Although California was sighted by Spanish navigator Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo in 1542, its first Spanish mission (at San Diego) was not established until 1769.California became a U.S. territory in 1847 when Mexico surrendered it to John C. Frémont. 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. By 1964, California had surpassed New York to become the most populous state. One reason for this may be that more immigrants settle in California than any other state—more than one-third of the nation’s total in 1994. Asians and Pacific Islanders led the influx.
Leading industries include agriculture, manufacturing (transportation equipment, machinery, and electronic equipment), biotechnology, aerospace-defense, and tourism. Principal natural resources include timber, petroleum, cement, and natural gas.
Death Valley, in the southeast, is 282 ft below sea level, the lowest point in the nation.Mt Wittney (14,491 ft) is the highest point in the contiguous 48 states. Lassen peak is one of two active U.S. volcanoes outside of Alaska and Hawaii; its last eruptions were recorded in 1917.
Other points of interest include Yosemite National Park, Disneyland, Hollywood, the Golden Gate bridge, Sequoia National Park, San Simeon State Park.
The Bridge, cable cars, a sparkling bay, and streets lined with elegant Victorian homes—San Francisco is undeniably one of the world’s great cities. Located along the Northern California at the state’s distinctive bend in the coast, the region has an alluring magic that stretches beyond the bay to diverse cities with nightlife and trend-setting cuisine. The Bay Area is also home to some of the world’s finest wine country, including Napa Valley and Sonoma, plus waterfront towns, dramatic beaches, and the tech-savvy southern end of the bay known as the Silicon Valley, where lunchtime ideas at Google, Facebook, and Apple, turn into the next brilliant innovation.
Los Angeles is a sprawling Southern California city famed as the center of the nation’s film and television industry. Not far from its iconic Hollywood sign, studios such as Paramount Pictures, Universal and Warner Brothers offer behind-the-scenes tours. On Hollywood Boulevard, TCL Chinese Theater displays celebrities’ hand- and footprints, the Walk of Fame honors thousands of luminaries and vendors sell maps to stars’ homes. Points of interest Universal Studios Hollywood, Griffith Park, Getty Center, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Disneyland.
Monterey is a city on California’s rugged central coast. Its Cannery Row, one-time center of the sardine-packing industry, was immortalized by novelist John Steinbeck. Today, Cannery Row is a popular strip of gift shops, seafood restaurants and bars in converted factories. Equally famous is Monterey Bay Aquarium, with hundreds of thousands of marine animals and plants on display in underwater and interactive exhibits.
Point of interest: Monterey Bay Aquarium ,Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey.
San Diego is a city on the Pacific coast of California known for its beaches, parks and warm climate. Immense Balboa Park is the site of the world-famous San Diego Zoo, as well as numerous art galleries, artist studios, museums and gardens. A deep harbor is home to a large active naval fleet, with the USS Midway, an aircraft-carrier-turned-museum, open to the public.