Online Atlas > California > California Museums • California Photographs
California facts and history plus travel and tourism information.
Spanning hundreds of miles along America's Pacific coast, California became the 31st state on September 9, 1850 and is now the third-largest state. In the sixteenth century, travelers from Portugal, Spain, Mexico, England, and Russia explored California, and Spanish missionaries came as early as 1769, following the founding of the mission of San Diego. The Gold Rush in 1848 greatly influenced the arrival of more settlers, leading to California's statehood two years later.
California is still a unique place with famous attractions and coastal cities. To the north, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge lie between the beautiful San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Just down the coast, Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey has interesting events and exhibits of marine life. In the south, Hollywood has contributed to Los Angeles' fame, and nearby, Disneyland lures families and fun-seekers alike. Further south near the US-Mexico border, San Diego is known for the San Diego Zoo and some of the best weather in the world.
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California History and Geography