First, I started playing with the Great Circle Mapper at http://gc.kls2.com. I started by comparing the distance between LAX and two airports in Hawaii -- Hilo (ITO) and Honolulu (HNL). I knew from personal experience in 1975 and 1981 that the flight to Hilo was noticeably shorter than the flight to Honolulu (by about an hour, IIRC). For fun, I also ran the route from San Francisco (SFO). It turns out that not only is it shorter to get to Hilo which is further south, it is actually quite a bit shorter to fly to either from San Francisco (as shown here). It is 2318 miles from SFO to ITO, but 2449 miles from LAX to ITO.
I then tried the distances to other places I've been across the Pacific. I wasn't too surprised when the result to Tokyo were the same (here) with SFO to NRT being 5124 miles and LAX to NRT being 5451 miles. I also checked from Seattle and found that SEA to NRT was, not surprisingly, the shortest at 4769 miles.
I was, however, more shocked to find that the pattern still held to Sydney, but with less difference (SFO-SYD is 7417 miles, LAX-SYD is 7488 miles) between the California airports. (Seattle is further than LAX).
I just checked, and the situation finally reverses to Auckland -- which is further South, but East, of Sydney -- but by only a few miles (SFO-AKL is 6516 miles and LAX-AKL is 6504 miles)
Next, I did some playing with Google Maps and was able to determine with some, but probably not great, accuracy that if I went due north from my house in Oceanside to the 49th parallel, I would hit the US-Canada border less than 20 miles west of where the Washington-Idaho border ends. This means that there are places in metro San Diego that are within 40 miles of the ocean that are due south of Idaho.