Scenic USA - California

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of historic sites, points of interest, and a large
sampling of America's parklands. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided, but in no means should they be considered an endorsement.


The Golden State

Golden State - California

Photo by Ben Prepelka

     California, third largest state in the country, has been called the Golden State long before state officials adopted the nickname in 1968. Covered in golden poppies in the spring, flowing fields of golden grasses in the fall, a famous bridge, coastal sunsets, and fascinating tales of large gold nuggets that attracted prospectors by thousands, California has truly captured a snapshot of its essence in a nickname.
     Often celebrated for its highest peak and America’s lowest desert, California is famous for a claim to be able to swim or surf and snow ski on the same day. Its broad spectrum of unique parkland and state wide attractions help make California a vacation paradise.
     With all that said, California's main industry is its agricultural business. Sometimes referred to as “the most productive unnatural agricultural land on earth”, California’s most fertile farmland survives on irrigation. To the north, Napa Valley and its vineyards are called Tuscany West, giving a nod to an Italian influence in the region. At mid-state, the broad Sacramento River Valley is dotted with orchards, both fruit and nut, plus endless fields of vegetables, cotton and rice. To the south, the San Joaquin Valley boasts a title of the food basket of the world, producing nearly 13 percent of America's livestock and crops. Here in the San Joaquin Valley water usage ran unchecked for years, and now famers are running into serious shortages of irrigation water leaving crops withering in the sun. As suburban sprawl moves eastward, farmers and ranchers are selling out and moving into the foothills. This once abandoned farmstead is now being used for cattle production. Here in Fresno County, a sea of autumn’s golden grass helps brighten the Sierra-Nevada foothills.



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