Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front vc_rosietheriveterworldwariihomefront_su_nps_2ad01d77_1280x640
Courtesy of NPS Photo

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front
This National Historical Park near San Francisco preserves the legacy of the “We Can Do It” era

With her rolled-up sleeves, clenched fist, and polka-dotted kerchief, Rosie the Riveter rose to stardom as a 1940s graphic-art icon who symbolized American civilian workers during World War II. Her battle cry of “We Can Do It” may have been wartime propaganda, but it worked—legions of women signed up for jobs building ships and manufacturing munitions.

Today, the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park preserves sites from that era of social change marked by challenging work. Located on the windy shores of San Francisco’s East Bay, Richmond was a pivotal spot for wartime manufacturing. Its population quadrupled during the war as migrants—especially women—flooded in to fill newly created jobs in 56 industries, including shipbuilding. Workers endured hazardous conditions, gender discrimination, and housing shortages—many lived in their cars or trailer camps—for the chance to learn valuable skills and earn a solid wage.

Start your visit with a trip to the Oil House Visitor Center. This brick building once housed the oil tanks and boilers that fueled the neighboring Ford Assembly Plant, where civilian workers assembled jeeps, tanks, combat vehicles, and personnel carriers. Watch the two short documentaries and try your hand at the rivet station interactive display. If you time your visit for a Friday, you may get to meet an actual home front worker from World War II.

Next, tour the Red Oak Victory cargo ship, the last remaining vessel of more than 700 constructed here during World War II. Then move on to the Rosie the Riveter Memorial, an outdoor art installation that’s an allusion to shipbuilding. Exhibits along the stainless-steel path depict quotations, letters, photos, and memorabilia gathered from women shipyard workers. 

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VCW_TI_5_BayLoop_Hero_Manley_1280x642_sized_0
Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

Discover the San Francisco Bay Area

A crimson bridge, cable cars, a sparkling bay, and streets lined with elegant Victorian homes—San Francisco is undeniably one of the world’s great cities. Located along the Northern California at the state’s distinctive bend in the coast, the region has an alluring magic that stretches beyond the bay to diverse cities with nightlife and trend-setting cuisine.

"I left my heart in San Francisco, High on a hill, it calls to me." —singer Tony Bennett

The Bay Area is also home to some of the world’s finest wine country, including Napa Valley and Sonoma, plus waterfront towns, dramatic beaches, and the tech-savvy southern end of the bay known as the Silicon Valley, where lunchtime ideas at Google, Facebook, and Apple, turn into the next brilliant innovation. 

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front vc_halfmoonbay_st_rf_586994572_1280x640
Erica Davis/Getty Images

Half Moon Bay

This delightful little beach town possesses serious surf DNA and is just a short drive from San Francisco

Half Moon Bay is situated 45 minutes south of San Francisco on Highway 1, but it might as well be half a world away. Home to the world-famous...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front vc_ca101_resorts_winecountry_aubergedusoleil_videostill_1280x640

4 Awesome Wine Country Resorts

Luxurious spas, farm-to-table dining, and easy access to dozens of wineries—these Napa and Sonoma resorts offer the indulgent getaway you need

Ready for some “me time” amid decadent surroundings? Reserve your spot at one of these spectacular Wine Country resorts.

Farmhouse...

The Grateful Table

The Grateful Table

Donate today

More than 500 people gathered on November 21, 2017 in a scenic vineyard straddling the Napa-Sonoma County line to enjoy a meal together and raise...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VC_Questionnaire_NatalieCilurzo_RussianRiverBrewingCompany_NC5-060117_1280x640
Russian River Brewing Company

CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Natalie Cilurzo

The co-owner of the wildly popular Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa shares her story, along with a few Golden State favorites

Natalie Cilurzo will never forget the day everything changed for the Russian River Brewing Company. It was February 5, 2010—the first Friday in...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VC_NapaSpotlight_Hero_RF_88650897_1280x640
Mathew Spolin/Getty Images

Spotlight: Napa Valley

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front vca_maps_sfbayarea_0
Explore ultimate wine country luxury in the land where Cabernet is king

Napa Valley reigns as the land of grand estates, expansive tasting rooms, quaint towns, and elegant lodgings, many of which edge up to the...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VC_SpotlightSonoma_Hero_SonomaCounty_Stock_RF_520387436_1280x640
Vicki Jauron/Getty Images

Spotlight: Sonoma County

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front vca_maps_sfbayarea_1
Escape to wine country with secret vineyards, cozy inns, and rich history

Spanning more than one million acres from the Pacific Ocean to the rugged Coast Range, this slice of wine-country bliss defies typecasting. Yes,...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VC_Sausalito_Hero_Stock_RF_508260845_1280x640
Eiojo Torpe/Getty Images

Sausalito

Explore this quaint town that’s just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, a steep hillside covered in chaparral and eucalyptus drops from Highway 101 to a flat, sunny shoreline, two...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VC_SpotlightBerkeley_Hero_Stock_RF_149303390_1280x640
Chao Kusollerscharlya/Shutterstock

Spotlight: Berkeley

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front vca_maps_sfbayarea_2
See a stunning museum, shop, and feast in the Bay Area’s most outspoken city

A haven for backyard artists and coffee-shop philosophers, Berkeley has deep roots in the Flower Power movement of the 1960s and ’70s. But...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VC_TildenPark_Stock_RM_AAY25Y_1280x640_0
Brad Perks Lightscapes/Alamy

Hidden Gem: Berkeley's Tilden Park

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front vca_maps_sfbayarea_2
A little bit of wild space in the middle of San Francisco

In the hustle and bustle of the Bay Area, it sounds implausible: a wilderness sanctuary spanning more than 2,000 acres, rife with wildlife,...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VCW_D_SFcity_CableCarWharf_1280x642_0
San Francisco's cable cars are the country's only mobile National Historic Landmark.
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front SF_GGB_TS_1280x642_sized
Thomas H. Story/ Sunset Publishing

Golden Gate Bridge

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front vca_maps_sfbayarea
See one of the world’s most famous landmarks, spanning an elegant bay

With towers soaring 746 feet/227 meters into the sky, its span arcing across the mouth of San Francisco Bay, and all of it painted bright red-...

Jul 12
May

Rock rolls into the wine country with this three-day event in Napa that features headliners Bruno Mars, The Killers, and Muse. With more than 80 performers in the May 25–27 lineup ranging...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front BottleRock_JessicaS_Flickr_preview_686x885_sized
Jessica S./Flickr
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front vca_maps_sfbayarea
San Francisco has only one drawback - 'tis hard to leave.
Rudyard Kipling
SPECIAL FEATURE
Taste the delicious dishes from these amazing California chefs

From a candy-colored pastry shop to Michelin-starred dining rooms, top restaurants run by celebrity chefs dot the Golden State. And even if you don’t know these chefs from the TV...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VCW_SI_T10_Milliken&Feniger_Portrait_preview_686x885
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VC_MasterChefAustralia_AtelierCrenn_Chef-Dominque-Crenn-Restaurant-is-called-Atelier-Crenn-EXT_1280x640
Courtesy of MasterChef Australia

Atelier Crenn

Two Michelin stars sparkle at this minimalist gem

For a visual feast that also happens to taste amazing, book a table at Atelier Crenn, where gifted chef Dominique Crenn creates visually stunning...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Kid-friendly fun zones, special kids' menus & amazing wine for the grownups

Sure wine country is romantic, but now it’s a surprisingly great destination for families too, with a growing number of vineyards trading in elegant tasting rooms for kid-friendly fun zones that...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VCW_SI_T5_John_preview_686x885
John/Flickr
SPECIAL FEATURE
World-class accommodations in world-class locations

Head to the heart of California’s cities for luxurious stays at world-class accommodations. From San Francisco’s historic hotels to celebrity hot spots in Hollywood and Beverly Hills, California’s...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front PalaceHotel_LynGateley_preview_686x885
Lynn Gately/Flickr
San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth.
William Saroyan
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VCW_D_NC_T1_RedwoodNP_Manley-sized
Harriot Manley/Sunset Publishing

Trip 8-10 days 10 stops

Ultimate Northern California

Explore the best of Northern California's Great Outdoors
SPECIAL FEATURE
Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisanal cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VCW_SI_FarmersMarket_T4_CV_DavisFrmMkt1_Flippen_preview_686x885
Laura Flippen
SPECIAL FEATURE
From Gold Rush history to the 8th wonder of the world, visit these favorites

If there was ever a box of chocolates—and all of them delicious—it’s the rich collection of natural treasures, fascinating...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front McWayFalls_JPB_SP_preview_686x885
Amy Meredith/Flickr
SPECIAL FEATURE
Make memories at some of California's family-favorite beaches

Sand, water, and kids—it’s a natural combination for easy family fun. This sandy dozen offers appealing, family-friendly features, such as calm water for new swimmers, tide pools for intrepid...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front Carmel_BeachDog_Farnum_preview_686x885
Alex Farnum
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VCW_D_SF_T7_AKLB_1280x642_sized
Courtesy of Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Performing Arts

Museums, music, and a hint of bohemia

Nested near the city’s cupola-topped City Hall, impressive performance spaces in San Francisco present some of California’s—and the world’s—...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VCW_D_Sjose_Hero_TerminalB_1280x642
Courtesy of San Jose International Airport

Spotlight: San Jose

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front vca_maps_sfbayarea
Tech savvy, international flair

The first hit of this city’s unmistakable techy-ness starts right off the bat—if you get here by plane. Meet Space Observer, a 26-foot/7.9-meter-...

It's simply a very romantic place. Just one look at any of those streets, and you couldn't be anywhere else -- it's so beautiful, and there's that location, and the sense of the free spirit. ... Who couldn't become ravenous in such a place?
Julia Child
SPECIAL FEATURE
Old-fashioned fun in the Golden State

Historic oceanfront playgrounds, classic city-park charmers, boisterous adventures—smaller theme parks and attractions offer an array of ways to play.  These smaller parks offer old-...

Safari West
Tai Power Seeff
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front FF_NCA3429_sh
According to legend, Winchester Mystery House's maze of passages and building oddities were designed to confuse the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles.
SPECIAL FEATURE
Kids get an inside look at wildlife, space, and more

From cool ways for your kids to learn about wildlife, to an insider’s look at a space station, to a chance to walk through a rain forest or learn about the night sky, there’s a bumper...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front T8_TurtleBay_PeterAlfredHess_preview_686x885
Peter Alfred Hess/Flickr
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VCW_TI_5_Hero_Baybridge-IMG_5424b copy

Trip 3-5 days 10 stops

San Francisco Bay Loop

Discover this something-for-everything loop tour around an iconic bay
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front PaintedSisters_SanFrancisco_1280x642

End your road trip by exploring one of the world’s great cities. Famous for grand-dame Victorians, classic cable cars, dynamic diversity, a beautiful waterfront, and a soaring crimson bridge, the “City by the Bay” truly has it all. Trend-defining cuisine ranging from Michelin-starred dining to...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

Kiss a beluga, see cool movie props, and learn about Walt’s secret hideaway on exclusive and behind-the-scenes tours at California’s theme parks and attractions. Here’s a roundup of worth-the-...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front VCW_SI_VIP_T1_MichaelSaechang_preview_686x885
Michael Saechang/Flickr
SPECIAL FEATURE
Where to release your inner fashionista

Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you're in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you'll find it here. Want to sample fresh produce? Try our farmers...

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front Shopping_SpecialFeature_preview_686x885_0
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front Livermore_TaiPowerSeeff_1280x642_sized
Tai Power Seeff

Livermore

Ranches, vineyards, and relaxed appeal east of San Francisco

With warm sun and wide-open spaces cradling vineyards, ranches, and wine-country estates, the Livermore Valley makes an appealing destination just...