Bay area history usually conjures up thoughts of the Gold Rush, earthquakes and perhaps Spanish Missions. But World War II? Not so much. And yet there is an entire network of historical markers linking the are with that period in time. The National Parks Service even runs a website dedicated to the topic: http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/wwIIbayarea. We recently visited the USS Hornet, a WWII era aircraft carrier now anchored in Alameda, just south of Oakland (www.uss-hornet.org).
An added bonus: downtown Alameda includes several lively blocks of independent shops and restaurants, and with a network of bike paths along the shoreline you can easily turn your visit into a nice little day long getaway.