Attractions

Top Choice Historic Site in The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

Alcatraz

Alcatraz: for over 150 years, the name has given the innocent chills and the guilty cold sweats. Over the decades, it’s been the nation’s first military prison, a forbidding maximum-security penitentiary and dispute…
Top Choice Historic Building in San Simeon

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle is a wondrous, historic, over-the-top homage to material excess, perched high on a hill. The estate sprawls across acres of lushly landscaped gardens, accentuated by shimmering pools and fountains, sta…
Top Choice Historic Site in Coloma-Lotus Valley

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park

This state park comprises a fascinating collection of buildings in a bucolic riverside setting at the site of James Marshall's riot-inducing discovery. Buy your ticket at the museum to display on the dashboard, retu…
Top Choice Historic Site in Mono Lake Region

Bodie State Historic Park

At Bodie State Historic Park, a gold-rush ghost town is preserved in a state of 'arrested decay.' Weathered buildings sit frozen in time on a dusty, windswept plain. To get there, head east for 13 miles (the last th…
Top Choice Historic Site in Independence

Manzanar National Historic Site

A stark wooden guard tower alerts drivers to one of US history's darkest chapters, which unfolded on a barren, windy sweep of land some 5 miles south of Independence. Little remains of the infamous war concentration…
Top Choice Historic Site in Volcano

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park

Two miles southwest of Volcano, this sacred area for the local Miwok comprises a museum in a traditional wooden roundhouse, a village site, a limestone outcrop covered with petroglyphs – 363 originals and a few mode…
Top Choice Historic Building in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara County Courthouse

Built in Spanish-Moorish Revival style in 1929, the courthouse features hand-painted ceilings, wrought-iron chandeliers and tiles from Tunisia and Spain. On the 2nd floor, step inside the hushed mural room depicting…
Top Choice Historic Site in Nob Hill, Russian Hill & Fillmore

Cable Car Museum

Hear that whirring beneath the cable-car tracks? That's the sound of the cables that pull the cars, and they all connect inside the city's long-functioning cable-car barn. Grips, engines, braking mechanisms…if these…
Top Choice Historic Site in Monterey

Monterey State Historic Park

Old Monterey is home to an extraordinary assemblage of 19th-century brick and adobe buildings, administered as Monterey State Historic Park and all found along a 2-mile self-guided walking tour portentously called t…
Top Choice Historic Site in The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

Maritime National Historical Park

Four historic ships are floating museums at this maritime national park, Fisherman's Wharf’s most authentic attraction. Moored along Hyde St Pier are the 1891 schooner Alma, which hosts guided sailing trips in summe…