East Coast Stereotypes About The West Coast That Are Plain Wrong

For many east coast folks, the west coast is a mythical land full of sunshine, healthy people, and nothing but sandy beaches.

And yes, you can find those things in California, Arizona, and other western states. But there are just some things about the west coast those back east don’t understand. These stereotypes should be put to rest!

Surfing Isn’t A Mandatory Sport

Surf paddle-out memorial held for Huntington Beach's
Mark Rightmire/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images
Mark Rightmire/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone on the west coast owns a surfboard and knows how to ride the waves. While California does have some of the best surf spots in the continental US, the sport isn’t a mandatory activity for people who live out west.

Some people enjoy lying on the sand with a good book!

Blonde Isn’t The Only Hair Color

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Tommy Van Kessel/unsplash
Tommy Van Kessel/unsplash

Reality television shows such as Laguna Beach, The Hills, and The Real Housewives might have people buying into the stereotypical female with blonde hair, but east-coast folks have to realize that people on the west aren’t all blonde. Let along natural blonde!

It might be hard to imagine, but people out west have brown, red, and sometimes the occasional blue hair color.

Not Everyone Living In San Francisco Identifies As LGBTQ+

Christopher Street Day Parade In Cologne
Ying Tang/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Ying Tang/NurPhoto via Getty Images

When east coast people think of San Francisco, a vast majority think of rainbows and people identifying as LGBTQ+. Well, that’s really not the case. While there are people who identify as such, some living in the city are straight as an arrow.

It’s like saying everyone down at the Jersey Shore is Italian. It’s simply not the case.

Celebrities Aren’t Around Every Corner

Netflix 2020 Golden Globes After Party
Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix
Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix

Dear east coasters, celebrities aren’t around every corner. In fact, they tend to keep to themselves, and if people happen to see them, it’s once in a blue moon. Also, let’s circle back to the fact that Hollywood and Los Angeles don’t make up the entire west coast.

That’s like saying Manhattan is the east coast with celebrities being spotted everywhere.

The Ocean Isn’t Warm And People Wear Wetsuits

cold water
Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images
Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Considering a vast majority of the west coast is made up of California, many east coast folks think beach days and swimming in the ocean happen on a regular basis. Well, hold on to your boogie boards, east coasters because the Pacific Ocean is chilly!

The ocean isn’t warm for most of the year, and many locals own more than one wetsuit.

The Mountains Get Snow

Spring Skiing in Full Swing at Mammoth Mountain
George Rose/Getty Images
George Rose/Getty Images

A lot of east coast people picture the west coast as being an all-around summer. That’s because they tend to forget that there are mountains, and the west coast isn’t entirely made up of beaches.

Yes, the west coast, in fact, gets snow! Even places such as Big Bear, Mammoth, and Tahoe get snow in California, not to mention a majority of Oregon and Washington.

No, The West Coast Isn’t Solely California

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Originally by User:Spooderman89 – CC BY-SA 4.0
Originally by User:Spooderman89 – CC BY-SA 4.0

When it comes to the west coast, many people back east automatically think the entire state of California takes up the coastline. Well, if they took the time to look at a map, they’d realize that isn’t the case.

Yes, California takes up most of the west coast, but Washington and Oregon are still kissing the Pacific Ocean!

Not All West Coast People Are “Left Coast” Democrats

US-POLITICS-VOTE-CALIFORNIA
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Yes, the east coast stereotype of the west coast is that it is a “left coast” full of democrats. While many democrats live out west, there are also a solid amount of people who are republican and vote red.

Sorry, east coasters, but the west is not a land full of hippies!

Yoga…It’s Not For Everyone

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Kaylee Garrett/unsplash
Patrick Malleret/unsplash

Yoga might be a great form of exercise and meditation, but it’s not for everyone. Yes, east coasters, that means not everyone on the west coast enjoys contorting themselves into extreme stretching positions to find “inner peace.”

While many people do practice yoga, the entire west coast doesn’t take out their yoga mats at the same time on Sunday mornings.

Flip-Flops Aren’t The Only Shoes In Peoples Closets

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Kacey Nguyen/unsplash
Kacey Nguyen/unsplash

With cities such as Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco being very north on the west coast, it gets pretty cold during the winter months, dropping to freezing cold temperatures at some points in the season.

That means that, no, west coast people don’t wear flip-flops year-round– they own pairs of shoes and boots, too.

Silicon Valley And Hollywood Aren’t The Only Places To Work

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Austin Distel/unsplash
Austin Distel/unsplash

In recent years, Silicon Valley and the technology industry have blown up in California, while the entertainment industry and Hollywood have pretty much always been there. And, according to a lot of east coasters, those are the only two industries on the entire west coast.

Apparently, there is no need for teachers, accountants, real estate agents, Uber drivers, service industry workers, or doctors out west.

West Coasters Aren’t All Health Nuts

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Toni Koraza/unsplash
Toni Koraza/unsplash

East coasters might have west coast folks pegged as absolute health nuts, but that isn’t exactly the case. While people love their outdoor activities and many Californians put avocado on everything, the three west coast states aren’t any healthier than east coast states.

In fact, California and Oregon failed to break the 2021 “Top Ten Healthiest States” list while Washington just skated by at number 10. The number one healthiest is actually Vermont! So, take that, east coasters!

It’s Not Constantly Raining In Seattle And Portland

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Alvin Leopold/unsplash
Alvin Leopold/unsplash

While Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, experience more rain than the average United States city, it’s not constantly precipitating there. Sorry to burst the east coast rain bubble but, on average, Portland experiences 155 days of rain while Seattle experiences 152 rainy days per year.

Yes, that is a lot of rain, but it’s not a year-round situation.

Laziness Is A Poor Way To Describe West Coast Folks

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Brooke Cagle/unsplash
Brooke Cagle/unsplash

East coasters love to say that west coast folks are lazy and spend all their time lounging in the sun. While outdoor activities are a huge part of living on the west, calling west coasters lazy is far from the truth.

California has a whole lot of job growth compared to the rest of the country, while Portland attracts many young entrepreneurs. And just because they’re working unconventional and flexible hours, they’re not lazy, just exceedingly efficient.

California Isn’t The Sunshine State

A change in the weather is on it's way with fog rolling in to obscure the San Francisco skyline as seen from the hills in Oakland Calif. on Mon. April 23, 2018.
Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images
Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Many east coasters believe California has sunshine all of the time, forgetting that weather is unpredictable and causes a lot of overcast, rain, and, depending on the location, snow.

In fact, California is probably better known to west coast folks as the land of heavy, dense fog and marine layers.

Never, Never, Never Say “Cali”

Welcome to California, Interstate 10
Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

There seems to be a common mistake when it comes to how east coasters think west coast people talk about California. For some reason, they make the mistake of thinking west coast folks say “Cali.”

This is far from true. Many local California folks will actually flinch if they hear someone say that word in front of them.

West Coast Folks Aren’t Entirely Soft Spoken

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Clem Onojeghuo/unsplash
Clem Onojeghuo/unsplash

New York people like to remind west coast folks that they’re soft-spoken and will beat around the bush on certain topics.

Well, hopefully, they never come into contact with a passionate west coaster because they will tell that New Yorker exactly how it is and what they think of a certain situation without holding anything back.

Why Do West Coast People Drive So Slowly?

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Derek Lee/unsplash
Derek Lee/unsplash

It’s not a matter of west coast people driving slowly here, east coast folks; it’s just a matter of taking their time and obeying traffic laws.

And, clearly, east coast people who think west coasters are a bunch of lusggish drivers have never driven in Los Angeles or down the I-5. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Southern California Is *Gasp* Not Hollywood/Los Angeles

Hollywood Sign on top of the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, California
Kurt Krieger/Corbis via Getty Images
Kurt Krieger/Corbis via Getty Images

It might come as a shock to east coast people, but Southern California isn’t solely Hollywood and Los Angeles. In fact, that’s just one section of SoCal, albeit the most well-known section.

But Southern California is still made up of san Diego County, Orange County, and even Ventura County, which is north of Los Angeles.

Earthquakes Don’t Happen Every Day

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Colin Lloyd/unsplash
Colin Lloyd/unsplash

For a coast that’s constantly riddled with hurricanes for an entire season, east coasters sure do think earthquakes constantly happen and are the most terrifying natural disaster out there.

Yes, while they are scary, they don’t happen all of the time, like something that is literally called “hurricane season.” Needless to say, unless it’s “The Big One,” west coasters aren’t overly terrified of the ground shaking beneath their feet.