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Places to Visit

There are a multitude of museums, historic sites, and parks in the Pacific states that touch on the theme of immigration and migration. The following selection is by no means exhaustive but offers a good starting point for further exploration.

See a map of the Pacific Coast Network of Immigration and Migration-related Institutions and Organizations:



Center for Immigration Studies - Oakland, CA
Programs share the historical and cultural experiences of African Americans in California and the West; unique resource on the history of African Americans in Northern California and the Bay Area; collections in the archives are strong in personal stories and experiences of social and political activism

Judah L. Magnes Museum - Berkeley, CA
Explores the depth, vitality, and complexity of Jewish life and culture. Through educational programs, special exhibitions and publications, the Magnes engages with significant issues in contemporary life, promotes public dialogue and scholarship, and encourages the understanding of the Jewish past for present and future generations, serving as a vital cultural resource for the entire community

Oakland Museum of California - Oakland, CA
Comprehensive permanent exhibits on three floors portray California's natural wonders, events, eras and people who have shaped the state, and the art that Californians have produced since artist-explorers first ventured into the Yosemite Valley
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Antelope Valley Indian Museum - Lancaster, CA
Located at Piute Butte near Lancaster, Los Angeles County, this museum is dedicated to the California, Great Basin, and Southwest American Indian cultures.

Autry National Center - Los Angeles, CA
Autry National Center is an intercultural history center formed from the merger of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of the American West (formerly the Autry Museum of Western Heritage), and the Women of the West Museum. The Center explores the distinct stories of cultures and peoples, examining how the interaction of these cultures and peoples affects the complex, evolving history of the American West.

California African American Museum - Los Angeles, CA
Collections used in programs and exhibitions to promote understanding both the participation of African Americans in American life and culture and the prevailing social perspectives during various periods about African Americans.

Chinese Historical Society of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA
CHSSC preserves and celebrates the history and heritage of Chinese and Chinese Americans in the Southern California area. The museum features exhibits that focus on many 20th century stories about the role of Chinese Americans in the growth and development of Southern California.

Japanese American National Museum - Los Angeles, CA
The role of the museum, its programs, and exhibitions is to remember our history to better guard against the prejudice that threatens liberty and equality in a democratic society, to strive to provide a voice for Japanese Americans and a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture, and to promote continual exploration of the meaning and value of ethnicity in our country.

Korean American Museum - Los Angeles, CA
KAM interprets and preserves the history, culture, and achievements of the Koream American experience in America. It also examines and discusses current community issues and fosters the advancement of Korean American culture.

Museum of Tolerance - Los Angeles, CA
Two central themes: the dynamics of racism and prejudice in America and the history of the Holocaust. The educational arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (the internationally recognized Jewish human rights organization), the Museum was founded to challenge visitors to confront bigotry and racism, and to understand the Holocaust in both historic and contemporary contexts.
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Angel Island State Park - Tiburon, CA
Angel Island has over 3,000 years of history associated with it. From the Coast Miwok Indians to the Spanish cattle ranchers, to the streams of immigrants entering the country through the immigration station here, the Pacific Coast story of settlement is reflected on this island in the San Francisco Bay.

China Camp State Park - Marin County, CA
Founded in the 1880s, China Camp is the site of the last Chinese shrimp fishing village on the Pacific coast. Chinese immigrants, mainly from Canton, China, settled here and built a thriving community of 500. Many buildings still stand and a house museum interprets the history of the village.


Monterey State Park - Monterey, CA
Monterey was the capital of California under Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. governance. Ten historic buildings form the core of the park, several of which are historical museums that relate early California's rich and diverse history.
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Donner Memorial State Park - Donner Summit, CA
Situated at Donner Lake in the Sierra Nevada, this park is dedicated to the early pioneers who migrated to California from the eastern United States. Specifically, it tells the story of the Donner Party, who suffered through the extreme winter of 1846-47 at this mountain pass. The Emigrant Trail Museum and the Pioneer Monument are located here.


Harada House - Riverside, CA
Located in Riverside, California, this national historic landmark embodies a major era in the advancement of civil rights and citizenship in the U.S. Purchased by a Japanese immigrant in 1915, the residence gained international attention in 1916 as the object of a landmark court case testing the constitutionality of California's 1913 Allen Law.


The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts - Sacramento, CA
Dedicated to telling the history of California through the stories of both men and women. A permanent gallery tells the story of California's remarkable women. Treasures from the State Archives, many never before seen by the public, are displayed here.

California State Railroad Museum - Sacramento, CA
Railroad heritage and role of the railroad in development of the West, especially historic periods such as the Gold Rush

Discovery Museum, Sacramento Museum of History, Science & Technology - Sacramento, CA
Dedicated to enriching the lives of local residents and visitors to the Sacramento region. Programs and special events engage participants in lifelong learning, the History Center promotes cultural awareness and appreciation of our regional heritage, and the Science and Space Center promotes exploration and understanding of our world and the universe
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California Historical Society - San Francisco, CA
Collects and preserves what items contribute to the exploration and research of California history. Selected examples from their collection are exhibited at their downtown San Francisco location.

Chinese Historical Society of America - San Francisco, CA
CHSA is the oldest and largest organization dedicated to the study, documentation and dissemination of Chinese American history. Its museum is located in a landmark Julia Morgan-designed building that is in the heart of San Francisco's Chinatown. Permanent and changing exhibitions chronicle the history of Chinese Americans in the US.

Fort Point and Presidio Historical Association - San Francisco, CA
Dedicated to the historic education and preservation of the Presidio of San Francisco National Historic Landmark District.

The Mexican Museum - San Francisco, CA
Programs grow from the understanding that a community is comprised of many influences, histories and experiences. For this reason, the Museum has expanded its focus to include multiple perspectives within Latin American contemporary and historical art in order to more accurately reflect this complexity. Designed with the understanding that community engagement is a reciprocal and ongoing endeavor, the Museum's educational initiatives are grounded in the concept of first-voice programming -- of and by the culture.

Museum of Craft & Folk Arts - San Francisco, CA
The only folk art museum in Northern California, known for focused and unique exhibitions of traditional and contemporary folk art and craft from around the world-demonstrating how folk art, contemporary craft, and fine art are all part of the same continuum

Museum of African Diaspora - San Francisco, CA
Based in San Francisc, MoAD connects all people through the art, culture and history of the African Diaspora. The museum embraces an international audience through collaborative ventures with museums and institutions worldwide. An online museum is also a part of its program offerings.

San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park - San Francisco, CA
Focus on the nation's maritime heritage and cultural influences. Park includes the fleet of historic vessels; visitor center, museum, and library/research facility programs, exhibitions, and events preserve understanding of traditional arts -- like boatbuilding and woodworking

Society of California Pioneers - San Francisco, CA
Venue for the study and enjoyment of California art, history, and culture. Founded by individuals arriving in California before 1850 it has continued to thrive under the leadership of several generations of direct descendants. The Society operates both a museum and library, and features exhibitions and programs focused on California
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History San Jose - San Jose, CA
Based on the core idea that the history that we make everyday would not be possible without the futures that others created yesterday, the organizations aspires to provide innovative national leadership in preserving and sharing regional history by engaging diverse audiences in exploring the varieties of human experience that contribute to the continuing history of San Josť and the Santa Clara Valley


Fort Ross State Historic Park - Jenner, CA
Fort Ross was the southernmost settlement in the Russian colonization of the North American continent during the early 1800s. It was established as an agricultural base to supply Alaska. Many buildings of the fort have been reconstructed, including the first Russian Orthodox chapel south of Alaska.
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Weaverville Joss House State Park - Weaverville, CA
The Weaverville Taoist temple is the oldest continuously used Chinese temple in California. Today, it is a place of worship as well as a museum that describes the role of Chinese immigrants in early California history.


Colonel Allensworth State Park - San Joaquin County, CA
Allensworth is the only California town to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans. It was founded in 1908 by a group headed by Colonel Allen Allensworth who were dedicated to improving the economic and social status of African Americans. Drought eventually ended this farming community. Today it has been carefully restored and reconstructed and offers a glimpse into a unique California community.
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Bishop Museum - Honolulu, HI
Natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific about Hawai'i and other Pacific island cultures, recognized for its cultural collections, research projects, consulting services and public educational programs. Serving and representing the interests of Native Hawaiians is a primary purpose of the Museum.



Emigrant Springs State Heritage Area - near Pendleton, OR
Emigrant Springs State Heritage Area offers visitors an opportunity to camp and explore a popular pioneer stop over along the Oregon Trail. The park is nestled in an old-growth forest. Use Emigrant Springs as a base camp to explore nearby attractions such as the Blue Mountain Crossing Oregon Trail interpretive park or the Pendleton Woolen Mills. Experience the life of Chinese emigrants of the 1800s in the Pendleton underground tours.


Farewell Bend State Recreation Area - near Pendleton, OR
Historic Farewell Bend State Recreation Area, located on the Oregon/Idaho border north of Ontario, offers a beautiful desert experience on the banks of the Snake River's Brownlee Reservoir. Pioneers on the Oregon Trail took a final rest here before leaving the Snake River to travel wearily inland on their way to Oregon City. Historic markers and interpretive displays provide visitors with information on Farewell Bend's significance on the Oregon Trail.
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The High Desert Museum - Bend, OR
Collections, exhibits, programs explore the cultural heritage, natural history of the region, especially the stories of movement for the various peoples who lived and passed through the region


Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site - John Day, OR
Kam Wah Chung Museum is a must-see for anyone with an interest in Oregon history. Built to preserve the legacy of the Chinese workforce in Oregon, the museum contains artifacts and displays that share some of the trials of the Chinese workers' everyday lives. Chinese businessman Lung On and herbal doctor Ing Hay worked out of this building. Dr. Hay administered care to the Chinese gold-mine workers, pioneers, and others from the John Day area and beyond by using traditional Chinese remedies.


National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center - Baker City, OR
Portrays and interprets the Oregon Trail experience and its related themes, while preserving and protecting its historic, cultural heritage, natural, and visual features MULTNOMAH COUNTY

Oregon Historical Society - Portland, OR
Collection includes ancient objects from the earliest settlements, and objects that illustrate exploration in the Oregon Country, the growth of business and industry, the development of artwork and crafts, and maritime history, and other topics
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Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center - Cape Disappointment State Park, WA
A series of mural-sized "timeline" panels guide visitors through the westward journey of the Lewis and Clark Expedition using sketches, paintings, photographs and the words of Corps members themselves.The center also features short film presentations, a gift shop and a glassed-in observation deck with fabulous views of the river, headlands and sea. Additional displays focus on local maritime and military history.


Nordic Heritage Museum - Seattle, WA
Story of immigration from the 5 Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden

Wing Luke Asian Museum - Seattle, WA
Engages the Asian Pacific American communities and the public in exploring issues related to the culture, art, and history of Asian Pacific Americans


Washington State Historical Society - Tacoma, WA
A family of museums and research centers, WSHS' mission is to inspire all people to make history a part of their lives by presenting exhibits, programs and publications that bring history alive; collecting materials that reveal stories of Washington and its people; encouraging the heritage activities of others; and fostering a sense of identity and community
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