State Abbreviation CA
State Capital Sacramento
State Size Total (Land + Water): 163,696 sq miles; Land Only: 155,959 sq miles
Number of Counties 58
Time Zone Pacific Time Zone
Bordering States Arizona, Nevada, Oregon
Highest Point Mount Whitney, 14,505 feet
National Parks Channel Islands National Park
Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
Kings Canyon National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Redwood National Park
Sequoia National Park
Yosemite National Park
State Population (2015) 39,144,818
State Population Density 251.0 people / square mile
Area Codes 209, 213, 310, 323, 341, 369, 408, 415, 424, 442, 510, 530, 559, 562, 619, 626, 627, 628, 650, 657, 661, 669, 707, 714, 747, 752, 760, 764, 805, 818, 831, 858, 909, 916, 925, 935, 949, 951
Top 5 Cities (2010 population) Los Angeles (3,792,621)
San Diego (1,307,402)
San Jose (945,942)
San Francisco (805,235)
State Animal California grizzly bear
State Bird California Valley Quail
State Colors Blue and gold
State Dance West Coast swing dance
State Fife and Drum Corps California Consolidated Drum Band
State Fish Golden trout
State Flower Golden poppy
State Folk Dance Square dance
State Fossil Saber-toothed cat
State Gemstone Benitoite
State Gold Rush Ghost Town Bodie
State Grass Purple needlegrass
State Historical Society California Historical Society
State Insect California dogface butterfly
State Lichen Lace lichen
State Marine Fish Garibaldi
State Marine Mammal California gray whale
State Motto Eureka (I have found it)
State Marine Reptile Pacific leatherback sea turtle
State Military Museum California State Military Museum
State Mineral Gold
State Nickname Golden State
State Prehistoric Artifact Chipped stone bear
State Reptile Desert tortoise
State Rock Serpentine
State Silver Rush Ghost Town Calico
State Soil San Joaquin Soil
State Song "I Love You, California"
State Tall Ship The Californian
State Theater Pasadena Playhouse
State Tree California redwood and sequoia
•California was the name given to a mythical island in the popular early 16th century Spanish novel Las Sergas de Esplandián. When the Spanish started exploring the Pacific coast, they applied this name to the Baja California Peninsula. That name stuck.
•Spanish navigator Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo became the first European in recorded history to sight the region that is present-day California in 1542.
•The first McDonald's restaurant opened in San Bernardino in 1940 by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald.
•San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States, totaling 20,105 square miles.
•Castroville is known as the Artichoke Capital of the World. In 1947, Norma Jean was crowned Castroville's first Artichoke Queen. She later became a world-famous actress by her screen name, Marilyn Monroe.
•California has more national parks than any other state in USA. Of the 59 national parks in USA, California has 9 national parks.
•On Jan. 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill, starting the California Gold Rush and bringing settlers to the state in large numbers.
•Fresno, California is the Raisin Capital of the World.
•William Todd designed the original California flag. He was the nephew of Mary Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's wife.
•California is the only state that has hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
•At 14,505 feet, California's Mount Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48 states.
The point with the lowest elevation in the United States is Badwater Basin, which is located in Death Valley, California, with an elevation of 279 feet below sea level.
The lowest city in the United States in terms of elevation is Calipatria, formerly known as Date City, in California. This makes it not only the lowest city in the United States, but also the lowest in the entire western hemisphere.
California is also home to the lowest census designated place in the United States. Furnace Creek, which is located in Death Valley, is a very small community in Inyo County. It has a population of barely two dozen people and an elevation of 190 feet below sea level. It also has the distinction of being the site of the hottest recorded air temperature on Earth at 134°F.
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