I moved to San Diego, California about a year ago. Prior to that, I had lived on the east coast (primarily New Jersey) and overseas. Until I went to the west coast a year ago, I never understood the "east coast vs. west coast" debate. Now that I've had a little taste of west coast livin', I can surely say that there are many differences between the east and west.
1. Public West Coast Beaches vs. Paid East Coast Beaches
While many beaches on the east coast (especially those along the Jersey shore) require visitors to purchase day passes, most Cali beaches are open and free to the public.
2. East Coast Diners vs. West Coast In-N-Out
Diners can be seen on nearly every corner along the east, while the burger joint In-N-Out is a popular restaurant on the west coast.
3. Warm East Coast Waters vs. Cold West Coast Waves
4. East Coast Dunkin' Donuts vs. West Coast Independent Doughnut Shops
Dunkin' Donuts venues dominate breakfast sales on the east coast, while the west coast remains dotted with small "ma n' pop" type doughnut and coffee shops.
5. Temperate West Climate vs. Harsh East Winters
Despite the differences from north and south, as well as the fact it very much depends on where exactly on each coast you are, the west coast is typically known for warm weather year-round, while much of the east coast experiences chilling winters and hurricane season in the fall.
6. West Coast Water Polo Enthusiasm vs. East Coast Lacrosse Love
Although there are some sports, like baseball, football, and soccer, that seem to be popular everywhere, the east coast tends to be very interested in lacrosse while west coast athletes practice water polo.
7. East Coast Evergreens vs. West Coast Palms
Everyone knows and loves those tall Cali palm trees, but the east coast is covered in beautiful evergreens and brilliant autumn foliage.
8. West Coast Stucco vs. East Coast Timber and Stone
While the west coast architecture tends to have more Spanish, southwest influence, the east coast is covered in Victorian, stone, and wooden buildings, reflecting more British and German styles.
9. East Coast Seasonal Forests vs. West Coast Deserts
The east coast is blanketed in seasonal forests that change with the weather, while the west coast is characterized by its rocky shores, redwood forest, and deserts and cacti down south.