Quoted from boscokid:
I know nothing about Southern California other than what I see on TV.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Valley Girl, Psych, Bosch. Those guy could get across town in 10 minutes; then I look on a map and it's half a days journey from San Fernando to Irvine, I feel like I have been deceived.
It's big and traffic can make it even harder to get from place to place in a reasonable amount of time. If you look at a map, the counties are as big or bigger than some of the east coast states. Like anywhere else there are good neighborhoods and bad.
LA itself is for the most part one big dense aging urban sprawl, with some high end areas on the outskirts like Beverly Hills. The SF Valley is north of there. I guess you could call them suburbs. Takes a long time to get there from here.
San Diego is it's own world, separated along the coast by near 30 miles of Camp Pendleton with several charming coastal cities until you get to the city itself, and inland by hills, mountains, and desert.
Orange county is in the middle. For the most part, the most recent to be developed, especially the southern half. As they run out of room to build here, the inland empire, San Bernadino county keeps growing to the mountains, desert and beyond. I'm in the north part of OC. If someone dropped a bomb on Disneyland, I could see the fireworks from here.