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“Stark and sobering”

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.
Reviewed 30 June 2014

I'm thankful that at last some time and money is being spent to tell the story of Manzanar, so the lesson will not be forgotten. There isn't much there now but there are more reproductions and events being planned.

1  Thank 878thelmab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"driving tour"
in 41 reviews
"japanese americans"
in 60 reviews
"during wwii"
in 40 reviews
"american history"
in 33 reviews
"mess hall"
in 25 reviews
"pearl harbor"
in 21 reviews
"internment camps"
in 20 reviews
"visitor center"
in 33 reviews
"the national park service"
in 19 reviews
"guard towers"
in 11 reviews
"minute film"
in 13 reviews
"living conditions"
in 12 reviews
"owens valley"
in 12 reviews
"barbed wire"
in 7 reviews
"sobering experience"
in 5 reviews
"excellent film"
in 4 reviews
"political climate"
in 4 reviews
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271 - 275 of 399 reviews

Reviewed 4 June 2014

Manzanar is probably one of the most well known of the WWII Japanese Internment Camps in the US. Unfortunately, because the buildings were built so poorly, almost all of the original structures no longer exist. HOWEVER, they have built some excellent reproductions and a wonderful interactive museum. If you are a history buff, then it's a must stop. If its more of a family trip and you are not necessarily driving that way, it might not be for you. If you don't known anything about the internment of Japanese, than the camp will definitely be eye opening.

2  Thank Robby M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

This is a tragically moving place. It is hard to explain how the visit here has affected us, as we are still discussing it. Days later we keep going back there in our minds and discussing our shifting and evolving feelings and opinions. I can only suggest that given the opportunity that you make the time to visit and come to your own opinions. The only original building is now the visitors center with an outstanding displays and two theaters. The gift shop is also housed here and is chock full of interesting books on the subject and other items specific to this historic site. The auto tour will take you to replica barracks, passes by several victory gardens and peace gardens, out to the cemetery. It then loops around and passes by the guard gate. It was an amazing experience to be there and we will be back.

3  Thank gander1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We had no idea of what our country was capable of doing to our fellow Americans. Our only excuse seems to be that at the start of WW2 there was a panic that anyone of Japanese descent might cause us harm. Fear can cause even "normal" people to hate and that is a terrible thing. Seeing this place should make us all say, "never again"! The site is very well done and is definitely worth seeing for the whole family.

3  Thank grandma1940
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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!

3  Thank travelfreak53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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