Apr 3rd, 2008, 04:03 PM
California is the greatest state in the union to live in. And no, that's not just my opinion, it's fact. Except maybe New York, (if you like big cities which I do); you won't find a better state. Especially Northern California. I've lived in the Sacramento area for my whole life until about 4 years ago when I moved to England to marry my wife, and even she, having visited Sacramento and my home town after living in England her whole life, cannot wait until we are able to move back. It's literally the difference between sunshine/warmth and permanent gray/dismal cold.
Because of it's greatness, as others have said, it can be expensive living there in the right areas, but it can also be affordable if you find a deal in a suburb somewhere. Other than that, there aren't many cons to California that I can think of. If we're talking Southern California, then yea, that can be a little dirtier and is overrun with illegal immigrants, and a lot of cities like most of L.A. and San Diego can be hairy to live in. Also the summers can get pretty hot, but to me, that's a lot better than freezing cold greyness for months on end.
Basically, as with Rog, if you love going out and doing things and finding the quirks of a city while living in one of the largest cities in the world, and don't mind that the entire city is made up of failed actors, you'll love L.A. and Socal. If you prefer a quieter life in the suburbs with virtually no crime, that still has some trees left, and is an hour away from anything you'd ever want to do (mountains, beach, big city, casinos, etc), go to Northern California. Sacramento and (it's outlying cities in particular) is one of the fastest growing cities in America and has everything you'd ever want.
San Francisco is also my absolute favorite city in all of America. Sure it has a lot of gays and homeless (all major cities do), but you'd never know unless you actually went to the right districts looking for them. It's so beautiful and the weather is always perfect. It's got a million things to do, a zillion great restaurants, the traffic isn't as bad as you'd think for a big city, great theatre, great sights, and is right on the ocean. It doesn't get much better than SF people.
I've driven across America and seen many states and many cities, and I have no qualms whatsoever recommending California to anyone who asks. Unless you're super conservative or religious, I don't see any reason why any sane person wouldn't love living there. Next year is a good time to move as well since the crazy housing bubble burst this year and house prices will soon plummet.