People love to compare different parts of the country. I have been to several different colleges, where there are people from every place imaginable in the United States and abroad. I have heard just about every regional conflict imaginable; Pennsylvania versus Ohio, north versus south, the Bible Belt versus the Rust Belt. I would like to open another geographical dispute up for discussion, the West Coast of the United States versus the East Coast.
There are only a handful of large cities in the Midwest, so the coasts are still the main population centers of the country. Each coast holds a good degree of power on the national scale but the two don't always agree with each other. So, which is better? This article will outline 10 reasons the USA's East Coast is superior and on the flipside, 10 reasons the West Coast triumphs.
Several factors will be evaluated in this list, but which coast will come out on top ultimately comes down to where you would rather live. If you have an argument as to why you think either coast is better, feel free to mention it in the comments section.
20 East Coast - Get Ivy on the East Coast
There are many ways that this list could be used but it might be best utilized as a guide to wear in the country you want to live. If you are planning for your future, and your children's future, you might want to look at what the best colleges are in your area.
In this category, the East Coast has a big advantage. California had Stanford, and there are a variety of good-to-great schools in other parts of the West Coast. But the East Coast is a who's who of higher education. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Dartmouth, and UPenn are all found along the East Coast.
19 West Coast - The Governator is Back
If you watch as many movies as I do, you begin to imagine what it would be like if there were action heroes in the real world. It seems like there are constantly villains who are taking advantage of other people, so where are the good guys to foil their nefarious plots? A real-life hero has arisen on the West Coast of the United States and it is actually someone who got his start as a movie hero.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is most famous for his role in 80s action films like Predator and the Terminator franchise. After his movie career ended, and a brief stint as California governor, the Terminator has become an important political advocate. He has fought for things like access to healthcare, an end to gerrymandering, and various environmental legislation.
18 East Coast - Washington D.C.
When I began compiling this list, I tried to think of cool things that are available on one coast but not on the other. It took me a while to come up with this next entry but it should have been obvious. The East Coast is actually home to our nation's capital.
Washington D.C was actually the third location to serve as the U.S capital, after New York City and Philadelphia. D.C is also home to all of the Smithsonian Museums, making it a true gem that the West Coast misses out on.
17 West Coast - Wild Western Diversity
Almost everyone learns in school that the institutions and culture that make up the United States mostly came from Great Britain. But this is only true of the East Coast. This is because almost the entire East Cost used to be colonies from Britain.
The West Coast, meanwhile, was under the control of Britain, Spain, and Mexico. This political history has led to the West Coast showcasing a much more diverse culture than its eastern counterpart. The migration from China in the 1800s has only added to this diversity. The East Coast has had its share of immigrants but most of them have come from the same Anglo-Saxon stock.
16 East Coast - East Equals Cheap
I talked in the introduction about how this article is measured by how much people would like to live on either of these coasts. If you cannot afford to live somewhere, then you are not going to enjoy being there. In this respect, I have to give a clear advantage to the East Coast.
Sure, major cities like New York and Boston are expensive but there are several lesser-known cities and towns along the Atlantic that are very affordable. The West Coast also has a handful of extremely pricey cities; San Francisco, Seattle, LA, just to name a few. But the West Coast also suffers from high property costs throughout the region. California takes up most of the West Coast and the cost of living in most of the state is very high.
15 West Coast - East Coast Rap Halted With Biggie
The reason that east vs west is so ingrained into our vocabulary is partly because of a rap battle that occurred in the 1990s. It wouldn't be right to have this article without at least briefly alluding to this beef.
The East Coast rappers, led by Biggie Smalls, had legitimate issues with the West Coast rappers, led by Tupac. In my opinion, Tupac's Me Against the World album ended this debate, giving the West Coast a clear advantage. The East Coast has been losing the rap battle ever since the passing of Notorious. B.I.G. in 1997.
14 East Coast - What is the East Coast?
I think that this next entry could be a tossup. Everyone knows that there are some regions that are more famous for their cooking than others but is it possible that an entire coast could be superior in their cuisine? It depends on how you define these coasts. A friend of mine pointed out that New Orleans could very well be considered part of the East Coast. If this is true, I have to give an advantage to the right side of the country. New Orleans is famous for its delectable Cajun dishes. There isn't anything on the West Coast that can compete with that.
13 West Coast - Seattle
We applauded the East Coast for having huge, contemporary cities like Boston and Pittsburgh, so I think that it is time that we also give the West Coast its due.
There was a time when San Francisco was the only large, modern city on the West Coast. But cities like Seattle and Portland have arisen to rival their southern neighbor. Both of these cities are hugely popular among young people. These young migrants become young voters, who shape the cities' policies. Because of this, these cities have become frontrunners for important issues like the minimum wage and guaranteed parental leave.
12 East Coast - The Appalachia Region
Since the beginning of time, mountains and mountain ranges have evoked emotion from the human spirit. These huge land masses have defined entire regions and history of several cultures can be tied to their proximity to certain mountain ranges.
Since I don't think that it is fair to consider the Rocky Mountains as part of the West Coast, I have to give the advantage here to the east. The Appalachia Range runs along most of the East Coast. This range has had a huge impact on the culture and history of this region.
11 West Coast - Puget Sound
Near the top of my list of places to visit in the United States is Puget Sound. This little alcove off the coast of Washington is supposed to be one of the most awe-inspiring sites in North America. There are some great inlets on the east but none of them can match up to Puget Sound. Finding a hotel or Airbnb around the sound is also strangely affordable.
The area is used to tourists, so it is easy to find restaurants, hotels, and water activities for fairly cheap. The natural benefits of the Puget Sound are something that the East Coast will never be able to replicate.
10 East Coast - There's Nothing Like the Big Apple
One of the best things about the East Coast of the United States is that it is home to one of the world's major cities. While there are several large cities on the West Coast, none of them can compare to New York City in size and diversity. When people first began to settle the United States most of the major settlements were on the East Coast. Thereby, New York City is joined with Philadelphia, Charleston and Boston as the major cities on the East Coast.
The west has done a lot of catching up since then but New York remains the pinnacle of civilization in the United States.
9 West Coast - The Happiest Place on Earth on the West Coast
If you're going to compare two parts of the country, you need to find things that are available in both parts to see which is better. If you are comparing the east and the west of the United States, a good comparison is readily available. Disneyland opened in 1955 in California and Disneyworld opened in 1971 in Orlando, Florida.
If you ask me, Disneyland is incomparably better. It is bigger, it has better rides, and they somehow get better performers, maybe because they are closer to the performing arts talent base in California. Whatever the case, this is a huge win for the West Coast.
8 East Coast - The U.S. and the East Coast Have History
One thing that the West Coast will never be able to replicate is the amazing history from the East Coast. Before I get a ton of comments about the West's rich history, I'm talking about pre-1840. The West Coast simply cannot match the historic infrastructure that has been put in place on the east.
It is because of this fact that there are also significantly more museums and historical societies on the East Coast. If you are a history buff, the choice between east and west isn't really a choice at all.
7 West Coast - Hollywood
There was a time when Hollywood, California was just the place where they made movies, the same way that Atlanta, Georgia was the place where they made Coca-Cola. In the past few decades, however, Hollywood has become an institution.
Studios have taken advantage of people's love for movies by offering tours and other attractions. As an attraction spectacle, there is nothing out east that can come even close to Hollywood. As such, this is a clear victory for the West Coast. It is important to note, however, that they have begun filming more movies in cities like New York and Pittsburgh.
6 East Coast - Eastern Conference Champions
This list is all about competition, so why not include an arena where the east and west actually compete against each other? For the major sports leagues in the United States, the teams that are based on the East Coast have fared infinitely better than their western counterparts. In the NFL each coast has a top franchise (49ers and Steelers) but in the NHL and MLB, all of the top teams come from the East Coast.
In the NBA, an eastern (Celtics) and western (Lakers) team have played each other multiple times in the finals. The eastern team has almost always come out on top.
5 West Coast - Not All Beaches Are Created Equal
There are certainly places on the East Coast where you can have fun in the sun but nowhere in the eastern portion of the United States are the beaches as nice as they are in California.
The Atlantic Ocean has been hugely important in world history but as a geographical feature, the Pacific is vastly superior. Something about the composition of that ocean makes the water and beaches much cleaner. That is, before trash from the citizens of the West Coast led to an island of garbage off of the coast that is the size of Manhattan.
4 East Coast - Southern.....I Mean Eastern Bias
There has been a lot in the news recently about the negative effects of southern culture. The tumultuous historical relationship between the north and south continues to impact the political system into the present day. But there are many good things about southern culture. These are all things that you cannot experience on the West Coast because the traditional "south" never traveled that far.
The Confederate states only stretched as far as Texas, so the traditional south never made it to the West Coast. The cultures that developed in Arizona and New Mexico are totally different from those of South Carolina and Georgia.
3 West Coast - Western Isolation
In another part of this article, we talk about how the West Coast of the country ends with the Rocky Mountains. This is the largest mountain range in the United States and there was a time when it almost completely shut off the West Coast from the rest of the country.
Crossing the Rockies was an arduous task, so the people living on the West Coast did not have very much interaction with the people living in places like Utah and Colorado. This trip is now, of course, much easier but you can still see the effects of this legacy on the West Coast. Because of their isolation, the West Coast culture has a clear dividing line. This is not the case on the East Coast, where people are unsure if you can include places like western Pennsylvania and Ohio as part of the "Coast".
2 East Coast - Back to the Everglades
Florida is a weird place. This is true politically and culturally, but also geographically. If you have ever been to or seen pictures of the Everglades, you know that they are unlike anything else in the United States. In fact, the swamps and wetlands in Florida look more like something that should have existed in prehistoric times than something that should still be around today.
Because the Everglades are so unique, they are a huge get for the East Coast. Much like the Puget Sound on the West Coast, the Everglades simply cannot be replicated. This gives the East Coast significantly more environmental diversity and is a big draw for tourists.
1 West Coast - Easier Access to Asia
One thing that people from Europe don't understand about the United States is how monstrously big it is. This impacts travel within the country and also, travel out of the United States. This gives us another interesting factor to consider when debating which coast is better.
Because the U.S. is so large, flights from the East Coast of the United States to Europe are a lot cheaper than flights from the West Coast and flights from the West Coast to Asia and Australia are much cheaper than those same destinations on the East Coast.
So, which of these places would you rather have easy access to? This ranking should tell you the answer.