Visiting the United States? There are 50 states to see. Whether you want to hang with Disney characters, check out the latest apps or explore the great outdoors — you can do it all in California!

Although you might not think of trees when you think of California, forestland covers 45 percent of the state. This is where you’ll find some of the largest, tallest and oldest trees in the world.

California knows how to go big in other ways too. Home to companies like Facebook, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Google and Intel, California’s Silicon Valley employs nearly a quarter of a million information technology workers.

And California is the most populous U.S. state, with 39 million residents living between the highest and lowest points in the continental United States. California’s Mount Whitney measures 14,495 feet (4,418 meters) high and Bad Water in California’s Death Valley is 282 feet (85.9 meters) below sea level.

Of course, California is also famous for its entertainment industry, centered around Hollywood. You can tour film studios and visit the sets of your favorite American TV shows and movies — and you just might see a celebrity!

Read more about California and check out the other 49 states. If you need a visa to visit, here’s how to get one.

(State Dept.)


The iconic sign on the hills is one of the most recognizable landmarks in southern California. You can drive right up to it and pose for a photo with it, as visitors often do.

Hollywood sign in the hills of Los Angeles (Thinkstock)

Here’s your chance …

… to drive through a tree! The Avenue of the Giants is a highway flanked by monumental trees. You can drive through three of them, including the Chandelier Tree, pictured below.

Car driving through the hollowed base of a redwood tree (Shutterstock)

Music, surf and sand

Don’t forget to check out California’s diverse music scene at festivals like the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival near Palm Springs, the Monterey Jazz Festival on the Central Coast, and San Francisco’s Outside Lands. Then, experience the state’s iconic surf culture at Huntington Beach (known as Surf City, USA) and enjoy many other beautiful beaches up and down the coast.

(Brocken Inaglory/Creative Commons)


A Disney-themed amusement park, Disneyland is only a short ride away from the Walt Disney film studios, where blockbuster movies like Cinderella, Toy Story and Frozen were produced.

Disney parade float (Eqdoktor/Creative Commons)
(Eqdoktor/Creative Commons)