California: The ‘island’ of dreamsBottom Highlights, Real Estate Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
California is a big place and it comes in first in all kinds of ways. It’s the most populous state in the U.S. with over 38 million residents. It isn’t the largest, coming in third in land area after Alaska and Texas. It does, however, boast the highest point in the continental U.S., (Mt. Whitney at 14,495 feet) as well as the lowest (Death Valley at 282 feet below sea level).
We all know how many amazing trends seem to start in California, and what a place of dreams it remains in the consciousness of many people. The name itself has an allure, arising from the queen of a mythical island named Califia. She was featured in a Spanish romance, Las Sergas de Esplandian written by Montalvo in 1510, and adopted by Spanish explorers.
Looking around the state, you can sense a thriving economy and indeed, California has the largest economy in the Union. What you may not know is that it is the first state to reach a trillion dollars in gross state product, the seventh largest economy when ranked with the countries of the world. Pretty impressive.
I looked up other statistics that may amaze you. The list of firsts is compelling. Here are a fabulous 10:
• More turkeys are raised in the state than any other.
• San Bernardino County is the largest county in the U.S. at over 3 million acres.
• The largest population of bald eagles in the continental U.S. reside at Klamath Basin.
• The Hollywood Bowl is the world’s largest outdoor amphitheater.
• San Francisco Bay is considered the world’s largest landlocked harbor.
• The largest living tree (102 feet in circumference) is in Sequoia National Park.
• The country store in Baker leads the state in sale of winning lottery tickets.
• Fallbrook grows more avocados than any other area in the U.S.
• The largest railroad museum in the U.S. is in Sacramento.
• There are over a half million detectable seismic tremors in the state annually.
These and other facts come from the Web site 50states.com. You’ll find much more of interest here.
Now that we’ve reviewed a few interesting trivia tidbits about California, we might consider what’s new in the state. I found a few snazzy additions you might want to take in. For travelers, there are apparently some new hip hotels debuting this summer. Even the names suggest a good time. You might consider The Dazzler Clark, Dream Hollywood or the NoMad Hotel, all new in Los Angeles. For something a bit off the path, there is Casa Malibu with 18 rooms modeled after a Japanese ryokan. In fun Anaheim the Great Wolf Lodge has its own indoor water park just for guests.
New rides at Disneyland in 2016 include Autopia for car lovers, Hyperspace Mountain and other Star Wars themed newbies, and you can make reservations for a Paint the Night dinner package with preferred viewing for the nightly parade.
One out of every eight United States residents call California their home. The other seven look to the state as one of the top destinations for travel. The explorers who discovered the state apparently believed California to be an island. Island of dreams, perhaps, as the legend grows.
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