California Interesting Places and Maps

Map of California

Historically interesting places

Bodie is a ghost town dating back to the gold rush. It is located east of San Francisco on the Nevada border. The city was laid out after 1859 as a gold mining settlement and was abandoned due to a fire in 1932. Nowadays you can visit the few houses that have been spared.

After encountering a very profitable gold vein around 1876, the city grew very quickly. Around 1880, for example, around 10,000 people lived here.

During this heyday there were around 65 saloons, numerous brothels and even a railroad. Bodie was one of the most lawless cities in the West at the time.

  • Find common acronyms associated with California. Also see top 10 cities by population in California.
  • Allcitycodes: Lists of all area codes of California. Also includes state overview and counties by area code in California.

Old Town-Mission Valley in San Diego
This area of ​​San Diego consists of the very touristy old town and the Mission Valley. The former is considered the birthplace of California, since the first Europeans settled here in 1769. The latter is San Diego’s commercial center and includes a whole range of shopping options, large and small. In addition to many historic houses from San Diego’s Wilhelminian era, the following sights are not to be missed:

  • Casa de Estudillo
  • Junipero Serra Museum
  • Mason Street Schoolhouse
  • Mission San Diego de Alcala
  • Mormon Battalion Visitors’ Center of San Diego
  • Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
  • Post Museum
  • San Diego Courthouse
  • Sheriff’s Museum
  • Wells Fargo History Museum
  • Whaley House

Special buildings and structures

Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco
The skyscraper is the headquarters of the Transamerica Corporation and was built between 1969 and 1972 and with its 260 meters height it has become the second symbol of the city. Sales and office space can be found on the 48 floors. The shape of the building is that of a four-sided pyramid with two wings on opposite sides of the skyscraper. At the top of the building are four cameras that film in all four directions and these images can be viewed at the entrance to the building. The foundations of the building are earthquake-proof due to their hydraulic suspension. Over 1,500 people work in this building.

Contact 600 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, California 94111

Golden Gate Bridge
The most photographed bridge on earth is probably one of the most beautiful in the world. The engineering masterpiece by civil engineer Joseph Strauss spans the entrance to the bay. The bridge was worked for 20 years until it was opened to traffic on May 27, 1937. By the way, Strauss died of a heart attack a year later. The foundations of the bridge consist of 300,000 m³ of concrete and the 2.7 km long bridge is suspended from two 97 m high pylons with steel wire. Around 600,000 rivets were installed per pylon. But when the last rivet, a golden one, was to be installed on the day of the inauguration, the rivet, which was too soft, broke and fell into the water. This last rivet was made of steel. So far, more than a billion vehicles have crossed the bridge. Cross the bridge on foot towards Sausalito, is a windy but completely harmless adventure. In the meantime, the bridge is also being made safe for an 8.3 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale. At the south end of the bridge there are two plaques: one to commemorate the workers who died during the construction and the other to commemorate the senior engineers.

Apple Campus 2, Space Ship
This building, nicknamed “Space Ship”, is the new Apple headquarters in the 60,000-strong city of Cupertino in Santa Clara County. The official name is Apple Campus 2. The building designed by the British architect Norman Foster in the form of a circular ring with a circumference of around 1.6 km and an area of ​​260,000 m² is located on a total of approximately 175 ha = 1.75 km² Terrain. There are solar panels on the roof, which together generate an output of 17 MW and can thus almost completely cover the electricity consumption of the building. More than 12,000 employees of the group work in the roughly 5 billion expensive building. The building was completed in late 2017.

Los Angeles City Hall
The city’s government center is located in the Civic Center in Downtown LA. The building was completed in 1928, has 32 floors and was the tallest building in the city from 1928 to 1964. A viewing deck is available for the public on the 27th floor, which should not be missed if you are looking for good views of Downtown LA. Many may be familiar with the building from films and television programs, so the building can be seen in the television series Superman.

Contact 200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012

Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles
One of the most outstanding buildings in the Californian metropolis is the headquarters of Capitol Records, an American record label that belongs to the EMI Music Group. The tower consists of 13 floors and was once the first round office building on earth. Various recording studios are housed in it. The shape of the building is said to resemble a stack of records.

Contact 1750 Vine Street
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California 90028

Eastern Columbia Building in Los Angeles
This 13-story building in the Broadway Theater District is considered by many to be the most beautiful historic building in LA. The Art Deco house opened in 1930 as the new headquarters of the Eastern Outfitting Company and Columbia Outfitting Company. It can be recognized from afar due to its turquoise facade.

Contact 849 S Broadway
Los Angeles, California 90014

Union Station in Los Angeles
The architecturally very interesting central station of LA was designed by John and Donald B. Parkinson in a mixture of Spanish colonial style, mission revival and late art deco and also contains Moorish architectural elements. The station was opened in 1939 and since then has been the long-distance train station of Los Angeles. The building continues to impress with courtyard gardens on both sides of the waiting hall. Right next to the main building is the highly remarkable station restaurant, a masterpiece designed by Mary Colter.

Contact 800 North Alameda Street
Los Angeles, California 90012

US Bank Tower in Los Angeles (also Library Tower)
The tallest building in the city at 310 meters and the tenth tallest in the United States was built between 1987 and 1990. It is earthquake-proof, at least up to 8.3 on the Richter scale. It extends over a total of 73 floors, with a helipad on the roof. It is the highest helipad on a building worldwide. The Library Tower is the tallest building in the United States west of the Mississippi.

Contact 633 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, California 90071

Watts Towers (Nuestro Pueblo) in Los Angeles
This impressive collection of 17 connected structures (two of them over 30 meters high) was built by the Italian immigrant Simon Rodia in his spare time. It took him 33 years (1921 – 1954) to do this. The highly interesting work of art consists of steel tubes and rods, which are wrapped with wire mesh and covered with mortar. Rodia never gave a specific reason to build and always worked alone. In 1955 he gave up the towers and left the city without ever returning.

Contact 1765 East 107th Street
Los Angeles, California 90002

Coit Tower in San Francisco
This tower, which was built on Telegraph Hill in 1933, is approx. 65 m high. The peak is located approximately 150 m above sea level and offers the most beautiful view of the city and Golden Gate. The base is glazed and houses a museum. The tower was built in honor of benefactor Lillie Hitchcock Coit.

Contact 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd
San Francisco, California 94133

Alcatraz in San Francisco
This prison island in San Francisco Bay is now legendary. Al Capone and Robert Stroud served their sentences in the huge concrete building. Alcatraz was the safest prison in the world and not a single prisoner was able to flee alive because the water is too cold and the current is too strong. The prison was closed in 1963, is now a listed building and can be visited by tourists. There is also a museum on the island that brings the history of the prison closer to the visitor.

California State Capitol in Sacramento
The California State Capitol in the city of Sacramento was built from 1861 to 1874 and was the seat of the legislature of the state of California and the seat of its governor. The building, built in a neoclassical style, is reminiscent of the Capitol in Washington and offers visitors very beautiful exterior and interior views. In 2001 there was an attack with a truck that killed the driver and caused serious damage to the building.

Contact 1315 10th Street
Sacramento, California 95814

Painted Ladies in San Farncisco
The Painted Ladies are several wooden houses in San Francisco that were built in the 19th century in the Victorian style. Many of these buildings were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. Nowadays, the preserved Painted Ladies are restored and colorfully painted, giving San Francisco its very own flair.

Hearst Castle near San Simeon
The Hearst Castel was built between 1919 and 1947 for the newspaper magnate William Hearst and is now one of the best tourist attractions in California. The castle combines elements of different architectural styles and enchants with its sometimes fantastic beauty and splendor. The 30 m long Neptune pool is also very impressive.

Contact 750 Hearst Castle Road
San Simeon, California 93452

Map of California – Maps of California

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California – Maps

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California – District Maps

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California – National Geographic Map Machine

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California – REGIS GRASSLinks 3.1

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California – Southern California Area Maps

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California – University of Texas Library

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California – US Census Bureau Map

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UC Berkeley – Historic Topographic Maps of California

Archive contains maps of the San Francisco Bay Area created from US Geological Survey data from 1895 to the present. Search by place name, or click on a location.