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Where to Move: Northern California Vs. Southern California

It’s a choice between sushi with shrimp or tacos with avocado to calm down the heat.

It’s a choice between being a fan of the Dodgers or the Giants. And it’s a choice of wanting to go to Disney Land or Napa.

Perhaps the best rivalry in all of the United States is the difference between wanting to live in SoCal or NorCal. But what does that exactly mean? They are both great places to be. But when you take a closer look these two areas may be in the same state but couldn’t be more different.

So, what does SoCal mean? Well, in simple terms Southern California. The state is divided into two regions and SoCal is everything from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. And the other region of the state is NorCal.

While the state is not literally divided in half, the cultures of the two areas are so different. SoCal is about beaches and nice weather year-round. NorCal is about wine, Silicon Valley and some of the best chocolate in the world with Ghiradelli.

SoCal culture is about the easy life. Not that everyone doesn’t work hard. But they also like to play in the sun. It’s going outside and enjoying the ocean. It’s taking that trip to the Indiana Jones Ride at Disney and being in the happiest place. The culture is defined by the surfer culture where you travel to the beach to get ice cream while working on the perfect tan.

So if that’s SoCal, then what does NorCal mean? Well, it’s a working culture that’s not filled with beaches but tech companies and upscale amenities like a San Francisco hotel only for dogs.

But let’s take a closer look at what this is really about. The two giant cities in each region show the difference between the areas. Los Angeles and San Francisco couldn’t be more different. One is charming on the bay. The other is a giant city where people chase a lifestyle. But the Bay Area vs SoCal is not that simple. There are so many things that make up each area that are great.

Let’s take a look at some of the differences.




NorCal is the place for foodies. It is the area that started the farm-to-table movement. It also is home to four of the 12 Michelin-star restaurants in the United States. But not so fast one great food. Both areas have their fans.

SoCal is known for its great Mexican food and has some of the top fast food restaurants. Tell me you don’t want a double-double burger right now?

But the difference between these two areas can come to one thing — SoCal vs NorCal burrito. For most people this is the big difference between the two areas. The SoCal burrito is about guacamole, sour cream and grilled steak. The NorCal burrito may use rice or fries in a large to go along with steak before they add the guacamole. And yes, this is California and avocados are everywhere you go. And so is guacamole.

And if you are looking for great seafood, look toward the San Francisco area. Not only is there great crab, but everything you can think of. And sushi is something they even have at baseball games. While the Dodgers may have their famous Dodger Dog, the Giants know that sushi and baseball work together.

The other big difference between the areas is the beaches. While Carmel for NorCal is great, the beaches in SoCal are so nice. Go to Huntington Beach for surfing, or how about Venice to do some weightlifting. And all of the beaches have the best sport of all being played — people watching.




The biggest difference you may see between SoCal and NorCal is the people. One type of person will show up in shorts and the other pants. It’s the heat that is part of this choice. But it’s also a mindset. There is a reason why people move to SoCal and it’s to be comfortable while still being into fashion.

There also is the idea of wanting to make it big in the movie industry for SoCal. While if you want to design the next big app for your phone then NorCal is the place for you.

And there are a few slang terms you may want to know before you consider moving to either of these regions. In San Francisco you might hear the term, The City, or The Bay Area. They use these to tell you about where they are.

In the SoCal area, you will hear the word Bro a ton if you find yourself near the beach area. And if you are going to work and take The 5, that means you are on the interstate.

But if you are moving from NorCal to SoCal, you will have to know much more than the differences between the regions. You will need to hire a good mover. Because everyone who first comes to California thinks you can drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco in an hour. That could be a seven-hour surprise—as the drive is about eight hours.

Just enough time to figure out that The Staple Center is not a place to get office supplies.




If you are moving to or from Southern California, Southern Cal Moving & Storage has you covered.  Give us a call at 951-520-8800 to request your free moving quote!


If you’re considering a move from California to Arizona, make sure you check out this helpful guide from our friends at Folkestad Moving Services!

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