California! Home to Hollywood, world famous beaches, and fortune cookies.
Where else could you go surfing and skiing in the same day?
It’s no wonder millions of people flock to visit each year. Have you ever been to California?
If not, here are 30 awesome facts about the sunniest state in the U.S. that will have you packing your bags!
- California became an official state of The United States in 1850.
- The name California comes from a mythical island paradise written about in an early 16th century Spanish novel.
- The state animal of California is the Grizzly Bear, which is also featured on the Californian flag. However, the grizzly bear population in California has since gone extinct – the last sighting of a grizzly was in 1924.
- There are many nicknames for California – The Golden State, The Land of Milk and Honey, The El Dorado State, and The Grape State.
- California is the third largest state, following Alaska and Texas. It is 1,040 miles long, and 560 miles wide. It is about the same square miles as France, Spain, and Sweden.
- If California was its own country, it would have the 6th largest economy in the world.
- California locals never call it “Cali” – they either say “NorCal” or “SoCal” in reference to Northern and Southern California.
- California is known for its vast production of fruit and vegetables. It yields the majority of the country’s peaches, plums, artichokes, and broccoli, although almonds are the biggest export.
- Out of the 59 national parks in the United States, California contains 9 of them. There are more national parks in California than any other state.
- The highest and lowest points in mainland U.S. are both in California – Mount Whitney stands at 14,495 feet, and less than 100 miles away is Death Valley which is 282 feet below sea level.
- Death Valley is also the hottest and driest place in the country. Summer temperatures often reach over 115 degrees!
- Many popular inventions have come out of California including skateboards, fortune cookies, Barbies, Apple, blue jeans, and video arcade games.
- There are over 100,000 earthquakes in California every year, however the overwhelming majority of them are very minor leaving no damage behind.
- The population of California is over 39 million – one out of eight Americans is from California. California is larger than Canada’s population by about 3 million.
- In the midpoint of California, there is a palm tree and a pine tree planted next to each other to signify the meeting point of Northern and Southern California.
- Due to its Mediterranean climate, California is able to produce over 17 million gallons of wine each year.
- There is a popular burger chain, In-N-Out, that is specific to California. The first one opened in 1948 which was California’s first drive through burger stand. No stores were opened outside California until 1992.
- The largest living tree in the world is in California’s Sequoia National Park. It is only 275 feet tall, but it’s circumference is 100 feet!
- The full Californian 1,100 mile long coastline is a national monument, ensuring constant conservation and guaranteeing there will not be new oil drilling within 12 nautical miles of the mainland.
- California has some weird laws – in Blythe, California, it is illegal to wear cowboy boots unless you own a minimum of two cows.
- The original Disneyland theme park was built in Anaheim, California in 1955. It is the only theme park designed and built under the management of Walt Disney.
- California is notorious for its many droughts. One of the worst droughts was from December 2011 until March 2017. It was the driest in California in documented history. 164 million trees died in total during this time.
- In order to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, you have to pay a $30,000 nomination fee and you are required to appear at the star’s unveiling.
- The Gold Rush was the largest mass migration in United States history.
- Movie makers relocated to Hollywood because they were trying to get away from Thomas Edison who was based in New Jersey. His patents made it difficult to make movies, but in California, the courts were known to rule against patent claims.
- More movies have been filmed in California than any other state.
- California is the only state that has hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics – the Summer Olympics will be held there once again in 2028.
- California is the world’s fifth largest supplier of food.
- California contains the most diverse environment in the world – it varies from hot desert to subarctic depending on latitude and elevation.
- In Sunol, California, a dog was elected honorary mayor. He “served” from 1981 to 1994.