Seattle vs. Los Angeles: Which One Really Rules the West Coast?

I've lived in Los Angeles for my entire life, and when I say Los Angeles, I mean Los Angeles. Not the whole "Well, I live in the valley, and it's pretty close to LA so I basically know it" or  "I'm from Orange County but it's, like, the same thing, right?" (I've encountered plenty of these types of people upon moving out of state). I was raised in the heart of Santa Monica, and I spent 18 years of my life exploring the surrounding cities of WeHo, Malibu, Echo Park, Culver City, Beverly Hills, and what feels like a million more. You name it, I've been there. 

But this past September, I left sunny California and moved to Seattle to attend UW. It's safe to say it’s been a huge change, but I've loved every second of getting to know this new city. Obviously, I'm not as familiar with this place as I am with my hometown, but I've had days to explore the U-District, Downtown and Pike Place, Fremont, and Capitol Hill, and I've experienced an unexpected culture shock. While they both have shown me their pros and their cons, I've had time to consider which city I think takes the cake. Here's what's up:

  1. 1. Weather

    Let's get the obvious one out of the way, shall we? Seattle is known for the rain, and LA is known for freaking out if it goes below 65 degrees. Personally, I've loved the change of being able to experience actual seasons, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss everyday being a 'shorts and a t-shirt' kind of day. However, all of the leaves changing colors and the chilly air making me want to always be drinking a hot latte is definitely nice. But in the end, the frequent drizzle makes my hair frizzy, and I've found that the clouds and cold weather can make me feel just a tad lethargic. I definitely understand the appeal of both, but personally, I'm gonna give this one to LA.

  2. 2. Food

    The most important category in my humble opinion. When I'm not forcing myself to eat dining hall food, I've been to some delicious spots in Seattle. Mac and cheese from Beecher's? Amazing. Slate Coffee in the U-District? Delightful. Jai Thai in Fremont? Some of the best Thai food I've had. And Seafood from Ivar's? Absolutely fire. While the competition in this category is stiff, I still think I have to hand it to LA on this one. The reason being is that the variety of options you have at any given time and location is unbeatable, and not only is it always super tasty, you can always find something authentic. Authentic Mexican, Chinese, Israeli, Brazilian, Japanese, or anything else you're craving is within reach, made by the people that know it best. 


  3. 3. Geography

    Trust me, I love the beach just as much as the next ~California girl~ does. The Santa Monica Mountains look beautiful along the Pacific, and you're just a couple of hours away from Palm Springs, Mexico, and Big Bear. However, Seattle wins in this category without a doubt. The view of Mount Rainier from the UW campus is unbeatable, and the Downtown Seattle skyline at night is a 10/10. Here, there's a perfect balance of city and nature, and you just can't quite get that back in SoCal. Plus, Seattle is basically 2 feet away from Canada! So cool!

  4. 4. Style/Shopping

    I'm gonna keep this one short. LA wins by a landslide. The shopping is unmatched, and the weather allows for way more style flexibility. To be fair, I've found some really great vintage stores in Seattle, but overall, it's not even a competition.

  5. 5. People

    I'm sad to say that the stereotype of pretentious, stuck up, and snobby LA people somewhat holds true. Obviously not everyone is like that, but there is definitely an abundance of those types of people. It's a place where people are very invested in their image and what others think about them, which can be incredibly toxic if you fall victim to the pressure of it all. Just being here for a couple months, I can tell that the people of Seattle are much more laid back, genuine, and less self absorbed. Point for the PNW in this category.

With a final score of 3-2, Los Angeles takes the cake as the best west coast city. Am I bias? Absolutely. But I've only been here for about 3 months versus 18 full years of life in California, so I can't help it, yeah know? At the moment, Los Angeles is my #1, but I'm falling more in love with this rainy city each and everyday. A couple of months from now, you might just see me in a neon green and blue Seahawks jersey, Starbucks in one hand and a Rainier in the other, not thinking about California in the slightest.