San Francisco, CA
Ever since gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in 1848, visitors
from all over the world have flocked to San Francisco. Today, it's
still possible to find gold in the "City on the Bay" in its numerous
restaurants, beautiful neighborhoods, and world-class cultural
attractions. San Francisco hosts a number of national landmarks, from
the famous Telegraph Hill and old-fashioned trolley cars to the Golden
Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, that help make any trip special. For a few
lucky miners, San Francisco in the 19th century was the gateway to an
unforgettable experience. Today's visitors to the Bay Area feel the
San Diego, CA
From its world-famous zoo and aquarium to its bountiful beaches, San Diego's vibrant and exciting lifestyle has plenty to offer visitors and their whole families. It's the kind of city where every day is a beach day, and where everyone is busy having as much fun as possible. An officially designated 52-mile long Scenic Drive brings visitors through the city and its many neighborhoods. From the Harbor Islands through Old Town and Balboa Park all the way to La Jolla, the Scenic Drive is a great way to see all of the city's beautiful districts and neighborhoods.
California has a Mediterranean-type climate that is characterized by general sun and warmth with rain mainly in the winter. Climate does vary greatly based on distance from the ocean and elevation. There are five main climatic zones which exist in the state.
Coastal climate: This area contains most of the state's population. It varies greatly up and down the coast.
Desert climate: Characterized by great daily and annual variations in temperature with very little rainfall.
Foothill climate: 1,000 to 3,000 ft. in elevation with climate similar to valley regions but with more rain and less fog.
Mountain climate: This is the sole region for heavy snow, accented with fairly cold winters and bright, sunny summers.
Valley climate: Characterized by high temperature and low humidity in the summer and low temperature and high humidity in the winter. Both the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys exhibit this type of climatology.
Rainfall varies from 80 inches in Del Norte County (North Coast) to as low as 3 inches in Imperial County (Desert).
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State Animal: Grizzly Bear
The Grizzly Bear appears on the State Flag and the Great seal, but is now extinct in California.
State Bird: California Quail
The California Quail, noted for its strength and adaptability, is found throughout the state.
State Colors: Yale Blue and Golden Yellow
The Blue and Gold ribbons which are used to adorn the Great State Seal, are also the spirit colors of the prestigious University of California education system.
State Dance: The West Coast Swing
This dance form came into being in the early 1930's in response to the new era of music that was sweeping the nation.
State Fish: California Golden Trout
This trout species (Salmo agua-bonita) is only found in the icy streams of the High Sierra and is native to no other state.
State Flag: The Bear Flag
The great flag was first raised in 1846 by American settlers during an uprising against Mexican rule. Although the California Republic - which the flag represented - was short lived, the flag still symbolizes love of freedom and perseverance.
State Flower: Golden Poppy
The Golden Poppy can be found thriving in some part of the state throughout the year.
State Fossil: The Saber-toothed Cat
The fossilized remains of this meat-eating cat are abundantly found in southern California at the Rancho La Brea tarpits.
State Gemstone: Benitoite
This spectacular sapphire blue gemstone is found in gem quality crystals at only one site in the entire world, at a small deposit in a remote area of the Diablo range in San Benito, California. It is one of the world's rarest and most beautiful gems.
State Marine Mammal: California Gray Whale
The majestic California Gray Whale measures 30 to 50 feet in length and weighs up to 40 tons. Whales can be sighted during their annual 14,000 mile migration from the Arctic to the lagoons of Baja California and back, December through April.
State Mineral: Native Gold
California has produced more gold than any other state in the union and it can still be found in stream beds.
State Motto: Eureka!
The Greek word meaning "I have found it," refers to the great discovery of gold in 1848.
State Nickname: The Golden State
This name is highly appropriate because California's development and remarkable prosperity began with the discovery of gold.
State Reptile: The Desert Tortoise
An endangered species, it lives to be 100-125 years old and is a California native, contemporary to the Wooly Rhinoceros and the Mammoth.
State Rock: Serpentine
State Tree: The California Redwood
The California Redwood, which can be found in both Coastal and Sierra provinces of the Golden State, is among the most ancient of all living things in the world. These giant trees exist in large forested areas predominantly in California.
State Song: I Love You, California
I Love You, California, written by F.B. Silverwood, was designated the state song in 1951 and became official in 1988.
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