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Common Mis-Conceptions Mid-Westerners Have about California!

Posted by on March 27, 2015

I was recently thinking about some of the things I thought about California before I ended up moving here, and realized how VERY wrong some of those misconceptions were to me. So I thought I’d write out a list of common misconceptions, we, as Mid-westerners, often have about California. (Keep in mind I’ve been in California for over 4 years now so my views may have changed a bit since then!)


EarthQuakes will make you never want to visit California:

I get this one a lot.  My mom often told me she was afraid to visit here because when she finally would, the BIG one would hit.  After experiencing my first Earthquake this past summer (a 6.1 ya’ll) I understand the misconceptions that are centered around Earthquakes.

Especially how the media portrays the damage of an Earthquake after.  Although, if you are in the heart of the epicenter, there is a ton of DAMAGE and it is very scary and life-threatening, but for many, an Earthquake happens, and you were like, ‘EARTHQUAKE.”

It’s funny being in California now because when one happens, my facebook lights up with status updates now.

What did my first Earthquake actually feel like?  I was lying in bed, and I felt the ground slide left to right underneath me.  Since it woke me up in the middle of the night it took me a bit to realize what was happening, but yes, it’s exactly that, the ground shaking beneath you.


San Francisco’s Right Next Door to Los Angeles, right?

When Friends and Family come to Visit, I hear this a lot.  Reality?  California is as large as the majority of the entire Eastern Coast of the United States.  So, how many states are on the East coast?  Exactly.

A typical drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes 6 hours, and folks, this is without any traffic involved.  Now, add traffic, and we’re talking 8 to 9 hours often.  Los Angeles to San Diego? 2 Hours.  Los Angeles to Santa Barbara? 2 hours.  San Francisco to Napa Valley? 1 1/2.

Things take time to get too.  With that being said, The BAY AREA is huge, and there’s not always an easy way to get from Point A to Point B because guess what?  There’s this entire BAY of Water in between things.  So plan out things if you’re planning on driving places around the BAY.

Everyone’s a Surfer:


Have you seen me?


This, my folks, is a girl residing in California, who is, indeed, not a surfer!  Thanks Beverly Hills 90210 for this misconception.  Yes, there are people out there that LOVE to surf.  Yes, as Californians, we love our beach, but for many, we forget to get out to the beach except for a few times of the year.

Life gets in the way.  It is not always our way of life. There are people who work, drive, sell things, create, write, manage people, and more.  And people, guess what? That even avoid the beach too!

Everyone Comes to California With a Dream and Ends Up Staying:

I have to admit I thought this one for a very long time.  Even my first year out here I met a ton of people who were coming in from different US States across the country to reside in California.  I’ve met writers, potential actors/actresses, and filmmakers.  I even made a list of all the different license plates I’d see driving around Los Angeles. To this day, there’s just one state I have not seen: Delaware.  People from Delaware do not come to California (kidding!)

But then, I started to meet people that, omg, GREW up in California too.  One thing I can TELL YOU about the people of California is that they are motivated, hard working, and Entrepreneurs. They have an idea, they aren’t afraid of putting that idea into action, etc. But a lot of people that live in California love this state, and if they leave, find they really, really miss it.

But there’s also people that come here, end up hating it, and head back home again.  When I moved here, I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of California.  I thought I’d end up hating it, actually.  But, instead, I fell in love with it.

It’s Just About the Movies or the Beach:


So, so, so wrong! Although, the BEACH is a big draw along with the movies.  People are honestly surprised how much California has to offer.  There is so much more to California than Hollywood.

For those that like small towns?  There’s tons of those, and lots of towns that keep that small time in mind.  Even in the city of Los Angeles, there’s places like Alhambra, Arcadia, Sierra Madre to explore.

Or the beautiful Coastal Towns along the California Coastline: Cambria, Pismo Beach, Big Sur, Carmel by the Sea, Monterey, Bodega Bay, Mendocino, La Jolla, and more.

For those that have a love of the arts? Omg, California is the place for you.  Just check out Venice Boardwalk, a Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk, or Laguna Beach.  Head to San Jose’ Silicon Valley for their 1st Fridays Art Walk and array of Galleries, or local beach towns and see the local artists at work.  Californians love their art, and the artists that create.

For those that love the outdoors?  Yosemite? Sierra Nevadas? Redwoods? Sequoia National Parks, anyone? There’s a little something for everyone, and plenty of parks and hiking trails throughout this beautiful state.

If you have an interest, I bet you will find it in California.

So, tell me, if you lived out of California, what were some of your misconceptions about this State before moving here, coming to visit, or perhaps you still have them back home?





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