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5 Beautiful Architectural Sights to See in the Bay Area

While the United States is considered a "young" country by most standards, and California one of the newer states, there is still an abundance of historical architecture to enjoy — even in the Bay Area.

When thinking of historical architecture, our minds may run to the Painted Ladies in Alamo Square, or the Golden Gate Bridge and Chinatown. However, the fun isn't only in San Francisco — here are five historical architectural sights to visit in the Bay Area.

Photo by Mathew Winchester on Flickr

Reminiscent of the English countryside, Filoli is a stately estate of brick with expansive, dreamy gardens and vast orchard on the property. You can roam the halls of the home (peer into the sumptuous ballroom) and meander down the flower-lined lanes for an afternoon on a gentleman's farm.

In the sleepy town (perhaps village is the proper word) of Glen Ellen, you'll find the writer Jack London's grave and expansive park overlooking the vines of Wine Country. Also on the property sit London's cottage; stone-walled museum (built in 1916); and the remains of the Wolf House, which burned to the ground in 1913.

Photo by Larry Myhre on Flickr

Famed conservationist John Muir was from Martinez, and his house is now a National Park. You can explore Muir's home, a Victorian built in 1882. If you fancy a hike, climb Mt. Wanda, which is filled with oaks and grassland.

Photo by p_morrow72 on Flickr

The Berkeley City Club is a fine example of architect Julia Morgan's work. The interior features impressive Gothic Romanesque architecture, with imposing stone and soaring arches. The pool is worth a peep as well; the symmetry provided by the Romanesque arches lends a Wes Anderson air.

Photo by Wayne Hsieh on Flickr

Sitting on the shores of Lake Merritt, this Victorian house had been, in the past, the home of many well-to-do families. It went on to become Oakland's first museum and remains the last Victorian standing around the lake. You can learn about life and culture in the early 19th century, when Oakland was a young city, and walk through beautiful rooms recreated to the minute detail.

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