California is arguably the most popular state in the US. Everyone from residents of the US to those who’ve never been in the country has some ideas about the state. So, why is California so popular?
California owes its popularity to many factors such as its large population, the abundance of beaches, Hollywood and its productions, quality wines, Disneyland, Silicon Valley innovations, its produce and cuisines, prestigious festivals and sports teams, geographical diversity, and the Death Valley.
The presence of all these factors within the state makes it unique. Coupled with this is its economy with a GDP of $3.4 trillion, enough to make it the fifth-largest in the world if it was a country. This article discusses the factors responsible for the popularity of California.
Perhaps the first reason for California’s popularity is that it has the largest population in the US. With over 40 million people, 1 in every eight persons in the US lives in California. So, it’s not surprising that most people get to hear and know about California through their interactions with Californians.
The beaches of California also contribute significantly to its popularity. While there are several other states with beautiful beaches, none are as famous as California. Almost every county in the state has a beach. There are public and private beaches for people to do activities ranging from swimming to sunbathing. California is particular about the cleanliness of its coasts, so the beaches are clean, with the surroundings also offering a beautiful and spectacular setting for many people. There are several beaches all over the state, some good for swimming and diving and others for surfing and other water activities. Nothing beats California beaches, and each year, millions of people come here just for that.
Hollywood is the biggest film industry in the world, and it has its origins here in California. The state is home to several media houses and studios, which has made it the center of entertainment for the whole world. CBS Studios, MTV, Dolby Theater, NBC Studios, NBC, BET, Comedy Central, and more are all here. Even though four of the big five studios have moved their sites from actual Hollywood, they’re still within California, contributing immensely to the state’s popularity.
Wine is the official drink of California, and that’s a testament to its wine-producing region, Napa Valley. Almost 90% of the US total wine production comes from California, where wine production has been on since the 18th century. There are about 1,200 wineries in the state, ranging from small-scale and large-scale plants. The major wine regions in California are Napa Valley, Central Valley, and the Russian River Valley. There are 261 American Viticultural Areas, and California alone has 139 of them. Its quality wine has also made it a very popular place, and many people visit California just for the wine.
5. Death Valley
This is on the northern side of the Mojave Desert and is one of the most significant places in the US. This valley contains the Badwater Basin, which is the lowest point in the contiguous United States and, in fact, the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level. The Death Valley is also the hottest place globally, and the highest temperature ever, 56.7 Celsius, was recorded here on July 10, 1913. In addition, the Death Valley contains the Death Valley National Park, which contains some of the world’s rarest species of plants and animals.
Anaheim, California, is the home of Disneyland, the most popular theme park in the world. If kids know about California, it’s likely because of Disneyland, which opened in 1955. Since it opened, the park has received over 700 million visitors. Every year over 10 million guests come to this park annually. Only Magic Kingdom in Florida, another Walt Disney-owned theme park, receives more visitors than Disneyland annually.
7. Geographical Diversity
California is very diverse with the various ecosystems within the state. Beyond having the lowest point in North America, it also has the highest point in the contiguous United States with Mt Whitney. There are as many beaches as deserts here, and while one part of the state is known for its sunny weather, there are also areas with heavy snow and rainfall. This state’s geographical diversity has helped it have an expansive park system despite not being the biggest state by landmass in the country. Every year, millions visit these parks to see the landmarks and diverse ecosystems. One of the landmarks here is the largest tree in the world, General Sherman, in the Sequoia National Park.
8. Silicon Valley
The presence of Silicon Valley has also contributed significantly to the state’s popularity. Almost everyone uses a tool or technology traceable to Silicon Valley. Whether it’s your social media apps, cars, phones, or even computers, this area is responsible for many technological innovations. In addition, almost all the major global technology companies have their origin here in California.
Another likely reason for California’s popularity is its food scene. The state has excellent weather, making it possible to have all kinds of vegetables and fruits throughout the season. It produces a significant amount of the fruits and vegetables consumed by the rest of America. Beyond its natural produce, the state also has a vibrant food scene. Being the city of stars, it has its choice of culinary delights. The state had 90 Michelin-starred restaurants and 657 restaurants with different kinds of Michelin honors. This is a testament to how great the food here is. Speaking of produce, the avocadoes here are legendary, and the city of Fallbrook in California celebrates Avocado Festival annually.
10. Festivals and Sports
California is also home to some of the biggest festivals, whether in film, music, or cultural events. Coachella holds here, and so does the LA Film Festival and several international events. These international festivals bring millions of people into the state annually, further boosting its popularity. In addition, the sports scene is vibrant, especially in the major cities, with several top teams competing in the major leagues and being renowned globally.
California is popular for lots of reasons. The presence of all these diverse factors within the state means that people can visit with different purposes in mind and get what they want.