The 10 Historical Attractions In Southern California You Have To See

Historical Attractions In Southern California What comes to mind when you think of visiting Los Angeles or Orange County? While our beautiful beaches, thrilling theme parks, and shopping districts are definitely amazing, every visitor should take the time to explore some of our top historic attractions. Southern California has a rich and fascinating history, and some of that has been well-preserved and documented for your knowledge and enjoyment. And with the right rental car, you’ll have the freedom to explore any historic sites that pique your curiosity. Check out our Los Angeles car rental packages and we’ll find you the perfect reliable vehicle for your trip. And if you’re flying into John Wayne Airport, we’ll have your affordable car rental Orange County ready and waiting. There are all kinds of fascinating historical attractions in Southern California. But if you can find the time, we recommend these as our “top 10.” Check out as many of them as you can and you’ll have a great (and educational) vacation.   Mission Inn, Riverside In 1876, Frank Miller arrived in Riverside seeking a warmer climate. He founded the Mission Inn, which started as a 12-room boarding house and is now a much more expansive space. The Spanish Mission-style architecture is beautiful, and the inn maintains much of its original charm. There are several elegant dining options (as well as a cupcake shop and a tasting room) on the property, but if you have the time, you’ll definitely want to spend the night. The luxurious rooms as well worth the splurge.   La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, Los Angeles These tar pits are interesting not only because of their history, but because they’re right in the middle of urban LA. The La Brea Tar Pits date back about 50,000 years, 65 million years after dinosaurs went extinct. The museum displays Ice Age fossils from 10,000 to 40,000 years ago, so it’s a must-see for anyone interested in our prehistoric past.   The Witch’s House (The Spadena House), Beverly Hills This storybook house in Beverly Hills was designed by Harry Oliver, a Hollywood art director who went on to play a major role in Storybook architecture. The original inhabitants, the Spadina family, lent the house their name. The house has appeared in many movies over the years.   The Gamble House, Pasadena Originally intended as a winter home for David and Mary Gamble (and Jeremy Case), the Gamble House is a National Historic Landmark and museum commonly described as America’s Arts and Crafts masterpiece. They offer tours any day of the week, but they’re by reservation only on some days, so check the website before you go.   Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, Los Angeles Located in San Gabriel, this historic landmark was built in 1771. It’s still a fully functional Roman Catholic mission that attracts visitors from all over the world. There is even an onsite museum.   The San Buenaventura Mission, Ventura San Buenaventura was the 9th Spanish Mission to be established in California, dating all the way back to 1782. Located in downtown Ventura, the property is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s often called the Mission by the Sea.   Beach Boys Historic Landmark, Hawthorne If you were ever a Beach Boys fan, head to Hawthorne and check out the site of the childhood home of Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson. Located at 3701 W. 119th Street, the monument stands at the former location of the house, which was demolished in the mid-80s during construction of the Century Freeway. Harry Jarnagan came up with the idea, and the venture was supposed by music industry nobles like Dick Clark.   Avila Adobe, Los Angeles This adobe house was built by Don Francisco Avila in 1818, making it the oldest existing house in LA. If you’re a fan of old architecture, this building will definitely impress you.   Merced Theatre, Merced The Merced is the only surviving theatre building in Los Angeles County, although it isn’t the city’s first theatre. It does date all the way back to 1871, so seeing it is pretty impressive. The theatre is currently being transitioned into a home for LA’s public access cable channel.   Dana Point, Orange County Named after Richard Henry Dana, who visited here in 1835, Dana Point is one of the few harbors along the Orange County coast. The cove beneath, El Embarcadero, was used in trading with Mission San Juan Capistrano. It’s the site of at least one pirate landing, in 1818, by Hipolito Bouchard. If you can’t make it to many historic sites and attractions during your visit to Southern California, make it a point to visit one of our most famous museums, like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art or the world famous Getty Center.