1. California's Top Cities
California, the "Golden State", is home to the state capital of Sacramento, as well as the two largest cities in the state: Los Angeles and San Diego. Los Angeles, the largest city, is a bustling metropolis known for its iconic Hollywood sign, celebrity culture, and world-famous beaches. San Diego, the second largest city, is a coastal city known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and world-famous San Diego Zoo.
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2. California Turkeys Lead US Production
California is the leading producer of turkeys in the United States, with more turkeys raised in the state than any other. This means that the majority of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving in the US come from California turkey farms, providing a significant boost to the state's economy. In fact, California produces over 20 million turkeys each year, with the majority of them being sold for the Thanksgiving holiday.
3. California's Tiny County: Stunning Natural Beauty
Tucked away in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Alpine County is the eighth smallest county in California. Despite its small size, it is home to some of the most stunning natural beauty in the state. However, due to its size, it lacks some of the basic amenities that many of us take for granted. There are no ATM machines, traffic lights, schools, or banks in Alpine County, making it a unique and isolated place to visit.
4. San Bernardino County is the Largest County in the United States
California's San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States, spanning an impressive 20,105 square miles. It is larger than nine states, including Rhode Island, Delaware, and Connecticut, and is home to over 2.1 million people. It is the largest county in the entire country, and its size is a testament to the vastness of the Golden State.
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5. Hollywood Bowl: The World's Largest Outdoor Amphitheater
California is home to the world's largest outdoor amphitheater, the iconic Hollywood Bowl. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, the Hollywood Bowl has been a staple of the city's entertainment scene since its opening in 1922. With a capacity of 17,500, the Hollywood Bowl is the largest natural amphitheater in the United States and has hosted some of the biggest names in music, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Beyoncé.
6. Death Valley is the driest place in the United States
California is home to the driest place in the United States - Death Valley. With temperatures often soaring above 115 degrees Fahrenheit, Death Valley is an unforgiving landscape of sand dunes, salt flats, and rugged mountains. It's a place of extremes, where the highest temperature ever recorded in the world - 134 degrees Fahrenheit - was recorded in 1913.
7. 17 Million Gallons of Wine Produced in California Every Year
California is one of the biggest wine producing states in the US, with an impressive 17 million gallons of wine produced every year. This is enough to fill over 28 Olympic-sized swimming pools, and is a testament to the state's commitment to producing high-quality wines. California's wine industry is a major contributor to the state's economy, and its wines are enjoyed around the world.
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8. California's Official State Tree: The Redwood
California is home to some of the oldest living organisms on the planet - its official state tree, the Redwood. These majestic trees have been around for millennia, with some specimens estimated to be over 2,000 years old. Standing tall and proud, these ancient giants are a reminder of the state's rich natural heritage.
9. California becomes the 31st state of the United States
On September 9, 1850, California officially became the 31st state of the United States of America. This momentous occasion marked the culmination of a long and arduous journey for the state, which had been part of Mexico until the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. After the war, California was ceded to the United States and the process of statehood began. After a lengthy period of debate and deliberation, California was finally admitted to the Union on September 9, 1850. This momentous event marked the beginning of a new era for the state, and it has since become one of the most populous and influential states in the country.
10. California's Official Birds and Mammals
California is a state with a rich and diverse wildlife, as evidenced by its official bird, the California Valley Quail, and its official animal, the California Grizzly Bear. The California Valley Quail is a small, round-bodied bird with a distinctive black plume on its head, while the California Grizzly Bear is a large, powerful mammal that once roamed the state in large numbers. Both species are now protected and are symbols of the state's natural beauty.