When comparing San Francisco vs Los Angeles what’s the difference?
California is the shining example of tourism in The US. Redwood National Park, Joshua Tree, Big Sur, and Monterey Bay are all worth seeing, and that’s just outstanding natural beauty!
You probably already know this, but the big decision that needs to be made is where you want to stay if you’re traveling here.
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San Francisco vs Los Angeles
Compared with the cost of living in NYC you may even be considering moving here permanently, to chase your dream of performing on the silver screen or becoming the next Richard Prior at the Comedy Store.
Silicon Valley is here, so the likes of Apple and Google rule the roost here too. So what will suit you better, LA or the Bay Area? Let’s find out!
San Fran is the iconic city with the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz island.
Some of the coolest looking sloping streets are found here, and the city is right next to the home of the Golden State Warriors; Oakland.
Pier 39 has some very very cool hotels and is the spot most tourists visit, but isn’t the Bay Area supposed to be colder than LA?
Let’s find out.
Weather In San Francisco
You would think that since San Francisco is in “sunny California”, the land of surfing and Beach Boys. But no!
We found that although there is a more consistent warmer climate all year round, average temperatures in the Summer months are lower than you’d expect.
According to Google; August, September and October are the warmest months in San Fran. The highest average temperature is 21 degrees Celsius in August.
Compare this to London in the UK, where the highest average temperature is 23 degrees Celsius in July!
Although the sun is here and the rain can be quite sparse, the temperatures are actually quite ambient.
This might be because the ocean breeze is prevalent, with the Bay Area bearing the brunt of the Pacific Ocean.
We’d say, still pack your shirts and shorts in the Summer months, but don’t expect the warmest climates California can typically offer.
Also, if it’s your first time in the area consider doing the Golden Gate Bay Cruise to learn more about the bay area.
Cost Of Living In San Francisco?
The cost of living in San Francisco has been advanced more than ever due to the Bay Area’s proximity to Silicon Valley.
Since the early 2000s, the economic balance has skewed to the point where housing expenses are now 270% more expensive than the national average, but the homelessness problem is on the rise.
The disparity is made most clearly by the notorious “poop problem”, in which reports of public defecation have increased from 5,000 incidents in 2011 to 25,000 incidents in 2018.
Imagine just how badly the situation progressed during the pandemic, and you get a mental image of the true cost of living here.
According to Business Insider;
“The Bay Area is home to more wealthy people than any of the most populous US metro areas, according to the US Census.”
Typical rent averages around $4,500, which is a lot higher than the national average.
Cost of Living San Francisco vs Los Angeles
We have found some incredible insights online, about how much more expensive San Francisco is against Los Angeles.
Despite LA boasting some of the highest prices in America by way of rent and health insurance, the Bay Area still averages as 55% more expensive!
Although the cost of food and transportation are similar, the housing prices are where the differences are really prevalent.
The median price for San Francisco homes are double those of Los Angeles! When the median house price in an area is over $1 Million, we would suggest living nearby and not specifically within the metro area.
California has some affordable places to live, so you don’t have to settle for an expensive place in the city.
For a place with some of the highest levels of homelessness, we would say that buying a home here isn’t worth it.
Is San Francisco Safe?
When researching the safety of a city, we typically find that there might be more opinions online than published facts.
With San Fran, this was certainly the case. However, we did come across the Inside Guide to San Francisco, which published statistics based on data rather than bias.
They say that the violent crimes that occur in the city are away from the tourist areas and in more aesthetically displeasing residential areas.
“Crimes most likely to affect tourists are the car break-ins (somewhat preventable).”
The big take-away from this site is that San Fran is not at all the most dangerous place in the US. We would say that San Francisco is in fact, quite safe.
You’ve heard it all before: Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, San Bernadino (that one was a joke) and Venice Beach!
The homes of the rich and famous are here, the big film studios are here, the best theme parks are here and the wine is to die for!
Let’s jump into LA, shall we?
Is Los Angeles Safe?
Los Angeles used to be a haven for gangs and drugs back in the day. Whether it remains that way is really up to debate, but East LA was where the Bloods and the Crips originated.
Gang culture has been a huge issue in LA for a long time, but recent years show that other cities in America such as Chicago are having a worse time. What makes LA so ‘dangerous’ is really the mentality of fear.
The rich are scared of the poor, the poor are scared of the police, and the police are scared of the gangs they have to interact with on a day-to-day basis.
Although LA is a globally recognized Smart City, for a tourist, walking in East LA just ten blocks would seem and feel normal. An LA native would be horrified that you even cherished the thought of doing it.
DiscoverLA says this about travelling to Los Angeles at any time in the future:
“Visitors to L.A. County are asked to self-quarantine for seven days” unless you are a “fully vaccinated traveller.”
Weather in Los Angeles
Its location between the coast and mountains helps to produce the perfect climate.
If you don’t like extremes, Los Angeles is a great fit for you as the average high temperature is 75 degrees and there’s sun about 300 days a year.
Living here, you’ll always find a good reason to get outside and enjoy the sunshine! Los Angeles is one of those cities that really represents the American melting pot mentality.
In the greater L.A. area, over 140 nationalities are represented and nearly 100 different languages are spoken.
This means that you don’t have to be from a high-climate country to enjoy being here. Although there isn’t a dry heat, you’re by the beach!
The sea breeze sorts you out fine, and most places have high quality air conditioning. Living in LA, you’ll see that many nationalities even have their own neighbourhoods!
However, there is the risk of wildfires and earthquakes mean that many people are deciding to live somewhere else.
Cost of Living in Los Angeles?
We went to our trusted source with these matters, Investopedia.
“As of March 2021, based on figures from Numbeo.com, the average cost for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center sits at approximately $2,258 per month.”
The good news is that while these averages may seem quite scary to a newcomer of LA, they are skewed upward by the presence of extravagant luxury rentals in the wealthy areas of town that you wouldn’t have a hope of reaching. Do this Celebrity Homes Tour to see the wealthiest areas.
You can find plenty of Los Angeles rentals for under $1,800 per month if you go outside of the city centre to spots like Santa Monica.
However, it’s advisable when you find something that seems ‘cheap for the area’ to investigate the neighbourhood and the apartment to ensure it is somewhere you’re willing to live.
If you can afford to buy in Los Angeles, prepare yourself for extreme levels of competition and the highest prices.
When the average cost of living is this high, it almost puts you off living here.
How Far Is Los Angeles From San Francisco?
To go from one city to the other is a brilliant trip. We dream of doing a California tour, with all the national parks from Sacramento in the north down to San Diego on the border to Mexico in the south.
California has a lot to offer visitors, so there’s never a dull moment! The issue with this plan, is that the Californian roads are notoriously jammed.
However long it takes you to normally drive just 5 or 6 miles, you double that time and you’ll still be late!
If you rent a car here, you’ll find that driving is pretty much the only method of getting around California, especially in LA. So as much as telling you how long it will take sounds useful, it really isn’t…
If you decide to drive when there’s no traffic (around 5 am or 10 pm), the drive between LA and San Fran is around 6 hours.
If you take a chance at setting off around 11 am, you’ll probably encounter 2-4 hours of traffic.
With some pit stops on the way like Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay, the 380+ miles will be broken up with some memorable spots.
San Francisco vs Los Angeles
Which is the better place for you? Well, if you don’t mind the smog and reports of gang activity, LA has the climate and the cheaper prices.
However, if you’re the millionaire with an inkling for ambient climates, then San Fran is the spot for you.
As far as tourism goes, both cities have plenty of sightseeing opportunities, amazing food and direct transportation. Why not include both cities in a California dream trip.
What are your thoughts? Why not book your trip to California today?
Neither of these locations made it onto our list of sustainable travel destinations but both cities have sustainable projects in motion.
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