Sacramento, California, often referred to as the “City of Trees,” is a vibrant and diverse city that offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors of all interests. From its rich history as the state’s capital to its thriving arts scene, in Sacramento.
California State Capitol Museum
Begin your exploration of Sacramento with a visit to the California State Capitol Museum. As the capital of California, Sacramento is home to the state’s government, and the Capitol building is a magnificent testament to its political significance. The museum offers free guided tours that provide insight into California’s history and governance.
Old Sacramento Historic District
Step back in time and discover the Old Sacramento Historic District, a charming area with cobblestone streets and well-preserved 19th-century buildings. This historic district is like a living museum, with shops, restaurants, and museums that transport you to the Gold Rush era. Highlights include the California State Railroad Museum.
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Crocker Art Museum
Art enthusiasts will find a haven in the Crocker Art Museum, one of the oldest art museums in the Western United States. The museum’s extensive collection spans from classical to contemporary art and includes works by renowned artists such as Monet, Picasso, and O’Keeffe.
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
Learn about California’s early history at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. This reconstructed fort was originally built by Swiss immigrant John Sutter in 1839 and served as a trading post during the Gold Rush era. Visitors can take guided tours, interact with historical reenactors, and explore the various rooms and exhibits that offer a glimpse into life in the 1840s.
American River Parkway
For outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, the American River Parkway is a must-visit destination. This 23-mile-long greenbelt along the American River offers opportunities for hiking, biking, picnicking, and bird-watching. The Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, which runs through the parkway, is a popular route for cyclists and joggers. The parkway’s lush scenery provides a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
A visit to the Sacramento Zoo is a great option for families and animal lovers. The zoo is home to over 500 animals from around the world, including lions, giraffes, and red pandas. It also focuses on conservation and education, making it an educational and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages.
California State Railroad Museum
Located in the heart of Old Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of railroads in the American West. The museum boasts an impressive collection of historic locomotives and railroad cars, including the famous “Gold Rush” locomotive, Gov. Stanford.
McKinley Park and Rose Garden
Escape the urban environment and immerse yourself in the beauty of McKinley Park and its renowned Rose Garden. This lush park offers a serene atmosphere with walking paths, a pond, and playgrounds for kids. The highlight, however, is the Rose Garden, which features thousands of rose bushes in a vibrant array of colors. Spring and early summer are the best times to witness the roses in full bloom.
The Underground After Hours Tour
Delve into Sacramento’s hidden history with the Underground After Hours Tour. Led by knowledgeable guides, this unique tour takes you beneath the streets of Old Sacramento to explore the city’s Gold Rush-era underground. You’ll hear tales of saloons, opium dens, and other intriguing stories from the past. This adults-only tour offers a captivating glimpse into the city’s colorful history.
Sacramento River Cruises
Take to the water and enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Sacramento River. Several operators offer a variety of cruise options, from scenic daytime excursions to romantic sunset dinners. Cruises typically provide stunning views of the city skyline, the Tower Bridge, and the river’s natural beauty. It’s an excellent way to unwind and see Sacramento from a different perspective.
Sacramento’s Midtown neighborhood is a hub of creativity and culture, known for its vibrant art scene. One of the best ways to experience this is by taking a stroll through the area and admiring the numerous murals adorning the buildings. These outdoor art installations showcase a diverse range of styles and themes, making Midtown a dynamic and ever-changing gallery.
Sacramento History Museum
Located in Old Sacramento, the Sacramento History Museum offers a comprehensive look at the city’s past. Exhibits cover topics ranging from the Gold Rush to the Transcontinental Railroad, providing a deep understanding of Sacramento’s role in shaping California’s history. The museum also offers interactive exhibits and guided tours that are both educational and engaging.
Sacramento Farmers’ Markets
Immerse yourself in the local food scene by visiting one of Sacramento’s farmers’ markets. With a mild climate that supports year-round farming, the city’s markets are a treasure trove of fresh produce, artisanal goods, and gourmet treats. The most famous of these markets is the Sacramento Central Farmers’ Market, which operates year-round on Sundays under the freeway. It’s a great place to sample local flavors and pick up some souvenirs.
R Street Corridor
For those seeking a trendy and vibrant atmosphere, the R Street Corridor is the place to be. This revitalized area is known for its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and nightlife options. Explore unique boutiques, dine at farm-to-fork restaurants, and enjoy the energetic ambiance of this hip neighborhood.
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The California Museum
The California Museum, located just blocks from the State Capitol, celebrates the state’s diverse cultural heritage. It features a wide range of exhibits that highlight California’s contributions to art, science, entertainment, and history. A particular highlight is the Hall of Fame, which honors prominent Californians who have made significant contributions to the state and the world.
Sacramento has a thriving craft beer scene, and beer enthusiasts can explore the city’s many breweries and taprooms. Whether you’re into hoppy IPAs, rich stouts, or sour ales, you’ll find something to satisfy your palate. Some popular breweries include Track 7 Brewing Co., New Helvetia Brewing Company, and Device Brewing Company.