Where is California, CA Located? Where is California on a US map?

Beautiful sunset of Los Angeles downtown skyline and palm trees
Beautiful sunset of Los Angeles downtown skyline and palm trees

Where is California, CA Located?

California stands on the far western end of the United States. The Pacific Ocean borders this enormous state from the west, while Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and the Mexican state of Baja California border the North, East, and South, respectively.

Where is California, CA Located
Where is California, CA Located

Where is California on a US map?

Where is California on a US map
Where is California on a US map

It’s easy to locate California on a U.S. map. Simply look to the far left of the map or the far west. California is the last continental state on the map; only Hawaii extends the U.S. borders further west than California!

A Brief History of California’s Evolution From Territory to State

Before California became one of the largest states in the U.S, it was home to the indigenous people of California, the Mojave, the Modoc, the Cahuilla, and other tribes that continue to live in California today. 

In 1542, the Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo arrived in what would one day become San Diego Bay. Soon, Spain colonized much of southern California and converted much of the native population to Christianity and the Spanish way of life.

In 1821, Mexico and much of the California territory gained freedom from Spain. However, it was not until 1848 and the end of the Mexican-American war that California officially became the territory of the United States with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Statehood did not come to California until September 9, 1850. California entered the Union as a non-slavery state per the Compromise of 1850, while the Texas territories won in the Mexican-American war entered as a slavery state.

The Gold Rush of 1858 and the development of the Pacific Railroad quickly turned California into one of the most populous states in the Union.

About Sacramento: California’s Capital City

California saw the rise and fall of several capital cities over its existence. As a Spanish territory, Monterey claimed the title of the capital city. In 1849, San Jose held the title. Over time, Vallejo, Benicia, and San Francisco would also play the role of capital temporarily.

Since 1869, Sacramento has stood uninterrupted as the capital city of California. Named for the holy sacrament of the Spanish Catholic faith, Sacramento sprawls from the shores of the Sacramento River in the northern part of Central California. 

Sacramento holds the modern title of the most hipster city in California. In addition, the Harvard University Civil Rights Project declared it America’s Most Diverse City for Time Magazine.

It is a central hub for education as the home of California State University (Sacramento) and the University of California (Davis), and several prestigious medical schools.

Additionally, Sacramento is home to the political circuit in California, including the state legislature and grassroots movements. Major companies, including Sutter Health and the tech giant, Intel, reside in Sacramento. 

Visitors to Sacramento enjoy visiting the Crocker Art Museum, watching the Sacramento Kings play basketball, and exploring Yosemite Falls and nearby national parks.

Exploring Major Cities In California

California is the most populated state in the U.S. It stands to reason that it has hundreds of cities within its borders. Check out some of the most famous and influential cities in California:

Los Angeles

The City of Angels is perhaps one of the most well-known cities in America. Home to Hollywood, music empires, and the stars, this city boasts the second-largest population in the United States (just behind New York City.)

L.A. is the “Creative Capital of the World” because more artists work in the city than anywhere else in the world. The iconic Grauman Chinese Theatre, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Capitol Records reside in this city.

Beverly Hills

The prestigious zip code 90210 is found only in Beverly Hills, CA. LA may be where the stars of Hollywood work, but Beverly Hills is where they live. Stars of the Silver Screen like Gary Cooper, Marilyn Monroe, Fred Astaire, and Katharine Hepburn called it home.

Nowadays, Rodeo Drive and the celebrity mansions of stars like Bill Murray and Taylor Swift draw crowds. Beverly Hills remains a city of wealth and grandeur. 

San Diego

Home to one of the largest Naval bases in the U.S. and a massive industry in shipbuilding and defense contractors, San Diego is famous for its beaches and diverse tourism economy.

Seaworld, the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Beer Week, and the Mission San Diego de Alcalá draw thousands of crowds to the city every year. 

San Francisco 

San Francisco boasts some of the most iconic scenery in America. The Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, Alcatraz, and its steep rolling hills fascinate thousands of tourists a year. 

San Francisco has a diverse history, with thousands of immigrants, gold miners, and wealthy industrialists turning the city into “The Paris of the West.” Exploring Ghirardelli Square, the Palace of the Arts, and the Twin Peaks hiking area are popular pastimes in the city.


The “Happiest Place on Earth,” also known as Disneyland, calls Anaheim home. The MLB Angels team played in Anaheim, and the city boasts a thriving social culture with museums, parks, and sports teams populating the city.

Anaheim continues to grow and thrive thanks to Disney and the economic powerhouses of AT&T, Hewlett Packard, and the Kaiser Foundation. 

Fascinating Facts About California

  • The word “Eureka” means “I found it!” has graced California’s State Seal since 1849. The phrase likely refers to the Gold Rush that helped populate the state.
  • The world’s largest tree grows in California. It lives in Sequoia National Park and stands at 272 feet tall. 
  • San Francisco’s cable cars are the first moving National Landmark in the U.S. They are the only cable cars operating to this day!
  • California’s Death Valley is the lowest, dryest, and hottest place in the U.S.
  • California’s name comes from a 16th Century Spanish novel describing a beautiful, mythical paradise named California.
  • California has nine national parks in the state – the most out of any U.S. state. They include Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Death Valley, Redwood, Channel Islands, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Pinnacles, Lassen Volcanic, and Point Reyes National Park.

Welcome to California, USA

The largest state in the U.S. happens to be one of the busiest and liveliest! In California, you’ll find rich history, superstars, and the beauty of nature all in your backyard.

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Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!