Travel Trends

California Dreaming: 10 Things To Love About The Golden State.

California is no enigma. If the wine, tacos, and start-up opportunities do not tempt you the sun, the mountains, and the ocean surely will. The Golden State attracts creative hopefuls and innovative entrepreneurs to its coastline every day. And as a result California has the largest, most diverse population in the United States and it is also the most progressive state in the nation.

This is a list of 10 reasons why people love The Golden State.

The Industry

photo by Ahmet Yalçınkaya

For generations California has acted as a beacon attracting people from around the world and from all over the country. This is due in large part to California’s global influence in the world’s top industries: technology, film, media, real estate, and investments.

The Golden State is often the home of “C-suite executives” who’ve helped grow the nation’s most valuable companies including Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Witman, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and media mogul Oprah Winfry. California is also home to the world’s social media giants including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

The Fashion

In the United States fashion in recent years seems to be pointing towards the West Coast. One city in particular continues to buzz more than any other and that city is Los Angeles. Thanks to the hyperbole of the LA stereotype and the ‘City of Angels’ lifestyle tastemakers like Gucci, YSL & Tom Ford declare LA as their inspiration. 

The Culture

America's Cup San Francisco
America’s Cup competition in San Francisco

The California culture is undoubtedly tied to the United States culture as a whole however there are traditions that are unique to Californians. Thanks to their close proximity to Mexico and the states deep roots from the Spanish, Mexican, and indigenous Native Americans occupying the land before, California has a lot of its own foods, stories, and architecture you won’t find in any other state.

The Architecture

The hills of San Francisco, California photo by Rezaul Karim

Similar to the melting pot of cultures in California the architecture too has been greatly influenced by the large immigrant population especially those from Latin America and East Asian cultures.

Epic cities like San Francisco is also known worldwide for its particularly eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture.

The Self-Sustaining Homes

“The Style of the house should be, as far as possible, determined by four conditions: 1st, climate; 2nd, environment; 3rd, kinds of materials; 4th, habits and tastes”
~Charles Sumner Greene, in The Western Architect, July 1908

California is nothing if not environmentally conscious. Especially when it comes to real estate. Of all California’s signature architectural elements the most distinctive and eco-friendly may be the butterfly roof.

The style can be traced to Le Corbusier’s Maison Errázuriz, a vacation home in Chile designed (but never built) for arts patron Eugenia Errázuriz in 1930.

In addition to it’s eye-catching angles the eco-friendly property has the ability to collect rainwater to help create self-sustainable environments.

The Interior Design

Deane tufted chaise. Photography François Dischinger
Modern tufted chaise lounge photography François Dischinger

Nothing says California living like a sleek home with even sleeker furnishings. California ushered in American Modernism in interior design in the early ’50s. They are perhaps most known for the Eames Lounge and Ottoman and their molded fiberglass lounge chairs.

The Farmers Market

Gregory Bourolias
photo by Gregory Bourolias

Many of the restaurants, cafes, bistros, and grills use ingredients sourced from California’s local growers and farmers’ markets. Artisanal cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, and local wildflower honey are a few culinary favorites you can find in California’s farmers’ markets.

The Food

photo by Myles Tan

California actively promotes the wide varieties of fruits, vegetables and meats abundantly supplied by the state’s various micro-climates.

The food culture within the state changes depending upon the region. The California coast, especially the North Coast and Central Coast regions, has a large source of wild seafood and is a diet staple.

While battered and fried foods are not as common in California there are exceptions such as fish tacos and tempura which you’ll find more frequently in California’s southern regions.

The Wine Country

photo by Maja Petric

Imagine elegant estates at the end of country roads each lined with vineyards or low-profile wineries housed in converted barns. Do you prefer something more modern? What about urban wine trails with pop-up style tasting rooms? Or wine flights, a type of tasting experience, in one of San Francisco’s many wine bars? California’s wine culture is big, experimental and fun.

And you can find wineries throughout the state. From the redwoods in Mendocino to the historic Napa Valley to the rural charm of Santa Barbara’s new Funk Zone, California wine country is as varied as the state itself.

The Ocean

Santa Monica, California photo by Rob Bye

California’s cold water to the north is very fertile. The upwelling brings to the surface nutrient-rich sediments supporting large populations of whales, seabirds, and local fisheries.

The upwelling also brings many dissolved nutrients to Southern California’s warmer coastline to the benefit of farmers.

So, did we miss anything?

cover photo: “San Francisco & the bay” by Sasha Zvereva

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