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Explore the Historic Sites of Southern California
Learn about the old missions and see old ranches at the many historic sites around Southern California. The Greystone Mansion is a registered historical landmark and the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic. Learn about the history of Orange Count with a trip to Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch, home to a 19th century adobe ranch house and gardens.
You can take a tour of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse at the southern tip of San Diego, one of the first eight lighthouses built on the west coast. It’s located in the Cabrillo National Monument. Another way to experience California history is by taking a tour of Old Mission de Tools. It’s a full functioning Catholic church that holds daily Mass and other services. Make a trip out to the San Buenaventura Mission in Ventura to see the last and ninth mission founded by Serra. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Calico Ghost Town in San Bernardino County to learn about the silver strike and see old Main Street.
With beautiful, manicured grounds, the historic Greystone Mansion is a delightful respite from the urban excitement of the Los Angeles area. Greystone Mansion is open only for special events, however the park grounds are open daily unless otherwise reserved. The drive in from downtown LA is quick.
Grab a picnic lunch and head up Loma Vista Drive for a stroll through two of the public areas on the grounds. Greystone Mansion is a registered historical landmark surrounded by over 18 acres of parkland. Enjoy the carefully manicured and maintained formal gardens and fountain as well as the inner courtyard area and pool. If you need a break from the big city, this is the place.
Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch
Learn about the rich history and traditions of the Orange County area with a visit to Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch. Found on five acres of beautiful gardens in Long Beach. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes an early 19th century adobe ranch house and gardens.
The historic ranch house and grounds are now a museum containing a collection of artifacts from the rancho era and the Los Angeles region. Long Beach, is considered the "Aquatic Capital of the Nation," home to second busiest container ports in the country, the Port of Long Beach. Enjoy a free boat tour of the port.
Old Point Loma Lighthouse
The southern tip of San Diego in the San Diego Bay was kept lit for thirty-six years by a faithful light. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse was completed 1855 at a height of forty-six feet on top of a 400-foot cliff.
It was one of the first eight lighthouses to be built on the west coast. This historical white brick lighthouse features a green lantern and was visible for twenty-eight miles. Visit from downtown San Diego.
Due to the location of the "Old Spanish Lighthouse" on top of Point Loma, the low fog and clouds often made it hard to see the light. By 1891, the light was discontinued and no longer used.
The New Point Loma Lighthouse was built on the tip of the point at eighty-eight feet above sea level. While in San Diego, make time to visit the historical Old Point Loma Lighthouse to stroll through the lighthouse, see the living quarters and walk through the museum. The lighthouse is located in the Cabrillo National Monument.
Old Mission de Tolosa
Experience central California history with a tour of Old Mission de Tolosa. Now more commonly known as the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, it's located on California’s Central Coast. It is set approximately halfway between Monterey and San Diego and is unique in its design. The Tolosa Mission features two naves set in an L shape – the only example of its kind among the California mission churches.
The Mission San Luis Obispo is a functioning Catholic church holding daily Mass and a variety of services. With beautifully maintained gardens and a rich history, the mission is a wonderful place to relax or enjoy a tour. Visitors traveling to San Luis Obispo are sure to enjoy a historical tour of the Old Mission.
San Buenaventura Mission
Experience a sampling of authentic California history on your next visit. The San Buenaventura Mission, located in Ventura was founded in 1782 by Blessed Junipero Serra. The mission remains as active Catholic parish today and strives to spread the word of God through its church services.
Enjoy touring the mission – the last and ninth mission founded by Serra. The mission's services include: Mass, Sacrament of Reconciliation, Devotions, Baptisms, Marriages and Anointing of the Sick. Visit the museum to view the mission-era and Chumash Indian artifacts. Make the most of your next visit to the Central Coast of CA.
Calico Ghost Town
San Bernardino County's Calico Ghost Town is located three miles east of Barstow. Calico grew from California's silver strike of 1881. A ghost town today, with many of the original town structures carefully preserved and restored, visitors take a trip back in time to the late 1800s. Sites include Maggie's Mine tours, the Mystery Shack and Main Street filled with mercantile stores.
Calico hosts year round events including Bluegrass in the Spring Festival, summer's Calico Film Festival and Calico Days and Ghost Haunt in the fall. There is something for the entire family to enjoy in Calico. Make the most of your time exploring the Desert Region of CA with a fright-filled ghost town tour.