Woman waiving USA flag by Monument Valley

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East vs West - which North American coast suits you best?

Published July 4th, 2019

Aside from an epic hip-hop rivalry, the East Coast and the West Coast of the USA have long been in competition over which coast is the BEST coast. And, Canada’s West Coast British Columbia is a world away from the French enclave of Quebec on the East.

Each with its unique vibe, nature and cultural activities, when deciding which coast suits your personality most, there’s a few important questions you have to ask yourself...

Before you deep dive into figuring out if you’re more LA or NYC, more Vancouver or Toronto—it might be handy to know you don’t have to decide in real life, you can have it all! With our flight deals to the USA, hot deals on tours all over North America with Topdeck and Contiki, AND ski deals on the best slopes in Canada—you can take a bite out of the Golden State, The Empire State, the Great White North, and more!

Desserts or Deserts?

Are you more likely to find yourself enjoying a mindblowing Frozen Hot Chocolate at legendary New York City Serendipity 3 restaurant, and tasting your way through the rice pudding menu at Rice to Riches on the Lower East Side? OR, packing your cut off denim jeans for an adventure to California’s Joshua Tree for a different kind of mind-altering experience—either wandering through the mystical desert, or joining the hipster parade at Coachella festival. Then there’s Burning Man—the epic desert city festival that goes down in Nevada at the end of each summer.

 

Mexican or Italian for dinner?

With such a strong Mexican community across California, it’s no surprise Mexican food is one of the most prevalent cuisines on the West Coast. So, if you like tacos—you best make your way from Baja California to Los Angeles and all the way to San Francisco to get your fix. If pizza and pasta is your ultimate food love, you’ll feel right at home pulling up a chair in Little Italy on the Lower East Side of NYC, or venturing to old school Italian-American neighbourhoods in the Bronx or Brooklyn to taste some of the best mozzarella and pepperoni outside of Italy.

Driving or taking the subway?

Los Angeles is a driving city, you need to either hire a car or factor in an Uber budget to your LA stay—but, you can’t drive down Hollywood Boulevard with the windows down blasting 2pac’s California Love...so there’s that to consider. In NYC you can ride the subway literally from the top to the bottom of the city and beyond.

Hikes or High Rises?

The West Coast is home to some of the most amazing National Parks in the whole of the USA—from the famous Yosemite to the giant trees in Sequoia National Park. In New York City, though you can wander through Central Park for days, it’s not quite the same, but it brings its own charm. Here the great heights are highrises from Empire State Building to the Top of The Rock.

 

Grouse Grind or Niagara Falls?

Grouse what now? If you want to become an honourary Vancouverite you’ve gotta earn your stripes on ‘Mother Nature’s Staircase’ aka the Grouse Grind hike on Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain. After the epic climb though, you’re treated to sweeping views and a cold drink at the mountaintop chalet. OR, over on the East Coast a popular day trip from Toronto or NYC is Niagara Falls, the largest cascade of water in North America. What you might not know is aside from the all-impressive falls, Niagara Falls region is one of Canada’s top wine regions—take a wine tour through the picturesque Niagara on the Lake.  

Pretty Woman or Annie Hall?

Is your favourite movie about finding love in Beverly Hills and shopping on Rodeo Drive ala 90’s cult classic Pretty Woman? OR, are you more into the neurotic quirky love tale set on the Upper West Side of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall? Your film faves say more about city and fashion style than you might realise.

Poutine or sushi?

If you love French pastries and your dream meal consists of fancy chips and gravy, you need to eat your way around Quebec, specifically around a bowl of the French-Canadian ‘poutine’—the hearty dish of french fries and gravy topped with Canadian cheese curds. Over on the West Coast in Vancouver, they’ve perfected the art of sushi making and taken full advantage of their supply of top-grade wild salmon with sushi restaurants as commonplace as coffee shops. Fork in or sharpen your chopsticks—the choice is yours!

Hang Ten or History?

Are you into living the island life with a trip to Hawaii on the West Coast, where the surf is good and you can feel the warmth of the sun on your back all year round? OR, are you down for the United States most memorable history lessons? Visiting important monuments in Washington DC or walk the Freedom Trail and learn about the birth of America in Boston.

 

Rachel Surgeoner

A self-confessed 'food-tourist', I take hunting for the world's greatest sandwich very seriously, my quest has taken me from Berlin to Hoboken. Stopping off only for vintage shopping, craft beers and Mediterranean sunsets.