California takes its strength from its diversity, and celebrates it. California's immigrant populations lend a flair to the state that you won't find anywhere else. Here, 39% of the
population speaks a language other than English at home, meaning California has more foreign language speakers than any other state in the country. On city streets from San Francisco to
Los Angeles, you'll hear Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Tagalog, Russian, Italian and more.
New age spiritualism, liberal politics, non-Western healing practices, and environmentalism flower here as nowhere else in America. You’ll find organic produce and vegetarian
dishes on the menu at restaurants and mom-and-pop cafés alike. Independent bookstores still sell the works of the Beats, plus all manner of broad-minded literature. Stroll the
rainbow flagged streets of the Castro, or take a side-trip to reclusive Bolinas in Marin County, and you’ll feel the alternative vibe.