It may seem that California has been known as “The Golden State” since the discovery of gold in 1848, but it was not until 50 years ago, in 1968, that the official nickname of the state has become.
To celebrate the golden anniversary of becoming the “Golden State,” let’s test your knowledge of city nicknames in California and other states.
Name this city
Try to match the cities on the map to their nicknames. Note: Some cities may share a nickname. Not all city nicknames in California are listed, and some are not officially adopted.
A. Almond capital of the world: Chico or Corning?
Answer: Chico, Sacramento is also considered the capital of almonds.
B. Garlic capital of the world: Salinas or Gilroy?
Answer: Gilroy, they will be celebrating their 40th Garlic Festival this year at the end of July.
C. Olive town: Fallbrook or Corning?
Answer: Corning is about 115 miles north of Sacramento and you could call it an olive pit stop off of I-5.
D. Poison Oak World Capital: McCloud or Forestville?
Answer: Forestville has not officially adopted the title. It is a small town (3000 inhabitants) in Sonoma County whose motto is “Forestville, The Good Life”. It was not named for a forest but for a saloon owner, Andrew Jackson Forrester. Its other claim to fame is being the home of the state’s first motor sawmill.
E. Blackberry Capital of the World: Willow Creek or McCloud?
Answer: McCloud is a town of about 1,000 people in Siskiyou County.
F. Horseradish Capital of the World: Tulelake or Bishop?
Answer: Tulelake is one of the many cities to make this claim. Its production of horseradish has declined over the past 20 years.
G. American capital from farm to fork: Sacramento or Bakersfield?
Answer: Sacramento prides itself on regional food production and supplying not only the United States, but also the world, with California crops.
H. Fog capital of California: Pacifica or Pacific Grove
Answer: Pacifica doesn’t brag about its fog with a city motto, but being on the coast and 12 miles south of San Francisco, you can see why this name applies. Pacific Grove, also on the California coast, gets its fair share of fog, but it’s proud of another title.
I. Artichoke center of the world: Salinas or Castroville?
Answer: The 58th Annual Castroville Artichoke Festival will take place in June and will be celebrated at the Moterey County Fair and Event Center.
World Capital of Packer J. Mule: Bishop or Bakersfield?
Bishop will celebrate his story as a mule packer with Mule Days, May 22-28. There is an effort to build a mule museum in Bishop. You can find out more here.
K. Country Music Capital of California: Bakerfield or Bishop?
Bakersfield is so country, it even has its own sound. The “Bakersfield Sound” is a genre of country music that is primarily attributed to Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.
L. World capital of flower seeds: Oxnard or Lompoc?
Answer: Lompoc was once famous for its flower seed production, but its production has declined.
M. The strawberry capital of the world: Oxnard or Salinas?
Answer: Oxnard will be celebrating its 35th Strawberry Festival on May 19th and 20th. The fields around the town of Oxnard are said to produce a third of the state’s strawberries.
N. World Media Capital: Burbank or Santa Monica?
Answer: Burbank proudly touts this claim because several large media companies such as Warner Bros. Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Nickelodeon, NBC, Insomniac Games, and The Walt Disney Company have offices there.
O. Surf City United States: Santa Cruz or Huntington Beach?
Answer: It took a legal battle to prove it, but Huntington Beach is officially known as Surf City USA. You can read about the trial and the outcome here.
P. World Golf Capital: Palm Springs or Pebble Beach?
Answer: With over 20 golf courses in the city of Palm Springs, it welcomes golfers of all disabilities.
Q. World Capital of Dates: Indio or Fallbrook?
Answer: Indio is called the city of festivals, but before the arrival of the big music festivals it was known for its production of dates. Its annual festival of dates will take place from February 16 to 25.
R. World avocado capital: Corona or Fallbrook?
Answer: The town of Fallbrook must think guacamole helps people cope with tax deadlines, as the annual avocado festival will be held on April 15 of this year.
S. La Cité Internationale: Long Beach or San Francisco?
Answer: “The International City” is the official motto of Long Beach. It’s on the city flag.
T. Bigfoot world capital: Willow Creek or Eureka?
Answer: Bigfoot is a large company in Willow Creek. It has a museum with a lot of Bigfoot Items in addition to historical artefacts from the region.
U. Butterfly town, United States: Pacific Grove or Corona?
Responnse: Pacific Grove will have its annual butterfly parade celebrating the return of migratory monarch butterflies on October 6.
V. Lettuce Capital of the World: Salinas or Watsonville?
Answer: The city of Salinas has not officially adopted the “Lettuce Capital”, nor its other unofficial nickname, “the salad bowl of the world”. The Salinas Valley could supply up to 80 percent of the lettuce in the United States
W. Dogtown: Santa Monica or Corona?
Answer: Santa Monica was known as Dogtown for the teenage surf and skate team that helped make skateboarding an international sensation. Here is a link to an article from the National Museum of American History which describes the innovation of the 1970s.
X. Circle City: Riverside or Corona?
Grand boulevard of Corona. is a 4.4 mile circular street in the heart of the city.
Y. The City of the Crown: Riverside or Pasadena?
Answer: Pasadena is known as the “City of Roses” and the “City of the Crown” for the annual Rose Parade.
Z. What other city is known as Crown City? :
A list of many other California city nicknames can be found here.
state nickname game
California’s nickname is apt since its statehood dates back to the discovery of gold in 1848 and golden fields covered with poppies that bloom every spring. But how well do you know the other states?
Some states have multiple nicknames, such as Nevada, known as Silver State, and Sagebrush State. See if you can match the state to their nicknames:
2. New Jersey
4. New Hampshire
ANSWERS: 1-C (State of Louisiana the pelican)
2-F (New Jersey garden state)
3-B (Montana State Treasure)
4-A (New Hampshire Granite State)
5-G (Utah, the state of the hive)
6-E (Delaware the state of the diamond)
7-D (Kansas State Sunflower)
Sources: Library of Congress, SeeCalifornia.com, California State Library