National California Day

Every day we can celebrate something and today it is California

On February 22, National California Day recognizes the Golden State.

For more than a century, Spanish missionaries settled in California. Manifest Destiny and the Mexican-American War would play a pivotal role in making California a U.S. Territory. Under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico sold California along with its territories north of the Rio Grande for $15 million.

Only days before the treaty was signed, gold was founded at Sutter’s Mill in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The gold rush of 1849 would set off an era of settlement unlike any new territory had ever seen. On Sept. 9, 1850, two years after the gold rush began, California became the 31st state.

While many think of sunny beaches and orange groves, California has a diverse climate. Each region boasts an opportunity for seasonal outdoor adventures. Whether surfing or downhill skiing is on the agenda, it’s sure to be found. If hiking among giant redwoods or touring historic missions is more to your liking, you’ll discover it here.

Of course, we can’t overlook Northern California’s wine country. Beautiful road trips and wine tastings along the magnificent Napa Valley or Sonoma County are a must for wine lovers.

Swimmin’ pools and movie stars, California has those in large numbers. While moving pictures weren’t born in California, Hollywood sure made them flourish. By the turn of the 20th century, Hollywood built a foundation of movie studios that continued to grow and many of which still exist today.

Travel down the historical Route 66, which was the nation’s first all-weather highway linking Chicago to Los Angeles. It reduced the distance between Chicago and Los Angeles by more than 200 miles, which made Route 66 popular among thousands of motorists who drove west in subsequent decades. Even though you can’t drive the entire original Route 66, you can still drive the sequins that have been preserved - which are quite a few with 85% of the original alignments still drivable. It was decertified on June 27, 1985 and no longer exists as a U.S. Highway.

Take a virtual tour of California, since we are still encouraged to stay home, and find something new to discover. Also celebrate the day by listening to some popular songs about California that will put you in the mood to celebrate the day and possibly search for the gold in the Golden State.

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