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Living in California

California - The Golden State

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of California

California USA Map
California USA Map

More people think about moving to California than any other state. It's one of the more abundant states within the U.S. The reasons people think about moving to California are many;. Educational opportunities, good employment opportunities, plus a high living standard are just a few. Regions such as San Francisco and San Diego always constantly remain the top of preferences for those relocating to California.

Although California was sighted by Spanish navigator Juan Rodríguez 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. By1964, 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.

Things You Should Know About California
California is an abundant state in education, economy, and development. Living costs are unique among the diverse array of counties and cities throughout the state. Policies on taxation and the state laws favor people to move here. Aside from that, there is wide variety of living choices in apartments and housing, that are within your budget for your move to California. Also the opportunities for employment are also quite alluring for new people moving to California. So, California living is extremely beneficial for employment, budget, and living standards.


California the Beautiful
California the Beautiful - A beautiful book every one should read - As America is to the balance of the other regions of world, so California is to America - a shimmering promise of never ending possibilities. This fastidious look at the Golden State was recently revised with a brand new introduction,  California the Beautiful, a depiction of the state's varied natural beauty


The California Escape Manual

Another point of view, a book about moving out of California The California Escape Manual A comprehensive look at living in urban Californians There's a treasure chest of ideas, checklists, resources, tables, plus enlightening stories from people who used to live in California. The author presents readers with ways to discover that perfect hometown by delving into vast arrays of free info on prospective towns and cities. The author based the book upon interviews with headhunters,, relocation executives, movers, Realtors, school officials, and other authorities. The book also contains interviews with people and families who discovered happiness away from urban California.

Lathrop California Lathrop California MapLathrop>
Linden California
Lockeford California Lockeford California Map
Lodi California Lodi California MapLodi
Manteca California Manteca California MapManteca
Stockton California - Stockton California Map >Real Estate Listings & Information about Stockton and it's communities
Stockton Brookside  - Click on this globe for a map of the individual city Real Estate Listings & Information about Stockton Brookside
Stockton Spanos Park - Click on this globe for a map of the individual city Real Estate Listings & Information about Stockton Spanos Park, Stockton Lincoln Village - Click on this globe for a map of the individual city Real Estate Listings & Information about Stockton Lincoln Village Stockton Morada Ranch - Click on this globe for a map of the individual city Real Estate Listings & Information about Stockton Morada Ranch Stockton Weston Ranch - Click on this globe for a map of the individual city
Tracy California

California Counties

California is divided into 58 counties. At first it was divided into twenty-seven counties on February 18, 1850. These were further sub-divided to form sixteen additional counties by 1860. Another fourteen were counties formed through further sub-division from 1861 to 1893. The last, Imperial County, was formed in 1907. California is home to San Bernardino County, the largest county in the contiguous United States, as well as Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States. California counties are general law counties by default, but may be chartered as provided in Article XI, Section 3 of the California Constitution. A charter county is granted considerably more home rule authority than a general law county. Of the 58 counties in California, 14 are governed under a charter. They are Alameda, Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Tehama. More counties in California are named for saints than in any other state California County Courthouses

Click on a county to go to the official county website

San Francisco is also it's own county
Wright Realtors

Climate

Much like its topography, the climate in California is varied and tends toward extremes. Generally there are two seasons—a long, dry summer, with low humidity and cool evenings, and a mild, rainy winter—except in the high mountains, where four seasons prevail and snow lasts from November to April. The one climatic constant for the state is summer drought.

California has four main climatic regions. Mild summers and winters prevail in central coastal areas, where temperatures are more equable than virtually anywhere else in the US; in the area between

San Francisco and Monterey, for example, the difference between average summer and winter temperatures is seldom more than 10°F. During the summer there are heavy fogs in San Francisco and all along the coast.

Mountainous regions are characterized by milder summers and colder winters, with markedly low temperatures at high elevations.

The Central Valley has hot summers and cool winters, while the Imperial Valley is marked by very hot, dry summers, with temperatures frequently exceeding 100°F.

Demography

  • Fast California Facts & Trivia
  • California Official Song
  • California Geography, History, Facts
  • California Flags
  • Famous People from California
  • California Timeline
  • Education

    California Colleges. California's public postsecondary education offers three separate systems:

    • The research university system in the state is the University of California (UC), a public university system. As of fall 2011, the University of California had a combined student body of 234,464 students. There are ten general UC campuses, and a number of specialized campuses in the UC system, as the UC San Francisco, which is entirely dedicated to graduate education in health care, and is home to the UCSF Medical Center, the highest ranked hospital in California. The system was originally intended to accept the top one-eighth of California high school students, but several of the schools have become even more selective. The UC system was originally given exclusive
    • authority in awarding Ph.Ds, but this has since changed and the CSU is also able to award several Doctoral degrees.

      • The California State University (CSU) system has almost 430,000 students. The CSU was originally intended to accept the top one-third of California high school students, but several of the schools have become much more selective. The CSU was originally set up to award only bachelor's and master's degrees, but has since been granted the authority to award several Doctoral degrees.

      • The California Community Colleges System provides lower division coursework as well as basic skills and workforce training. It is the largest network of higher education in the US, composed of 112 colleges serving a student population of over 2.6 million.
      California is also home to such notable private universities as Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the California Institute of Technology, and the Claremont Colleges. California has hundreds of other private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions.

    Economy

    The most dominant sectors of California's economy are agriculture, science and technology, trade, media and tourism. As the most populous US state as well as a coastal state, the economy of California is quite varied, with each sector performing in equal footing.

    Flora and Fauna

    California poppy - State Flower

    Coast Redwood - State Tree

    California Quail - State Bird

    Of the states in the nation, California features the greatest diversity of climate and terrain. There six life zones in the state: The lower Sonoran (desert); upper Sonoran (foothill regions and some coastal lands); transition (coastal areas and moist northeastern counties); and the Canadian, Hudsonian, and Arctic zones, comprising California's highest elevations.

    Known for their hardiness and adaptability, the native California quail is a plump bird, smaller than a pigeon, with a distinctive black plume on its head and a black bib with a white stripe under its beak. It spends most of its time on the ground but will launch into a short but explosive flight when disturbed.

    Mammals in the lower Sonoran zone deserts include the jackrabbit, kangaroo rat, squirrel, and opossum. The Texas night owl, roadrunner, cactus wren, and various species of hawk are common birds, and the sidewinder, desert tortoise, and horned toad represent the area's reptilian life.

    The upper Sonoran zone is home to such mammals as the antelope, brown-footed woodrat, and ring-tailed cat. Birds distinctive to this zone are the California thrasher, bush tit, and California condor. Animal life is abundant amid the forests of the transition zone. Colombian black-tailed deer, black bear, gray fox, cougar, bobcat, and Roosevelt elk are found. Garter snakes and rattlesnakes are common, as are such amphibians as the water-puppy and redwood salamander. The kingfisher, chickadee, towhee, and hummingbird represent the bird life of this region.

    Mammals of the Canadian zone include the mountain weasel, snowshoe hare, Sierra chickaree, and several species of chipmunk. Conspicuous birds include the blue-fronted jay, Sierra hermit thrush, water ouzel, and Townsend solitaire. Birds become scarcer as one ascends to the Hudsonian zone, and the wolverine is now regarded as rare.

    Only one bird is native to the high Arctic zone, the Sierra rosy finch—but others often visit, including the hummingbird and Clark nutcracker. Principal mammals of this region are also visitors from other zones; the Sierra coney and white-tailed jackrabbit make their homes here. The bighorn sheep also lives in this mountainous terrain; as of April 2003, the bighorn sheep was listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Among fauna found throughout several zones are the mule deer, coyote, mountain lion, red-shafted flicker, and several species of hawk and sparrow. Aquatic life in California is abundant, from the state's mountain lakes and streams to the rocky Pacific coastline. Many trout species are found, among them rainbow, golden, and Tahoe; migratory species of salmon are also common.

    Deep-sea life forms include sea bass, yellowfin tuna, barracuda, and several types of whale. Native to the cliffs of northern California are seals, sea lions, and many types of shorebirds, including several migratory species.

  • California State Bird (California Quail)
  • California Official State Flower (California poppy)
  • California Official State Tree (Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia)
  • Government

    Federal

    California has 53 members in the House of Representatives which is the nation's largest congressional state delegation. Consequently California also has the largest number of electoral votes in national presidential elections, with 55.

    State

    California State Capitol
    California State Capitol
    The California State Capitol located in Sacramento is home to the California government. The building houses the bicameral state legislature and the office of the governor. The grounds of the capitol form the Capitol Park. The Neoclassical structure was completed between 1861 and 1874 at the west end of Capitol Park, which is framed by L Street to the north, N Street to the south, 10th Street to the west, and 15th Street to the east.

    California is organized into three branches of government – the executive branch consisting of the Governor and the other independently elected constitutional officers; the legislative branch consisting of the Assembly and Senate; and the judicial branch consisting of the Supreme Court of California and lower courts. The state also allows ballot propositions: direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.

    To vote in California, one must be a US citizen, at least 18 years old, and have been a resident of the state. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incompetent by the court.

  • State of California Official Website
  • California Courthouses
  • Attractions

    Vibrant cities, beaches, amusement parks, and natural wonders like nowhere else on earth make California an intriguing land of possibilities for travelers. The gateway cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles are home to some of the state's most well-known sites, from the Golden Gate Bridge to Hollywood and Disneyland. But the national parks, covering mountains, forests, desert, coastal areas, and islands offer their own outstanding experiences. The tallest and largest trees on earth, the largest alpine lake in North America, and the famous sites of Yosemite, offer once in a lifetime opportunities for outdoor adventure.
  • California Department of Tourism
  • History

    California Geography, History, Facts

    Health Care

    There are many types healthcare coverage in California. Health insurance, Health Plans (HMOs), and public programs like MediCare and Medi-Cal are all different. They each follow their own set of rules. Different government agencies regulate each one. We have put together this list of healthcare coverage options, descriptions, and the agency that regulates each one. These regulators can help you if you have a question or a complaint.

    Housing Availability in California

    The median home value in California is $544,900. California home values have gone up 6.5% over the past year and predictions are they will rise 8.3% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in California is $319. The median price of homes currently listed in California is $538,990 while the median price of homes that sold is $485,800. The median rent price in California is $2,750.
      In the book. 'How to Buy a House in California California Association of Realtors
    California Department of Real Estate

    California Real Estate Listings at realtor.com

    Attractions

    Attractions of California The benefits of living in California is not just for the excellent choice of housing, low living costs, great employment opportunities, however there's the incredible tourist attractions. There are many unique attractions such as forests, oceans, glittering cities and mountains, The mountains in the state provide great opportunities for biking, hiking and adventure, whereas Lake Tahoe and those marvelous ski resorts present immaculate opportunities for skiers and snowboarders. And don't forget, the Hollywood glamour. More entertainment is assured in the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

    Top 10 California Attractions

    1. Yosemite National Park
    2. Golden Gate Bridge
    3. Lake Tahoe
    4. Big Sur Coastline
    5. Disneyland
    6. Death Valley
    7. Venice Beach
    8. General Sherman
    9. SeaWorld San Diego
    10. Redwood National Park

    Amusement Parks

    Northern California
      Blackbeard's Family Entertainment Center, Fresno
      Boomers, Fresno - Closed
      Funderland, Sacramento
        William Land Park, frequently referred to as simply "Land Park" is a major city park in Sacramento. There are several city attractions located within the park including: The Sacramento Zoo Fairytale Town, a park which has play equipment designed to represent articles from various fairy tales and nursery rhymes (there is a small admission fee).. The William Land Golf Course  and Funderland, a small park with several carnival like rides primarily for very young children.
      Fun Town at Micke Grove, Lodi
      Gilroy Gardens, Gilroy
        A Family Theme Park (formerly known as Bonfante Gardens) is a garden themed family theme park in Gilroy, California. The park has 22 rides and five attractions. It is also home of the Circus Trees, created by Axel Erlandson
      Golfland, Castro Valley, Milpitas, Roseville, San Jose, and Sunnyvale
        Golfland Entertainment Centers are a chain of family amusement centers, miniature golf courses, and water parks located in California and Arizona. The company was founded in 1953.
      Kiwanis Kiddieland, Merced
      Roseville Golfland Sunsplash, Roseville
      Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz
        An oceanfront amusement park in Santa Cruz, California. Founded in 1907, it is California's oldest surviving amusement park and one of the few seaside parks on the West Coast. The Boardwalk extends along the coast of the Monterey Bay, from just east of the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf to the mouth of the San Lorenzo River. There are old-fashioned carnival games and snack booths throughout the 24-acre park. It is located at 400 Beach Street in Santa Cruz,
      Scandia Amusements, Rohnert Park and Sacramento
        A chain of Scandinavian-themed family amusement centers in California, including three locations: Scandia Fun Center in Sacramento, Scandia Family Fun Center in Victorville, and Scandia Amusement Park in Ontario. All three locations are located adjacent to a major freeway, and include attractions such as an arcade, "Baltic Sea Bumper Boats", batting cages, miniature golf, and "Stockholm Raceway". Scandia Amusement Park in Ontario is the only location to include a full amusement park, including two roller coasters, called the "Scandia Screamer" and "Little Screamer", along with twelve other amusement rides.
      Sonoma TrainTown Railroad, Sonoma
        The Sonoma TrainTown Railroad (commonly called "Sonoma Train Town") is a tourist railroad and 10 acre amusement park in Sonoma, California. Its logo is based on the logo for the New York Central Railroad. Its main feature is a 15 gauge miniature railway, which closely corresponds to a 1:4 scale model of a 4 feet 8 1⁄2 inch  railroad.
    San Francisco
      California's Great America, Santa Clara
        California's Great America (formerly known as Marriott's Great America and Paramount's Great America) is a 100-acre amusement park located in Santa Clara, California. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair, it originally opened in 1976 as one of two parks built by the Marriott Corporation. One of its most notable attractions, Gold Striker, has been featured as a top-ranked wooden roller coaster in Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards publication.
      Children's Fairyland, Oakland
        An amusement park, located in Oakland, California, on the shores of Lake Merritt. It was one of the earliest "themed" amusement parks in the United States. Fairyland includes 10 acres of play sets, small rides, and animals. The park is also home to the Open Storybook Puppet Theater, the oldest continuously operating puppet theater in the U.S..
      Happy Hollow Park and Zoo, San Jose
        A small 16-acre zoo and amusement park in San Jose, California, originally opened in 1961. It closed in 2008 for major renovations, and opened its gates again in March of 2010. The park includes: Puppet theater Animal hospital with indoor and outdoor quarantine, surgery and radiology, education center built out of hay bales with year-round classes for ages 12-months to adult, rides and structures for toddlers and children featuring slides, swings, ropes and climbing areas, a carousel and roller coaster and a petting zoo with a barn.
      Pixieland Amusement Park, Concord
      Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Vallejo
        Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (formerly known as Six Flags Marine World, Marine World, The New Marine World Theme Park, and Marine World Africa USA) is a 135-acre animal theme park located in Vallejo, California, roughly halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento on Interstate 80. The park includes a variety of roller coasters and other amusement rides. In 2012, the park added a steel Premier Rides roller coaster called Superman: Ultimate Flight. It is the tallest roller coaster inversion west of the Mississippi River, measuring 150 feet in height. It includes "two upside down twists and two vertical rolls over a track length of 863 feet. In some places, riders traverse speeds of 62 miles per hour.

        In September of 2015, the park announced their tenth major thrill coaster, The Joker, which is a hybrid transformation of Roar. The conversion was performed by Rocky Mountain Construction. The coaster features a 100-foot height, a 78-degree drop, and three inversions including the world's first step-up under flip inverted roll.

    Los Angeles
      Golf 'N' Stuff, Norwalk
      Mountasia Family Fun Center, Valencia
      Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier
        Located on the Santa Monica Pier and looks directly out on the Pacific Ocean, in the direction of Catalina Island. It is the only amusement park on the West Coast built on a pier and LA's only admission-free park. There are a total of twelve rides in the park, including the world's first and only solar powered Ferris wheel that provides a view of the Pacific Ocean and a roller coaster that circles the majority of the park. It has appeared in over 500 movies and television shows.
      Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia
        A 262-acre amusement park located in the Santa Clarita, California neighborhood of Valencia, 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Magic Mountain, a development of the Newhall Land and Farming Company. Six Flags purchased the park in 1979 and added the name "Six Flags" to the park's title. With 19 roller coasters, Six Flags Magic Mountain holds the world record for most roller coasters in an amusement park. In 2017, the park had an estimated 3.3 million visitors ranking it sixteenth in attendance in North America.
      SpeedZone Los Angeles
      Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City
        A film studio and theme park in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County, California. About 70% of the studio lies within the unincorporated county island known as Universal City Universal City includes hotels Universal Hilton & Towers, the Sheraton Universal Hotel, and Universal CityWalk, which has a collection of shops, restaurants, an 18-screen Universal Cinema and a seven-story IMAX theater. In 2017, the park hosted 9,056,000 guests, ranking it 15th in the world and 9th among North American parks.
    Orange County
      Adventure City, Anaheim
        An amusement park in Stanton, California. Occupying an area of over 2 acres (0.81 ha), Adventure City is one of the smallest theme parks in California, and attracts an average attendance of between 200,000 and 400,000 per year.
      Boomers, Fountain Valley
        A chain of family entertainment centers which feature indoor activities such as carousels, kiddie swings, restaurants, musical shows, and video game arcades, and outdoor activities such as miniature golf, kiddie rides, bumper boats, batting cages, go-karts, kiddie roller coasters, and laser tag. The Modesto, Irvine, and San Diego locations each have a ride called the Flamethrower.
      Disneyland Resort
        The Disneyland Resort, commonly known as Disneyland, is an entertainment resort in Anaheim, California. It is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company through its Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products division and is home to two theme parks (Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure), three hotels, and a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex known as Downtown Disney.
      Disney California Adventure, Anaheim
        Disney California Adventure Park, commonly referred to as Disney California Adventure, California Adventure, or DCA, is a theme park located in Anaheim, California. The 72-acre park is themed after the history and culture of California, which celebrates the fun and adventure of the state through the use of various Disney, Pixar and Marvel properties. The park opened in 2001 as Disney's California Adventure Park, and it is the second of two theme parks built at the Disneyland Resort complex, after Disneyland Park.
      Disneyland, Anaheim
        Disneyland Park, originally Disneyland, is the first of two theme parks built at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, opened on July 17, 1955. It is the only theme park designed and built to completion under the direct supervision of Walt Disney. It was originally the only attraction on the property; its official name was changed to Disneyland Park to distinguish it from the expanding complex in the 1990s.
      Golfland, Anaheim
        Golfland Entertainment Centers are a chain of family amusement centers, miniature golf courses, and water parks located in California and Arizona. The company was founded in 1953.
      Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park
        Knott’s Berry Farm is a 160-acre theme park located in Buena Park, California, and owned by Cedar Fair. In 2017, it was the tenth-most-visited theme park in North America. Knott's Berry Farm is also the most-visited theme park in the Cedar Fair chain. The park features 40 rides including roller coasters, family rides, and water rides, and it employs approximately 10,000 people. The park was acquired by Cedar Fair in the late 1990s, and the family's food business was eventually sold to The J. M. Smucker Company.
    Riverside County
      Castle Park, Riverside
        Castle Park, formerly called Castle Amusement Park, it is a 25-acre amusement park and family amusement center located in Riverside, California. The park features a medieval "castle" theme and includes attractions such as a miniature golf course, arcade, and 27 amusement rides including three roller coasters such as "Merlin's Revenge", a junior rollercoaster, "Screamin' Demon" a spinning Wild Mouse rollercoaster, and "Little Dipper", a children's rollercoaster. The main "castle" themed building, houses the arcade as well as its only dark ride; "Ghost Blasters", an interactive attraction
    San Bernardino County
    San Diego
      Belmont Park, San Diego
        A historic oceanfront amusement park located in the Mission Bay area of San Diego, California. The park was developed by sugar magnate John D. Spreckels and opened on July 4, 1925 as the Mission Beach Amusement Center. In addition to providing recreation and amusement, it also was opened as a way to help Spreckles sell land in Mission Beach. Located on the beach, it attracts millions of people each year. The park's most iconic attraction is the historic Giant Dipper roller coaster, which is considered a local landmark.
      Boomers, El Cajon
      Frasier's Frontier, El Cajon - Closed
      Legoland California, Carlsbad
        A theme park, miniature park, and aquarium in Carlsbad, California, based on the Lego toy brand. Opening on March 20, 1999, it was the third Legoland park to open, and the first outside Europe. A second park in the United States, Legoland Florida, opened in 2011.
      SeaWorld San Diego
        An animal theme park, oceanarium, outside aquarium, and marine mammal park, in San Diego, California, located inside Mission Bay Park. The park is owned by the City of San Diego and operated by SeaWorld Entertainment. As of 2017, there were 26 animal habitats, 15 rides, 20 shows, 5 seasonal events, and 11 "distinctive experiences" (including special experiences such as swimming with dolphins).

    National Parks

    Channel Islands National Park, Ventura, CA
      Channel Islands National Park encompasses five remarkable islands and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants, and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth and helped preserve a place where visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was.
    Devils Postpile National Monument, the Sierra Nevada near Mammoth Lakes, CA
      Established in 1911 by presidential proclamation, Devils Postpile National Monument protects and preserves the Devils Postpile formation, the 101-foot high Rainbow Falls, and pristine mountain scenery. The formation is a rare sight in the geologic world and ranks as one of the world's finest examples of columnar basalt. Its columns tower 60 feet high and display an unusual symmetry.
    Death Valley National Park, Death Valley, CA,NV
      In this below-sea-level basin, steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Yet, each extreme has a striking contrast. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
    Joshua Tree National Park, Southern California between I-10 and Hwy 62; headquarters in Twentynine Palms, CA
      Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California. Come explore for yourself.
    Lassen Volcanic National Park, Mineral, CA
      Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to steaming fumaroles, meadows freckled with wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, and numerous volcanoes. Jagged peaks tell the story of its eruptive past while hot water continues to shape the land. Lassen Volcanic offers opportunities to discover the wonder and mysteries of volcanoes and hot water for visitors willing to explore the undiscovered.
    Pinnacles National Park, Paicines, CA
      Some 23 million years ago multiple volcanoes erupted, flowed, and slid to form what would become Pinnacles National Park. What remains is a unique landscape. Travelers journey through chaparral, oak woodlands, and canyon bottoms. Hikers enter rare talus caves and emerge to towering rock spires teeming with life: prairie and peregrine falcons, golden eagles, and the inspiring California condor.
    Redwood National and State Parks, Del Norte & Humboldt counties , CA
      Most people know Redwood as home to the tallest trees on Earth. The parks also protect vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild river-ways, and nearly 40-miles of rugged coastline. For thousands of years people have lived in this verdant landscape. Together, the National Park Service and California State Parks are managing and restoring these lands for the inspiration, enjoyment, and education of all.
    Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, In the southern Sierra Nevada in Tulare and Fresno counties, CA
      This dramatic landscape testifies to nature's size, beauty, and diversity--huge mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, and the world's largest trees. These two parks lie side by side in the southern Sierra Nevada east of the San Joaquin Valley. Weather varies a lot by season and elevation, which ranges from 1,370' to 14,494'.
    Yosemite National Park, the Sierra Nevada, CA
      Not just a great valley, but a shrine to human foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra. First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.

    National Forests

    Inyo National Forest - California and Nevada - 1,957,264 acres
      Located in the Sierra Nevada, Inyo includes Mono Lake, bristlecone pines, the Long Valley Caldera, nine wilderness areas, and Mount Whitney, which at 14,505 feet is the highest point in the United States outside of Alaska
    Lake Tahoe Basin National Forest - California and Nevada - 152,008 acres
      The Forest Service lands surrounding Lake Tahoe are managed by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, which was created in April 1973 as a way of protecting the lake's unique ecological and recreational values
    Klamath National Forest - California and Oregon - 1,672,442 acres
      Straddling the California-Oregon border, this forest has part of five wilderness areas, 152 miles of wild and scenic rivers, and 200 miles of rivers for rafting, including on the Klamath River. The Siskiyou mariposa lily is endemic to the forest, being found nowhere else in the world
    Cleveland National Forest - 425,580 acres
      Located in southern California, Cleveland National Forest has a Mediterranean climate and four wilderness areas. There are 22 endangered plant and animal species found in the forest. With its highest point at 6,271 feet on Monument Peak, elevations are not as high here as in most of California's other National Forests
    San Bernardino National Forest - 678,980 acres
      San Bernardino National Forest includes part of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. The forest surrounds Lake Arrowhead and other reservoirs.
    Angeles National Forest - 661,565 acres
      Located in the San Gabriel Mountains at the edge of the Los Angeles metro area, this National Forest includes five wilderness areas. Much of the forest is dense chaparral, elevations in the forest range from 1,200 feet to 10,064 feet at the summit of Mount San Antonio
    Los Padres National Forest - 1,772,237 acres
      Encompassing portions of the California Coast and Transverse ranges of central California, Los Padres has ten wilderness areas covering about 48% of the forest. There are 1,257 miles of trails and part of the Jacinto Reyes National Scenic Byway
    Sequoia National Forest - 1,139,240 acres
      Sequoia National Forest includes Giant Sequoia National Monument, both named for the giant sequoia, the largest tree species in the world. There are 2,500 miles of maintained and abandoned roads and 850 miles of trails in the forest, including the Pacific Crest Trail
    Sierra National Forest - 1,311,231 acres
      Sierra National Forest is located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada and elevations reach 13,986 feet. There are 1,800 miles of streams, 480 lakes, 11 reservoirs, and 63 campgrounds in the forest
    Stanislaus National Forest - 899,427 acres
      Stanislaus National Forest has over 800 miles of streams and four wilderness areas, including the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. The Emigrant Wilderness borders the northwest corner of Yosemite National Park
    Eldorado National Forest - 695,098 acres
      Located in the Sierra Nevada, Eldorado National Forest has 611 miles of fishable streams and 297 lakes and reservoirs. There are 349 miles of trails and 2,367 miles of roads in the forest. The forest's Desolation Wilderness is the most visited wilderness area per acre in the country
    Tahoe National Forest - 872,981 acres
      Tahoe National Forest is in the Sierra Nevada northwest of Lake Tahoe. Part of the Granite Chief Wilderness is within the forest. The Middle Fork of the American, Yuba, and North Yuba rivers cross or border the forest
    Mendocino National Forest - 915,532 acres
      Mendocino is the only National Forest in California not crossed by a paved highway. The forest's Genetic Resource and Conservation Center produces plants for reforestation, watershed restoration, wildlife recovery, and other projects
    Plumas National Forest - 1,189,554 acres
      There are 127,000 acres of old-growth forest in Plumas National Forest. The Little Grass Valley Recreation Area surrounds Little Grass Valley Reservoir and includes a campground and boat launch, among other facilities and services
    Lassen National Forest - 1,066,027 acres
      Surrounding Lassen Volcanic National Park, this forest has three wilderness areas and 92,000 acres (37,000 ha) of old-growth Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forests. Subway Cave is a lava tube that is 0.3 miles.long and open to the public
    Six Rivers National Forest - 977,090 acres
      Six Rivers National Forest was named for the Smith, Klamath, Trinity, Mad, Van Duzen, and Eel rivers. The forest includes the Salmon River system, all of which has been designated a National Wild and Scenic River.
    Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 2,229,286 acres
      There are 6,278 miles of streams in the forest, and elevations range from 1,000 feet to 14,179 feet on Mount Shasta. Five wilderness areas and 460 miles of trails can be found in the forest.
    Modoc National Forest - 1,680,405 acres
      Modoc National Forest contains the Medicine Lake Volcano, which has an elevation of 7,921 feet and is the largest shield volcano in North America. There are 43,400 acres of old-growth forest here along with Mill Creek Falls in the South Warner Wilderness

    Native American Casinos

    California Native American Casinos
      Federally recognized tribes can operate casinos under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and tribal-state compacts negotiated with the state. As of 2018, 62 tribal casinos were operating in California

    Sports

    California has 29 professional sports league franchises, far greater than any other state. The San Francisco Bay Area has seven major league teams encompassing three major cities: San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. While the Greater Los Angeles Area is home to ten major league franchises. San Diego and Sacramento each have one major league team. The NFL Super Bowl has been hosted in California 11 times at four different stadiums: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Rose Bowl, Stanford Stadium, and San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium. A twelfth, Super Bowl 50, was held at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara on February 7, 2016.

    California has respected collegiate sports programs for many years. California is home to the oldest college bowl game, the annual Rose Bowl, among others.

  • California Sports
  • Taxes

    California taxes are among the highest taxes in the nation. Its base sales tax rate of 7.25% is higher than that of any other state, and its top marginal income tax rate of 13.3% is the highest state income tax rate in the nation. The Golden State fares slightly better where real estate is concerned. In 2016, the average homeowner paid just 0.75% of their actual home values in real estate taxes each year, 15th lowest in the country.
    • Income tax: 1% - 13.3%
    • Sales tax: 7.35% - 10.25%
    • Property tax: 0.75% average effective rate
    • Gas tax: 53.32 cents per gallon of regular gasoline, 55.07 cents per gallon of diesel

    Transportation

    Avation

    The 405 Freeway by LAX
    The 405 Freeway by LAX Photo courtesy of Alfred Twu
    California Airports. California is the third largest state in the USA. Due to its rapid economic growth and its liberal views on many issues, it attracts a global mass. As a result, California has a bewildering number of international airports to facilitate work for all traffic flowing into the state.

    California International Airports include Fresno Yosemite International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Metropolitan Oakland International Airport, Ontario International Airport, Palm Springs International Airport, Sacramento International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, the International Airport of San Jose and the San Bernardino International Airport.

    Other major airports are located in Crescent City, Yreka, Arcata, Eureka, Alturas, Redding, Susanville, Chico, Ft. Bragg, Ukiah, Willows, Chico, Oroville, Marysville, Truckee, Maroon, Santa Maria, Lompoc, Santa Barbara and Calexico. The international airports in California have a high level of standards to maintain as they receive nearly 100 million people annually. The airports around the state are well maintained and prioritize customer satisfaction. The airports are also handicapped friendly.

    Roads

    Interstate Highways
     I-5 - 796.432 miles long
     I-5W
     I-8 - 171.98 miles long
     I-10 - 243.31 miles long
     I-15 - 287.26[ miles long
     I-15E
     I-40 - 154.623 miles long
     I-80 - 205.07 miles long

    Ports

    Port of Long Beach
    Port of Los Angeles
    Port of Oakland
    Port of Richmond
    Port of Sacramento
    Port of Stockton

    Rail

    Class I Freight Carriers
    BNSF Railway - Parent Company - Berkshire Hathaway - Miles - 2,114
    Union Pacific Railroad - Parent Company - UPRR  - Miles - 3,292

     Passenger
    Intercity

    Amtrak (AMTK): California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited
    Amtrak California (CDTX): Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin
    California High-Speed Rail (under construction)
    Commuter rail
    Altamont Corridor Express (ACE)
    Arrow (under construction)
    Caltrain (JPBX) Coaster (SDNX)
    Metrolink (SCAX)
    Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART)

    Taxes

    California Tax Facts
    • Income tax: 1% - 13.3%
    • Sales tax: 7.35% - 10.25%
    • Property tax: 0.75% average effective rate
    • Gas tax: 53.32 cents per gallon of regular gasoline, 55.07 cents per gallon of diesel

    Property Taxes:
    California Real Estate Tax Questions and Information

    California Cities and Towns

    California is divided into 58 counties and contains 482 municipalities. One, San Francisco, is a consolidated city-county. California law makes no distinction between "city" and "town", and municipalities may use either term in their official names. They can be organized as either a charter municipality, governed by its own charter, or a general-law municipality, governed by state law.

    The largest municipality by population and land area is Los Angeles with 3,792,621 residents and 468.67 square miles. The smallest by population is Vernon with 112 people, while the smallest by land area is Amador City at 0.31 square miles.

  • California Cities and Towns A - F
  • California Cities and Towns G - P
  • California Cities and Towns Q - Z
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