In what ways is Northern California unique from other places you've lived or traveled?
You have the ocean and the mountains only 3 hours a part.
When I move throughout San Francisco each day, I remain awed and thrilled by the beauty of the city. People are diverse yet connected. Anything you would ever want to do, whether it is hiking, skiing, surfing, shopping, or all that is in between, is within an hour's drive. There is no other place I would rather be.
Anyone who has been lucky enough to visit or live in Northern California knows that it’s unique because it just simply has got it all! From oceans to bays, sand dunes to redwood groves and from snowy to sunny days -all within just miles of one another- Northern California’s got the most of it! It’s its own special “country” where its inhabitants and visitors thoroughly enjoy the plentitude and variety this special part of the state has to offer throughout the year. Locals can enjoy their vacations near home; they seem to have invented and perfected the art of the “stay-cation”! And tourists make themselves at home while traveling this glorious part of the state by driving up and down Highway 101 and exploring the splendid views, stopping to camp, shop, and relax.
The Bay Area is booming with culture and diversity from the art, museums, kids programs, food/dining and access to the mountains and ocean.
We love Northern California because of the diverse geography and climate. I have never lived in a place where the temperature can change 30 degrees within 20 miles! It is such a beautiful place from the beaches, wine country, redwoods, lakes, and mountains. This just feels like home.
In addition to being climatically 'perfect' (i.e. no extremes, easy to get around pretty much any time of year) and the proximity to both mountains and coast (which my family loves), there is an attitude of friendliness and helpfulness...a great sense of 'awareness'...that can be felt almost everywhere in Northern California.
Northern California is definitely unique, charming and beautiful. We have stunning beaches, mountains, redwood forests and amazing cities including San Francisco. This region has unlimited activities within a two hour drive. You could have breakfast on Chestnut Street in the San Francisco Marina and easily make it to Napa for lunch and wine tasting.
Northern California fuses a healthy lifestyle with the outdoors making it perfect for families. Amazing parks, California Academy of Sciences and Children's Discovery Museum are just a few places in the San Francisco for families. Pier 39 is full of restaurants and has a great aquarium. If you feel like driving only two hours south is the picturesque city of Monterey. This quaint town has Cannery Row and the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.
If you like sports, this is an outstanding city. The San Francisco Giants play at AT&T Park and the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick. We also have the San Jose Sharks if you're a hockey fan and the Earthquakes if soccer is your sport. Those are just a few of the many professional sports teams in Northern California.
Clearly I love living in Northern California. The healthy active lifestyle people embrace works for my family.
Being a former Iowa girl and spending the last 10 years in Northern California, I can appreciate the weather most. True, there aren't as many seasonal changes but with year-round pleasant temperatures it's a great excuse to get outdoors and explore or exercise. I also love the diversity here. I live in Silicon Valley where people from all over the world come to work and visit, bringing some great culture to the area. And an added bonus to NorCal vs. SoCal is the clean, fresh air thanks to the beautiful bay breezes!
The enthusiasm is so great and catching here! The excitement people can feel for a particular food, shop or beach is pretty awesome to see. And people loving sharing those special places only "they" know about!
I've always lived in places with stereotypical seasons (snow, for example!) so living in Santa Rosa is quite a departure. Feels kind of delinquent, actually, like I'm skipping the hardship of living elsewhere. I did have a very real struggle with the idea of raising children away from snow, however, but came to the conclusion that as long as we are sure to visit snow, they'll be ok. Occasionally I have a pang for the crispness of a Boston autumn or the stark beauty of frozen Lake Michigan, but mostly I adore it here. The biodiversity may torment my nose (allergies, of course) but it delights my eyes! The golden hills as you drive to the coast, the cathedralesque redwoods, and the swirling, crashing waves-on-rocky-coast ocean are my favorites things. That said, we spend lots of time in our backyard, which is also a gorgeous place to be!
There are so many amazing and different things to see in Northern California, and they are all a short car ride away! You can spend all day in the city, exploring the numerous different neighborhoods that all offer something unique. Then drive 20 minutes over the Golden Gate Bridge and be surrounded by rolling hills, cliffs and the most beautiful views I have seen in my life. Living in Norther California allows my husband and I to take our son on amazing day trips and be back home in time for our little guy to still get to bed early! Since I do write about food, I have to mention all of the amazing fresh and local produce that is available year round. The farmer's markets in the Bay Area are the best and most lush I have ever seen!
There's such a great variety of things to do here. You can spend an entire day trekking around in a city, catching museum exhibits, sporting events, dining out, all kinds of stuff. Or, you can drive just a short way and you can enjoy nature: the ocean, the mountains or even just a drive through the farmland. There's a lot for every kind of family to take part in.
We love local life unlike anywhere I've been. Whether this be via food, music, or exploring the outdoors, Northern Californians are addicted to finding the best of the west.
The weather is beautiful. The people are outrageously smart and friendly. The opportunities for a great education, activities, and family outings are wonderful. We couldn't be luckier to be raising a family here.
The climate in NorCal is unique. It can be sunny and warm on the San Francisco Peninsula, but foggy and chilly just a few miles North in the City. Always wear layers, because you don't know what you'll get!
Northern California is unique in that we have a little bit of everything; beach and ocean, mountains and snow, rivers and lakes, vineyards and farms, big cities and small. We get to experience all four seasons but in the mildest of ways. For the most part, getting from one beautiful place to another only takes a couple of hours in the car. I feel lucky to have spent my whole life in such a diverse and beautiful place.
I have lived all but 7 years of my life in Northern California. It's hard to put your finger on that one thing that make living here so great. In many ways, it's that inability to name what makes living here so great that makes living here so great.
Northern California has so much going for it. There is the amazing access to everything your heart could desire: culture, museums, BBQ, live music, parks, urban landscapes, beaches, lakes, wine, food, hiking trails, theater, ski resorts, languages, festivals, sports, great and interesting people, etc. I think all of those things wrapped in the pretty package that is the landscape out here are what set Northern California apart from everywhere else.
There is something special about the combination of big city, small town, urban landscape, rural access, beach hang outs and ski slopes
The openness and diversity of the people make Northern California exceptional. Plus the mild seasons makes it easy to do outdoor things year round, rather than just the traditional warmer months.
Before moving down to Northern California I lived in Seattle, WA. I currently reside in Sonoma. It's a huge difference. I would say that Northern California is unique from where I've previous lived because there's a lot of wide open land here and farms and vineyards. I love living in an area of NorCal where I feel like my child has endless areas to explore and roam. We're not in the middle of a big city. The atmosphere is much more calm here.
I was raised in Southern California, but for me NorCal (specifically San Francisco) is where it's at. I live in a place where I can go weeks without having to drive and I love it.