The Californias
Great Seal of California in State Capitol Building

Many people think that there are really 2 Californias: Northern and Southern (Baja doesn't count). Where Southern California ends and Northern California begins is a matter of perspective. Everybody knows that San Francisco is in Northern California, and LA and San Diego are in Southern California, but where does the boundary line begin? It depends on whether you're talking geographically, climatologically, zoologically, botanically, culturally, or politically. Many people, especially those people who live around San Luis Obispo, think that there are really 3 Californias, and they live in Central California. Other people, including the state's tourism board, claim that there even more Californias, like 12 or so. Depending on how fine you draw the distinctions, you can probably divide the state into a hundred pieces, but that's getting ridiculous. It does show, however, that the state has tremendous diversity in many ways. I choose to divide the state into 10 regions, each having their own unique characteristics. They roughly correlate to how a visitor would view the regions. Here they are:

The vast differences between these regions show that California has tremendous variety. They're reflected in some of the records that California holds: