet.
Due to the large university, SLO is dominated by college students for most parts of the year, with summer being host to a overflow of tourists coming in from the valley. Anytime you get that many college kids together in such a small space, heavy partying will ensue and our little city on the coast is no exception. SLO has been in the news many times, some may recall the Great St. Patrick’s Day Roof Collapse of 2015, and has acquired a reputation for being your stereotypical college town.
I guess you could say SLO is stereotypical California in just about every way possible. We are just a bunch of laid back beachgoers, who like to hike in ridiculously overpriced workout gear while eating Acai bowls in our 75 degree year-around weather. No wonder Oprah loves this place so much.
By Branden Hopper
“Rollin’ down the street smokin’ indo, sippin’ on gin and juice.” There might not be a better Southern California anthem than Snoop and Dre’s Gin and Juice. The song embodies a culture unique to a very specific swath of California and would epitomize not only a genre of music but a cultural landscape.
From Afroman’s Palmdale to Blink 182’s San Diego, Southern California has and continues to influence mainstream culture — it should, too, it’s earned it. Southern California is to the west coast what New York City is to the East, its central hub of trend, it’s think tank of cool.
Having grown up in Los Angeles I can feel the difference separating myself from peers who haven’t experienced what it is a very important part of California, its palpable. We say different words, we listen to different music, we skate different. Ever see Guttermouth play for two hours, running on whiskey and corn dogs? Not if you’ve never hung out in Huntington Beach you haven’t.
World famous landmarks? Yeah, we’ve got those. Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Capitol Records building and the Hollywood sign are all classic examples of things that people all over the world recognize. Punk rock, tacos, skate and surf culture, American cinema — these are all things either born or perfected in the nooks and cranny’s of Southern California and with 300 days of sunshine a year it’s pretty tough not to grab your friends, hit the freeway and go find something you dig.