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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 handkerchief, Rosie the Riveter rose to stardom as a 1940s graphic-art icon who symbolised 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 fuelled the neighbouring 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.

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Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

Northern California

Discover the San Francisco Bay Area

A crimson bridge, cable carriages, a sparkling bay and streets lined with elegant Victorian homes, San Francisco is undeniably one of the world’s great

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

cities. Located in 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. 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.

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Courtesy of NPS Photo

Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

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Vicki Jauron/Getty Images

Spotlight: Sonoma County

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Escape to wine country with secret vineyards, cosy 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,...

May

Rock rolls into the wine country with this three-day event in Napa that features 2019 headliners Imagine Dragons, Neil Young, and Mumford & Sons. With more than 80 performers in the May 24–26...

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San Francisco has only one drawback - 'tis hard to leave.
Rudyard Kipling
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Taste the delicious dishes from these amazing California chefs

From a pastel coloured 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...

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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 child-friendly fun zones that...

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John/ Flickr
July

Get the Spanish spirit at this colourful event. Stroll the grounds of Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards with a glass of bubbly, and take in a whirl of passionate music, flamenco dancing and food....

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Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards
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World-class accommodations in world-class locations

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

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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
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Harriot Manley/Sunset Publishing

Trip 8-10 days 10 stops

Ultimate Northern California

Explore the best of Northern California's Great Outdoors
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It may measure less than 50 square miles, but San Francisco justly ranks as one of the greatest cities in the world. Famous for grand dame Victorian homes, classic cable cars, dynamic diversity, a beautiful waterfront and a soaring crimson bridge, the  'City by the Bay' is the perfect place to...

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Tucked into an ocean-facing fold of Mount Tamalpais, the signature peak just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, Muir Woods National Monument protects the last stand of uncut old-growth coast redwoods in the Bay Area, where loggers had all but denuded the region by the late 1800s....

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Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

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

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Amy Meredith/Flickr
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Make memories at some of California's family-favourite beaches

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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?
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Sample ultra-fresh, hyper-local, and downright amazing

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George's at the Cove
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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.
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Peter Alfred Hess/Flickr
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Trip 3-5 days 10 stops

San Francisco Bay Loop

Discover this something-for-everything loop tour around an iconic bay
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Start your trip with a visit to one of the most iconic spans in the world. With towers soaring 746 feet into the sky, its span arcing across the mouth of San Francisco Bay, and all of it painted fire engine red, the Golden Gate Bridge makes a dramatic destination, and a great way to begin a tour...

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End your road trip by exploring one of the world’s great cities. Famous for grand dame Victorian buildings, 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...

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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 actvities...

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Photo by Michael Saechang/Flickr
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Thomas H. Story/ Sunset Publishing

Golden Gate Bridge

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See one of the world’s most famous landmarks, spanning an elegant bay

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

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Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you are in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you will find it here. Want to sample fresh fruits and...

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Sausalito

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

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Spotlight: Berkeley

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

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San Francisco's cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.