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…
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 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. Step inside the hushed mural room depicting Spanish-colonial…
Top Choice Historic Site in San Diego

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

This park has an excellent history museum in the Robinson-Rose House at the southern end of the plaza. You’ll also find a diorama depicting the original pueblo at the park’s visitor center, where you can pick up a c…
Top Choice Historic Site in Independence

Manzanar National Historic Site

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

Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park

The walls here actually talk – they’re papered inside with 150-year-old donation ledgers from the once-thriving Chinese community, the immigrants who built Northern California’s infrastructure, a rich culture that h…
Top Choice Historic Building in North Beach & Chinatown

Coit Tower

The exclamation mark on San Francisco's skyline is Coit Tower, with 360-degree views of downtown and wrap-around 1930s murals glorifying SF workers – once denounced as Communist, but now a landmark. For a wild parro…
Top Choice Historic Building in Sacramento

California State Capitol

The gleaming dome of the California State Capitol is Sacramento’s most recognizable structure. A painting of Arnold Schwarzenegger in a suit hangs in the West Wing along with the other governors' portraits. Some wil…
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…