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Explore the Historic Parks in Southern California
You’ll find several historic parks and recreation areas around Southern California if you want to see old battlefields and forts. Head to Fort Tejon State Historic Park in Grapevine Canyon to see the living history demonstrations the first Saturday of each month. You can spend a day at the California Citrus State Historic Park to see citrus production activity and catch a summer concert at the amphitheater.
Make your way over to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park to walk through restored historic buildings, visit adobes, and explore museums. This is the perfect place to learn about the history of San Diego. Another top-visited area in San Diego is San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park. This site is located eight miles east of Escondido and is the place to pay tribute to the soldiers who fought in the 1846 Mexican-American War. You can visit the San Diego Wild Animal Park next door while you’re there.
Make some time to visit the Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park or La Purisima Mission State Historic Park for some fun outdoor adventures.
Fort Tejon State Historic Park
Found in Grapvine Canyon, Fort Tejon State Historic Park is just off Interstate 5 in the Tejon Pass. It's a premier destination in the Central Valley, and a short drive in from nearby Lebec. Don't miss the living history demonstrations the first Saturday of each month – check your cell phone at the gate and experience life as it was back in California's frontier days.
Watch a Blacksmith at work, see soldiers in the barracks and hear the blast of the cannon – an authentic look into the past. A former Army post, Fort Tejon is set amongst beautiful valley oaks, some older than 400 years. See the fort's restored structures and learn about army life and local history at the on-site museum. Conveniently located - this is a nice stop for history buffs.
California Citrus State Historic Park
Honoring an era in California when "citrus was king," the California Citrus State Historic Park is an idea destination for your next visit to the LA area. Drive in from nearby Corona or Moreno Valley and spend a day exploring this exceptional state park.
With groves being replaced by development, the park is designed to include citrus production along with activity, interpretive and amphitheater facilities. A delightful getaway from the hustle and bustle of the freeways and urban centers of southern California, enjoy a picnic or check the summer concert schedule and take in an event at the park.
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
Fun for all ages, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park offers visitors a glimpse into what life was like in San Diego from 1821 to 1872. Visitors stroll through the restored 5 historic buildings, adobes, museums and shops from this once Mexican pueblo town, to see how it was transformed into an American Settlement.
Step into La Casa de Estudillo, La Casa de Machado y Stewart, Mason Street School, the first public school in California, the San Diego Union Printing Office and the Seeley Stables Museum. Enjoy your time learning about the history of San Diego.
San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park
See a top historical area on your next visit to the San Diego area. The San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park is located eight miles east of Escondido. Visit the park to pay tribute to the solders from the 1846 Mexican-American War. The bloodshed was abundant until General Stephen Watts Kearny won California from Mexico.
Facility tours are available at San Pasqual Battlefield, as well as living history programs.
Stroll through the Visitor Center to view the interpretive displays of the San Pasqual Valley history. Schedule time to also visit the adjacent to the San Diego Wild Animal Park, for a fun look at the park's variety of African and Asian animals.
Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park
Plan to see both history and scenic beauty in California. The Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park is located near Goleta in the Santa Ynez Mountains of the Los Padres National Forest. The Chumash Native Americans created the rock art on the cave walls, in the 1600s and earlier.
Hike down a steep path to the protected entrance of the cave, to take a look at these incredible, colorful art carvings. The cave has been included on the National Register of Historical Places since 1972. This sandstone cave is a must-see for visitors in the Santa Barbara area in central coast region of California.
La Purisima Mission State Historic Park
Plan a visit visit to the La Purisima Mission State Historic Park in Lompoc for a self-guided tour of this 1787 mission. At one time, the mission land totaled 470 square miles and was home to Spanish settlers and the Chumash People. The mission has been restored and is available for self-guided tours.
Schedule time for touring the Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall to see the exhibits and learn of the history. See this historic park onyour next visit to the Central California Coast – drive in from nearby Santa Maria.
Reenactments are held on the mission grounds depicting life from the 1820s, include pottery making, basket weaving, blacksmithing, candle making, leatherwork and livestock production. Bring along your hiking shoes to trek along the 25 miles of trails on the mission grounds.