Want to learn a little dark side of the U.S. history? Well, during World War II, the government had over a hundred thousand of Japanese Americans rounded up and sent to internment camps all ove the country.
About The Place
Manzanar was one of the largest camps in the country. The historic site is located in Independence, CA in Owens Valley just 4 hours north of Los Angeles via HWY 395. More than 10,000 people were placed here at the peak of tension between Japan and the U.S. Although much of the buildings are torn down, there are a few well preserved buildings that are open for the public to enter. The main building has a decent size exhibition about the history of the place and World War II.
This place is FREE! Which makes it the perfect stop along the 395 on your way to either Death Valley or LA. At the ground, you get to learn more about the history of the place and interact with many items and artifacts from the period. It is definitely a must stop if you happen to be driving on the 395.
Beside the main museum building, there are several other exhibitions inside the cabins. You can go inside the cabins and get to kind of imagine what it was like for the people who were here. Each cabins were filled with dozens of families. There were no privacy and the living condition was cramped.
You can also visit the mess and see their dining room. Everyday people of Manzanar would line up at this building to get their meals in which they would never get enough food.
It is right off the HWY 395. From Los Angeles, you will head north on the 395 and after nearly 4 hours of driving, you will get off at Manzanar Reward Road. You will start to see signs for the site a few miles out so it is hard to miss.
If you want to learn more about the place, make sure to visit Manzanar official website for calendar, programs, and history.