California's Past is Not Far Behind or in Front of Us
If you think you've got it tough, turn off you cell phone, your Iphone & all electronic devices and try spending even a day without electronic communications. There are some mountain resorts in California without cell service or TVs in rooms-and that makes for an old-fashioned vacation where you have to find something to do besides stare at the walls. It's an exercise we have experienced unexpectedly on a few trips, and it's one of the best "living history" lessons you can take. After you've gone with the family or by yourself on such a trip, Living History Days at museums and historic places take on added meaning.
Here are some places you can visit this summer with Living History Days and Re-enactments:
LOMPOC - La Purisima Mission 2011 Mission Life Days July 23 - August 20 - Sept. 17, 2011, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Mission Life Days provide visitors to Mission La Purisima Concepcion an opportunity not only to see the mission come alive but to experience first hand some of the crafts and industries that enabled the missions to be successful communities. lapurisimamission.org
La Purisima Mission State Historic Park
2295 Purisima Road
Lompoc, CA 93436
LONG BEACH - Rancho Los Cerritos Living History Tours: Sunday, July 31, August 7, Sept. 4, 18, 2011 1 - 4pm. Free.
Offered the first, third and fifth Sunday of each month. Tour the historic adobe house with visitors from the Rancho's past who step forward in time to conduct tours of the Rancho. Explore the Rancho through the eyes of previous owners, workers or guests as they share their personal stories and experiences.
SACRAMENTO - Underground Tour July - November
Hidden beneath the city for nearly 150 years, Old Sacramento's underground has long been the capital's best-kept secret. Today, you can join thousands of residents and visitors in uncovering the facts behind the legends that lie below our buildings and sidewalks. Explore excavated foundations and enclosed pathways while your tour guide recounts the tales of devastation, perseverance, and determination that led to California's only successful street-raising project.Tours check in at the Sacramento History Museum before descending below several historic Old Sacramento buildings. Be prepared to walk in areas with uneven surfaces and low ceilings.
2011 Tour Season Tours
June, July, August Thurs., Fri., Sat., Sun., 10:30AM-3:00PM. Leaving every half hour.
September, October, November Thurs., Fri., 11:00AM & 2:00PM.
Sat., Sun., 10:30AM-3:00PM. Leaving every half hour.
Tickets: Call (916) 808-7059 or historicoldsac.org
Youth (6-17): $10
Children (5 & Under): Free
Adult Members: $12.
SAN DIEGO - San Diego Old Town every Wednesday & Saturday Living History
Carpenters,the blacksmith shop and someone doing the laundry or spinning yarn are a few activities at San Diego's Living History events. Speak with staff and volunteers as they demonstrate activities that would have taken place in the 1800s. See demonstrations of quilting, blacksmithing, carpentry, games and much more! Celebrate summer with family-friendly games, contests, & free activities. Stagecoach Days take place on Saturdays in July and August. Twainfest is held on August 20, 2011.
Call: (619) 220-5422 / www.parks.ca.gov/oldtownsandiego.
SAN FRANCISCO - Fort Point at the Presidio Living History Day Aug 13, 2011, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Experience history first hand! Demonstrations include musicians, infantry and artillery drill, medicine in the 1800s, Victorian dancing, and the
daily life of soldiers and civilians of the era. Fort Point is a National Historic site located in the Presidio under the southern anchorage of the Golden Gate Bridge. Additional parking is available at the Crissy Field lot near the Warming Hut and on the hill overlooking the Fort.
Call Fort Point Rangers (415) 556-1693 / www.20thmaine.net
SAN JUAN BAUTISTA - Living History Days The First Saturday of every month, 11am until 4pm.
Step back to the early days of San Juan. Meet mountain men, Civil War soldiers, Victorian ladies, and more. Enjoy craft and cooking demonstrations. Enjoy an old-fashioned soda in the historic Plaza Hotel Saloon. See historic horse-drawn vehicles inside the Plaza Stables and Victorian furnishings in the Plaza Hotel and Zanetta family home.
Open Tuesday through Sunday
10:00 am to 4:30 pm
Admission: Adult $3; 16 and under free
Call (831) 623-4881
The Park is located on Second Street, between Washington and Mariposa Streets, in the city of San Juan Bautista, 3 miles east of Highway 101, 7 miles west of Hollister, 15 minutes of Gilroy.
Free parking available on the city streets.