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Old 05-02-2013, 01:02 PM
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I have lived in both FL and CA. FL weather to me is horrible other then the winter months which is beautiful. I tend to be very cold but the summer which in FL is 7 months feel so humid and sticky like you can't breath. In FL if you dont get monthly pest control the bugs and other creatures will take over your home.
FL even in the nicest areas is more affordable then CA. In CA to have a nice place in a nice area is so expensive where if you don't make a very good income it can be hard to make ends meet. You also don't get as much for the high price.People in CA seem to work very long hours with long commutes. Some people it can take 2 hours each way to work because they can't afford the area where they are employed.
I lived in a part of FL where the people were not friendly and in CA they are. Some I feel depends on the area one lives in.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:03 PM
Location: San Francisco
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I've lived in both. I prefer CA, hands down.

Florida is too humid for my taste, although the cost of living is much more reasonable.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:55 PM
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This is really a subjective question. It depends on what matters to you.

Cost of living: Florida, hands down. It can cost up to 3x more to live in CA.

Weather: Depends... For summers, both have high heat. Do you like rain and humidity with your heat? I do. It's tropical to me, even though sweaty. And the rain is very refreshing and I love storms. That is why I like Florida. Do you like dry heat with no rain? Then California it is. The rest of the year Florida wins in my opinion.... 9 months out of the year it's 70+ daily expect in Jan sometimes there is a cold spell. In California in the winter it gets a bit cooler than that for average temps.

Landscape: California, hands down. You have hills, snowy mountains, and other interesting features within a days drive. Florida is flat. Everywhere. For miles.

Beaches: Florida on this one, mainly because you can choose between the Gulf and the East Coast. Many magazines routinely pick a few Florida beaches per year to be on the Top 10 best beaches in America.

Jobs and Economy: California hands down. I don't think anyone can argue with this. Just more jobs. If you aren't educated and need a job in Florida, good luck.

Stuff to do: Toss up. Each has Disney, beaches, SeaWorld, great cities, outdoor activities, restaurants, bars, music, sports, etc. I would say that California has more of a variety though. This is very subjective again depending on your personality.

Use of land for living/cities: Florida wins here for me. The one thing I hate about lots of California is the "concrete jungle" aspect of many of its cities... especially the southern part of the state. The city goes on for miles and miles and miles. Just too many people. In Florida things tend to be more spread out, and you don't feel so much like a sardine in a can. I know this isn't so true up in north CA.

Politics: Very subjective, but Florida does tend to have a lot of corruption, especially with voting. It's also a very diverse state with hardcore conservatives up north and liberals in the south with a mix everywhere else. Although CA has a lot of budget problems, Florida is still a hotbed for political news. One thing is sure, in Florida your vote for president WILL mean something, as they always seem to be the state to watch.

Taxes: Florida wins, HANDS DOWN. No income tax, lower business taxes, decent sales tax, just overall low taxes. California is one of the worst states in the nation to start/run a business when looking at taxes and start-up costs.

Proximity to other major attractions: Toss up in my opinion. From CA you can get to Seattle and Canada pretty easily, as well as Phoenix, Las Vegas (a major one), and Hawaii. You also have quick access to Mexico. Longer flights include Australia and parts of Asia. On the other hand, Florida has the Bahamas and Caribbean via cruises, as well as Mexico by boat, and many cities along the gulf like New Orleans, Atlanta, etc. A short flight gets you to much of the east, like DC and NY. There are also many non-stop flights directly to England and parts of Europe, which is a plus.

Education: Overall, California is better than Florida on a state-wide average, but this depends GREATLY on where you live. I know areas in Florida and California that have highly rated schools, and areas that are very low.

Friendliness: Depends on where you live in the state and too subjective. Toss up.

Traffic: CA is worse.

Bugs: Florida is worse. It depends on where you live, but many people need bug control. Wild snakes and alligators can also be a problem. California isn't nearly as bad.

Crime: Florida is worse (see studies for proof) and the Miami-Dade area is the worst area for it in the state. It has a lot to do with the low income, single-parent family, non-insured population.

Personally, I prefer Florida. California is too dry for me, and it affects my eyes/skin. I HATE that southern CA is mostly city. Just driving through it stresses me out. I also feel Florida is more tropical and has more stuff to do concerning the tropical lifestyle, which is what I enjoy!.... dolphin watching and marine life, cruises, theme parks, weather, etc.

Last edited by ethanwa; 05-03-2013 at 06:10 PM..
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:12 PM
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I have lived in both. California has been better in every possible way for me.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:45 AM
Location: Santa Monica
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Florida is horrible. The humidity, bugs, flatness, and culture are all negatives. I'd rather live in nearly every other state in the union than Florida.

California is so much nicer. Expensive as hell but like I always tell folks back East, "You have to pay for quality".
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:59 AM
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Also both are big states and tend to vary a lot. This is very true of CA. I think many people feel CA is 75 and sunny all the time but many areas top over 100 for a lot of the summer etc.
I think CA if you have a lot of money it is a very nice way of living. If you are not wealthy you have to work possibly even 2 jobs with long commutes to make ends meet.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by nature1 View Post
Thanks for the reply. And sorry for what is apparently the latest in a million Cali vs. Fla questions I think this thread just goes to show, again, that the "best" place is such an individual issue. I know I'm the weirdo on this one, but I absolutley love Florida summers. I can't take the endless sunny summer days of North Cal. ( high of 80, 0% chance of rain) every. single. day. Just kill me now. I'm an amateur stormchaser so Fla. in the summer, especially aug.-sept. is a dream. Everyone talks of "good" weather as if we were all in agreement as to what that was. In any case, it works to our advantage since the rental rates are cheaper in the summer. Basically it comes down to living in Santa Cruz, CA with summers in Fla. or living in Sarasota, Fl with three month-long visits back to Santa Cruz area. My heart is with Fla., but my husband is so against it and he has so many ties and great job here that the odds are against it. And you really don't want to drag someone kicking and screaming. By the way, I currently live in No. Cal, hence the weather rant.

If you don't like "endless sunny summer days of No.Cali., high 80, zero chance of rain, you will hate FL. Endless sumer days of 92 degrees + 92% humidity. Step out the door and get smacked by the oppressiveness of it. Also not good to live without a garage in FL ... unless you don't value your cars. The rubber trims in your car dry out over time, you cannot leave the windows down, your tires take beating on the blistering hot pavement. Check the weather statis for various areas in FL. For example, you mention Sarasota. Same weather every day. Except HOT and HUMID with that "sunny". Throw in a few possible tornadoes, hurricanes, bugs. If you're into storm chasing, you will do a lot better chasing them in tornado alley. Then there are the FL bugs ! 100% of the time. OMG. For kicks and giggles, do a search for " love bugs FL " . Winters in FL, nicer temps, the humidity seems to shut off in mid October and is back with a vengeance first of May. Thus, the mass exodus heading north out of FL every May. But as others have said, FL is such a melting pot of various mindsets and to me, too many tacky areas bordering the nicer areas. But FL v. CA = apples v. oranges. Even the palm trees are "different".
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:36 PM
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I live in Florida now but would rather live in San Diego CA. I have been here for 6 years and don't really like it very much. I do think it is cheaper to buy a home, but there is just not much to do. I loved living in San Diego, but the cost of living was much higher out there. If I was single, I would live in San Diego.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:13 AM
Location: Massachusetts
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I have lived in both (San Francisco, Berkeley, and Castro Valley, CA; Jensen Beach and Tampa, FL). It is VERY hard to compare them. i have true love for both. If I were looking at them in a vacuum I would choose California. You have everything at your fingertips in San Francisco…in many ways it still seems magical to me. Within a fay's drive you have snow-topped peaks, deset, roling hills or ocean. Plus the best foodie, nighhtlife and overall cultural city in the U.S., as far as I am concerned. Yet I have spent more than twice as long in Florida (alonst 10 years versus 4 in Califronia). Why? Reality has a way of creeping in. My family is in England on my father's side and Michigan on my mother's. And the prices …. Florida is so much more affordable than California. I was struggling to keep up in San Francisco sharing an apartment with multiple roomates while I own a home outright with 1/3 acres in Tampa. I'm now married witht step children on the East Coast. Travelling north-south is a heck of a loct eaier than east-west. All that to say, individual circumstances matter. Again, I loved, no LOVED my time in San Francisco. IF I was simply comparing Florida vs. California, then even now, many years later, California would be my choice. But that decisin is never made in a vacuum and for me, now, if I had the choice to move to SF I wouldn't do it. As others have said, weather shouldn't dictate your destiny. It's a huge choice and having lived in both, you can't go wrong wiht either. But what is rigjht for one might noe be right for the oher…they are so different and individual circumstances vary considerably.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by totsuka View Post
I live in Florida now but would rather live in San Diego CA. I have been here for 6 years and don't really like it very much. I do think it is cheaper to buy a home, but there is just not much to do. I loved living in San Diego, but the cost of living was much higher out there. If I was single, I would live in San Diego.
Spot on! Dang, why oh why does it have to be so costly to live in SoCal? There was a time (up until about the mid 70s) that it wasn't all that expensive; can't turn back the clock though.

I think for those who move from a severe winter area they may appreciate FL and any shortcomings.
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