Driving down the winding roads of the West Coast is a show. Rain or shine the cities, countryside and endless forests make road tripping a colorful experience.
During my own road trip, which included driving down Interstate 5 with my little sister in our radio-less Hyundai Accent, watching the sunrise over Seattle, eating vegan food in the eccentric city of Portland and entering the bustling city of Los Angeles, I couldn’t get out of my head that we really do live on the best coast.
From Bellingham all the way down to Los Angeles, I asked people why they thought their state was the best and why they loved the West Coast. The question always brought out a smile and an excited seat adjustment.
Since the trip started in Bellingham, I asked people what makes Washington the best state.
“[Compared to] the East Coast we have more of a peaceful vibe,” junior Payton Cambia said. “I feel like the East Coast is all about work and we’re more of the creative coast.”
Cambia said since there are so many different environments between Eastern Washington and Western Washington there is a variety of activities you can do.
Josephine Rice moved to Washington from Chicago after a road trip up the West Coast landed her in love with the state. “It has everything I could ever want there’s mountains in the background, a forest over here, waterfalls, lakes, the ocean, cool cities and I appreciate a more liberal city,” Rice said.
Sandwiched between Washington and California, Oregon sometimes gets looked over or just passed through.
Janet Graves always moved from city to city but never left her Oregon roots. She now lives in Salem Graves.
“We can drive an hour and a half to the beautiful Oregon Coast and we can drive two hours to Bend and all the sister mountains,” Graves said. “To me there’s nothing like the beauty of the wilderness of the lakes and green trees.”
It wasn’t until we got through Northern California where the answers shifted along with the environment.
When we got to Hollywood we pulled into what we called our no-tell-motel, basically a run down motel where there’s no telling what goes on behind closed doors. We filled the car with trash so it would look unappealing to potential thieves and did the white-sock test when we got to the room. As our socks grew dirty when we walked from one wall to the next, we knew we weren’t going to be staying in very much.
This was fine as the overcast skies still had some sun peeking through, and there were many things we wanted to see. We explored Venice Beach, Santa Monica, downtown Los Angeles and more, all of which exceeded our expectations.
On our last day we made our way back up to Redding where we met Roger McNall.
McNall moved from California to Massachusetts, where he said it snowed more than he had ever seen, causing him to constantly shovel snow. Trains would shut down and he’d be late to work. After four years, McNall moved back to California.
“2Pac would be the top reason California would be the best, and then right below that, dramatically less snow,” McNall said.
McNall said the East Coast has some cool spots but the West Coast has a vibe that’s unique to this side of the country.
“There’s highway one, the trees, the redwoods, the cool drives,” McNall said. “There’s some cool spots on the east coast to but it [the West Coast] has a vibe.”
Mentions of the vibe and the beauty were in every conversation. The vibe coming from the wide range of people striving in creative and passionate mindsets. The beauty from the alluring views of mountain ranges to the beaches on the coast and all the trees in between. The west coast has got to be the best coast.