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20 Reasons to Like California

Updated on November 14, 2015
See individual photos for attribution
See individual photos for attribution | Source

Love It Or Leave It

What are your feelings towards California?

See results

No Respect for California

A fellow writer wrote a wonderful article on Hubpages called “How to Get Ideas for Writing”. One of her article ideas was about Florida and why one wouldn't want to live there. I thought it would be fun to make a list about my state, California.

As a native Californian, I am always amused at the jokes and jabs at my state. They are not always flattering. For instance, in January 2015 Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, gave his people a warning that their cities were becoming Californiaized. Is that even word? My spell checker doesn't like it. Hand me the Webster's!

Why the bad feelings towards the Golden State? What did California ever do to you, Governor Abbott?

Oh, he's not the only one who refers to California as a bad example. It seems the state is always getting knocked around for something. We're the Rodney Dangerfields of the United States. Can't get no respect. We're the tree huggers with the solar powered toilets. We're munching on granola while singing Green Day in our hybrid cars.

Well, that might be us, but there's a whole lot more to California! See my list and let me know if you agree!

Sue Ann, Small World, and a Bridge

Sue Ann was a far cry from Rose
Sue Ann was a far cry from Rose | Source
Don't miss the laughing hyena at Disneyland.
Don't miss the laughing hyena at Disneyland. | Source
It took courage to build this bridge.
It took courage to build this bridge. | Source

Good Weather and Disneyland

1. Climates and Landscape. We're known for our micro-climates and changing scenery. There's pretty much something for everyone. Like the heat? Go south or inland. You're bound to hit the deserts and valleys. Prefer a little fog? Head out to the coast and watch the waves of the Pacific Ocean caress the beaches. Are you a hiker or skier? The Sierra's are calling you. Like it just about 75 degrees? Head out to the San Francisco Bay Area or San Diego. You want to experience civilization? Plenty of big cities and little towns to explore. We even have a volcano, Mt. Lassen, which last erupted in 1917.

2. Betty White. I bet you thought she was a product of Minnesota. Nope. Betty White was born in Beverly Hills and graduated from Beverly Hills High School. Rose was only a character she portrayed on Golden Girls. She got her start in radio in 1939 and she's been making us laugh ever since.

3. The Golden Gate Bridge. If you've ever stood at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge and seen the expanse that it covers you probably wondered how they ever pulled it off. The bridge is one of the many projects undertaken during the height of the Depression that got folks back to work. And, it almost didn't happen. The Crash of 1929 made it impossible for the state to sell the bonds needed to fund the project. It was the founder of Bank of America, Amadeo Giannini, who funded the project.

4. Silicon Valley. Stanford University was a draw for many innovators and thinkers in the 1940s and 1950s. The first tech manufacturer set up in Palo Alto in the 1950s and it grew from there with Intel and other tech companies springing up. And, don't forget Google and Facebook! So many every day items can trace their roots to this little part of the state...iToys, anyone?

5. Disneyland. Come on, it's the happiest place on earth! This amusement park is enjoyed by children and adults alike. I've been there a few times myself. The park is forever updating so you get something new each time you visit. Don't tell me you've got something against Mickey Mouse?

El Capitan and Avocado

Source
Wouldn't you like some?
Wouldn't you like some? | Source

Yosemite and Big Trees

6. Yosemite National Park, the El Capitan Climbers, and Waterfalls. I bet you, too, sat transfixed watching those two guys climb up El Capitan. What is it about Yosemite that draws millions of tourists and adventurous hikers and climbers each year? Is it the granite walls? Could it be the gentle mist felt at the base of Bridalveil Falls? It all starts with what Ansel Adams called the Range of Light. There's no way you can enter the road to Yosemite Valley and not be awestruck by the grandeur.

7. Avocados. If nothing more, we grow the tastiest avocados. Where would your guacamole for Super Bowl Sunday be without them? It's rich in nutrients and an easy way to get a green themed food for your office's St. Patrick's Day party.

8. The Bay to Breakers. It's a marathon surrounded by a street festival. It's the costumes and the, um, lack of costumes we find so entertaining.. People do take this race seriously. It can be a challenge running up and down those San Francisco Hills. But, I prefer seeing what crazy costumes folks can come up with each year.

9. Stanford University's Mascot and Marching Band. Stanford, with all those geniuses and medical research breakthroughs, has the goofiest mascot. And then, there is the marching band. Or is it an un-marching band? They're the ones with the bandleader in a wedding dress (or other garb), where the musicians march to their own drum beat, and cowbell guy rocks out...you remember cowbell guy, don't you?

10. Giant Sequoia Trees. They rate as some of the oldest living beings on earth. The oldest specimen found was 3,500 years old. They are the largest trees on earth averaging 200 feet tall and 23 feet wide. Stand under one and you can't help but feel very small. These trees can only be found in certain parts of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Twenty Completely Random Trivia Facts

Item
Fact
Average Temperature in Los Angeles
75.2 F
Betty White's First TV Appearance
Hollywood on Television (1949)
Golden Gate Bridge Half Way to Hell Club
19 men who were saved by the safety net
First Silicon Valley Tech Company
Shockley Semiconductor (1956)
Opening Year Attendance at Disneyland
1 million visitors (opened 17 Jul 1955)
First People to Climb El Capitan
Warren Harding, Wayne Merry, and George Whitmore (1957)
Percentage of US avocados grown in California
95%
Reason Bay to Breakers was created
To lift people's spirits after the 1906 earthquake
Year the Tree became Stanford's unofficial mascot
1975 (it belongs to the band, not the university)
Special feature of Giant Sequoia bark
It is fire resistant
Role Tom Hanks played on Happy Days
Former classmate of the Fonz
Official name of Carmel
Carmel-By-The-Sea
Feature that made Levi's unique
Copper rivets
Person who owned Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Sid Grauman
Company that built the Endeavor
Rockwell International
Number of volunteers who put together Batkid's special day
Approx. 12,000

Beautiful Poppies

You cannot help be overwhelmed by a field of orange poppies
You cannot help be overwhelmed by a field of orange poppies | Source

Two Great Movies

A League of Their Own/Sleepless in Seattle
A League of Their Own/Sleepless in Seattle

Two of the best movies from native Californian, Tom Hanks.

 

Well Respected Actor and Wineries

11. Tom Hanks. One hell of an actor, isn't he? He is a product of Concord, CA and often waxes poetic about his days at Chabot Community College before he got his big break. Since then acted on TV and in movies. He won his two best actor awards for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump. And, before that, he made his splash dressed up as a woman on Bosom Buddies.

12. Carmel. The cypress trees overlooking the shoreline are stunning. There's multimillion dollar homes that make your mouth drop open. You might even catch some golf with former mayor of Carmel, Clint Eastwood. Did you know he is a native of San Francisco?

13. Venus and Serena Williams. The tennis greats are from Lynwood, CA. I had to look it up. It's in Los Angeles County. They took the tennis world by storm in the early 1990s. Now in their early 30s, they have 26 Grand Slams between them. Not bad, eh?

14. The California Poppy. It is one of the most simple, vibrant flowers you'll ever see. A field of orange poppies in bloom can take your breath away. There are several patches growing in my neighborhood. When they bloom, we know spring is right around the corner.

15. The Wine Country. You like wine, don't you? Well, drive on up to Sonoma and Napa Counties where you can indulge in all the wine tasting and warm weather that you can stand.

Celebrities and Batkid

Cary Grant is one of my all time favorite actors.  It was fun searching for his square.
Cary Grant is one of my all time favorite actors. It was fun searching for his square. | Source
Batkid gets the key to the city from Mayor Ed Lee
Batkid gets the key to the city from Mayor Ed Lee | Source

Cookbook with a California Flavor

The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market Cookbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Impeccable Produce Plus 130 Seasonal Recipes
The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market Cookbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Impeccable Produce Plus 130 Seasonal Recipes

Farmer's Markets are big in California. These recipes showcases our delight in local produce.

 

Famous Chocolatier and Batkid

16. Ghirardelli Chocolate. They've been around since 1852. It's the second oldest company in the United States. The parent company is now Lindt and Spungli, but headquarters and production are right here in San Leandro, California. They are a certified green company and they control the entire production process from bean to chocolate product.

17. Forecourt of the Stars. You've probably seen the ceremonies where a famous person bends over to plant their hands in a square of cement. These squares are in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly called Graumann's Chinese Theatre). The first prints were cemented by actress Norma Talmadge on 18 May 1927.

18. Levi Strauss & Co. The company was founded in 1853 in San Francisco, CA to serve the apparel needs of gold miners. He and Jacob Davis patented the reinforced rivets in jeans. What kind of pants might you be wearing today on your lazy Sunday afternoons if they hadn't figured this out?

19. Space Shuttle Endeavor. The fifth and final space shuttle in NASA's program has been retired. I watched it as it passed over my house in Autumn of 2012. It now rests at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. In 2017, it's permanent exhibit home will be completed and open to the public.

20. Bat Kid. Alias Miles Scott is a cancer survivor from Tulelake. His wish through the Make-A-Wish foundation turned San Francisco into Gotham City and captivated an entire country for a day. Mayor Ed Lee, Police Chief Greg Suhr, and seemingly the entire city made this a special day for Miles. Not only did he save Lou Seal, he melted a few of our hearts along the way.

If Batkid doesn't make you think kindly towards California, well, then, I'm all out of suggestions. And, really, I am, because Batkid makes number 20 on my list. If you haven't warmed up to us yet, you're out of luck.

Thanks to Catherine Giordana's "How to Get Ideas for Writing: 30 Ideas in 30 Minutes" for inspiring this article.


Mascot Version 2006

Stanford's bandleader, cheerleaders, and mascot
Stanford's bandleader, cheerleaders, and mascot | Source

Californians Have a Good Sense of Humor

Just so you know, we don't take it personally. In fact, we're kind of amused by all the fuss. Some people spend quite a bit of time thinking about California, don't they? The state really gets under their skin.

Now, I now that some don't feel that way. Maybe some of you don't even know that much about California. I bet you don't even think of California once in a 24 hour period.

I thought I'd compile this list of 20 things to like about California to show that underneath the eccentricities there's a lot to like. Notice I said like. I don't want you to get all gushy or anything. You don't need you to love California. You might want to move here. We've got enough people already and not enough water. So, let's just keep it at a safe distance, okay?

California, Hear I Come

See? There is quite a lot to like about this West Coast state. I've just listed a bunch of things off the top of my head. I could come up with 20 more easily. I didn't even mention the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Crookedest Street, The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, or Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike!

Next time you want to poke fun at California, we'll laugh right along with you as we sit in our patio chairs in February soaking up the warmth of the sun. But, deep inside we know there's a lot of good stuff going on in the Golden State.

One Last Look at the Sights

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    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
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      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Elsie, I am glad you enjoyed my article. California has great things to offer. I am sure if you ever find yourself out this way you'll find many things to enjoy. I hope to read your New Zealand version. I'd love to know more about your country. Thanks for your comments!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Some great reasons to visit California, I would like very much to visit, New Zealand is a long way to come, maybe some day, you never know.

      Great idea to write an article like this, I think I will write one about NZ.

      Nice to see you still here on HubPages. Happy Days.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Avocados and the weather, two of the best things about California. Thanks for your comments, Kalinin1158!

    • kalinin1158 profile image

      Lana ZK 2 years ago from California

      Avocados and sunny weather are all the reasons I need! 11 years and counting :)

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Paperfacets, thanks for your comments! That is one nice thing about California. No matter where you live, you don't have to go far to find a change of scenery. I've been to Southern California and Los Angeles, but never to the San Gabriel mountains. I would like to experience them as I think they must differ from the Sierra Nevadas which I am familiar with.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 2 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I live in the center of LA suburbia. Well, against the San Gabriel mountains. I feel since I am retired that leaving the big city could be an option, but my partner has no motivation to leave, so we vacation instead.

      I love the state of California, though. It is a wildly diverse place to live.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Kristen, thanks for your comments and thanks for voting up!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great work Mel on this hub. Very detailed with the each person or fact highlighted with useful knowledge. Voted up for interesting.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Thank you for your comments, smine27 and ladyguitarpicker! I think California has a lot to offer. We never get snow where I live, though we sure could use some in this drought.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      California is a beautiful state and has many different things to do. I would go anywhere there is no snow and stays warm. Your hub was great and you gave plenty of interesting facts. Stella

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 2 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I myself love California and can't wait to visit again one of these days.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Besarien, thanks for your comments! One of the things I love about California is it is fairly easy to get off the beaten track. Even if you live in Suburbia like me, you are never more than a half hour away from a secluded place in nature. It's easy to shake off the city when you get tired of it.

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 2 years ago

      You should be proud of your state. It is a jewel amongst the 50. Too many people live there now though for my tastes just like in my native state Florida where I no longer reside. I will continue to visit California gladly but promise never to put down roots there. Nice personal hub with great info!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Mel, Steinbeck would be a great addition to my list! Sadly, twenty is not enough to include all the many good things coming out of California. I didn't even include one of my favorite authors, Jack London.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      You forgot John Steinbeck. I am delighted to live in the state that produced John Steinbeck, and I love the fact that I can take an easy drive to go see the places he wrote about. I agree with you wholeheartedly about the Giant Sequoias and Carmel. Let's face it, everybody else is jealous, but we do have to pay the price to live here, don't we? Great hub!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Another fan of the Golden State! Thanks for your comments, faythef!

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe F. 2 years ago from USA

      California is a great place to live..I know cause I live here..LOL

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Thanks for your observations, Wednesday-Elf! It would be difficult for me to be so far from family as we are all very close. I have heard people from other states complain about our lack of seasons. It is a reality depending on which part of the state you live in. Where I am winter is 40-50F and summer fluctuates from 65 to 100F depending on it's mood. I do love thunder storms and during this drought I miss our rain soaked February. But, you can have the humidity ;). You may have noticed when you lived here that California (outside those who live in the mountainous areas where it snows) are weather wimps. LOL Where we throw on a jacket, the rest of the country is cheering the ability to go outside and enjoy the sunshine.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 2 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I'm an East Coast person who spent 7 years living on the California Central Coast. Hubby's job kept him busy (reason we came) and our 3 kids thrived in the California lifestyle. I, on the other hand, did not like it, mainly because it was 3,000 miles away from my family and also because the 'weather' everyone raves about was not my style. I like, nay, love, Thunderstorms, humidity and warm summer nights ~ none of which the central coast offers. But it has now been 33 years since I left California (and now live back on the East Coast) and I have to admit - looking back - that I enjoyed the many places we got to visit (San Diego, Disneyland, San Francisco, etc.) and we had the closest and neatest friends we have ever had anywhere before or since. So California was an interesting experience and I enjoyed your "20 reasons" to like the state.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      You're welcome, Alicia, and thanks for your comments!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Thank you for your comments, Catherine! I had fun putting this together.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting and very enjoyable hub. Thanks for sharing all the facts, Melody!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      A fun list to keep in mind. I wouldn't make fun of you for liking I think California. It is a great place.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Phyllis, it is a beautiful state, isn't it? I've lived here all my life. I've always appreciated that you don't have to go far to experience a different landscape or climate from where your began. I'm partial to the Sierra Nevada region. There is something about those mountains. Thanks for your comments!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Melody. I love California and really miss living there. Year round, California has just about any thing of interest and places of enjoyment. From the beautiful beaches on the ocean to the snowy mountains, it is a beautiful state. It is one of the best, if not the best, places for agriculture in the world.

      Thanks for writing this hub. I enjoyed reading it.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Aesta1, I hope you'll get your chance to visit. There are so many fun and interesting things to see. Thanks for your comments!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We wanted to visit last February but we just didn't make it this time. It is still in our winter places to visit list.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Chateaudumer, thanks for your comments! I agree that every state/area has it's good things and bad things. It would be difficult to find the perfect place, wouldn't it? You have listed something I left out: the melting pot. This is one think I love about California. There are so many different people, lifestyles, perspectives, and cultures. I have always appreciated the diversity.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
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      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Thanks for your comments Sunshine625!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Billybuc, thanks for your comments! Some of the most beautiful landscape is in the northern part of the state. As for Betty White, while I was doing research for this article I learned that she was originally turned down for movies because her face wasn't seen as the right type. She went into radio instead. I guess she gets the last laugh after 70+ years as an entertainer.

    • chateaudumer profile image

      David B Katague 2 years ago from Northern California and the Philippines

      I am also a Californian. My family resides in the Eastern suburbs of Sacramento. I enjoyed reading your article . One item I do not remember if you mentioned that California is the melting pot of the world. All kinds of residents from all over the world. All kinds of Lifestyles and culture! I have resided in the Midwest, East Coast and in the Philippines, but I will always treasure our life here in Northern California. The only thing I am complaining is the higher taxes and the high cost of living expense here. But no place is perfect!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      A great list of reasons to like CA! :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that Betty White is number two on your list.

      I'm a born and raised Washingtonian, but I have relatives in the L.A. area. I've seen much of your state and much prefer the northern half to the southern. Oddly, I've never been to Disneyland. :)

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