Boundary between Northern and Southern California

This might qualify as a GD, but I’ll put it here.

So, where do you think northern Cali stops and southern Cali begins? I draw the line just south of San Luis Obispo, thru Bakersfield and toward Vegas. I suppose some in Arcata might put the line somewhere in Marin, though.

I seem to remember some suggestions for splitting it into two (or even three states for those in Arcata) back in the early 90’s- is that still being kick around, or have the proponents given up? There was the the State of Jefferson, which was abandoned because of WWII.

To me, SoCal stops at Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara to San Jose is Central (Coast) California. The Bay Area to Crescent City is Northern California. Sacramento is its own Hell.

Some people like Sac. Stockton, on the other hand is its own hell. So is Redding. Oh, and Fresno, Bakersfield, Riverside, San Bernardino, National City, Compton, Susanville…

To the OP, it generally depends on whether you split the state in 2 or 3. If split in 2, the border is generally the Tehachapi Mountains or the straight line on the map that forms the northern borders of San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernardino Counties. If split in 3, then everthing from the Santa Monica Mountains / Point Mugu (Ventura County) up to Monterey / Santa Cruz is Central California, IHMO.

JOKE: California will never split because nobody can agree who gets stuck with Fresno.

I think southern California ends depending on whom you talk to-- people in Santa Cruz or Monterrey would certainly hate being called So Cal, and down to San Luis Obispo. . . and a lot of people in Santa Maria. . . Santa Barbara. . . and in Ventura. . . probably Malibu. . . maybe Santa Monica. . . I think So Cal implies LA, and lots of people just barely north/west of there don’t want to associated with that and would be happy being called central coast. So, yes, So Cal stops just north of San Diego.

Can’t we just sell it to Nevada for more water rights?


They don’t want the raisins…

A Bay-Area college friend had a map he’d made for the proposed division (circa 1968). Imagine the map of California. The border begins at 37° 30 minutes north at the the Pacific (just below Monterey) and runs along that line to the Nevada border EXCEPT for two critical offsets.

  1. just before it hits I-5, it turns and runs north to loop around Sacramento and Stockton (which puts them in South California). It turns southward between Stockton and Modesto, which puts Modesto in North California.

  2. When it reaches 37° 30’ again, it tracks east to the Nevada border except for a one-mile wide strip that goes to Yosemite, encircles it, and returns north, putting Half-Dome and company into North California. Exact placement of the Yosemite Access Corridor was a matter still under discussion by my roommate and his twin brother.

Sounded good to this Oregonian…

Sorry for asking, I am a non American, Is there really a difference between Northern California and Southern California?

We both claim SLOtown.

That’s the line, I think.

I’m an American and I will support this same question. Are there distinctly different geological differences, climate, vegetation, wildlife or other criteria of that type?

Using a state I’m more familiar with, Tennessee, there are three separate sections to the state based on mostly geological distinctions. East, Middle and West are fairly clearly defined by the mountainous East, the “rolling hills” Middle and the “flatlands” West. The Cumberland Plateau helps to define the East/Middle boundary and the Tennessee River helps to define the Middle/West boundary. These sections are significant enough that the state flag has three stars to symbolize those distinct areas.

And the major population centers correspond well with those regions: Memphis in the West, Nashville in the Middle, and Knoxville and Chattanooga in the East.

What about cultural and demographic differences??

Sure, if that fits. I suspect the Mexican/Latino influence would be greater in SoCal but that’s just a guess. What cultural distinction does NoCal have?

And are there other categories and distinctions that could apply? Rainfall maybe? Snowfall? Santa Anna (sp?) winds? Mudslides? Maybe wine-growing potential? Maybe garden vegetable growing? Oranges? Pistachios? Raisins?

ISTM there was a secession movement in the northernmost counties, with a prospective capital of North California in Redding, a few years back, in response to their perception of being constantly overlooked by the state government. The activists made a point of calling Sacramento and the Bay Area *Southern * California.

The proposed State of Jefferson

Ask any Californian and they’ll say so. It’s very much an “Us vs Them” attitude, with the sides changing depending on who/what you are talking about. Kinda like the Irish of tradition, we like fighting each other almost as much as we like fighting outsiders. Personally, I gets the bends if I get north of SLO. :smiley:

I think we should start the line just south of Monterey and Salinas and end it just south of Yosemite and Mammoth Lakes. Merced is Northern CA, Fresno is Southern. I would have drawn the line farther south, but keeping Fresno out of Northern CA trumps all other considerations.

Southern California

Northern California

Most people in Bakersfield consider us to be “Northern-Southern California” (if that makes sense).

We’re about a one hour drive from LA (well, Glendale, Burbank), but three hours (that’s good time) from San Fran. We’re definitely Southern California.

There was an episode of “California’s Gold” (#608) that provided a few theories. One place they visited was on CA 99 just outside of Madera, where there is a redwood planted next to a palm in the median. Another claim was made by the citizens of North Fork.

I forget where I read it, but one enterprising researcher cut out the shape of California on some cardboard. He balanced it on a pencil tip, and decided it was that point that marked the state’s center.

As my degree is in Littoral Ecology (Marine Biology), I can say there is an important cut-off at Pt Conception.