California (CA)


The first Spanish missionaries arrived in California in the 18th century, but California did not become a U.S. territory until 1847, as part of the treaty that ended the Mexican–American War. Soon after, the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 inspired a wave of settlers to head to the west coast in search of fortune.

In 1850, California became the 31st state, and is now the third largest state after Alaska and Texas. With millions of acres of farmland, California leads the US in agricultural production. The state is also home to famous cultural institutions and national parks, including: Hollywood, Disneyland, Yosemite National Park, Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge.


California is located in the western United States and is bordered by Oregon to the north, Nevada to the east, Arizona to the southeast, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is a state of great natural beauty, with towering mountain ranges, deep valleys, lush forests, sandy beaches, and rugged coastline. California has an incredibly diverse geography that spans from the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the east to low-lying areas along its central coast.

The Sierra Nevada mountains form a backbone that runs from north to south through California’s interior. The highest peak in this range is Mount Whitney at 14,494 feet (4,418 meters). This range includes national parks such as Yosemite and Sequoia National Park. To the west of this mountain range lies California’s Central Valley—the most productive agricultural region in the United States. This large valley stretches 450 miles (725 km) from north to south and contains many cities such as Sacramento and Fresno.

To the south of this valley lies California’s Coastal Range which consists of several mountain ranges running parallel to each other along much of California’s coast. The highest peak in this range is Mount San Jacinto at 10,834 feet (3302 meters). This coastal range includes Redwood National Park which features some of the tallest trees on earth.

Further south lies California’s famous Central Coast which runs from San Francisco Bay down through Los Angeles County and into San Diego County. This area features iconic landmarks such as Big Sur and Hearst Castle as well as many popular beaches like Santa Monica Beach and Venice Beach.

Finally, there are two deserts located in California—the Mojave Desert in southern California near Death Valley National Park and Joshua Tree National Park; and then there is also a smaller desert called Anza-Borrego Desert State Park located east of San Diego near Imperial County. These deserts have some of the driest climates in North America with temperatures reaching up to 120°F (49°C) during summer months!

Overall, California boasts a wide variety of landscapes ranging from snowcapped mountains to sandy beaches; lush forests to arid deserts; vibrant cities to rural backcountry; all within one state! From big cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco down through small towns like Carmel-by-the-Sea or Mendocino; from redwood forests up north down through Joshua Tree out east; there are so many places for visitors or residents alike to explore here in beautiful California.

Cities in California

Below are the top 15 cities by population in California. For all cities and towns in the state, please see California cities list.

San Francisco is one of the most iconic cities in California. It is located in the northern part of the state and is known for its stunning landscapes, steep rolling hills, and iconic landmarks. The city has a vibrant culture with numerous museums, galleries, and live music venues. San Francisco is also home to several world-renowned universities, making it a great place for students looking to further their education.

Los Angeles is the second largest city in California and one of the most famous cities in the world. It’s a bustling metropolis known for its beaches, Hollywood attractions, and vibrant nightlife scene. There are plenty of interesting places to explore throughout Los Angeles such as Universal Studios Hollywood or Griffith Observatory. Additionally, LA offers plenty of shopping opportunities with its various malls and outlets.

San Diego is another top destination in California located near Mexico’s border. It has a laid-back atmosphere with miles of beautiful beaches along its coast that are perfect for relaxing or enjoying water sports activities like surfing or sailing. San Diego also has many attractions like SeaWorld San Diego or Balboa Park where visitors can explore museums, gardens, and theaters. The city’s nightlife scene features lively bars and restaurants that offer amazing views of the bay area.

Rank City Population
1 Los Angeles 3,902,440
2 San Diego 1,385,398
3 San Jose 1,013,337
4 San Francisco 865,933
5 Fresno 538,678
6 Sacramento 518,605
7 Long Beach 466,565
8 Oakland 437,548
9 Bakersfield 398,756
10 Anaheim 348,204
11 Stockton 317,818
12 Riverside 314,858
13 Santa Ana 313,818
14 Irvine 297,868
15 Chula Vista 274,818

Counties in California

The State of California consists of 58 counties. They are:

  1. Alameda County, California
  2. Alpine County, California
  3. Amador County, California
  4. Butte County, California
  5. Calaveras County, California
  6. Colusa County, California
  7. Contra Costa County, California
  8. Del Norte County, California
  9. El Dorado County, California
  10. Fresno County, California
  11. Glenn County, California
  12. Humboldt County, California
  13. Imperial County, California
  14. Inyo County, California
  15. Kern County, California
  16. Kings County, California
  17. Lake County, California
  18. Lassen County, California
  19. Los Angeles County, California[5]
  20. Madera County, California
  21. Marin County, California
  22. Mariposa County, California
  23. Mendocino County, California
  24. Merced County, California
  25. Modoc County, California
  26. Mono County, California
  27. Monterey County, California
  28. Napa County, California
  29. Nevada County, California
  30. Orange County, California
  31. Placer County, California
  32. Plumas County, California
  33. Riverside County, California
  34. Sacramento County, California
  35. San Benito County, California
  36. San Bernardino County, California
  37. San Diego County, California
  38. The City and County of San Francisco, California
  39. San Joaquin County, California
  40. San Luis Obispo County, California
  41. San Mateo County, California
  42. Santa Barbara County, California
  43. Santa Clara County, California
  44. Santa Cruz County, California
  45. Shasta County, California
  46. Sierra County, California
  47. Siskiyou County, California
  48. Solano County, California
  49. Sonoma County, California
  50. Stanislaus County, California
  51. Sutter County, California
  52. Tehama County, California
  53. Trinity County, California
  54. Tulare County, California
  55. Tuolumne County, California
  56. Ventura County, California
  57. Yolo County, California
  58. Yuba County, California