Beaches, theme parks, Hollywood, Golden Bridge, wine and food sounds more like holiday experiences or attractions not to be missed when travelling to California. However, there are equally interesting historical landmarks that you can include in your next California travel itinerary. Check out these 8 not-to-be-missed California’s historical landmarks!
Cabrillo National Monument
California Historical Landmark No. 56 is Cabrillo National Monument located at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego to commemorate the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542. The best time to visit would be during the annual Cabrillo Festival Open House held on a Sunday in October where a reenactment of Cabrillo’s landing at Ballast Point in San Diego Bay as well as a historical reenactment of a 16th century encampment will be carried out.
Presidio of San Francisco
California Historical Landmark No. 79 is Presidio of San Francisco, a park and former military base on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula. It is also a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It was originally named El Presidio Real de San Francisco or The Royal Fortress of Saint Francis. Once a Spanish fort, it is now more popularly known for its scenic vistas overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
California Historical Landmark No. 91 is Telegraph Hill which is one of San Francisco’s original “Seven Hills”. The Spaniards originally named it Loma Alta or High Hill. Later, it was more familiarly known as Goat Hill by the early San Franciscans. The hill got its current name from the semaphore, a windmill-like structure of a pole with two arms that can be raised atop the house. The marine telegraph was used for the purpose of signaling to the rest of the city the nature of the ships entering the Golden Gate.
Mission San Diego de Alcala
California Historical Landmark No. 242 is Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first Franciscan mission in the Las California’s Province of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, or the present-day San Diego.As San Diego was generally regarded as the site for region’s first public execution, the mission was also the site of the first Christian burial in Alta California. The current church, the fourth to stand onsite, has a five bells tower.
California Historical Landmark No. 516 is Mentryville which has also gotten its name into the list of ghost towns in California. Mentryville was an oil drilling town in the Santa Susana Mountains. The first commercially successful oil strike in California was a short distance up the canyon from Mentryville. “Pico Number 4” was also the longest running well on record before finally being capped in 1990. The Pico Canyon oil field was the richest in the state’s history during that period of time and Mentryville became a boomtown from 1876 to 1900. Though historic structures were destroyed either by the 2003 fire or the 2004 storm, Mentryville and Pico Canyon have recently become popular shooting locations used by Steven Spielberg and HBO television series.
The Los Angeles Aqueduct Cascades
California Historical Landmark No. 653 is the Los Angeles Aqueduct water conveyance system comprising of the Los Angeles Aqueduct (also known as Owens Valley aqueduct), the Second Los Angeles Aqueduct and the Mono Basin Extension. The Owens Valley aqueduct construction project started in 1905 to deliver water, using gravity alone, from the Owens River in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains to Los Angeles.
Old Bear Valley Dam
California Historical Landmark No. 725 is Old Bear Valley Dam, a now rarely sighted historical landmark. In 1884, and the unusual single-arch granite formed the then world’s largest man-made lake, the Big Bear Lake. Engineers back then thought the dam would not hold up the waters, thus when it did held up, it was declared “The Eighth Wonder of the World”. The old dam is still very much intact but usually submerged underwater beneath the higher dam built in 1912. Hence, the original rock dam will only be visible and sighted during extremely low lake levels.
California Historical Landmark No. 977 is a geological monument found high up in the mountains in the shape of an arrowhead. Hence, the names of its neighboring areas – Arrowhead Springs, Lake Arrowhead, Lake Arrowhead Reservoir and Arrowhead Water as well as the historic Arrowhead Springs Hotel and Spa were all derived from this unique rock formation. The natural Arrowhead geological historical monument formed from light quartz can be found on the side of the mountains that overlooks San Bernardino and the rest of the San Bernardino Valley.
Stay at cheap hotels in Victorville such as Travel Inn & Suites to explore this unique natural historical landmark and the surrounding Big Bear Lake region. Budget hotels are also the preferred choices for most travelers who place an emphasis on going economical during travelling. Spend wise and you will gain a greater sense of satisfaction when you return home!