Sacramento is the capital city of the state of California. It is located about 90 miles northeast of San Francisco. Although overshadowed by other major cities in the state like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, the Californian capital has several tourist attractions that can easily take up the better part of your weekend. It is a holiday destination for the whole family. From beautiful colonial architecture to museums and a vibrant nightlife, Sacramento offers a wide array of attractions. The city is best visited between spring and fall when it is not too hot and humid. Here is our pick of the top attractions that Sacramento has to offer.
- Sutter’s Fort State Historical Park
Sutter’s Fort is a major historical landmark of California. It is entwined with the famous Gold Rush as well as the formation of the city of Sacramento. A visit to the museum of Sutter’s Fort will give you an insight on the history and development of the region, especially during the time of the Gold Rush. The fort was built in 1839 and was originally called New Helvetia, but was later renamed after its builder, John Sutter. The fort was abandoned after a few years when gold was found in neighboring Coloma. There are many items inside the fort museum which were used by Sutter during his stay.
- Folsom Lake
Folsom Lake is a popular attraction for nature lovers in and around Sacramento. It is located about 30 miles north west of downtown Sacramento and is ideal for a half-day trip. The surrounding Recreation Area of the lake is one of the most visited in the California park system. Folsom Lake can be visited with the whole family. There are a variety of outdoor activities that you can enjoy in the lake area including fishing, kayaking, jet-skiing, sailing, and biking.
- Crocker Art Museum
The Crocker Art Museum is one of the longest continually operating museums of art in the US. It was established in 1871 with the private collections of the Crocker family and has now grown into a premier art museum of the state. The collections of this museum date from the days of the Gold Rush to the present times. Other than its collections of American and European paintings, the Crocker Art Museum is renowned for having one of the largest collections of international ceramics in the US. Several African, Asian, and Oceanic art works are also on display in this museum.
- Fairytale Town
Fairytale Town is a must-visit attraction for those who are traveling with kids. As the name suggests, the place is inspired by stories and incidents from various fairytales, as well as nursery rhymes. The ‘magical’ town is part of the William Land Park, a major urban entertainment park that is located between State Route 60 and Interstate 5. Other than several rides for kids, the major attractions of Fairytale Town include learning gardens, theme play, areas and some farm animals.
- California State Railroad Museum
The California State railroad Museum is dedicated to the railroads that connected the state with the rest of mainland USA. Although the origin of the museum dates back to 1937, its present look came up only in the 1970s. The California State Railroad Museum features 21 railroad cars and restored locomotives, some dating back to the mid 19th century. These are displayed in the museum which spreads for over 100,000 square feet, making it one of the largest railroad museums in the world. If you visit the museum in the summer months, you can try the steam locomotive ride along the River Sacramento.
- Sacramento Zoo
The Sacramento Zoo is a part of the William Land Park, a major urban entertainment park that is located between State Route 60 and Interstate 5. The zoo was opened in 1927 with just 40 animals in display in a facility of 4 acres. Presently, the Sacramento Zoo spreads over 14.3 acres and has a collection of over 500 animals. Although not as famous as some other zoos in the state, the Sacramento Zoo is a fun place to visit with the kids, especially because it is part of a large park with other neighboring attractions also. Animals featured in the Sacramento Zoo include monkeys, raccoons, deer, and a variety of birds.
- California Automobile Museum
If you are a car lover, especially vintage, then there is no way you can miss the California Automobile Museum on Front Street. The museum has on display about 150 vintage models which basically represent a cross section of the wheels on California roads in the last 125 years. The museum originally had a large collection of Ford vehicles but has since expanded into displaying automobiles of other companies also. The museum, which presently has a display space of about 72000 square feet, opened its doors to the public in 1987. Most of the vehicles on display in this museum are on loan from private exhibitors.
- Governor’s Mansion
The historic Governor’s mansion is located inside the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park, hardly a block away from the State Capitol building. This magnificent Italianate-Victorian villa was built in 1877 and has been the home of 13 governors of California. It started with George Pardee in 1903 and ended with Ronald Reagan in 1967. The 30-room mansion was made a state property and converted into a public museum, complete with its grand furnishings and several items and artifacts used by the former governors. The mansion has resumed the role of being the residence of the Californian Governor in 2015 with the moving in of Governor Jerry Brown.
- Old Sacramento
Old Sacramento State Historic Park, popularly known as simply Old Sacramento or Old Sac, is the historical neighborhood of the Californian capital. It is a major tourist attraction of the city and attracts thousands of visitors every year. The city of Sacramento started growing in the mid 19th century after the construction of the Sutter’s Fort, then known as the New Helvetia Fort. This old neighborhood by the river was not inhabited for very long because of flooding. It soon transformed into a rundown red light district. However, a restoration project in the 1960s brought back the original look and it has since been listed as a National Historic Landmark. Dotted with Victorian style architecture, it is an interesting place to have a nice stroll. Many of the buildings now house restaurants, shops, and even museums.
- State Capitol
Not only in its name, but the State Capitol may also stump you at first glance, with its similarity to the US State Capitol at Washington DC. A similar looking dome and façade complete with the Corinthian columns make the California State Capitol one of the most impressive buildings of the state. This Neo-classical gem was constructed in 1874 and is listed as a California Historical Landmark. It has 6 floors with several rooms refurbished as a museum. The grandeur of the inside is also a sight to behold. It is decorated with a beautifully decorated rotunda and gilded columns and adorned with many statues and paintings.
Originally posted 2017-06-29 13:04:42.