Facts about the states

Table of Contents

UPS AND DOWNS: There are only two escalators in the entire state of Wyoming: report

There are only two sets of escalators in the great state of Wyoming.

Not that’s there’s anything wrong with that – but a new report has exposed the plight of citizens of America’s least populated state, who are being forced to use their legs to move between floors of buildings.

The Atlantic has followed up a 2008 report by the Star Tribune in Casper, Wyoming, that the state had only two sets of escalators – both in banks in the town of 56,000.

The Atlantic says that in the five years since, not a single new escalator has been built.

There was a tip there might be one at the newly-built airport in Jackson Hole, but a fact-finding mission unveiled the airport is single-level. There’s no need for one.

Nor are there escalators in Wyoming’s capital and most populous city – Cheyenne.

Dick Mason in Cheyenne’s Building Office said there used to be one in the town’s JCPenney, but the building was demolished.

“We haven’t had one for quite a long while, as a matter of fact,” Mason said.

As of 2012, Wyoming had a population of just over 576,000 – which means there are 0.000003467 escalators per capita.

“There are code issues involved with escalators, which make them somewhat less popular,” Mason said.

“The code does not want openings between adjacent floors that are unprotected.”

Elevators on the other hand, “are pretty much foolproof.”

Sue Goodman in the Sheridan City Planning Office said she believed the lack of escalators in town was due to the buildings being older. Land is cheap so new buildings are spread out rather than being built ‘up’, she said.

The Craziest Fact About Every U.S. State

In a country as large and diverse as the United States, it’s no surprise that many of its citizens view others from far-off states not so much as fellow countrymen but as people from another planet altogether.

“Wait—they believe what?” “That’s how they spend their free time?” “They eat what?” In fact, part of what makes this land of ours so charming and wonderful are the weird and baffling ways we’re all so different.

That’s why, to celebrate our utter weirdness, we’ve compiled the craziest fact about each state in the union. So read on, and see if you know what’s so fascinating about your own state! And for more fun tidbits about this great land of ours, check out The 50 Weirdest Town Names in America.

1 Alabama: “Sweet Home Alabama” is an actual place.

There is actually a place known as Sweet Home, AL. No, it’s not a town, but a historic house, and located in the city of Bessemer, built by celebrated architect William E. Benns for a the city’s first undertaker, a man by the name of Henry Wilson Sweet.

In fact, it’s earned a spot as a landmark by the Alabama Historical Association, thanks in part to its unusual architecture, blending Queen Anne and Neo-Classical styles. And for more fun facts, check out these 40 Facts So Funny They’re Hard to Believe.

2 Alaska: The produce is bigger than you.

Thanks to the state’s summer sun (delivering sunlight as much as 20 hours a day), produce here can grow to be huge.

Recent years have seen the state produce a 138-pound cabbage, a 65-pound cantaloupe, and a 35-pound broccoli, just to name a few. And for more fun facts, here are 30 Facts You Always Believed That Aren’t True.

3 Arizona: Cutting down a cactus can get you prison time.

The native saguaro cactus is one of the things we most associate with Arizona, but they also take a really long time to grow, so laws have been put on the books prohibiting the removal of the spiny flora.

Cutting them down, even on your own property, can result in a substantial fine or even jail time. So just keep your distance from them and it will be better for everyone. And for more crazy legal facts, here are the 47 Weirdest Laws from Around the World.

4 Arkansas: It’s home to the largest gems in the U.S.

The largest diamonds ever found in the United States came from this state, including an 8.52-carat Esperanza gem discovered in July 2015 with an estimated value of $1 million. The largest rock found in Arkansas Crater of Diamonds State Park (and in the U.S.) was the 40.23 carat Uncle Sam, discovered in 1924.

5 California: It’s illegal to bury people in San Francisco.

Burying the dead has been illegal in San Francisco since 1901. Because space was limited and real estate at a premium even back then, the city outlawed burials and moved all cemeteries to neighboring Colma, CA. Currently, the dead in that city outnumber the living by a ratio of 1,000 to 1.

6 Colorado: It’s the only state in U.S. history to turn down the Olympics.

Usually cities beg, borrow, and build all variety of venues to get one of the highest-profile events in the world to take place in their backyard. But in 1976, when the Olympic Committee awarded the Games to Denver, the city said, “thanks but no thanks.”

The reason? When the state voted whether it would authorize a $5 million bond issue that would help finance the Olympics, voters rejected it by a nearly 60% margin. They were worried about the ballooning costs, pollution, and other side effects that could result. Innsbruck, Austria won as the backup. And for more great state-by-state trivia, don’t miss The Best Joke Written About Every U.S. State.

Connecticut: It’s the birthplace of the hamburger.

In New Haven, the spot known as Louis’ Lunch served the first hamburger in 1900. According to legend, when a customer asked if the meat they ordered could be served to go, owner Louis Lassen popped the dining spot’s “ground steak trimmings” between a pair of bread slices, and the “hamburger sandwich” was born. Those who want to taste a bit of history can still visit the original spot. Next, don’t miss the 100 Awesome Facts About Everything.

monosnaps / CC BY 2.0

8 Delaware: It was once home to a legendary reggae singer.

Bob Marley lived in Delaware from 1965 to 1977, working for the Dupont Company and at Newark’s Chrysler assembly plant as he saved money to start a record company and return to Jamaica (his song “Night Shift” is believed to refer to this period).

His son, Stephen, was born in Wilmington. And for more great trivia about your favorite musicians, here are the 30 Worst First Names for Your Favorite Band.

9 Florida: You can find both gators and crocs.

Florida’s Everglades National Park is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles coexist. You can tell the difference since the crocodile has lighter skin and a narrower snout, while the alligator rocks dark skin and a broader snout—but you might not want to get close enough to determine these differences for either.

10 Georgia: It has an official state ‘possum.

Pogo originally appeared in comic books in the 1940s, created by cartoonist and animator Walt Kelly (who came up with the character after visiting the Okefenokee Swamp in 1942). It was adopted as the state’s official possum in 1992. Pogo is definitely in the running to join these other 15 Animals with Impressive Titles.

11 Hawaii: There’s a state-specific language (and it’s really simple).

The Hawaiian language, ʻŌlelo HawaiʻI, consists of just 13 letters (five vowels and eight consonants). It has four rules: all words end in a vowel, every consonant is followed by at least one vowel, and every syllable ends in a vowel. So, yeah, Hawaiians love vowels.

12 Idaho: Its state seal is the only one designed by a woman.

Emma Sarah Etine Edwards, the daughter of a former Missouri governor who settled in Idaho, won an 1890 contest with her design of a woman representing liberty and a man in miner’s garb, as well as elk horns and mountains as well as the Latin phrase “Esto Perpetua,” meaning “in perpetuity.” Not only did she get the glory of having designed the state seal, she won $100 in the contest.

13 Illinois: The “Windy City” nickname for Chicago has nothing to do with its weather.

It is believed to have been coined in 1890 by New York Sun editor Charles Dana referring to its competitor for the 1893 World’s Fair as full of “hot air.” While Chicago would win the hosting gig, the nickname stuck.

14 Indiana: It’s the world’s popcorn capital.

The home state of Orville Redenbacher, Indiana produces more than 20 percent of the country’s popcorn supply, with almost half of all the state’s cropland used for corn. In 2014, the state’s farmers planted more than 91,000 acres of corn for popcorn.

15 Iowa: A mammoth amount of mammoths died here.

This state is lousy with mammoth bones. The ancient creatures were once abundant in this region, and areas like Mahaska County have turned up a number of the creature’s remnants, with a number of digs underway.

16 Kansas: It’s home to the world’s largest ball of twine.

It can be found in Cawker City. The tradition started in the 1950s, when local man Frank Stoeber started on his massive ball, eventually donating it to the town, which residents have continued to add to in the years since during the annual “twine-a-thon.”

17 Kentucky: It used to be part of Virginia.

Yes, Kentucky was originally a county of Virginia, established in 1776. But as the citizens of the western part of the state became frustrated that their state capital was so far off, in the city of Richmond, they petitioned for statehood, becoming America’s 15th state in 1792.

18 Louisiana: The turducken was invented here.

Louisiana chef Paul Prudhomme first tested it out at a lodge in Wyoming, but popularized the meat mega-dish in his 1987 cookbook, popularizing it through his New Orleans restaurant, K-Paul. There is some debate about who invented the dish—brothers Junior and Sammy Hebert, who owned a Louisiana butcher shop, claim it was they who came up with the idea of stuffing a chicken into a duck into a turkey. Either way, we have Louisiana to thank.

19 Maine: It has an actual desert.

We think of this state as a place of forests, lakes and lighthouses. But Maine also has its own desert—the 40-acre Desert of Maine, an expanse of silt and sand that came about due to over-farming but which has since become a popular tourist attraction in its own right.

20 Maryland: It’s the birthplace of the Ouija board.

Two people, Elijah Bond and Helen Peters, a medium, developed it in a Baltimore apartment. They asked the talking board what it would like to be made and the answer, naturally, was “O-U-I-J-A.” Though the apartment has since become a 7-Eleven, Bond’s contribution to sleepovers everywhere is immortalized on his tombstone, which bears the board.

21 Massachusetts: It’s illegal to frighten pigeons from their homes.

According to Section 132 of the state’s general laws: “Whoever willfully kills pigeons upon, or frightens them from, beds which have been made for the purpose of taking them in nets, by any method, within one hundred rods of the same, except on land lawfully occupied by himself, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one month or by a fine of not more than twenty dollars, and shall also be liable for the actual damages to the owner or occupant of such beds.”

22 Michigan: It’s Magic Capital of the World.

The city of Colon, MI, is the self-proclaimed place to hold that honorific. It’s earned this through hosting a four-day magic convention every summer, a Magician’s Walk of Fame, a magic-oriented museum, and a Magic Capital Cemetery—which is the final resting place of no fewer than 28 magicians.

23 Minnesota: It’s home to an actual “tri-flowing” river.

This state’s waters flow in three different directions: south to the Gulf of Mexico, north to the Hudson Bay in Canada, and east towards the Atlantic Ocean.

24 Mississippi: This state has more churches per capita than any other state in the union.

That makes sense, since the citizens of Mississippi also go to church the most, according to Gallup (with 63% of residents saying they attend weekly or almost every week).

25 Missouri: Tornadoes are literally everywhere.

Missouri is also home to the deadliest tornado in U.S. history—the Tri-State tornado of March 18, 1925, which killed 695 people and injured 2,027 (not to mention destroyed about 15,000 homes throughout the region).

26 Montana: Much of the land is owned by the feds.

This is one well-protected state, with about one-third of its land either state/federal land (30 million acres) or national forest (16 million acres). It’s home to Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, and plenty of beautiful, rolling landscapes.

Lisa Holder /

27 Nebraska: This state is the birthplace of Kool-Aid.

Edwin Perkins of Hastings, NE, had originally invented the sweet punch Fruit Smack, which he sold in liquid concentrate. But in an effort to cut down on shipping costs, he experimented with reducing it to a powder and struck on the invention in his mother’s kitchen in 1927.

28 Nevada: It’s the national capital of nuclear testing.

This state may be the nuclear capital of the country, with 928 nuclear tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site between 1951 and 1992 (just over 60 miles from Las Vegas).

29 New Hampshire: It’s home to (possibly!) the oldest man-made construction in America

A 4,000-year-old complex known as America’s Stonehenge serves as an astronomical calendar and includes inscriptions in Ogham, Phoenician, and Iberian Punic Script. Or it might be 20th century hoax created to drive tourism here. To cover all possibilities, the site has been named “Mystery Hill.” If it’s a lie, we’ll be sure to add it to the 28 Most Enduring Myths in American History.

30 New Jersey: It has a volcano. (Yes, seriously.)

The approximately 440 million-year-old Beemerville volcano, located in Sussex County is no longer active but does offer some attractive hiking trails and has become a desirable area in which to buy property, too.

31 New Mexico: The capital is sky high.

This state’s capital, Santa Fe, is the highest capital in the country—sitting at 7,000 square feet above sea level (the highest city in the world belongs to Colorado, whose Leadville is 10,200 feet in altitude).

32 New York: The New York City Subway is always a mere hours away from a devastating flood.

Fact: Much of New York City is built on swamp and other wetlands, and the city relies on a crucial system of 753 pumps to remove 13 million gallons of water, street draining, and sewer flow every single day. Without them, much of the tunnels would be drowned within a mere hours.

33 North Carolina: It’s home to the most American Idol finalists.

While this state is known as the birthplace of a number of jazz legends (John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and Nina Simone, to name a few), it is curiously also the state with the highest number of American Idol finalists than any other state in the country. Go figure!

34 North Dakota: Big chain pharmacies aren’t welcome.

They like to keep it local here—state law requires that most pharmacies be owned by local pharmacists, so Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens are out of luck. In 2014, big pharma tried to change this, but their attempts failed.

35 Ohio: It’s got the only flag in the U.S. that isn’t a rectangle.

The “swallowtail design” or “burgee” was adopted in 1902 features a large blue triangle meant to represent the state’s hills and valleys with stripes meant to symbolize roads and waterways. A white circle in the middle serves as both the “O” in the state name and a reference to “The Buckeye State.”

36 Oklahoma: It’s the “Cow Chip Throwing Capital of the World”

Beaver, OK, features the annual World Championship Cow Chip Throw each April. What is a cow chip, you ask? Why, it’s dried cow dung. Fun!

37 Oregon: The largest living organism on Earth lives in this state’s Blue Mountains.

Measuring 2.4 miles across, it’s a honey fungus of the Armillaria genus that is calculated to be anywhere from 1,900 to 8,650 years old.

38 Pennsylvania: You can see Edgar Allen Poe’s raven

Fact: you can see the raven that inspired Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem “The Raven” at the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Originally the pet of Charles Dickens, which was then taxidermied and mounted, the bird makes an appearance in Dickens’ story “Barnaby Rudge.”

But more famously this creature also inspired the melancholy Baltimore poet, who published his poem shortly after reviewing Dickens’ story, to great success.

39 Rhode Island: It has 1,021 people per square mile

Yes, this is the smallest state in the country, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in sheer concentration.

40 South Carolina: It’s home to an insane amount of monkeys.

This state’s Morgan Island is also often referred to as Monkey Island, considering it houses 4,000 rhesus monkeys, which are bred on this land mass in order to serve for medical testing (including AIDS, polio, and bioterrorism).

41 South Dakota: The (fake) center of the United States.

Mount Rushmore isn’t South Dakota’s only famous monument. The small town of Belle Fourche, which has a population just under 6,000, claims to be the geographical center of the United States, and has the monument to prove it. The only thing? They’re making it up.

The actual center of the United States is about a 30-minute drive away, but that doesn’t keep Belle Fourche from capitalizing on its supposedly central location. “We’re not pretending to be the actual center,” Teresa Schanzenbach, the director of Belle Fourche’s Chamber of Commerce told the New York Times. “We’re providing a convenience.”

42 Tennessee: Where Jack Daniel’s whiskey was born (and died).

If you’ve ever picked up a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, you’re probably familiar with the brand’s label, which proudly proclaims the brand to be native to Tennessee. What you probably don’t know, however, is that legend has it the brand’s eponymous founder died in his home state after getting so frustrated by forgetting the combination to his safe that he kicked it and sustained an injury that eventually led to fatal blood poisoning.

43 Texas: You can legally tag a Bigfoot.

If you see a Sasquatch stomping around Texas, don’t be afraid to pull out your sidearm. In fact, since Bigfoot aren’t considered endangered in the Lone Star State, you’re welcome to hunt as many of them as your heart desires.

44 Utah: It’s home to lots of big fans of Jell-O.

That jiggly dessert voted “most likely to remain uneaten” at any holiday gathering? Well, don’t speak ill of it in Utah. In fact, Salt Lake City buys more Jell-O per capita than any other place in the United States.

45 Vermont: It’s the least religious state in the U.S.

Well, at least according to Gallup, just 22% of respondents say they consider religion to be important and consistently attend church.

46 Virginia: America’s vanity plate capital.

Virginia has the highest vanity license plates per capita of any state. Around 16% of its population owns one.

47 Washington: This state has more glaciers than the other 47 contiguous states combined.

Of course, its 449 square kilometres of glaciers are not so impressive when put beside Alaska’s 90,000 square kilometres, but still.

48 West Virginia: Presidents love to sleep here.

This state’s famous Greenbrier Hotel, originally built in 1778, has hosted more than half of all the United States’ presidents. For over three decades, it offered a secret bunker where the U.S. Congress could convene in case of a nuclear emergency.

However, after this fact was exposed by the Washington Post in 1992, its emergency use no longer served much value and it was simply turned into a meeting room. For more presidential trivia, learn the 20 Amazing Facts You Never Knew About the White House.

49 Wisconsin: The state bird is fake.

While the state’s official bird is the American robin, the official bird of Madison, WI is the plastic pink flamingo. This grew from a 1979 prank in which students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison planted 1,008 of the animals in the grass in front of the dean’s office. In 2009, the city’s city council voted to make the bird official.

50 Wyoming: Has a serious escalator deficit.

This state is home to only two escalators, both in the city of Casper. Huh! And for more fantastic trivia, don’t miss the 30 Facts You Always Believed That Aren’t True.

To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter!

14 Quirky and Interesting Facts About The USA

The USA is a vast country and one that’s incredible to explore. I mean, there’s not that many countries that span for thousands of miles and include tropical and arctic climates in one place and still have room for plenty of interesting facts.

From the shores of Florida and epic cities like New York and San Francisco – the whole country has got loads to see. What’s even more interesting is the huge mix of cultures, breathtaking natural landscapes and interesting facts that have made the USA, well… the USA!

It doesn’t matter if you live in the United States, it’s your first visit or you’ve visited gazzilions of time, there’s always some pretty interesting facts to know. I swear, I always learn something new about the US on every visit and I just have to share some gems that I thought you’d find proper intriguing.

Take a look at some of the most interesting facts and quirky things to do in the USA.

1.) New York was once New Amsterdam

Before New York was, well, New York – it was called New Amsterdam as a settlement by the Dutch that chose to settle in Manhattan. The Name, New York only came into being later in the 17th Century when those pesky English who captured it. The Name, New York was to pay tribute to Duke of York who helped in capturing it.

Today, you can still see plaques of where New Amsterdam’s ‘wall’ was built in 1653. Definitely an interesting fact, On Wall Street no less.

Visiting New York? Check out these free things to do

2.) There’s a palace made totally out of corn

Yup, you can actually visit a life-sized corn palace in the USA. It sounds like something legends are made of but I assure you it’s true. I couldn’t quite believe it when I saw it in person. I mean, a palace you can potentially eat.

Not sure it beats the other Mt Rushmore in scale but it certainly does with kernels. 🌽

3.) The Statue of Liberty speaks French

Okay, I jest – but the Statue of Liberty was actually a gift from the people of France to the United States in 1886. Possibly, the most iconic symbol of the United States, the Statue of Liberty is one iconic piece of history you have to see when in New York.

Funnily enough, the US then decided to give the French a slightly smaller Statue of Liberty as a gift three years later. This can now be seen proudly standing at Pont de Grenelle in Paris. Maybe the American version talks with a New Yorker twang? Who knows! 😆

4.) Alaska was once Russian

Back in the earlier parts of the 19th Century, Alaska wasn’t part of the USA. In fact, it was a part of Russia. It wasn’t until it was sold off to the Americans that it became a US territory.

It wasn’t until almost a hundred years later, in 1959 that Alaska actually became a state. The state now has numerous national parks and even the tallest mountain in the USA, called Denali.

5.) The Liberty Bell is from London

Possibly one of USA’s most symbolic pieces from the American independence, the Liberty Bell still survives for us all to visit. Perched in the Liberty Bell Center in Pennsylvania, it’s a spot where you can learn more about American independence and such.

Interestingly and pretty unusual facts, the Liberty Bell was actually made in the same place as Big Ben in London. The Whitechapel Bell Foundry made both bells and is one of the oldest, privately owned bell makers in the world. You can still visit the Whitechapel Bell Foundry today – just make sure you get across the pond to London.

Read more on visiting Whitechapel in London, right here

6.) There’s a shop inside a dinosaur’s tummy

The Dinosaurs of Cabazon were originally created to entice customers to a restaurant. Now, they’ve become a thing to see in their own right. These kitsch dinosaurs are a nostalgic throwback to the 1970’s.

Nowadays, you can still visit the dinosaurs and even shop within the tummy of Dinny the dinosaur.

7.) The Golden Gate Bridge never stops getting a makeover

Interesting facts about San Fransisco. Did you know that the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the west coast’s most iconic man-made landmarks that’s forever been made over? It’s one amazing place to see, especially from the Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point.

Due to its sheer size, the bridge actually never stops getting painted and is always getting itself a little makeover for us all to enjoy.

After all, we all want to look our best, right? 🤣

Visiting San Francisco? Check out these sights you have to see

8.) London Bridge is in Arizona

… And not London as many assume!

Now, almost 200 years ago this was the case but things change with time, don’t they? By the 1960’s city of Lake Havasu, Arizona was on the scout for a new bridge, and hearing that London Bridge was up for auction decided to put in a bid to bring it to their city. After all, who wouldn’t want those iconic towers and opening arches, right?

Wrong! That’s Tower Bridge in London. It’s purported that McCulloch (who bought the bridge) thought it was Tower Bridge. Though, this was totally denied by him. Whatever the case, London Bridge now sits happily in Arizona. Much less rain and fog for sure!

9.)You can find lots of secret spots in New York

Places like City Hall Station are stunning and although you can’t always visit them, they do exist beneath the sidewalks. The whole city is awash with little nooks and alleys that are hidden in plain sight.

Just scratch the surface of the city and I guarantee you’ll find a goldmine of new and secret New York spots to explore.

Want more interesting facts? Take a look at some of the secret NYC spots

10.) There are 43 giant presidential heads

Now if that isn’t one of the most interesting facts about presidential heads, I don’t know what is!

Hidden in Houston, Texas was one of the most bizarre sites to see. Giant presidential heads! Around 15ft high, there’s a whole heap of these carved presidential heads that once called an old parking lot home. I mean, it was a sight to behold, especially in such an underwhelming parking lot.

Rumour has it, they’ve now made their way to Croaker, Virginia. Whatever the case, there are still some heads (created by David Adickes) you should try and find.

If you’re lucky, you might also bump into his colossus Beatles figures too!

11.) The USA has the longest cave system in the world

Just scratch the surface of Kentucky and you’ll come across some incredible natural sites to explore. For instance, the Mammoth Cave National Park actually has the longest cave system in the world and a place that’s great to visit.

Just make sure to pack some comfy walking shoes.

Check out the best National Parks to visit in the USA, here

12.) The North Pole is in Alaska

The tiny town of North Pole in Alaska is a Christmassy little place that embraces everything festive 365-days a year! Visit Santa in his grotto, see the elves at work and drive down Santa Claus Lane. I mean, who knew there was a North Pole in the USA?

Now, who’s for eggnog in June?

13.) Hawaii is the only archipelago state

Hawaii is an incredibly beautiful volcanic archipelago. Consisting of numerous islands that each have their own charm. Interestingly, it’s the only US state that’s solely made up of islands.

Read more about the reasons why you need to visit Hawaii

14.)There’s a Wigwam hotel to stay in

First created in 1950’s Arizona, the Wigwam Hotel is a total nostalgic idea of quirky hotels from times gone by.

Still, to this day, you can rock up and stay for the night – just make sure to book in advance as the rooms fill up fast.

Check our complete road trip map of places to see in the USA

Lately on Instagram (@HandLuggageOnly)

Have you seen our latest YouTube video?

Fun Facts About California State Parks

California is full of superlatives, and many of these are located in the diverse units that make up the State Park System.
Here’s a sample of what you can find….
Best Place to View California’s State Flower – The California Poppy
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Best Place to View California’s Native Tule Elk
Tule Elk State Reserve
Best Place To Watch Gulls in the State
Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve. Huge California gull population nests here in spring – 44,000 to 65,000 of them nest on the lake’s islands.
Best View of the World in the United States
Mount Diablo State Park. The summit – 3,849′ – offers a sweeping panorama – on a clear day you can see over 8,500 square miles, and parts of 40 of California’s 58 counties.
California’s First and Last American Counsul’s Home
Monterey State Historic Park. Home of Thomas O. Larkin, posted in 1844.
California’s Only Town Founded, Financed and Governed by African Americans
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park founded in 1908.
Coldest Place in California State Parks
Mount San Jacinto State Park – Lowest recorded temperature-12° below zero 1972-73
Hottest Places in California State Parks
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – Summer temperatures in the range of 120°
Salton Sea State Recreation Area – Summer temperatures in the range of 120°
Driest California State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – Some areas average only 2″ of rainfall a year.

Wettest California State Park
Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park – 92.77″ average rainfall
Sinkyone Wilderness State Park – Unofficial 100″ rainfall a year

Highest Point in California State Parks
Mount San Jacinto State Park – The view from the top – 10,804 feet – takes in most of Southern California; highest point in State Park System, second highest peak in Southern California.
Lowest Point in California State Parks
Salton Sea State Recreation Area – 230 feet below sea level.
Largest California State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – 600,000 acres.
Smallest California State Park
Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park – 0.11 acres.
Largest Collection of European Antiquities in California State Parks
Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument
Largest Continental Rift
Salton Sea State Recreation Area – Salton Trough: Largest continental rift on the North American Continent.
Largest Lake in California
Salton Sea State Recreation Area
Largest Natural Lake Fully in California
Clear Lake State Park
Largest Number of Grinding Rock Mortars in a California State Park
Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park – Chaw’se 1,185 mortars in one rock formation.
Largest Off-Stream Reservoir Anywhere in the World
San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area – 2,041,000-acre feet capacity.
Largest Amount of Sand Dunes in California State Parks
MacKerricher State Park – Ten Mile Dunes
Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area

Oldest California State Park
Big Basin Redwoods State Park – 1902 – founded as California Redwood Park.
Oldest Continuously Used Chinese Temple in California
Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park – The Joss House was built in 1874 on site of earlier temple.
Oldest Structures in California State Parks
El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park Cañedo Adobe, 1782 – part of Spanish Presidio; El Cuartel, 1788 – only remaining intact building of the Santa Barbara Presidio.
Plants or Animals Native only to California State Parks
Caswell Memorial State Park – Riparian Brush Rabbit Sylvilagus bachmani riparius
Mount Diablo State Park – Mt. Diablo bird’s-beak Cordylanthus nidularius
Providence Mountains State Recreation Area – Mitchell Caverns Niptus Beetle (Niptus arcanus) and Mitchell Cavern Pseudoscorpion (Archeolarca aalbui)
Tallest Tree in the World
Coast redwood, (Sequoia sempervirens), 379.3 feet tall in the Redwood National and State Park.
Tallest Waterfall in California State Parks
McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial SP – Burney Falls –129′
Widest Diameter Tree in California State Parks
Calaveras Big Trees State Park – Louis Agassiz Tree, South Grove – over 25′ wide.
Wilderness within a City Limit
Topanga State Park
The Farthest North State Park
Pelican State Beach, near the Oregon Border
The Farthest South State Park
Border Field State Park, near the Mexican border

  • The United States of America is also called the USA, US, United States or sometimes America.

  • On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was issued, establishing the United States of America.

  • The US is the 4th largest country in the world by land area and 3rd by population.

  • On February 25, 2013, the estimated population of the US was 315,568,000.

  • The US is a diverse country with a multicultural society.

  • The US has the world’s largest economy.

  • The US developed the first nuclear weapons, using them on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki near the end of World War 2.

  • The Mississippi and Missouri Rivers combine to form the longest river system in the US and the fourth longest in the world.

  • The tallest mountain the US is Mt McKinley, located in the state of Alaska it reaches 20,320 ft (6,194 m) above sea level.

  • Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867 and is the largest state in the US by land area.

  • Hawaii is the most recent of the 50 states in the US (joining in 1959) and is the only one made up entirely of islands.

  • Most of the world’s tornadoes occur in the Midwest region of the US known as Tornado Alley.

  • The most populated city in the US is New York City, followed by Los Angeles and Chicago.

  • English is the most commonly spoken language in the US, followed by Spanish.

  • The first man to walk on the moon was American Neil Armstrong (July 21, 1969).

  • The US was the leading force behind the development of the Internet.

  • The US consumes more petroleum than any other country in the world.

  • The most popular team sports in the US are American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey.

  • For more information, check out maps of the United States or take a closer look at the US flag.

  • American Flag

    Learn about the American flag and how to display it.

  • Branches of the U.S. Government

    Learn about the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the U.S. government.

  • Budget of the U.S. Government

    Learn about the federal government’s budget process, from the President’s budget plan to Congress’s crafting of funding bills for the President to sign.

  • Data and Statistics about the U.S.

    Find data about the U.S., such as maps and population, demographic, and economic data.

  • Government Agencies and Elected Officials

    Find information for federal, state, and local government agencies and elected officials.

  • History and Historical Documents

    Discover highlights from American history, including military events and founding documents.

  • Laws and Legal Issues

    Learn how to report a crime, locate a federal inmate, research common U.S. laws, and file a complaint against the government.

  • Learn About Life in the U.S.

    Learn about living in the United States of America.

  • Presidents, Vice Presidents, and First Ladies

    Find contact information and other facts about Presidents, Vice Presidents, and First Ladies, past and present.