10.16.2013

The Great Debate...


Ahh, it's time for the great debate. Of our trip that is.

I promise this is the last travel related post for a while. I wanted to at least briefly go over it because I've gotten many many many emails asking which area I would recommend traveling to in California more. I think those who live in California would say they are too different to compare (and I agree to an extent), but for the sake of today's post, I'm going to take a stab at it and see if I can make a personal decision.


So, which do we like better....

Northern?



or Southern?

If you forced me to pick, I would have to say ((drum roll please)), Northern.

Here's a look inside our thought process:
To travel:
Me-Northern
Billy-Northern
To live:
Me-Northern
Billy-Southern

....obviously we differ on our opinions of the state if you are looking to live in either area. I fell head over heels in love with San Francisco, so if I had to move to California, it would probably be here. I don't think I would ever get bored living there. Plus, I would be close my other love nearby: Lake Tahoe. Billy thinks it would be better to live in Southern, but we both agreed we liked traveling to the northern area more. 

>>Why? 
Both are absolutely wonderful, don't get me wrong, and obviously this varies person to person but northern was more of an adventure for us. It left it's mark on us more {how could wine country not leave it's mark? c'mon}, you could say. If you have never been to California but want to do a road trip (and if you don't mind a little bit of cooler weather), I would recommend going northern. The culture, the mountain views, wine tasting, the diversity, the food...they all won us over. Like big cities? San Francisco is your place. In that same breath, if you are planning a northern trip, you must add Lake Tahoe as a stop along the way (assuming you have a car). You will be glad you did, trust me on this (or you can read my recap of it: here). If you are looking for more of a laid back, beach trip then I would recommend southern. Want nicer weather and to spend time in the water? Southern. It's definitely more "glam" too, but doesn't have the culture that San Francisco does. To me, if I'm wanting a beach vacation I'm going to go to Florida or somewhere tropical and just plant my butt on the beach everyday all day, but I feel like there are SO many awesome things to do in California that I didn't want to just sit on the beach. I wanted to be out and about seeing everything.

Also, I have to say, on both trips we figured we would get stuck in traffic for hours. Honestly, it wasn't as bad as we expected, in fact we hardly hit any traffic where we were actually at a dead stop in either area (gotta time it right and it moves pretty fast!). I would recommend going in late August-October as there are generally less tourists around these times and the weather is still good.

If anyone is interested in the order of our stops for both trips, they went like this:

Northern: flew into Reno, visited Lake Tahoe first, then Napa/Sonoma, then San Francisco, then ended in Carmel. You can read my recaps for this trip starting here. Southern: flew in San Diego, visited San Diego first, then Orange County area, then ended in LA and Malibu. You can read my recaps for this trip starting here.
 
If you have traveled to both of these areas, I would love your opinion, which did you like more? 

*I got some inquires about why I decided to remove google friend connect from my sidebar. I really want to focus on my content here on this blog, versus numbers. I believe if I'm providing good content (which I hope in the future I do!), then the readers will be there. 

**If you like gift cards, go enter my Gallo and Zappos giveaway, before they end! 

27 comments

  1. I was very interested to see which one you would pick, good choice. I think California is great in the fact that we have the moutains, beaches and everything in between at our finger tips. I have loved following along both on your Northern Cali and Southern Cali trips. Its cool to see my home state through the eyes of someone else that has never been here before. At times I think I take some of what our state has to offer for granted because its right here. Keep the traveling posts coming. Continuing to love all your posts and your blog in general. Thanks for being such an inspiration in my blog endeavors.

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    1. thank you so much, Ashley! I think that can happen with anyone where they live which is why I always love reading travel posts because they give such a different perspective. I'm definitely jealous of everything Cali has to offer, but am making a vow to myself to visit as much as possible! ;)

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  2. I am bias as I live in San Diego so I would say southern. I do have a brother who lives in Sacramento though and I love to visit. I just think San Fran is too big of a city for me. I felt like I was the little country girl lost in a big city when we visited. I am glad you had fun though in Southern California, it looks like you visited alot of fun areas!

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  3. Thanks for the tips! Me and the hubs are going to Napa and San Francisco for our anniversary in May, so it's nice to hear positive things about the northern part of Cali. LOVE the new blog design!

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  4. I want to travel to Cali so bad, but the plane tickets from Texas are so expensive. It looks like SO much fun though!

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  5. I agree with y'alls decision on where to travel. No we haven't made our way to California yet but, from what I've heard from others & what I've researched, I feel like Northern would be the better choice for us. We enjoy exploring new things & the adventure.

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  6. I am LOVING the new blog design! It looks great :)

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  7. Great choice!!! Northern CA is the best. I am saying that purely based because I am from there and if I had to choose anywhere to live it would be San Francisco forever. B & I are already saving for a condo in the city. I am missing it more than ever now.
    And I love the new design!!! Makes me want to spice things up...
    <3

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  8. Could not agree more! San Francisco has my heart!

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  9. We used to live just outside San Fran and LOVED it. If our family was out there, we never would have left!

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  10. I've been to both parts and it would be SO hard to decide! They are both gorgeous and amazing!

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  11. This is interesting to read as most people I know would pick Southern. However, I loved Northern California! I have never been to Southern but just from what I have hear and what I know of it, it's just not my style. I am all about relaxing and having a good time and northern really suited that. I was in San Jose and the Redwoods and I loved every minute :) I have always wanted to visit Tahoe so I am definitely going to go back and read your recap on that :)

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  12. Definitely a hard call having grown up on so cal and living in nor cal but I agree! Nor Cal is so diverse and there is tons to see up here between Tahoe, wine tasting, the city and the coast. You literally have it all at your footstep!!

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  13. Love your choice! We love San Francisco. It's one of our favorite places to visit as a couple (and Napa) and I totally agree with the culture/cool/city feel, but yet only a hop, skip and a jump away from laid back Napa and the beautiful country there. The reason I think most people might pick Southern California to visit is because it is more of what the general population thinks of when they think California (palm trees, warm beaches, LA, celebrities, you name it). I'm biased as well because it's my home, but if I had to pick to live, I'd say Southern. But to visit? Northern all the way, as long as I get little doses of Southern once in a while. :)

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  14. I've always been intrigued by Northern CA and think it's gorgeous. Love that you had such a good time, and it's definitely on our list of "someday" trips!

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  15. Whoo hoo for Nor Cal! It really is the best and you didn't even get to experience all of it! There are ENDLESS opportunities for things to do here. I'm headed to the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival this weekend.. (Carmel area) then Sunday I'll be going up the hill from Sacramento to Apple Hill (Mid point between Tahoe and Sac) and picking apples and wine tasting... Best of both worlds!

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  16. Me and the boy are wanting to go to California within the next year and I can guarantee you that your blog will be our navigator for the trip! Thanks for sharing Katie!

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  17. Born and raised in NorCal but I lived in SoCal for a few years. I prefer living in NorCal all day log but I'm happy I still have besties from when I lived down south who are just an hour plane ride away and live a few blocks from the beach.

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  18. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area I say yay to your selection! However I also lived in SD for five years and know it is a top contender. Let's be real, our whole state is pretty golden!

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  19. 1) I love your blog's new look! 2) I've never stepped a foot inside California but as a beach girl, it sounds like southern would be the way to go for me! Although, I'd be happy visiting both as I am a travel bug and want to see as much as I can! 3) I respect you so much and absolutely love the fact that you got rid of GFC so you can focus more on content as opposed to numbers. That says so much in itself.

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  20. Nor Cal for the win!! I have lived in Sacramento all my life and it's nice to be two hours from Tahoe and two hours from SF, but I have always loved traveling to So Cal and would kill to live in SD. So glad you had a great time on both trips!!

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  21. I love the photos sweet girl.. However If I had to choose which side, there is no way that I could.. It would be an impossible choice... Both northern & southern are pretty :)

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  22. This is such a hard decision.... I love them both! Maybe north takes the cake because of all wineries, fun in San Francisco and there is still a beach there? How about one of us gets a house in both places and then we alternate? :) I also removed GFC for the same reason and totally agree with you on content.

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  23. I live in the Northern California area (about an hour from San Fran) and I do have to say if I had to choose, I would still pick Northern. The area is just overall more serene to me. However, So Cal is an awesome place to visit..Northern is just more my style. Doesn't stop me from being RHWBH and RHWOC obsessed! haha

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  24. I'm so glad that you guys had such good trips! Northern is definitely on our list. And I have to agree that if I'm going to do a beach, I definitely want to relax and sip cocktails the whole time :)

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  25. Well, since I live in Northern California, I would have to agree with you :) Although, because I live in Northern, I definitely prefer Southern for travel! :) I'm glad you love my beloved state so much!! It's always fun seeing other's takes on the places I love so much!

    xo

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  26. Just wanted to say that I really enjoy all your vacation recaps! It's like I kinda took a mini trip today:) I love all these places and dream of visiting them one day!!

    Thanks for sharing~

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