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California Travel Tips

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Redwood National ParkRedwood National Park
photo source
authorshipMichael Schweppe

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California is the most populous state in the United States. It covers an area of 163,696 sq miles (423,970 sq km), making it the third largest state behind Alaska and Texas.

Cities in California

Yosemite National ParkYosemite National Park
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authorshipRainer Marks

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Places of Interest in California

Principal Counties of California

National Parks of California

California ties with Alaska in having eight national parks, the most of any states in the country.
Bowling Balls Beach, Mendocino county, CaliforniaBowling Balls Beach, Mendocino county, California
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authorshipMila Zinkova

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National Monuments in California

Point Buchon Trail, CaliforniaMiguelito shale at Point Buchon Trail, located between Montana de Oro State Park and Los Osos, California
photo source
authorshipMichael L. Baird

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World Heritage Sites in California

The four biggest cities in California are Los Angeles (which is also the second largest in US behind New York City), San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco.

California shares border with Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east and the Mexican state of Baja California to the south. To the west is the coastline of California to the Pacific Ocean.

The main components of California's geography includes the Pacific coast, the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Mojave desert areas and the Redwood-Douglas fir forests. In addition to being a highly industrialized state, California through its Central Valley is the most productive agricultural areas in the world.

Sacramento Capitol BuildingSacramento Capitol Building
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The area that we know today as California has seen human habitation going back at least 10,000 years ago. Before the arrival of Europeans, there were seventy different Native American groups in California. The first European to set foot in California was the Portuguese explorer Jaão Rodrigues Cabrillho, who was sailing under the Spanish flag in 1542. Sir Francis Drake passed by California in 1579. The area was mapped by Sebastián Vizcíno to be included in New Spain in 1602.

In 1821, the Mexican War of Independence led to the independence of Mexico - which at that time includes California - from Spain. The US State of California was then part of Alta California within Mexico. During that time, settlers from the U.S. and Canada began moving in to settle in California. In 1846, they rebelled against Mexican rule, and created the shortlived California Republic. This was followed by the Mexican-American war, which led to the American occupation of California. In 1848, the discovery of gold in California sparked the California Gold Rush, ballooning the population from 15,000 that year to 300,000 by 1854.

Golden Gate Bridge, San FranciscoGolden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
photo source
authorshipRich Niewiroski Jr.

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During Mexican rule, the capital of California was at Monterey, from 1777 to 1835. After the Mexican authorities left California, legislative sessions were held there in 1849, following by San Jose (1850-51), Vallejo (1852-1853) and Benicia (1853-1854), all of which proved to be inadequate to serve as a state capital. Finally in 1854 the legislative sessions moved to Sacramento, and apart from a short break in 1861 when Sacramento was flooded, it has been held there since.

Today California is the world center of technology, engineering, movie production, entertainment and music industries. It is also a leading agricultural state.

Point Sur, CaliforniaPoint Sur, California
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Travel to California

The main airports in California includes the Los Angeles International (LAX), the San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and the San Diego International Airport (SAN). I will describe the airports within the individual cities guides.

Travel within California

A car is the best way to explore California. It takes a whole day to travel the state from top to bottom. I would encourage you to get a GPS if you intend to explore California extensively.

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About Timothy Tye

Welcome to my website, Discover with Timothy Tye. I started it in 2003 to freely share information about places. Today it has close to thirty thousand pages. I have been writing this website full time since 1 November 2007, and continue to do so as a means to satisfy my curiosity about the world around me. I am happy if the information I have assembled is useful to you. Please follow me on Facebook!

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