29 Interesting Facts About California

Author: Jason Coles

Updated On:

Updated On:

California is situated on the West Coast of the United States, home to some of the most renowned beaches, beautifully sunny weather and climate, and dozens of attractive places to live or visit. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about California.

Interesting Facts About California

State Facts About California

Since its inception, California has been considered by many a paradise, where the American Dream is an achievable reality, once you make your way over to the state. In the early 20th Century, state and local boosters helped drive the idea that California is an ideal resort destination, with sunny and dry climates all year round, and easy access to the ocean, deserts, and mountains.

1. California is home to one of the most iconic cities in the world, not just in North America – Los Angeles. Boasting a population of over 4 million in 2020, Los Angeles is the largest and most populous city in California and has the second-largest city population in the whole of the United States, behind the city of New York. Not to mention, there are a ton of incredibly interesting facts about Los Angeles that you should check out!

2. During the 1960s, famous music groups such as The Beach Boys presented the idea that Californians are laid-back, tanned beach-goers and sun worshipers, which, to this day, is still the perception of many!

3. The California Gold Rush during the 1850s is still seen as a symbol of the state’s economic style, which is very much still relevant today, with California being a pioneer in technology, social ventures, and entertainment.

4. The golden state has many historical symbols that are used to represent the state’s past and present, with the California state bird and flower being the breathtakingly beautiful California poppy and the California quail.

5. California has a booming tourism industry, all stemming from the sheer beauty the Golden State has to offer with its sun-kissed surf beaches, an abundance of theme parks for all the family to enjoy, picturesque vineyards in Napa Valley, and many other areas, dramatic deserts, and of course, Big Sur coastline.

Big Sur Coastline

More Interesting Facts About California

6. The name California originates from a mythical island paradise written in an early 16th-century Spanish novel.

7. California’s state animal is the Grizzly Bear, which you can see on the California state flag. Ironically, the Grizzly Bear population in California went extinct in 1924 (over 95 years ago).

8. California is the third-largest state by landmass, following behind Alaska and Texas. California is 1,040 miles long and 560 miles wide, roughly the same size as France, Spain, and Sweden!

9. California is well-known for its vast production of fruit and veg, the majority of the Country’s peaches, plums, artichokes, avocados, and broccoli! The funny thing is though, almonds are actually the state’s biggest export.

10. In 2021, California produced around two-thirds of the nation’s peaches. Out of a US total of 688.8 thousand tons, the Golden State was responsible for an estimated 505 thousand of them. Maybe California should reconsider its nickname!

11. California is home to 9 of 59 national parks in the United States. There are more national parks in CA than in any other state.

12. California has the highest and lowest points in the whole of mainland USA, Mount Whitney stands at 14,495 feet, and just under 100 miles down the road is the iconic Death Valley which is 282 feet below sea level!

13. Death Valley is also the warmest and driest place in the United States with summer temperatures usually reaching over 115 degrees.

14. Many popular and revolutionary inventions have come out of California, these include skateboards, fortune cookies, Barbie, Apple, blue jeans, and video arcade games!

15. California is host to over 100,000 earthquakes every year! Fortunately, the majority of these leave no damage in their wake.

Interesting facts about California

16. California has a population of over 39 million!

17. California’s maximum speed limit is 65 – 70 mph, this is not the fastest speed limit in the US.

18. The iconic Golden Gate Bridge is one of, if not the state’s biggest tourist attraction, located in San Francisco. San Francisco is located in Northern California and is also home to the beautiful San Francisco Bay.

19. If you are visiting the state for vocational purposes you must visit the stunning mountain ranges of Sierra Nevada, located between the Central Valley of California and the Great Basin.

20. California’s desert region is extremely impressive, being home to three main deserts, the Mojave Desert, bounded by the Tehachapi Mountains to the northwest, the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains on the south.

21. One of the most devastating events to take place in California was the Wildfire, this catastrophe burned over 3.2 million acres of California land, which is an area around the same size as the entire state of Connecticut!

22. There is so much diversity within the state, which is even displayed by the national parks in the Golden State. Channel Islands National Park boasts some of the most incredible, weather, beaches, and marine life. The national park has been described by many as being “North America’s Galapagos”.

Facts about California

What are Three Things California is Famous for?

California is famous for an abundance of different things, with highlights being the state’s beautiful, expansive, and golden beaches, the Golden Gate Bridge, and more! However, there are three main attractions in California that have perhaps boosted the state’s already brilliant reputation.

Disneyland Park

This awesome theme park opened all the way back in 1955 under Walt Disney’s supervision, the theme park hosts millions of visitors per year, and boasts the world’s largest theme park attendances. Since its opening. many years ago, there have been over 709 million visitors, with 2017 seeing over 13 million in just one year!

The Death Valley

The valley is officially a desert, situated on the northern end of the Mojave Desert and is close to the Great Basin Desert. The desert is one of the hottest on the globe with the highest temperature ever recorded being over 134 degrees Fahrenheit! This was recorded on July 10, 1913.

Redwood Trees

California has built up quite a reputation over the years for its huge forests, which are known as Redwood National Parks, and Redwood State Parks, which are in place to protect the global coast redwood trees. These forests are hugely beneficial not just for the United States’ environment, but the world too, with 45% of the global population of trees being protected by these forests.

Facts About California History

More state facts about California originate from its historical past and how various endeavors by its inhabitants and foreign explorers have, over the centuries, shaped its culture and influenced the golden state.

Historical California Facts

23. California’s culture has many unique features due to these influences from Spain, Mexico, and the Eastern United States. California has integrated many different foods, languages, traditions, and lifestyles from all over the world as a result of this.

24. On September 9, 1850, California was admitted to the union, becoming the 31st state to help contribute to the inception of all 50 United States.

25. California was founded by the Spanish navigator Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who was the first European to discover California in 1542. There were around 130,000 Native American inhabitants at this time, and over the course of the next two centuries, this newly discovered territory was neglected by Spain, mainly due to reports of poverty and the general slowing down of Spanish exploration.

26. A merchant named Sebastián Vizcaíno sailed from Mexico to the southern California coast in 1602, naming various locations that we recognize today, such as San Diego, Santa Catalina Island, Santa Barbra, and Monterey! Originally Vizcaíno and other explorers were convinced that California was an independent island and was shocked to discover that they were unable to chart its surrounding seas.

Interesting facts about California

27. California’s nickname was acquired due to a multitude of reasons, just like the majority of the California state symbols. One main factor in the adoption of the nickname, however, is the famous California Gold Rush. Did you know that in March 1848, there were approximately 157,000 people residing in the territory of California?  This consisted of 150,000 Native Americans, 6,500 of Spanish or Mexican descent, and less than 800 of California’s population of non-natives.

28. Following the huge amount of settlers, the non-native population of California had increased to over 100,000. More and more people would come to seek their fortunes due to the sheer abundance of gold at the state’s disposal, as each month passed, more and more people would flock in from all over the world to become rich!

29. By the mid-1850s there were over 300,000 new arrivals, with one in every 90 people in the United States residing in California. The combination of a rapidly increasing population, mixed with the possible fortunes the state had to offer helped California reach statehood in 1850. If you are interested in learning more about the California state nickname, take a look at our page which provides you with some really great insights.

Interesting US State Facts


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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S. who refer his services to their clients regularly, Jason has written over 1,360 business plans across the past 17+ years for start-up companies and franchises looking to expand their footprint in the United States. Jason is considered a seasoned expert in his field. He creates detailed business plans for his clients that include five-year financial projections, market and industry analysis reports, demographic studies, organizational charts, job descriptions, employee hiring plans, and more.