Step back in time at the city’s Rosie the Riveter National Historical park.
Courtesy of National Park Service
Soak up a little World War II history on this easy day trip to the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park. As the centerpiece of Richmond’s Home Front Heroes history tour, the park takes visitors back to the days when women went to work building military machinery for the war effort. Plus, you can walk—or better yet, bike—and enjoy the shore on a summer’s day.
Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center
This interactive center packed with artifacts and photography gives visitors a strong sense of what life was like in the East Bay during the tension-packed days of World War II. It also offers guided tours and screens documentary films. Free admission, donations welcome, nps.gov/rori.
San Francisco Bay Trail
Featuring stunning views and historic markers about the factories for the war effort, this easy, flat, four-mile trail is part of a 500-mile path that will eventually connect 47 Bay Area cities. Download the Richmond Home Front Heroes smartphone audio tour narrated by OpenRoad.TV host Doug McConnell, as you plant yourself in the footprints of the women and men who worked around the clock to help the United States prevail in WWII. baytrail.org.
SS Red Oak Victory
One of the last surviving ships that was built in Richmond’s Henry J. Kaiser shipyards during World War II, the SS Red Oak Victory is open for visitors and hosts the Historic Film Festival, a series of patriotic Hollywood films from the 1940s. This month’s movies are For Whom the Bell Tolls (August 13) and Dragon Seed (August 27). $10 suggested donation, richmondmuseum.org.
Built in the historic Ford auto plant, Assemble—helmed by Chez Panisse and César alums—specializes in salads, seafood, and retooled American classics. The restaurant has a classy-casual vibe, industrial decor, and a dog-friendly patio. Try the chicken potpie with cheddar cheese crust—comfort food heaven. assemblerestaurant.com.
A Living Legend
One of the treasures of the National Park Service is Ranger Betty Reid Soskin, who at 93 is the oldest ranger in the country. On her tours of the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center, Soskin talks about her experience as a black woman during WWII. Availability of tours changes weekly.