From Sacramento down to the Mexican border, California is a West-coast US state that’s famous for its sunshine, its mountains, its desert and its film industry. But how much do you really know? Let’s take a look at a few fun facts about California for you to digest before you make your next trip.
- California is known by many as the Golden State. That’s not because of the sunshine, but because it was where the Gold Rush began!
- It is the most densely-populated state in the whole of the US and is actually more populous than the nation of Canada. Around 40 million people call it home.
- California is also the turkey capital of the US. When Thanksgiving rolls around, more turkeys are farmed here than anywhere else in the country.
- You’ll find the highest peak in the US mainland in California. The peak in question is Mount Whitney, which is almost 14,500 feet tall.
- Cali is also home to the biggest outdoor amphitheatre in the US, the Hollywood Bowl, which is close to celebrating its centenary!
- The world’s largest tree can be found in California, too. That honour falls to the General Sherman, which you can find standing at 275 feet in Sequoia National Park.
- All manner of things were invented in California. For example, Apple are based in Cupertino, and the first Barbie dolls left the assembly line in the state.
- It’s also home to the first electronic message. The internet is older than you think! ARPANET, dating back to 1969, oversaw the first (technical) internet communication, emanating from California.
- Speaking of computers – the world-famous ‘green hill’ Windows backdrop is based in California. It’s actually a photo of the Napa Valley.
- Fittingly, the first movie theatre in the world opened here in 1902. Where? Los Angeles, of course!
- California became a state in September 1850.
- California is also the third-largest state in the country in terms of land. Texas and Alaska are larger.
- Believe it or not, one in eight people you meet from the US lives in California – statistically!
- While it’s mainly known as the Golden State, California actually has many names. Some people call it the Grape State as well as the Land of Milk and Honey.
- It might be called the Grape State thanks to its huge wine exports! It’s thought that around 17 million gallons of wine leave Cali each year, thanks to over 300,000 tons of grapes grown here.
- San Francisco is famous for many things, but its cable cars are something very special indeed. They are the only working cable cars in any US city in the modern age, and they were the first National History Landmarks to physically move around!
- People are said to have called California home for millennia. However, it was first colonised through expedition around the mid-1500s.
- California is also home to the oldest species of pine tree. You’ll find the bristle cone pine out in the Inyo National Forest.
Do you know any interesting facts about California that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section below!