It’s Still Cool To Be From California

It's Still Cool To Be From California

Since the instant that state lines were first drawn in America many, many moons ago, there has been a competition for superiority between each territory. Some were automatic losers, like the hole of swampy, humid death that was and is Alabama. Everyone who went there to try and settle the area hundreds of years ago either died of heatstroke or was eaten by some kind of wild animal species that thrives in that weird climate. Could you honestly picture most of Florida before it was domesticated and covered in golf courses like it is now? Settlers probably got eaten by gators left and right. Just because there are more buildings and resorts there now doesn’t make it better. It just makes it slightly more likely that you can go and not die, except now there’s a horrific influx of giant fucking snakes, so good luck on that trip.

On the other hand, some states have always just been ahead of the pack. Case in point here, as you may have guessed, is California. Only lately has it become “less cool,” if that were even possible, to be a Californian. There are articles left and right that pop up on my newsfeed about the great sightseeing attractions and natural beauty of other states. I stumbled on a shared post the other day on some bourgeois site called something like Leisure While Vacationing, aka a site for white people trying to vacation only with other white people, and it was all about how great Kansas was. Like, are you serious? The only cool thing that’s happened in Kansas, ever, was that Dorothy’s Auntie Em lived there, and that lady is a bitch. Plus, tornados. Or Nebraska. I would give anyone in the world who could convince me to visit Nebraska a million dollars. I don’t have a million dollars, but I don’t need to, because it could never happen. The only contest Nebraska could ever win would be a contest about which state is most likely to be forgotten in the naming of all fifty.

California, the greatest state in this nation, bar none, is being scoffed at by its inferiors for its shortcomings. It’s like peasants mocking their queen. Every state, even California, has its drawbacks, and I freely admit that. But even California’s bad qualities are better than other states’. The cost of living in California is higher than a lot of other states, true. But that’s because living here is so fucking awesome. Sure, housing is expensive, but it’s expensive in New York and Oregon, too. Watching “Fixer Upper” has taught me about how much cheaper it would be to live in Waco, Texas, and how shitty it would be to live in Waco, Texas.

We also get a lot of flak for having a hippie-dippy population, but hippies are easy to live with. They’re usually super mellow folks chilling in a drum circle, and they’re always down to smoke a blunt with you. California being full of hippies is just a half-hearted jab made up by some other loser state who was grasping for something bad to say about The Golden State. (Even our slogan is superior. We got that motto because when settlers moved here in the 1800s, they figured out California was bursting at the seams with gold. I don’t know how else to signify such clear dominance.)

California is still the coolest state to be from. The second place I’d probably give to Hawaii, but first will always be held by California. All the other states have no choice but to constantly try and draw attention to their interesting or desirable features, but California never has to be that ostentatious or that desperate. California is top tier all on her own. Our own Duda threw out the idea in an article the other day that states without brutal winters have no character, and I laughed out loud into my mai tai at the swim up bar. The theory that you have to suffer to have depth of character is a myth miserable people tell themselves in an effort to add reason to their suffering. Here in California, we understand that putting so much effort into things is lame. You don’t have to try so hard here. In fact, you don’t have to try at all.

We have everything in this state, and I mean everything. You like the beach? California has close to a thousand miles of shoreline, and it’s primetime beach, baby. Sand and sun perfect for lounging, tanning, or frolicking in the waves. If you like surfing, eating bomb Mexican food, breakfast burritos with extra avocado, and being able to walk into a beachside bar with no shirt on, you’ll probably enjoy the southern section of California. If you prefer secluded, heart-stoppingly beautiful rivers, trees, and a rugged coastline, head north. Humboldt County, one of the northernmost counties in the state, is still a huge wilderness covered in redwood and sequoia trees, some of the oldest and biggest in the world, and the northern coastline rivals the southern in terms of pure natural beauty. The ocean not your thing? We have this deal called the Sierra Nevada mountain range with the best skiing and snowboarding there is. Silicon Valley, part of the Bay Area and home to Apple and Google headquarters, is the birthplace of technology. If you prefer open desert skies and rock climbing, head to Palm Springs. Lake life more of your dream? Lake Tahoe is so blue that it’ll hurt your eyes, with some of the most incredible views on the planet, and since it’s located in the mountains you can start skiing as soon as it gets too chilly for wakeboarding.

But even all of that isn’t enough to keep California in the top spot. Washington has incredible craft breweries, just like California. Hawaii has the beaches, Colorado has the mountains, and Texas has the Mexican food. What allows California to continue to outpace everyone is the attitude. There is no other state with the laid back, sunny, “whatever, man” attitude that will forever characterize California. It’s the origin of the entire concept of cool, and that can never be replicated or replaced. It’s the Beach Boys, and “Hotel California” by the Eagles, and “Californication” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It’s driving barefoot down the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible. It’s the crisp air of the northern forests, and the fresh scent of ocean breeze as you drink a beer in San Diego. It’s effortless, and it’s inimitable. Enough said.

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Rory Gilmore

Rory Gilmore on the outside. Emily Gilmore on the inside. Email me funny shit at

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