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90 Famous West Coast Quotes and West Quotes Sayings

Yes, we all know about West Coast Best Coast!

But did you know there are many other famous West Coast Quotes and sayings that make perfect captions for social media posts or for wallpapers?

West Coast of the USA is a place that has proved an inspiration to artists, writers, poets, actors, and singers. From the striking desert of Joshua Tree to the moss-laden trees of the Olympic Peninsula, there is sublime beauty along the West Coast.

Along a Pacific Coast Highway road trip, you will find big cities, inspiring architecture, fascinating natural attractions, and solitude. That’s right, you might associate the enormous crowds of Venice and Santa Monica with the West Coast but try Big Sur or Rialto Beach in Washington to have teh Pacific Coast to yourself!

Best Places to Visit in California
Best Places to Visit in Oregon
Best Places to Visit in Washington

The landscapes of the American Wild West are made for photographing and sharing with others, stands to reason you need beautiful West Coast Instagram captions to go with them!

Well here are our favorite West Coast sayings and West Coast quotes for Pacific Coast travelers! 

Best Quotes about the West Coast

There are many quotes that sing praises and are written as an ode to the beauty of the West Coast. These make perfect Instagram captions for dreamy sunsets or foggy mornings on the Pacific.

“In America, the colors sing, they don’t just glower at you. The West Coast especially is fantastic. It seems like you can do whatever you want here.” – Stanley Donwood

“Late afternoon on the West Coast ends with the sky doing all its brilliant stuff.” – Joan Didion

“And when the fog’s over and the stars and the moon come out at night it’ll be a beautiful sight.”

― Jack Kerouac

“To visit the West Coast, now and always, is to be overwhelmed by its beauty – the blue water and blue skies, the temperate air and the beaches and the looming mountains not so far away.” – Ross Douthat

“There’s something about the West Coast. The air is lighter. The vibe is chill.” – Matthew Ramsey

“When I get through tearing a lobster apart, or one of those tender West Coast octopuses, I feel like I had a drink from the fountain of youth.” – Joseph Mitchell

“Dean’s California–wild, sweaty, important, the land of lonely and exiled and eccentric lovers come to forgather like birds, and the land where everybody somehow looked like broken-down, handsome, decadent movie actors.” – Jack Kerouac

“Though outsiders always assumed Southern California is perpetually soft and subtropical with the perfect beach breeze, that sweet lick of sunshine, I knew the truth. The real Southern California exists in extremes. It’s a place of spontaneous wildfires, and Santa Ana winds, and droughts that turn lakes into craters, splintering the earth like pottery that has crazed. It’s a place of storms that transform streets into oceans, and I had no doubts now: the rain was coming.” – Sarah Nicole Smetana

West Coast Sunset Quotes

And then of course, you can’t talk about the West Coast without talking about the legendary sunsets! Here are some of my favorite West Coast quotes about the brilliant sunsets that you can find in California, Oregon, and Washington.

“Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgandy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.” – Jack Kerouac

“The first stab of love is like a sunset, a blaze of color — oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples…” – Anna Godbersen

“A large drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud, like a bloody rag, hung over the spot of its going. And dusk crept over the sky from the eastern horizon, and darkness crept over the land from the east.” – John Steinbeck

“Bursts of gold on lavender melting into saffron. It’s the time of day when the sky looks like it has been spray-painted by a graffiti artist.” – Mia Kirshner

“Every sunset is an opportunity to reset.” – Richie Norton

West Quotes sayings about opportunities

West Coast, especially California is said to be teh alnd of opportunity. From the days of the Wild West, people have come here to seek their fortune and it continues even today in the form of Hollywood and Silicon Valley. 

Here are some of the top West Coast sayings and quotes about opportunities and possibilities.

“Down on the West Coast, I get this feeling like it all could happen.”- Lana Del Rey

“I think every tour stop on the west coast is equally rewarding for me. There is something healing about the air and the light in the west.” – Jason Reeves

“When people left on the Oregon Trail from St. Louis, they knew that only a fraction of them would make it to the West Coast. But they went anyway.” – John M. Grunsfeld

“The West Coast really allows you to understand who you are. You come across so many talented people you have to look back at yourself and see what makes you unique.” – Masego

Quotes about the Pacific Ocean

A trip to the West Coast cannot be complete without a visit to the Pacific Pcean beaches. Whether you want to visit a sandy beach in SoCal or a foggy beach on the coast of Oregon, here are some of the bets Instagram captions for becahy photographs!

“I’m so alive. As I stand facing the beauty of the never-ending Pacific Ocean, a late afternoon breeze blows down from the hills behind. As always, it is a beautiful day. The sun is making its final descent. The magic is about to begin. The skies are ready to burn with brilliance, as it turns from a soft blue to a bright orange. Looking towards the West, I stare in awe at the hypnotic power of the waves. A giant curl begins to take form, then breaks with a thundering clap as it crashes on the shore.” – Dave Pelzer

“The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.” – Christopher Paolini

“Each kiss of an ocean wave is passed along, as long as there is life on and in the seas.” – Anthony T. Hincks

“Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time.” – H. P. Lovecraft

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Cousteau

“To me the sea is a continual miracle; the fishes that swim, the rocks, the motion of the waves, the ships with men in them. What stranger miracles are there?” – Walt Whitman

“You only need to stand near the ocean to feel the power of the universe and a closeness to the one who created it.” – Susan Gale

“For her the ocean was more than a dream, it was a place she needed to visit to find herself. And when she returned to the city, you could see the sun in her eyes, the wind in her hair, and taste in the infinite salt on her lips.” – Jose Chaves

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” – Rumi

“I couldn’t imagine living in a state that didn’t reach the ocean. It was a giant reset button. You could go to the edge of the land and see infinity and feel renewed.” – Avery Sawyer

“The person you think of when you stand in front of the ocean. That’s the person you’re in love with.” – Colleen Michele

“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach”. – Henry Beston

“My life is like a stroll upon the beach, as near to the ocean’s edge as I can go” – Henry David Thoreau

Quotes about West Coast redwoods and mountains

The redwood trees and mountains are some of the most iconic landscapes of the West Coast

“What can the redwoods tell us about ourselves? Well, I think they can tell us something about human time. The flickering, transitory quality of human time and the brevity of human life – the necessity to love.” – Richard Preston

“A grove of giant redwood or sequoias should be kept just as we keep a great and beautiful cathedral.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“Redwood time moves at a more stately pace than human time. To us, when we look at a redwood tree, it seems to be motionless and still, and yet redwoods are constantly in motion, moving upward into space, articulating themselves and filling redwood space over redwood time, over thousands of years.” – Richard Preston

“The mornings along the coast where the fog and mist meet with the salty spray of the seas is one of my favourite smells. I love the smell in the evergreen forest just after it rains – The Redwood Forest in California has the coast, too, so you have the best of everything!” – Paul Walker

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.” – John Steinbeck

“No one knows exactly when or where the redwood entered the history of life on earth, though it is an ancient kind of tree and has come down to our world as an inheritance out of deep time.” – Richard Preston

“The redwoods are like no other trees…find a secluded grove and tilt your head back 90 degrees, and look up into the green canopies far above you, your spirits are bound to rise for you are surrounded by such giants of beauty, beautiful spirits themselves reaching for the sky” – Bodhi Smith

“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees” – Henry David Thoreau

“All forests have their own personality. I don’t just mean the obvious differences, like how an English woodland is different from a Central American rain forest or comparing tracts of West Coast redwoods to the saguaro forests of the American Southwest… they each have their own gossip, their own sound, their own rustling whispers, and smells. A voice speaks up when you enter their acres that can’t be mistaken for the one you’d hear anyplace else, a voice true to those particular trees, individual rather than of their species.” – Charles de Lint

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost

“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.” – Jack Kerouac

Quotes about West Coast cities

Be inspired by Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle.

“I like to think Portland and L.A. are not rivals; they’re cousins. As cities on the West Coast, they’re distinct in their own way but still culturally similar.” – Fred Armisen

“It’s an odd thing, but anyone who disappears

is said to be seen in San Francisco.

It must be a delightful city and possess

all the attractions of the next world.”

– Oscar Wilde

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” – Mark Twain

“One soft humid early spring morning driving a winding road across Mount Tamalpais, the 2,500-foot mountain just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, a bend reveals a sudden vision of San Francisco in shades of blue, a city in a dream, and I was filled with a tremendous yearning to live in that place of blue hills and blue buildings, though I do live there, I had just left there after breakfast.” – Rebecca Solnit

“Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“Portland is where young people go to retire.” – Fred Armisen

“Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it.” – Kimberly Kinrade

“To some extent, Seattle remains a frontier metropolis, a place where people can experiment with their lives, and change and grow and make things happen.” – Tom Robbins

West Coast Instagram Captions and Travel Quotes

The perfect travel captions for your West Coast photos. 

“The mountains are calling and I must go” – John Muir

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams” – Oprah Winfrey

“Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.” – Angela N Blount

“Then one day, when you least expect it, the great adventure finds you.” – Ewan McGregor

“I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found.” – John Steinbeck

“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” – J.K. Rowling

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” –  Pascal Mercier

West Coast Road Trip Quotes

“In the wee small hours, California Highway One north of Half Moon Bay is about as desolate as it gets. The narrow, twisting road was etched from sheer cliff faces that towered above me on the right and dropped away a hundred feet to the Pacific Ocean on my left.

A soggy wool blanket of San Francisco’s famous fog hung a few feet above the roadway, obscuring the stars and dribbling tiny spots of mist on my windshield. My headlights bored through the gap between road and fog, drilling an endless tunnel through the darkness.” ― H.P. Oliver

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.” – Jack Kerouac

“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, Healthy, free, the world before me, The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.” – Walt Whitman

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” – Jack Kerouac

“The freedom of the open road is seductive, serendipitous and absolutely liberating.” – Aaron Lauritsen

Quotes on the West Coast Lifestyle and Hollywood

“I think they built Hollywood on the West Coast because they were always dreaming of a New World. When they arrived here, the only way to keep dreaming was to make movies. Film was the fourth dimension.” – Denis Villeneuve

“I’m getting comfortable with West Coast style, which is more laid-back than British style.” – Cat Deeley

“Sometimes Hollywood is a small town on the West Coast of America at the furthest point from everywhere else, and that can make it a little provincial and insular.” – Howard Stringer

“The almost Oriental politeness of the West Coast is one of its distinctive regional features, in marked contrast to the contentiousness of the East Coast…. So few human contacts in Los Angeles go unmediated by glass (either a TV screen or an automobile windshield), that the direct confrontation renders the participants docile, stunned, sweet.” – Edmund White

“The older I get, I’m definitely getting pulled towards the West Coast, because it’s a different quality of life. New York is great when you’re in your early 20s and you’re running around and it’s really fun, but it’s a place for me to get things done.” – Erin Wasson

“The people who invented the twenty-first century were pot-smoking, sandal-wearing hippies from the West Coast like Steve, because they saw differently,” he said. “The hierarchical systems of the East Coast, England, Germany, and Japan do not encourage this different thinking. The sixties produced an anarchic mind-set that is great for imagining a world not yet in existence.” – Walter Isaacson

“On the East Coast, people try to make life interesting. On the West Coast, they try to make it comfortable. The emphasis here is on fancy cars, how one looks, less on the mind per se.” – Al Seckel

Quotes About West Coast Music and West Coast Lyrics

“You don’t have to come from Trinidad to really love Harry Belafonte, you don’t have to come from the West Coast to appreciate the simplicity and the beauty of the songs Kurt Cobain wrote.” – Seth Avett

“I found out long ago, it’s a long way down the holiday road. Holiday road, holiday road. Jack be nimble, Jack be quick. Take a ride on the West Coast kick. Holiday road.” – Lindsey Buckingham

“We also want to try and slow down all this foolishness that’s going on between the East and West. We gotta understand that Hip Hop is now universal. Hip Hop is not East coast or West coast.” – Afrika Bambaataa

“I’ve always done music with so-called thug- or gangster-type lyricists. I’ve always been associated with that because I’m from the West Coast.” – Madlib

“I was always into the West Coast rap, the production and the flows were always more appealing to me. I think my rapping days are over though.” – MO

“Seattle, they like the Bay a lot. They like the Bay area sound, the West Coast sound.” – Lil Mosey

“The old West Coast rappers are the way I rap; they weren’t always on the beat but it was about telling a story. I’m just a little more modern so it doesn’t sound exactly the same.” – Blueface

“I represent the West Coast culture.” – YG

“West Coast hip hop was the sound of my neighborhood. It was something I could relate to because it had a sound that felt like my surroundings – almost more so than what they were saying. That music was made to be bumped in a Cadillac!” – Kamasi Washington

“A lot of rappers were influenced off the West Coast, even from the East.” – Jay Rock

“I’m really drawn to West Coast composers and I think it has a little something to do with looking across the Pacific instead of looking across the Atlantic.” – Mark Morris

“ ‘Going Back to Cali’ is one of my favorite songs because of all the East Coast – West Coast rivalry.” – ASAP Ferg

Thought-Provoking Quotes about the West Coast

The West Coast while beautiful is not without its problems. The cities are huge and polluted, sometimes there is a sense of fear and lawlessness, and climate change is having a real impact on its beauty in the form of wildfires and ocean changes. 

Here are some of my personal favorite, thought-provoking quotes about the West Coast – about issues that you might often experience first hand while traveling the Pacific Coast of the USA.

“I’ve always felt alone and isolated, and living on the West Coast, there’s no poetry community out here, and if there is, it’s really spread out – because it’s LA, it’s spread out.     

Victoria Chang

“If only I’d stayed on the West Coast, I might have made something of myself.” – Mitch Kapor

“This country, and the West Coast, especially, is bad at preserving any cultural legacy.” – Esa-Pekka Salonen

“When I left the West Coast I was a liberal. When I landed in New York I was a revolutionary.” – Jane Fonda

“I live on the West Coast of the United States, and yet the air that I breathe is sometimes the same air that was being breathed in China the day before.” – Alice Walker

“The United States has tried for years to live down President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s order during World War II to move Japanese-Americans on the West Coast to inland detention camps on grounds that they might be disloyal.” – Helen Thomas

“Freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.” – Viktor E. Frankl

“There’s no doubt in my mind that people on the West Coast – L.A. particularly – and the East Coast have no clue at all about what’s happening outside their own little bailiwick. And they think everybody is stupid because they are not sophisticated.” – Andy Williams

“The United States is filled with power places. The majority of them, however, are to be found either along the West Coast and in the southwestern United States or along the Eastern Seaboard.” – Frederick Len

“Oceans need more attention because climate change IS an ocean issue. Our oceans will be the first victim, and sea life will suffer dramatically. The detailed proof is hard in ocean science, but I think we’re already seeing big ocean changes caused by climate change, such as starvation of whales, seabirds, and other animals off the coast US west coast.” – Mark Powell

“The heart of our relationship, this natural environment that has blessed us really all along the west coast of North America, on both sides of the border we’ve realized that this incredible natural wealth comes with a price.” – Dan Miller

Other useful posts to plan your Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Planner
Pacific Coast Highway 4 day Itinerary
Pacific Coast Highway 5 day itinerary
Pacific Coast Highway 7 day itinerary
Pacific Coast Highway 10 Day itinerary
All PCH Itineraries
Best Places to Stay along the Pacific Coast Highway
Best Pacific Coast Highway Stops