The story of California began when a Portuguese captain sailing for Spain found a beautiful natural harbor as he plied his way up the Pacific coast. Little could he have imagined that dropping his anchor in what is now San Diego Bay would be the birth of the Golden State.
Ask any Californian and you'll quickly learn that California is like two states in one: In the north are rocky cliffs, rugged beaches, and a heritage that harkens back to gold rush days. In the south is the quintessential "postcard" California of orange trees, warm ocean breezes, and boulevards lined with palm trees.
Whichever California you favor, both have a rich heritage based in the cultures of Spain, England, Russia, China, and America. Citizens from all these lands came to California early, and all had a hand in building the nation's most populace state. This is her story.