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“A sad moment in American history remembered”

Manzanar National Historic Site
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Manzanar NHS tells the stories of 120,000 Japanese Americans excluded from the West Coast and confined during WWII. Manzanar was the first of ten camps and held 11,070 people, 2/3 of them American citizens. Today, visitors explore the site by walking or driving to see foundations, trees, rock gardens, and stone alignments. Extensive exhibits feature historic photos, film footage and audio programs, a scale model, a children’s exhibit, and special programs. Open daily. Free admission.
Farmington, Connecticut
Level Contributor
376 reviews
167 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 223 helpful votes
“A sad moment in American history remembered”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Such a moving spot. We were ushered into the movie theater and were spoken to by a man who had spent three years in this internment center. There were only a few people in the theater and he kindly paused during his comments to allow me to translate for some in our group who didn't understand English.
The film is amazing. Hearing the voices of those who were held for so many years speak of their memories and the aftermath to their internment was so very moving. This is a must see for everyone, but especially those who refuse to believe that the American government can make mistakes.
There is a small but nice gift shop that has more than the usual tourist souvenirs. The grounds are gradually being reconstructed, with three barracks buildings, some gardens, and of course the most lovely memorial monument. Seeing this small obelisk with the beautiful snow-capped mountains in the background is provides a moment of peace and contemplation after the moving visit to the museum. Do not miss this spot!

Visited May 2014
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3 Thank travelfreak53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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342 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lake Forest, California
Level Contributor
104 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Amazing place!”
Reviewed 13 May 2014

Great place to visit for a history buff or anyone interested in learning about the human spirit. There are only three buildings and a replica watchtower. The Auditorium was turned into the museum and gift shop. The museum is small but full of relics and information from this period of U.S. history. There are two theaters were they show a 20 minute film about the camp. The Sierra mountains serve as the backdrop of this incredible place. Make sure you take the self-guided driving tour. I had no idea this was here--as soon as I heard about it, I took the four hour drive up the 395. If you live anywhere within a few hours away, you MUST come here,

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank OCTraveler23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
386 reviews
234 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 208 helpful votes
“This should be a destination, not just a side trip”
Reviewed 8 May 2014

In preparation for our visit to Manzanar, I reread "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet." This is an interesting story of Seattle residents who were sent to a "relocation center" in Idaho. It is in part a very nice love story, but, more importantly, the book provided some insight as to what I might expect from our visit to Manzanar.

Your visit should begin with the film, which has some outstanding footage of this time (post Pearl Harbor). The exhibits and displays are museum-quality. There is a 3.2 mile self-guided driving tour that encircles the site.

I found my visit to be very informative and educational. This is a relatively little known chapter of World War II history. As much as I admired President Roosevelt in getting us through the War, and earlier through the Depression, it was a sad day in February, 1942, when he issued Executive Order 9066. This Historic Site does provide the visitor with much insight into the results of that Order.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank urbanguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dunedin, New Zealand
Level Contributor
136 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“An unexpected historical find”
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Drove in after seeing a sign off the highway, found a wealth of information of how the US government treated citizens of Japanese descent during WW2. Very interesting, worth a diversion of an hour or two.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank SuaGiLo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
los angeles
Level Contributor
407 reviews
183 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“See what's left of an American injustice”
Reviewed 31 March 2014 via mobile

I was so glad to be able to finally visit this historic site. Please note that this is not a concentration camp like in Europe. It is a relocation center where the Japanese were held against their will. It is pretty much in the middle of no where. We spent about 2.5 hours there between watching the movie inside, walking the barracks and mess hall, and then driving the 3.2 mile loop. There's a nice little museum with great information and I highly suggest taking the drive to see the memorial.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank amanda42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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