Iconic landmarks like the Hollywood Sign and the Golden Gate Bridge are merely a prologue to California- a state with loads of sunshine. Located on the West Coast of the United States, California is bordered by Oregon to the North, Nevada to the East, and Arizona to the southeast. The state shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California to the South.
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Iconic landmarks like the Hollywood Sign and the Golden Gate Bridge are merely a prologue to California – a state with loads of sunshine. The state shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California to the South. California received statehood on September 9, 1850. Nicknamed the 'Golden State', it is the most populated and the 3rd largest state of the United States covering a total area of 163,696 square miles.
History of California
In 1542, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese discoverer and a retired conquistador was given the Spanish crown to engage in the expedition of the West Coast.
Led by Capt. Gaspar Portola and Father Junipero Serra, the first colonizing expedition began in 1769 which was known as the “Sacred Expedition.”
The Gold Rush of 1849 led many people to come to California in search of their fortune.
The impact of the Spanish settlers in 18th and 19th centuries is conspicuous in the culture and architecture of California.
Geography of California
Shimmering in the golden sun, California is the third largest state of the US in area, after Alaska and Texas. Located on the West Coast of the United States, California is bordered by Oregon to the North, Nevada to the East, and Arizona to the southeast. It covers around 800 miles from north to south. From deserts to forests, and mountains to the sea, it has wide-ranging topography and offers a landscape of stunning contrasts.
There are eight major defining geographical regions within the state: Cascade Mountains, Klamath Mountains, Basin and Range Region, The Sierra Nevada, Central Valley, Coastal Ranges, The Los Angeles Ranges, and The San Diego Ranges. Mount Whitney, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is the highest peak in the 48 contiguous states.
The glitz and glamour of Los Angeles, the bohemian vibe of San Francisco, and the Hispanic culture of San Diego make California a place every traveler is drawn to. The vineyards of Napa and Sonoma counties, the coastlines and beaches of Monterey, Big Sur, and Santa Barbara, the mountains of Shasta Cascade, the high-tech cities of the San Francisco Bay Area, and arid landscapes of the Inland Empire are just some of the significant places to visit.
The San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, Getty Center & Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, Hearst Castle on the Central Coast, Alcatraz Island & Chinatown in San Francisco, and Lake Tahoe are popular attractions in California.
Transportation in California
By Air – Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the busiest airport in the state. Flights connecting European countries and Oceania often stop by this airport. San Francisco International Airport is another gateway to the state.
By Train – Coast Starlight, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, Pacific Surfliner, California Zephyr, and Capitol Corridor are the Amtrak passenger trains serving the state.
By Road – Interstate highways (I-5, I-8, I-10, I-15, I-40, and I-80) and state routes (SR 1, SR 99, SR 299, SR 20, and SR 33) create a dense road network.
Study/Education in California
The California State University (CSU) system is the one of America's largest university systems. The University of California (UC) is a public university system. Stanford University and the University of Southern California are notable private universities. Know more here.
Facts about California
California was the 31st state to enter the Union on September 9, 1850.
Mount Whitney is the highest peak in the 48 contiguous states.
Lake Tahoe is the second deepest and the largest alpine lake in North America.
Chinatown, San Francisco is the oldest and largest one in North America.