If you have ever wondered what site to explore while you are planning a road trip across the U.S., the Legends of America site is it. They manage to wrap history, geography, and folklore together in a way that will suck the boredom out of any long car journey.
Particularly delightful to me is the way they divide up the site by states, and the Legends of California section will prove a guaranteed time-suck, so don’t go there without at least an hour or two of free time.
The site is set up like a travel guide designed to introduce you to places rather than delve deeply into the detail of a place. For example, you could write an enthralling book about the history of Cajon Pass, which for over a century was the gateway into Southern California from points east. On the Legends site it merits two paragraphs, but two good paragraphs that give you enough information to keep you from boring your family on the way up (or down) I-15.
Several times I have used the site for inspiration, a starting point to learn more about the history of a place, about a legend, or an event in the state’s history. My favorite posts thus far are their extensive coverage of Route 66 in California, on the History of Wells Fargo, and a slightly naughty one about the Harlots of the Barbary Coast.
The site is incredibly eclectic, and belongs in your list of links about California, and somewhere close to the top. If you are like me, you’ll keep coming back, enjoying it like a guilty pleasure.