Arizona is one of the most beautiful states in the United States. It has jagged mountains, deep and colorful canyons, evergreen forests, and flowering deserts. Arizona’s scenic beauty and warm climate attract many tourists to the state.
THE GRAND CANYON STATE
Arizona’s nickname—the Grand Canyon State—comes from its most spectacular natural feature. The Grand Canyon is a giant gash in Earth’s surface, cut by the Colorado River. It took millions of years for the river to cut this canyon, which is about 5,000 feet (about 1,500 meters) deep. Visitors come from around the world to Grand Canyon National Park.
Arkansas is known for the beauty of its mountains, lakes, streams, and wildlife. In 1995, Arkansas chose the nickname the Natural State to call attention to the beauty of its nature. Before 1995, Arkansas was nicknamed the Land of Opportunity because of its resources. The state has mineral deposits, vast forests, and soil good for farming and raising livestock.
The Ozark Plateau is an area of forests and mountains that extends across northern Arkansas. It’s often called the Ozarks. There are many rivers and lakes here, which make the region a popular vacation spot. The Ozarks are made of limestone and sandstone. Limestone is soft and wears away easily. As a result, you can find many caves, strange rock formations, and underground springs in the Ozarks.
California is nicknamed the Golden State for a number of reasons. The discovery of gold in 1848 brought wealth and many people to the region. Its green fields turn golden brown in the dry seasons of summer and fall, when little rain falls. Golden poppies dot the fields in spring and summer. California is also famous for its golden sunshine.
A BIG AND BUSY STATE
About 35 million people live in California. That’s more than in any other state. Many people moved to California in the second half of the 1900s. From 1950 to 2000, the state’s population more than tripled. California ranks third in size among the states. Only Alaska and Texas cover a bigger area.
Boston, Massachusetts, is also known as Beantown. In colonial days, beans baked slowly in molasses was a favorite dish there.
Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. English colonists founded it in 1625. Because of its excellent harbor, the city soon became the busiest port in America. It was the largest city in the colonies for over 100 years. When the United States became a nation, Massachusetts became a state with Boston as its capital.
Chicago is famous for tall buildings. The world’s first skyscraper was built here in 1885. Today, the city’s skyline includes some of the tallest buildings in the world. The Sears Tower is Chicago’s highest skyscraper. The 110-story building soars 1,450 feet (442 meters) into the air. From its completion in 1974 until 1998, it was the tallest building in the world.
Chicago’s downtown business district is called the Loop. An elevated railway travels in a loop around the area, giving the center of the city its name.