California State Capitol in Sacramento

Land of superlatives

California is the most popular and populous state in the USA with over 36 million inhabitants and is referred to as the – Golden State. California is located south on the west coast of the United States of America. This makes California the third largest state in the United States, after Alaska and Texas. The capital of California is Sacramento. In addition to the large metropolises of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, the numerous national parks are among the highlights of the state.

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California State Capitol in Sacramento

 

California State Capitol in Sacramento

Most people live in California in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Mexico is south of California. To the east, the states of Arizona and Nevada border the west coast state of California. North of California is the state of Oregon. The Californian national parks in the high mountains captivate with their incredible beauty.

Death Valley National Park, on the other hand, is an area of ​​hot extremes and is truly one of a kind. California’s national parks are mostly located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains or in close proximity to the Sierra Nevada.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse off Highway 1 – Pacific Coast Highway

Unique in every way

California has approximately 1,400 kilometers of coastline on the Pacific Ocean. The mean latitude of California is about 300 km. The high mountains of the Sierra Nevada are located in eastern California. Mount Whitney (4,418 meters), the highest mountain in the USA with the exception of Alaska, is part of the Sierra Nevada. Death Valley is the lowest point in California at 86 meters below sea level. Spanish is becoming increasingly popular in southern California.

Along the Pacific Coast

The California coast as a whole is diverse and can mostly be described as picturesque and fantastically beautiful. Along California’s Pacific coast, the coastal area changes significantly in appearance from south to north. In southern California, near the metropolises of Los Angeles and San Diego, there are sandy beaches, the Pacific is still pleasantly warm. The sun-seeking people cavort on the palm-fringed, wide sandy beaches in southern California.

Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco – California

Even at the level of San Francisco, swimming in the sea is almost impossible because of the cold water. San Francisco is on a large bay; there the chain of coastal mountains is interrupted. Further north, the Californian coastal areas are almost untouched and also very rugged. Temperate rainforests with valuable flora and fauna reach almost to the beach. In the Big Sur and Monterey area, too, the mountains reach down to the sea.

Fertile Central Valley

Today, between the coastal mountains and the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada, there is a long, extremely fertile valley called the Central Valley. Sheltered by the mountains, fed by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Central Valley produces bountiful crops year after year.

California’s Central Valley was not always a fertile valley. Only with the optimization of the water supply did the country become a cornucopia of agriculture. The Central Valley is 120 kilometers wide on average. It is home to countless farms, vineyards and orchards.

National Monuments in California

  • Cabrillo National Monument
  • California Coastal National Monument
  • Carrizo Plain National Monument
  • Devils Postpile National Monument
  • Muir Woods National Monument
  • Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
  • Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument

Sierra Nevada

The high mountain range of the Sierra Nevada stretches along the eastern border of California and stretches about 400 miles from north to south. The mountains of the Sierra Nevada are extremely snow reliable in winter. The landscape of the high Sierra Nevada is impressively beautiful; it is not for nothing that there are some national parks there. Overall, the mountains are not well developed, so the flora and fauna of the mountains is still fairly original. In the east of the mountains there is a very dry strip of land, which belongs to California. The mountains of the Sierra Nevada are to blame for the fact that there is practically no rain. The highest mountain in California, Mount Whitney, is located in the Sierra Nevada.

Highway 1 – along the Pacific

Along the Californian coast is the famous Highway 1 in the southern area. Along this panoramic coastal road are beautiful. unique views possible. Highway 1, the beautifully situated road along the Californian coast, is world famous for its fantastic panoramas and unique coastal landscapes. The dreamlike coast of Big Sur and the Monterey Bay are only mentioned here as examples.

A pod of jumping dolphins in Monterey Bay – seen off Highway 1

Los Angeles Area

The largest city in the “Golden State” of California is Los Angeles, with a population of around 4 million in 2018. The Los Angeles area is extremely populous with almost 18 million people. Los Angeles is the largest city in California. Los Angeles became known throughout the world through the Hollywood film studios. Numerous famous personalities from all over the world have settled in the Los Angeles area. The nearby Pacific coast is known as a surfing and bathing paradise. Los Angeles is a widely spread city, a very large area. A large number of small towns in the area were combined into present-day Los Angeles.

Some of the sights in California

  • Hetch Hetchy Valley
  • Hearst Castle
  • LakeTahoe
  • Mono Lake

San Francisco

The city of San Francisco on the Pacific is about 600 km further north than Los Angeles. San Francisco is located in a hilly landscape on a bay of the Pacific Ocean, the San Francisco Bay. The sea near San Francisco is already too cold for swimming. Famous is the really hilly cityscape of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Almost all national parks in California are easily accessible from San Francisco. The Californian wine-growing regions of Napa Valley and Sonoma are not far from the popular metropolis.

Regions in California

Central Coast
The Central Coast – Located between Point Mugu and Monterey Bay, northwest of Los Angeles, California.

Central Valley
The Central Valley – is a longitudinal valley in central California. The Central is bordered by mountains and has become California’s breadbasket through irrigation.

Gold Country
The Gold Country of California is also referred to as “Mother Lode Country”. It is on the west side of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

High Sierra
The high mountain region in eastern California is called the “High Sierra”. There are some beautiful national parks.

Inland Empire
The “Inland Empire” refers to a region that is not exactly defined, which is located east of Los Angeles.

Deserts
The desert region is located in southeastern California. It is unspeakably hot there in summer. The deserts are home to specialized animal species and plants.

North
Shore California’s North Shore is also known as the “Redwood Empire”. On the north shore is Redwood National Park with redwood trees.

Orange County
The Orange County region is located in southern California. As a popular place to live, Orange County is very densely populated.

Shasta Cascade
The Shasta Cascade – natural region is located in northern California and offers very high mountains and plenty of water in a pristine nature.

San Francisco
The city of San Francisco on Francisco Bay has retained its very special flair. The city’s most famous landmark is the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Diego
The beautiful city of San Diego is located near the border with Mexico on the Atlantic. An important US Army base is located in San Diego.

Los Angeles
The mega metropolis of Los Angeles is located in southern California. The rather dry region is nevertheless a desirable place to live in the western United States.

National Parks in California

Channel Islands
The Channel Islands National Park is located off the southern coast of California and includes islands and marine regions with flora and fauna worthy of protection.

Death Valley
Death Valley National Park is located in eastern California, in a dry, hot and dry region on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada.

Joshua Tree
The Joshua Tree National Park in southeastern California includes the transition zone from the desert region “Mojave Desert” to the “Colorado Desert”, with unique natural landscapes.

Kings Canyon
The Kings Canyon National Park is located in the high mountain zone of the Sierra Nevada and shows impressive landscapes in addition to rare sequoia trees.

Lassen Volcanic
Lassen Volcanic National Park is located in northern California at the Lassen Peak volcano. The region’s volcanoes continue to show seismic activity.

Pinnacles
The rock formations in Pinnacles National Park were once formed by volcanoes. The highly rugged national park is south of San Francisco near the coast.

Redwood
Coastal Redwood National Park is located in northern California. Sequoias and temperate rainforest are the highlights of the protected region.

Sequoia
The Sequoia National Park is located in the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada and impresses with its redwood trees and beautiful landscapes.

Yosemite
The Yosemite Valley National Park is located in the high Sierra Nevada and shows gigantic beautiful landscapes and impressive mountain regions.

Map of California – USA

The map of California in the western United States. The map shows the neighboring countries, the country’s largest cities, the rivers, lakes and islands, as well as the courses of the highways and the most important roads. The location on the Pacific and the position of the national parks in California can be seen. The area of ​​California is 423,970 km². About 39.5 million people currently live in California.