California, USA

About California

California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States of America. It is the most populous U.S. state with 38 million people, and is the third largest state by area (after Alaska and Texas). It is home to the nation’s second and fifth most populous census statistical areas (Greater Los Angeles area and San Francisco Bay Area, respectively), and eight of the nation’s 50 most populated cities (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, and Oakland). Sacramento is the state capital.

A brief history of California

What is now California was first settled by various Native American tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. It was then claimed by the Spanish Empire as part of Alta California in the larger territory of New Spain. Alta California became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence, but would later be ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican-American War. The western portion of Alta California was soon organized as the State of California, which was admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic change, with large-scale immigration from the U.S. and abroad and an accompanying economic boom.



Much of the state has a Mediterranean climate, with cool, rainy winters and dry summers. The cool California Current offshore often creates summer fog near the coast. Farther inland, one encounters colder winters and hotter summers. The maritime moderation results in the shoreline summertime temperatures of Los Angeles and San Francisco being the coolest of all major metropolitan areas of the United States and uniquely cool compared to areas on the same parallels in the interior and on the east coast of the North American continent.


Why visit California

California is blessed with a wonderful and extremely diverse nature:

  • The highest mountain in the lower 48 states (Mount Whitney), and at the same time the lowest elevation in America and the second hottest place on earth (Death Valley).
  • The largest, tallest and oldest trees in the world (Sequoia, Redwood and Bristlecone Pine).
  • One of the highest waterfalls in the world (Yosemite Falls),
  • What many consider the best view on the whole American continent (Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park).
  • What many claim to the most beautiful road in the world (Highway 1 along the coast).
  • Lots of wildlife.

And there are no problems with practicalities when visiting California: Lodging is easy to find, whether its camping, hotels, motels or exclusive lodges. And there is usually plenty of room everywhere, except for the most obvious tourist traps or the major weekends. So you are not likely to regret a vacation in the Golden State. And you´ll definitively come home with some excellent pictures as wonderful memories.

{Photos from various websites containing free wallpapers of California}


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