11 Historical Landmarks You Absolutely Must Visit In Northern California
Do you love history? If you do then you’ll love Northern California. There are historical landmarks to keep you busy and feed your love of history for weeks. We are known for pioneering the railroads and our past also includes Spanish built missions and industrial man-made wonders that will keep your mind busy and your love of history happily satisfied.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Home of Jack London
Jack London was a famous and gifted author. Jack London Square in Oakland is named after him. This is the home in Sonoma where he lived from 1915 until his death.
2. Mare Island Naval Shipyard
You're looking at the first Naval facility on the west coast during World War II. This is where nuclear subs were stationed as well. It's a very historical place for our west coast military.
3. John Muir House
John Muir lived here in this very house in Martinez from 1890 until his death in 1915. In that time he spearheaded the beginning of the Sierra Club and the National Park system.
This is also known as New Almaden. You're looking at one of the oldest and most abundant mercury mines in the USA. Located in Santa Clara, it's now a part of the Almaden Quicksilver County Park.
5. San Francisco Presidio and National Cemetery
Would you believe from 1776 - 1995 this was a fortified military base used by Spain, Mexico and the United States? Bet you didn't know our history goes back pretty far out here.
6. Old Customhouse
This tiny adobe building in Monterey was built in 1827 and is still standing. Believed to be the oldest still-standing public building in California, it's where the American flag was raised proclaiming California as a part of America.
7. Room 307, Gilman Hall, University of California Berkeley
Plutonium was discovered here in 1941 by Glenn T. Seaborg. Why the name Plutonium? Uranium was named after Uranus and Neptunium after Neptune - thus, Plutonium after Pluto. The joke's on them: Pluto is no longer considered a planet.
8. Paramount Theater
Oakland is where you can find the theater that was the largest on the west cost when it opened in the 1960s. Now home to the Oakland Symphony and the Oakland Ballet, we think they've discovered a lovely place to call home.
9. San Francisco Cable Cars
The iconic images we know and love of our San Francisco almost always have a cable car in the photo somewhere. Would you believe the cable car system you get to ride for a small fee is the ONLY cable car system in the whole world?
10. Santa Cruz Looff Merry-Go-Round and Giant Dipper Wooden Roller Coaster
The Looff family were manufacturers of merry-go-rounds all over the USA back in the early 1900s. Only five remain today and one is here on the Boardwalk. The Giant Dipper Roller Coaster is the oldest of only two wooden roller coasters still remaining on the west coast. It's been around since 1924.
11. Sonoma Plaza
Have you ever been to this spot in Sonoma? According to one source, "The largest plaza in California, this was the location of the Bear Flag Revolt in 1846 which led to the Mexican-American War."
We told you there were places around here that you’d just love. History is alive and well in Northern California.