Heading out to the west coast for vacation this year? Whether you are a history buff who wants to take in the historical sites or just want to see a few of the best historical attractions the west coast has to offer, these sites are a must-stop on your west coast journey.
These historic cities and notable monuments have some of the best-preserved landmarks and historic destinations for history buffs to enjoy and learn more about.
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park – Earlimart, California
Founded over a century ago, Allensworth was developed by a thriving community of blacks who wanted to help themselves create a better life. They dreamed of bringing in friends and family to create their own version of the “American Dream” and a place where they could inspire others, work hard, and celebrate their faith in a discrimination-free community.
Today, you can walk back in time to learn more about Colonel Allen Allensworth and the four other settlers who founded the town in the search to create a thriving community. The historic park contains reconstructed buildings of the original buildings that stood in the early 1900s, special events, and a wealth of information about what the residents went through to try and achieve this vision of a discrimination-free zone they so badly wanted.
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park – Coloma, California
It was in the 1800s that gold was found in Coloma, California, by James W. Marshall, which turned the area into a bustling opportunity for many. Finding gold led to the largest mass movement of people in the West and sparked growth that kept going for decades.
Today, you can visit the historic park to see a replica of the original sawmill that was built for mining, along with more than 20 historic buildings that showcase what the area was all about at the time of its growth.
While you are visiting the historic site, you can also see about striking it rich as you pan for gold in the American River and then enjoy a nice afternoon lunch at one of the restaurants the charming town has made available to visitors.
Angel Island State Park – San Francisco Bay, California
Home to over 700 acres of pristine parkland, Angel Island offers a rich history, beautiful beaches, and fantastic hiking trails.
Angel Island State Park is an important historical site because, in the early 1900s, it was home to thousands of immigrants who were trying to relocate to the United States. During World War II, the U.S. military used the station as a processing center for prisoners of war and those troops returning from and embarking on their journeys. Once the war was over, the area was abandoned for years.
In the 1970s, it was discovered that there were more than 200 poems written in Chinese etched onto the walls. The poems were left by immigrants who had been through some of their toughest experiences, and in 1997 it was declared a National Historic Landmark and reopened to the public as a California state park. Today, many visit the landmark to read the poems, take in the military history, and learn more about what those immigrants had to go through to get into the country.
Located along Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula, Oysterville was put on the map in the 1800s because of the enormous number of oysters that were found along Willapa Bay. Naturally, the booming oyster business brought in a lot of business and settlers who wanted in on the action.
Unfortunately, once the oysters became scarce, many people left the area, and the growth stopped. However, you can still visit the beautiful scenic area and charming town to learn more about the history, as well as some of the nearby towns and attractions along the peninsula.
Fort Astoria in Oregon
The primary fur trading post of the Pacific Fur Company, Fort Astoria, is rich in history, not just for its fur. Also known as Fort George, the area started out as a trade depot for a collection of inland furs and found itself in the middle of a war between the U.S. and Britain. During the war, it was sold to a Canadian-based company, which then renamed it Fort George.
Later abandoned, For George was then turned into a trade space for salmon. It became a key post for storing, transporting, and buying salted and pickled salmon. Today, Fort Astoria is a landmark that visitors come to see throughout the year to learn more about its history during the war and its business history.
These historic landmarks on the west coast are just a few of the attractions along the coast that history buffs will want to visit. As you step back into time with each of these destinations, you can learn more about the history of the area and how each landmark shaped the future.
If you’re planning a trip to the East Coast, then check out these historical sites to see on the East Coast.