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Highway 1 | © Ka!zen/Flickr
Highway 1 | © Ka!zen/Flickr
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21 Reasons America's West Coast is the Best Coast

Picture of Deanna Morgado
Updated: 30 October 2017
The age-old debate of which coast is the best has been going on longer than most of us can probably remember, but that doesn’t mean we still won’t entertain the argument! The East Coast has its tempting offerings but here are lots of reasons why the West Coast is ultimately the best coast.
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The West Coast has the largest bookstore in the world

Or so Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon claims. This bookstore has 1.6 acres of book-filled shelves in nine separate rooms that are also color-coded. With those numbers, it’s pretty easy to believe it.

Powell City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR +1 800 878 7323

A trip to Mexico is never too far away

West Coasters always have their passport ready to go for an impromptu Mexico trip. Even from Washington, Mexico is just about a five-hour flight. If you’re in San Diego, though, you’re a mere 17 miles from the Mexico border. The West Coasters are able to indulge in colorful Mexican culture practically anytime they want.

I didn't take the time to go on to Mexico and then back across the border
I didn't take the time to go on to Mexico and then back across the border | © Robert Ashworth/Flickr

The West Coast has the A-Z of terrain

From the flatlands of L.A. to the mountains of South Lake Tahoe, and up to lush forests in Oregon and the rainy Cascade Range of Washington …the world of the West Coast is your oyster when it comes to options of land and nature.

The rainbow flag always flies high

San Francisco, California, is the epicenter and original site of the global Gay Pride Parade. Portland is home to the Gaylabration Dance Party and Seattle throws the amazing Pride Picnic and brunches. Up and down the West Coast, diversity is celebrated unlike anywhere else. It’s a beautiful and unforgettable thing that West Coasters are immensely proud of.

Rainbow Flag in Castro
Rainbow Flag in Castro | © Nan Palmero/Flickr

Volcanic sites

The West Coast boasts the blessing and curse of having multiple volcanic sites. Some are active, while others have been dormant for quite some time. Either way, the West Coast volcanoes make for the most breathtaking scenery and enticing history.

The geography is just less confusing

Let’s be honest, if you’re anywhere outside the East Coast, you’ll always get confused about whether those tiny states are Delaware-New Jersey-Maryland or Maryland-Delaware-New Jersey. On the West Coast, Washington, Oregon, and California are stacked in a perfect, easy-to-remember row!

Malls are outdoors

Thanks to the fantastic weather, many West Coast malls are actually outside. Get your shop on while catching some of that famous West Coast sun. Sounds like paradise, yes?

The national parks

To be fair, West Coast national parks being better than the rest of the country’s can definitely be put up for debate. That being said, if you just take a look at any photos of Yosemite, Sequoia National Park, or Mount Rainier, you’ll see why it’s worth arguing.

The music festivals

The list of opportunities to strap on a flower crown on the West Coast could go on and on. Coachella, Outside Lands, SnowGlobe… Basically, on the West Coast, there’s a music festival for that.

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The burritos

Not only do we have the mindblowingly yummy California burrito, which is served with fries inside the burrito, the West Coast makes some of the most delicious burritos outside of Mexico. San Diego holds the unofficial title of the best burritos, and Mexican food in general, on the West Coast.

DSC01234
DSC01234 | © Oleg./Flickr

The PCH

The Pacific Coast Highway follows the California Highway 1 for over 650 miles. This is the longest and probably the most gorgeous stretch of highway in California. This legendary route will take you along the Pacific coast that will make the rest of the world so jealous, it’ll make them start planning their trip to the West Coast in no time.

Highway 1
Highway 1 | © Ka!zen/Flickr

Joe made his first trade here

The very fist Trader Joe’s opened in Pasadena, California in 1967. If it weren’t for the west coast, who know if Joe would’ve tried to trade elsewhere? This “fresh format” grocery store has made its way into all West Coasters’ hearts.

West Coast slang is just a bit cooler

Slang is an art form on the West Coast. There just isn’t any equivalent to West Coast language found anywhere else. Where would we be without “gnarly”, “stoked”, or the most beloved used “dude” in our West Coast arsenal of linguistics?

The coffee tastes better

Seattle, Washington is ground zero of some of the best and most notorious coffee companies in the world; the world-famous Starbucks Coffee started on those Washington-state city streets. Famed and world-renowned chef Emeril Lagasse calls Seattle’s Espresso Vivace the best coffee on earth. And, of course, there’s West Coast Coffee Company that holds a special place in all West Coasters’ hearts. Enough said.

<3 Flat Whites
<3 Flat Whites | © Alan Levine/Flickr
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Doughnut heaven exists

Everyone on this side of America knows of Voodoo Doughnuts. Starting from humble beginnings in Portland, Oregon, people from all over the country make their way to this zany doughnut shop with locations exclusively on the West Coast. The doughnut menu is comprised of both classics and creative doughnut innovations, like the infamous voodoo doll-shaped doughnut or the Grape Ape with vanilla frosting, grape dust, and lavender sprinkles… what?!

Voodoo Doughnuts, 22 SW 3rd Avenue Portland, OR, USA, +1 503 241 4704

The West Coast is super animal-friendly

It’s pretty typical for people to bring their pets anywhere they go; no matter what species, big or small. We can do this on the West Coast because it’s the best coast for animals… well, at least that’s what native West Coasters will swear by! Regardless, it’s even more out of the ordinary for an establishment to not allow pets than vice versa. And it’s magical.

The superb golfing

West Coast boasts some of the country’s, and in some cases the world’s, best golf courses. The Professional Golfer’s Association, or PGA, has some pretty amazing golf superstars and celebrities that grace courses, an that can be pretty easy for fans to access, up and down the West Coast.

Manhattan Beach Golf Course
Manhattan Beach Golf Course | © Sharon Mollerus/Flickr

It’s the surfing capital

You can’t fathom the West Coast without surfing. It’s comparable to peanut butter and jelly, they just go hand-in-hand. The U.S. Open of Surfing is held every summer in Huntington Beach, California. It’s one of the most West Coast events you can attend, with some of the greatest (and pretty darn attractive) surf athletes.

Drinking wine is accepted virtually anytime

Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration (drink responsibly). But the West Coast is home to some of the world’s most prestigious wine country. Sonoma, California was built on wine. Us West Coasters have to show our appreciation somehow. If that means sipping on world-famous wines, then so be it.

The amazing urban legends

Bigfoot in the redwoods of Northern California, the princess that haunts Pike Place Marketplace in Washington, the Bandage Man of Cannon Beach, Oregon… the list of urban legends goes on and on throughout the West Coast. Where there’s an urban legend, there’s a following that swears by it. The West Coast is full of legend believers and enthusiasts. And there’s something incredibly special about that.

The overall more lax atmosphere

Don’t get us wrong; the West Coast has some bustling cities that never seem to stop and the East Coast certainly isn’t filled with uptight sticks in the mud. However, the sunny beaches and the general laid back moods West Coasters seem to always be in, creates a relaxed atmosphere that the East Coast just can’t compete with.