<www.angelisland.org>: Known as the Ellis Island of the West, Angel Island served as a major detention and quarantine center for Chinese immigrants entering the United States. If s located in San Francisco Bay. Call before visiting, as the immigration station is under renovation.
<www.nps.gov/cabr>: This site commemorates the arrival of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to arrive in what’s now San Diego.
<www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=486>: See Indian artifacts including clothing, basketry and beadwork, and view a display on Ishi, the last of the Yahi Indians.
<www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=608>: Used as a military headquarters until 1846, El Cuartel is the only remaining of the four royal presidios (Spanish military outposts) built in Alta California. It’s the oldest building in Santa Barbara and the second oldest in California.
<www.nps.gov/fopo>: Built in the mid-19th century to protect the entrance to San Francisco Bay, the fort was occupied throughout the Civil War. It also served as the base of operations during construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and defended the bay’s submarine net during World War II.
<www.hearstcastle.com>: Media mogul William Randolph Hearst jump-started his career after purchasing his first newspaper in 1887. You can visit his luxurious estate, complete with four houses, two pools one decorated with gold tiles and Animal Hill, which was once the world’s largest private zoo.
<www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?pagejd=484>: Pan for gold in the American River, where James Marshall discovered gold in 1848. You also can visit the park’s museum and Marshall’s grave site.
<www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=663>: The birthplace of California, Old Town re-creates San Diego life as it was during the Mexican and early American periods. It features five original adobe buildings, including the city’s first newspaper office.
<www.queenmary.com>: Walk aboard the decks of this gigantic early 1900s trans-Atlantic ocean liner and WWII troopship. You also can dine in one of the ship’s restaurants or spend the night in a stateroom.
From the February 2006 issue of Family Tree Magazine.