July 9, 2021

Places to Go: Historic Site Near You

By Ms. Alyssa Ginn

This summer might look a little different--you might be interested in local outdoor activities. You should consider visiting local sites you may have missed. You can play tourist in your area! I’ve highlighted three historic sites that you can visit outdoors in the three areas Cal-Pac families live in!

Los Angeles

A local outside attraction to visit is L.A. County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. It was characterized as “overlooked” so it may be a great place to visit if you’re looking to avoid crowds. There’s something for almost every interest here: rose garden, tropical greenhouse, herb garden, a large lake, aquatic garden and exotic international plant collections make up the options (Los Angeles magazine).

San Diego

If ships are more of interest to you, there is a historic ship, the Star of India, dating from 1863 and built in the Isle of Man--making this ‘the oldest iron-hulled sailing ship still afloat’ (“Historic Landmarks of San Diego County”). James Wood Coffroth bought the Star of India in the 1920s and had it shipped to San Diego from Alameda, California--with the intention of creating a maritime museum. However, that didn’t happen until November 14, 1963 (when the ship was 100 years old) due to the Depression and WWII and a lack of funds. You can go visit this historic ship in Embarcadero, San Diego Harbor. 


Sonoma Plaza in the center of Sonoma was built in 1835. It was here in the Sonoma Plaza that the Bear Flag was raised indicating a revolt from Mexican control in favor of American. This plaza consists of eight acres planned as a parade ground for Mexican soldiers organized by General Mariano Vallejo in 1835. Go visit and enjoy a walk outside in the place that some argue is the birthplace of “modern California” (NoeHill Travels in California).

-, Hadley Meares, et al. “9 Historic L.A. Places to Visit on a Sunny Day.” Los Angeles Magazine, 29 Aug. 2020, www.lamag.com/culturefiles/historic-places-la/. 

“Historic Landmarks of San Diego County - San Diego History Center: San Diego, CA: Our City, Our Story.” San Diego History Center | San Diego, CA | Our City, Our Story, sandiegohistory.org/journal/1968/july/landmarks/. 

National Register #75000489: Petaluma Historic Commercial District in Sonoma County, California, noehill.com/sonoma/nat1975000489.aspx.