An active small city with an educated population, Davis is enviromentally-friendly, progressive and the site of the University of California - Davis campus.
About an hour northeast of San Francisco and 20 miles from the Napa Valley in northern California, Fairfield is a comfortable city and home to the famous Jelly Belly jellybean factory.
Mellow, "beachy" Morro Bay became a summer vacation destination at the turn of the 20th century. After World War II, it also became a fishing village and is still one today.
Known as the "last free place in America," Slab City is a squatter settlement that is home a a sizeable number of RV "snowbirds" and people who want to live off the grid.
Posh and prosperous, San Luis Obispo is one of California's oldest communities and is known for its beautiful climate, charming town center and lack of fast food drive-thru restaurants.
Called the "American Riviera," Santa Barbara was settled by Spanish missionaries in the late-18th century and today is a mellow, upscale seaside city in a gorgeous setting.
Twenty miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, Sebastopol is surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards and has a bohemian vibe.
Thanks to the treaty that ended the Mexican-American War, the Golden State became a U.S. territory in 1847. Gold was found at Sutter's Mill in 1848. The land crowded with fortune seekers, and, shortly thereafter, California entered the Union as its 31st state.
California has 900 miles of coastline and claims the highest and lowest point in the continental U.S. Its terrain varies dramatically - from sandy beaches to rugged mountains, deserts to fertile farmland. Landmarks like Hollywood, Disneyland, and the Golden Gate Bridge play a large part in the nation's history and imagination.
Although Texas and New York have tried to close the gap, California's economy continues to be nation's largest. Agriculture, manufacturing, biotechnology, and tourism are some of its leading industries.
Cities of the Golden State have put some odd laws on the books. It's illegal to molest a monarch in Pacific Grove. Want to throw a frisbee on an L.A. County beach? Better ask a lifeguard first. What about bowling on the sidewalks of Chico? Strictly forbidden!
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