SoCal vs. NorCal – Which is the Place For You?

SoCal vs. Nor Cal

When thinking about California, most of us envision beaches, palm trees and maybe a few citrus groves.  What many people don’t realize is that there are some differences between Southern and Northern California.  From fashion and lifestyle to food and sports and even topography and weather, SoCal and NorCal each have their own bragging rights.  If you are  a traveling healthcare provider, you may have certain lifestyle choices and desires for your next assignment – we’re here to help you decide whether your next destination should be Northern or Southern California!

Nor Cal

San Francisco Bay:

Fashion, food and coffee sum up the Bay Area.

San Francisco experiences more cool and chilly weather than most areas due to its Northern water proximity. Up and down the breezy city streets, there’s a strong sense of unique street style that showcases fierce leather, long boots, cozy jackets and more. And no need for a car in these parts- San Franciscans tend to walk and make use of the great public transportation systems, like the subway, train or trolleys.  


If you are a foodie, San Francisco is a destination you won’t want to pass up. Places like Chambers or Mo’s Grill give you a taste of the excellent chefs in the area.

If you love wine, cheese and farm fresh eats, you’ll find a variety of these eateries scattered in Union Square and Embarcadero. To find all things bohemian, hipster and fresh vegan food,  head to the Haight Ashbury and Berkeley areas

ChinaTown ensures that you can find authentic delicious Chinese cuisine, like Z&Y Chinese.

The Wineries:

Napa is Wine Country and home to a number of amazing wineries and wine connoisseurs. The farm-to-table scene originated in this region and has since trickled South. Hess and William Hill are some notable locations to stop by as well as some of the other boutique wineries sprouting up.

The Mountains:

Nor Cal has some of the best skiing around!  Most people don’t realize how close Lake Tahoe and Truckee are- just under three hours at the most. The scene is artsy culture meets mountain hardware.  The skiing and snowboarding are divine in the winter and in the summer, the hiking and boating on the lake are sublime.  It is the closest to the French Riviera one can get in the U.S. Lake Tahoe allows for boats to pull up for lunch and cocktails at restaurants like Gar Wood’s.


San Diego:

San Diego is a lowkey, flip-flop wearing, casual beachy scene. You can try any water sports, from surfing to kayaking and boating in the bay. SD also has the world-renowned San Diego Zoo/Safari Park that is a must on your bucket list.

You’ll find the best Baja-style Mexican food this side of the border. Hot spots like El Indio, Fidels and of course the Roberto Taco Shops are where you want to go to find authentic carne asada burritos, rolled tacos, margaritas and more!

The Breweries:

SoCal has made a major splash into the brewery scene in the last few years. So many craft breweries have popped up that San Diego is being called for beer what Napa is to the wine industry.  Some local stops to make sure to hit are Ballast Point and Stone Brewery. If you are beer savvy, you can find a slew of quality craft breweries from San Diego through Orange County and up past Los Angeles.

Los Angeles:

From teams like the Lakers and the newly-acquired Chargers to the incredible Staples Center, Los Angeles is undoubtedly a mecca for sports enthusiasts.  If you’re a kid-at-heart type, Disneyland and Universal Studios are definitely where you want to stay and play.

And of course, who could leave out the Hollywood scene? Fashionistas and aspiring bloggers are crawling the streets displaying major fashion inspiration.

Food Trucks:

Burger places like Umami Burgers and Shake Shack get a leg up in places like Studio City and make their way up and down the coast.  LA is also known for the food truck scene, making the city a hub of trucks with an incredible variety of cultural and comfort foods.

The Mountains:

The drive to the local Big Bear is about 2 hours from LA.  It is a smaller, more quaint scene with a population of just over 5,000 people that offers both snowy mountains and gorgeous lakes. Though it is a small mountain, it is close enough for a day or weekend trip to the snow. There are a few surf and ski type board shops as well so you can rent everything you need for your adventures!

These two areas of California are vastly different, but there are tons of activities and good eats for everyone found in both.  Whether you are laid back or more of the fashion forward type of healthcare provider, you won’t be disappointed by any part of California. Get started with KPG Healthcare today and embark on the adventure of a lifetime!