Explore America: California

Explore America and discover people, places, art, history, and other items related to California in the Smithsonian's digitized collections. The collections include items that reflect the state’s distant past (a hunk of algae older than the dinosaurs) and its vibrant present (Colin Kaepernick’s signed 49ers jersey). California’s natural treasures are as expansive as the “Golden State” itself: It is home to mountains, deserts, redwood forests, and about a thousand miles of Pacific coastline. View images of the Golden Gate Bridge, deemed one of the modern wonders of the world, a gold nugget and Torah mantle from the 1849 gold rush, and explore the lives of famous Californians, ranging from Cesar Chavez and Black Panther Huey Newton to Walt Disney, Alice Waters, and Steve Jobs. Enjoy jewelry and bowls by American Indian artists and learn about California’s musical heritage from Smithsonian Folkways and the Folklife Festival.

Held in trust for the American people, the Smithsonian’s collections document the country’s history, art from across the globe, scientific discovery, and the vast wonders of the natural and cultural world. Visit Smithsonian Open Access to download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s 2D and 3D images.