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16 Monuments to explore in California

The most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area.

Alamo SquareAlamo Square, San Francisco, CA, USA

Alamo Square is a residential neighborhood and park in San Francisco, California. Its boundaries are not well-defined but are generally considered to be Webster Street on the east, Golden Gate Avenue on the north, Divisadero Street on the west, and Fell Street on the south. The well known postcard motif "Painted Ladies" is located in Alamo Square.

Alcatraz IslandSan Francisco, CA 94133, USA

Developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a federal prison that seized operations in the 1960s. Today the small island is open for tours.

Bradbury Building304 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA

An architectural landmark in downtown Los Angeles. Built in 1893, the five-story office building is best known for its extraordinary skylit atrium of access walkways, stairs and elevators, and their ornate ironwork.

Cabrillo National Monument1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106, USA

Southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula. It commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542. This event marked the first time a European expedition had set foot on what later became the West Coast of the United States.

Castle Mountains National Monument is a U.S. National Monument located in the eastern Mojave Desert and northeastern San Bernardino County, in the state of California. The park protects 20,920 acres, located between the interstates I−15 and I−40, and northwest of the Colorado River. The national monument protects a section of the Castle Mountains, a range located in San Bernardino County and Clark County, Nevada.

Devils Postpile National MonumentDevils Postpile Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546, USA

Devils Postpile National Monument is a United States national monument located in Madera County in the Sierra Nevada region of the state of California.The monument protects Devils Postpile, an unusual rock formation of columnar basalt. It encompasses 798 acres and includes two main attractions: the Devils Postpile formation and Rainbow Falls, a waterfall on the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River.

Golden Gate BridgeGolden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA, USA

One of the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world, and one which definitely is most photographed.

Hollywood SignLos Angeles, CA 90068, USA

American landmark and cultural icon overlooking Hollywood. "HOLLYWOOD" is spelled out in 45-foot (13.7 m) tall white capital letters and is 350 feet (106.7 m) long. Visitors can hike to the sign.

Mission Historical ParkLaguna St &, E Los Olivos St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103, USA

This is a 10-acre park located at the cross section of Laguna and E. Los Olivos Street and spans between Alameda Padré Serra and Mission Ridge Road. This monument to Santa Barbara was the tenth Californian Mission built by Spanish Franciscans. The grounds contain ruins of Mission Santa Barbara’s old waterworks, tannery vats, grassed areas, and the City Rose Garden and so more.

Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial6905 La Jolla Scenic Dr S, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA

The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial is considered one of the most unique veterans' memorials in the United States. The present structure was erected in 1954; it is the third Christian cross in that location, the first having been put up in 1913. It is 29 feet tall with a 12-foot arm spread. It is the centerpiece of the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial.

Muir Woods National MonumentMill Valley, CA 94941, USA

Muir Woods National Monument is a United States National Monument managed by the National Park Service, named after naturalist John Muir. It protects 554 acres, of which 240 acres are old growth coast redwood forests, one of a few such stands remaining in the San Francisco Bay Area. This attraction is a must-see for anyone looking to get up close and personal with some of California's most famous topography, not to mention a nice break from the bustle of the big city.

Old Sacramento State Historic Park111 I St, Sacramento, CA 95814, USA

Occupies around one third of the property within the Old Sacramento Historic District. Virtually all the buildings in this area date from the 19th century, the most notable dating back to the period immediately after the disastrous fire of 1852. Most of these buildings now houss restaurants, gift shops, or other businesses catering to tourists.

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park4002 Wallace St, San Diego, CA 92110, USA

A state protected historical park commemorating the early days of the City of San Diego and includes many historic buildings from the period 1820 to 1870.

Sand to Snow National MonumentMillard Canyon Rd, California, USA

The 154,000-acre monument extends from Bureau of Land Management lands on the Sonoran desert floor up to over 10,000 feet in the San Gorgonio Wilderness on the San Bernardino National Forest.It protects diverse montane and desert habitats of the San Bernardino Mountains, southern Mojave Desert, and northwestern Colorado Desert.

Walk Of Fame6901 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA

Comprises more than 2,600 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. The stars are permanent public monuments to achievement in the entertainment industry, bearing the names of a mix of musicians, actors, directors, producers, musical and theatrical groups, fictional characters, and others.

Winchester Mystery House525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128, USA

A mansion in San Jose, California, that was once the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of firearm magnate William Wirt Winchester. It is renowned for its size, its architectural curiosities, and its lack of any master building plan. Since its construction in 1884, the property and mansion were claimed by many to be haunted by the ghosts of those killed with Winchester rifles.