California embraces everything that President Trump loathes: a robust community of immigrants, aggressive regulation of global-warming pollutants, the Affordable Care Act and pretty much anything starring Meryl Streep. So it must really bug Trump that of all the states in his nation, California is the one Americans like best.

A recent survey of 2,000 Americans found that California was their “favorite state” — with one out of five saying they'd rather live in the Golden State than anywhere. And for vacationing, California was second only to Hawaii. For raising a family and for retirement, the Golden State also ranked first.

“The most popular state, by far, seemed to be California,” according to the analysis. “Not only did people associate it with sunshine and warm weather but, if the opportunity arose, they would move there in a heartbeat — even to raise a family or retire. It was not only a favorite across all regions in the U.S. but among three generations and both genders, too.”

When it comes to overall favorite cities, San Francisco was second and Los Angeles was fourth. The survey was conducted by AreaVibes, a site that helps Americans figure out the livability of destination cities. Los Angeles was the nation's fifth favorite vacation destination, and it came in ninth for raising a family and 10th for retirement.

“It’s no surprise Los Angeles is a top-five choice for American vacationers, which we largely attribute to our city’s celebration of diversity and creativity and, of course, near-perfect weather,” Ernest Wooden Jr., CEO of Discover Los Angeles, the city's tourism organization, said via email. “Fantastic new hotels are opening their doors with frequency, chefs are exploring innovative creative territories, new 'it' neighborhoods are constantly emerging, noteworthy cultural institutions are choosing to call L.A. home, and travelers want to be a part of the L.A. lifestyle more than ever before.”

Interestingly, when favorite cities were tallied by gender, Los Angeles ranked ninth for women; men put it in second place. When millennials were asked the same question, they put L.A. in second place behind New York.

The California dream is alive and well despite the realities of living here, like spending half of your income on rent. Perhaps, then, the Golden State is an American fantasy.

“We know firsthand that housing and living costs are a deal-breaker for many Americans considering a permanent move to California,” AreaVibes CEO Jon Russo said via email. “Perhaps that's why it's such a popular travel destination: Visitors can enjoy the state's majestic beauty in small doses, without the costs of permanent residency.”

Credit: AreaVibes

Credit: AreaVibes

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