California Stamp

It’s the State with the Most People…by Far!

When measured by the number of people who live there, California is America’s biggest state by far. To help you think about how many people live in the Golden State, consider this: If you added up everybody who lives in the 22 smallest states, California would still have about two million more people than that.

The biggest county in California, Los Angeles County, has more people than 43 of the 50 states. The state that’s closest in size to Los Angeles County is Michigan, but Michigan still has fewer people. So when you stop to think about the fact that a single California county has more people than 43 of the 50 states, you get a good idea how big of how many people live there.

The capital of California is Sacramento, and the largest city in the state is Los Angeles, which is located in Los Angeles County ( mentioned above). Other big cities in the state include San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, and many, many more. 

California Flag
Golden Gate Bridge

Things to See in the Golden State

California is home to Disneyland, the original theme park. It has the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s home to Hollywood, the world capital for movie-making. There’s Yosemite National Park in Northern California and Death Valley National Park in the southern part of the state.

There’s also a beautiful stretch along the Central Coast of California called Big Sur, where you can drive a car along an amazing highway that is built into cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean.

Speaking of the Pacific Ocean, that huge body of water, which happens to be the world’s largest ocean, forms the western coast of California, and most of the people in the state live within easy driving distance of the Pacific.

To learn more about the Pacific Ocean click here.

President Herbert Hoover

Four U.S. Presidents Called California Home

Four United States Presidents who called California home:

  • Herbert Hoover (pictured here) went to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and built a house there.
  • Richard Nixon was the only president who was born in California.
  • Ronald Regan moved to California and became a movie star, before being elected governor of the state and then President of the States.
  • President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty, chose to retire in Rancho Mirage, California.
More Fun Facts

Fact #1: The first Europeans to arrive in California were Spanish explorers. In fact, the name California comes from a mythical island paradise that was described in a 16th century Spanish novel.

Fact #2: Los Angeles — the huge city we talked about earlier — is the second biggest city in the United States. Only New York City has more people.

Fact #3: About one out of every eight Americans is a Californian.

Fact #4: Palo Alto, California is the home of Stanford University. It’s also the town in which the first Mystery Ryders story takes place. Authors Carli Freeman and her father decided to place that mystery in Palo Alto because Carli’s online homeschool math class, that she loved, was sponsored by Stanford.

Fact #5: California is home to the world’s largest tree, the General Sherman Tree, in Sequoia National Park. The tree is 275 feet tall and weighs over 4 million pounds!

Q and A
Just for fun, see if you can answer these questions.
Which city is bigger? Los Angeles, Sacramento, or New York?

New York is the biggest. It has more people than any city in America. Los Angeles, which is the second-largest city in the U.S. is much bigger than Sacramento. Sacramento is the capital of California.

Which large body of water forms California's western coast? Is it the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, or the Gulf of Mexico?

The Pacific Ocean runs along California’s entire western border. The Pacific is the largest ocean in the world. The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest ocean. 

Were the first European explorers to arrive in America French, Spanish, English, or Portuguese?

They were Spanish explorers. So, it’s no surprise that California still embraces Spanish culture.

Which of the following is NOT in California? The Golden Gate Bridge, Disneyland, Death Valley National Park, or the Empire State Building?

The Empire State Building is not in California. It’s in New York.

Write Your Own Story

If you have time, you can write a story of your own.

Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from.

Idea #1: Write a story about some of the interesting things you learned about California.


Idea #2: Write a story about the huge body of water on California’s western coast. For more information about the Pacific Ocean, click here.

To help you write a great essay, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.

Today's Ryder Riddle

Here's an end-of-the-line riddle for you.

What a cowboy's favorite state?


The Mystery Ryders

For fun-to-read books about a girl detective who homeschools on a train... check out The Mystery Ryders, a series from the creators of the Homeschool Express.

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