Surf and Sunshine
|With the discovery of gold near Sacramento in 1848, young men hurried to California from every corner of the world in search of riches. After the gold rush came the railroad and with it, explosive economic growth. Dream-chasers kept coming, planting orange groves, developing a glamorous movie industry, and turning tiny villages into cosmopolitan jewels. Even now, people from around the globe continue to follow their dreams to California, not only to enjoy Disneyland or work in Silicon Valley, but also to experience sunny days in the midst of rich natural wonders.|
|From the Sierra Nevadas to the rugged Big Sur coastline, The Golden State offers some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the nation. Yosemite Park is a national treasure, its glacier-carved Half Dome one of the most photographed - and climbed - granite formations in the world. Many of the giant sequoia trees found in the Sierra Nevada mountain range are over 3,000 years old and still growing! California boasts both the highest peak in the 48 contiguous U.S. states - Mt. Whitney, elevation 14,495 feet - and the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere: Badwater in Death Valley National Park, elevation 282 feet below sea level.
But California is best known for its coveted coastline and gorgeous beaches. Southern California is a sunbather's paradise, with Mission Beach, La Jolla Shores, Venice Beach, and Laguna Beach among the most popular choices for swimming, surfing, or just strolling along the edge of the Pacific. California's central coast includes Big Sur, a surrealistic stretch of rugged shoreline where rocky cliffs rise out of the churning ocean to kiss the sun or greet the mist.
|When in California, do as Californians do - make the most of the outdoors! Whether hiking in ancient forests, skiing in the High Sierras, sailing along the Pacific, or working on your tan in sunny beaches, you'll be delighted by California's treasure-trove of scenic wonders.|