Maritime Heritage Program
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Maritime-Related National Parks in California
- Climbing out of his boat and onto shore in 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo stepped into history as the first European to set foot on what is now the West Coast of the United States. In addition to telling the story of sixteenth-century exploration, the park is home to a wealth of cultural and natural resources. Join us and embark on your own Voyage of Discovery.
- Channel Islands National Park encompasses five remarkable islands and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants, and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth and helped preserve a place where visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was.
- From its vantage point overlooking the spectacular Golden Gate, Fort Point protected San Francisco harbor from Confederate and foreign attack during and after the U.S. Civil War. Its beautifully arched casemates display the art of the master brick mason from the Civil War period.
- Golden Gate National Recreation Area chronicles two hundred years of history, including Native American culture, the Spanish Empire frontier, the California Gold Rush, the evolution of American coastal fortifications, and the growth of urban San Francisco. It has hundreds of ways to recreate including horseback riding, ranger-led programs, bicycling, hiking, water-based sports, and walking your dog. Includes Alcatraz Island and the Presidio of San Francisco.
- From its thunderous ocean breakers crashing against rocky headlands and expansive sand beaches to its open grasslands, brushy hillsides, and forested ridges, Point Reyes offers visitors over 1500 species of plants and animals to discover. Home to several cultures over thousands of years, the Seashore preserves a tapestry of stories and interactions of people.
- On the evening of July 17, 1944, residents in the San Francisco east bay area were jolted awake by a massive explosion that cracked windows and lit up the night sky. At Port Chicago Naval Magazine, 320 men were instantly killed when two ships being loaded with ammunition for the Pacific theater troops blew up. It was WWII's worst home front disaster.
- Explore and honor the efforts and sacrifices of American civilians on the World War II home front.? Find out how they lived, worked, and got along. Richmond, where the park is located, played a significant and nationally recognized part in the World War II home front. The four Richmond shipyards produced 747 ships, more than any other shipyard complex in the country.
- Stand on the stern of Balclutha and face west to feel the fresh wind blowing in from the Pacific Ocean. Located in the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park offers the sights, sounds, smells, and stories of Pacific Coast maritime history.
World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (also in AK, HI)
- World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument preserves and interprets the stories of the Pacific War, including the events at Pearl Harbor, the internment of Japanese Americans, the battles in the Aleutian Islands, and the occupation of Japan.