• Population- 36,457,540
  • Capital- Sacramento
  • Largest cities– Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose
  • Time zone- Pacific
  • Date of Admission to the Union- September 9, 1850
  • Slogan- “Eureka!”
  • State website URL-

California has been hailed as one of the most variable of the contiguous states. As far as ecosystems go, there are southern California, sunny beaches on one end and foggy and rainy redwood forests at the other, sprawled along a rocky coastline. Much of the country’s fruit and vegetables come from the state’s Central Valley, a rich agricultural region. And speaking of agriculture, the state has a relatively new viticulture, or wine industry, but it is rich and varied in and of itself. Napa and Sonoma Valleys attract wine lovers from all over the world. Many of the wineries have become world class even in comparison to the legendary winemakers in France and Italy.

Gold is responsible in large part for having driven the initial surge of settler westward. Even the state’s motto is indication of the Gold Rush of the mid 1880s. And business minded entrepreneurs have not stopped hoping. Perhaps the next biggest boom in California’s economy was the Silicon Valley dotcom bubble during the late 80s and early 90s. The computer and microchip industry gained a toehold and impelled the rapid growth, and ultimate demise, of companies founded on virtual capital.

Hollywood is an integral part of the Los Angeles urban area and an inseparable piece of the film industry. Over the last century many of the best movie making in America has taken place, or been inspired, in Hollywood. The world famous Hollywood Walk of Fame along legendary Hollywood Boulevard is like no other stretch of sidewalk in the world. With each step visitors encounter polished inlaid stars that mark the careers of the best entertainers. Estimates put the number of stars along the sidewalk at well over 2,300. And the site is now an official Historic Landmark. Nearby Malibu is synonymous with the ritzy beach homes of the rich and famous and Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive provides the fanciest and most exclusive boutiques and restaurants for the nearby rich as well as ogling tourists.