California, a state in the western United States. It is bordered by Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and Mexico and stretches along the Pacific Ocean for roughly 800 miles (1,300 km). Occupying 158,706 square miles (411,047 km2), California is the third largest state in the nation, after Alaska and Texas.

California is outstanding in its diversity. Its landscapes include high, snow-covered mountains, barren deserts, fertile valleys, and coastal areas of breathtaking beauty. The state's economy is equally varied. California outranks all other states in total employment and contribution to the nation's economy. The population, too, is diverse. Since the Gold Rush of 1849, California has drawn people from all other parts of the country. To many, California has been the land of the future, with room and opportunities for all. Others came for the mild, sunny climate. The attraction was such that by the mid-1960's California had become the most populous state in the nation.

California'sCalifornia's state flower is the golden poppy.
Interesting facts about California
The highest temperature ever recorded in the United States, 134 degrees F. (57 degrees C), was measured in Death Valley on July 10, 1913. In addition, the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere is located near Badwater in Death Valley. It lies 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level.
The world's tallest known tree rises 368 feet (112 meters) in the Tall Trees Grove in Redwood National Park.
The first cable car street railway system was installed in San Francisco in 1873.
The General Sherman tree, in Sequoia National Park, is one of the world's largest living things. It has a circumference of 103 feet (31.4 meters) at the base and rises 275 feet (83.8 meters). The tree is estimated to be about 2,500 years old.
The first synchronized sound cartoon was Walt Disney's Steamboat Willie, produced in Hollywood in 1928. It featured Mickey Mouse.