A new online hub for cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, breweries, resorts, spas, and other tourism businesses and attractions tied to California's Native American communities launched last week.
Created by the state's tourism office in partnership with tribal leaders and community members, Visit Native California is designed to showcase the heritage of the more than 100 federally recognized tribes represented in California, and provide a handy resource for travelers seeking info on Native American–owned and -operated tours, museums, events, and businesses.
“As the state with the highest population of Native Americans, and one of the nation’s leading tourism destinations, California is poised to drastically boost national Native tourism promotion and interest with this undertaking,” said Sherry Rupert, CEO of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, in a statement released when the initiative was announced last year.
“We’ve seen the economic benefits that come from uniting under a common banner, but more importantly we see the power of cultural tourism to support preservation and perpetuation of our culture," Rupert continued. "This is a tremendous opportunity for California’s tribes.”
The new online platform highlights institutions such as the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, slated to open later in 2023 in downtown Palm Springs. In addition to a museum relating the long history of the Coachella Valley's Cahuilla people, the facility will have gardens, a trail, and a spa with access to underground mineral springs.
(Moompetam Festival, celebrating California's Indigenous maritime cultures, held at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach | Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific)
Arranged by category, Visit Native California also has listings for Indigenous gatherings and festivals open to the public as well as a directory of available outdoor excursions on tribal lands, such as guided canoe trips on the northern Klamath River in a boat carved from redwood with the Yurok people's Redwood Yurok Canoe Tours (pictured at the top of this post).
Additionally, the site can point you to Native American–owned beer makers and other culinary standouts such as the restaurant Wahpepah’s Kitchen in Oakland and Séka Hills, an olive oil mill and wine tasting room near Sacramento.
The platform features more than 500 experiences across the state, according to tourism officials, with plans to expand the listings on an ongoing basis.
Go to the Visit Native California website for more information.
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