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Is Sacramento Fun? Check Out What We Found!

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 6, 2023

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Absolutely, Sacramento is a fun city, especially for people who enjoy the outdoors. There are plenty of parks and trails to enjoy, and the riverfront is a great place to relax. The city also has a vibrant arts scene, with lots of theatres and museums. And there are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from. So overall, Sacramento is a great city to visit and enjoy.

Top 10 Attractions & Things To Do in Sacramento

There are plenty of things to do in Sacramento, whether you're a local or just visiting. Here are our top 10 picks for attractions and activities in the city:

1. Take a stroll through Old Sacramento

Old Sacramento Historic Buildings

Over 50 historic buildings from the 1850s make up Old Sacramento, which is now a National Historic Landmark. This area was once the booming commercial district of the city, thanks to the Pony Express and transcontinental railroad.

Today, it's a popular tourist destination, with over 125 shops, restaurants, hotels, and museums. Visitors can enjoy the historical atmosphere and sense of Old Sacramento while they wander the streets. There's always something going on in this area, making it a fun place to visit. It's a fun area to explore, especially for those interested in the history of the city.

2. Visit the California State Railroad Museum

California State Railroad Museum building in Old Sacramento

The California State Railroad Museum is one of the largest railway museums in the world, with over 200,000 square feet of exhibit space. It is located in Old Sacramento and houses restored steam locomotives and railway coaches dating from 1862 to 1944.

The museum has exhibits focusing on railroad history and other related topics, such as the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad and the role of early immigrants in laying the first tracks. It also showcases the ways the railroad industry has influenced California's history.

The museum is a great place to learn about the state's rich railway history and to see some of the restored locomotives and coaches up close. It is also a fun place to walk around and explore all the different exhibits.

3. Check out the Crocker Art Museum

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California

The Crocker Art Museum has a wide variety of art from different time periods and cultures. The museum is home to an extensive collection of California art, as well as European paintings and drawings, and American photography. The original collection was donated by Margaret Crocker, and it still forms the basis of the museum's holdings.

In addition to the main museum building, which is a Victorian-era mansion, the Crocker Museum of Art also has a contemporary pavilion that houses some of its collections. The museum offers classes and camps for children, as well as painting classes for adults. During the summer, the museum also hosts music concerts and a film series.

4. Visit Sutter's Fort State Historic Park

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park

The Sutter's Fort Museum is located on the site of the first outpost of the white man in California, set up by Johann August Sutter in 1839. The museum features a replica of the fort and an adobe house that has been restored to its original style.

The museum houses relics from the pioneering and gold-rush period, including items related to the town's founder, Johann August Sutter. After gold was discovered, Sutter was forced to flee due to the influx of gold-seekers. The museum is a state historic park, and visitors can take a tour of the exhibits and learn more about the history of the area.

5. See Vintage Cars at the California Automobile Museum

With a collection of more than 120 vintage cars dating back to 1885, the California Automobile Museum is a must-see for any car lover. The museum has an extensive assortment of Ford cars, ranging from 1904 to 1969, as well as other classic and modern vehicles that showcase the development of American automobiles over the past 130 years.

In addition to the regular exhibits, the museum also hosts special exhibits throughout the year that focus on various themes, such as California car culture, pickup trucks, camping, and road trips. Visitors can also participate in the museum's lively events, including a summer series of Drive-in Movie Nights and Sunday Drives on the third Sunday of each month.

6. Ride the American River Bike Trail

Bike trail in Sacramento, California

It is impossible to miss the American River as one makes their way through Sacramento. The river is a key feature of the city and provides many opportunities for outdoor recreation. The American River Trail is one such opportunity, a 32-mile paved trail that follows the river.

The trail is open to cyclists, joggers, walkers, and horseback riders and provides access to fishing and picnicking areas. The trail is also known as the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, named after the first American explorer to arrive in California.

The American River Trail is a great way to experience Sacramento's natural beauty and get some exercise at the same time. It is one of the more popular trails in the area and is well-maintained, making it an enjoyable experience for all.

7. Spend a day at Fairytale Town

Fairytale Town is a storybook-themed park in Sacramento, California, that is a popular destination for families with young children. The park has 25 play sets based on fairy tales and nursery rhymes, such as Cinderella, Humpty Dumpty, Mother Goose, and Peter Rabbit.

There are also gentle farm animals that the children can visit, including a miniature Sicilian donkey named Eeyore (a character from Winnie the Pooh) and Maddie, the cow that jumped over the moon. With its learning gardens, puppet shows, music performances, and collection of 20 magic story boxes that tell stories through narration and songs, Fairytale Town is a place where both children and adults can enjoy a magical day out.

8. Explore the California State Capitol

California State Capitol Building in Sacramento

The Capitol building in Sacramento is one of the top places to visit not only for its Neoclassical architecture but also for its history and culture. The State Capitol Museum offers public tours of the historic halls and rooms throughout the week, including the governor's office and the 1906 treasurer's office. Other attractions include portraits and various other artworks, as well as antiques.

But the Capitol building is only one part of the attraction. The surrounding gardens, known as Capitol Park, are just as beautiful and worth exploring. It is one of the most beautiful Capitol complexes in the United States, with tall palms and numerous other species of trees and plants lining the pathways. There are also several monuments scattered throughout the park.

9. Check Out the Animals at the Sacramento Zoo

Male lion sitting on wooden platform at Sacramento Zoo, California

There's no doubt that animal lovers will enjoy a visit to the Sacramento Zoo. With over 500 exotic animals, from aardvarks and African lions to giraffes and jaguars, as well as more than 200 reptiles, the 14-acre zoo has something for everyone. And with 14 different aviaries housing 35 species of birds, there's plenty to see and learn about the animal kingdom.

But what makes the Sacramento Zoo truly special is its commitment to conservation. Many of the animals at the zoo are rare and endangered, and the zoo is involved in local and international conservation projects to help protect these wildlife populations. So when you visit, you'll not only be able to see some amazing animals up close, but you'll also be supporting a good cause.

10. Visit McKinley Park

McKinley Park is one of Sacramento's most popular parks, with plenty of open space and sports facilities to keep visitors busy. The park also has a library and community center, as well as a rose garden for flower enthusiasts. The landscape is beautiful, with paths winding around palm trees and ponds. McKinley Park is a great place to spend a day with family or friends.

Top 4 Day Trip Ideas from Sacramento

There are plenty of great places to visit within a day's drive from Sacramento. Here are some of the best:

1. Napa Valley Wine Tour

Napa Valley Vineyard landscape

The Napa Valley Wine Tour is the perfect way to experience all that California's world-famous wine region has to offer. Sit back and relax in the comfort of your own private chauffeured vehicle as you take in the rolling hills and vineyard views.

Your guide will take care of making appointments at up to five different wineries, so all you have to worry about is enjoying the wine tastings and optional vineyard tours. The cost of wine tastings is not included, but the fabulous views and easy transportation are. Pick-up is flexible, so you can start your tour anywhere within 100 miles (160 kilometers) of Napa.


2. South Fork American River: Chili Bar

Downtown historic Old Hangtown now known as Placerville, California

The Chili Bar trip down the South Fork American River is a fun and historical journey that offers whitewater excitement for all levels of rafters. The river travels through the picturesque foothills of California and provides a cool escape on a hot summer day.

The Class III rapids are thrilling and offer something new around every bend. The guides prepare a delicious lunch to enjoy in between the fun. This trip is perfect for anyone looking to get away and have some adventure-packed fun.

3. Downtown Sacramento Historical Food Tour

Aerial view photo of Sacramento's Tower Bridge and the Sacramento River

The Downtown Sacramento Historical Food Tour is the perfect way to learn about the city's rich history while indulging in some of its best food. The three-hour walking tour takes you through the historic district, with stops at local businesses to sample their wares.

You'll try everything from gourmet chocolate and handmade ice cream to fresh seafood and organic olive oil. Along the way, your guide will share stories about Sacramento's past and present. This is a great tour for foodies and history buffs alike.

4. Tahoe Ski Trip

Skiers in the California mountains near Lake Tahoe

The Tahoe Ski Trip is the perfect way to experience all that California's world-famous ski region has to offer. Sit back and relax in the comfort of your own private chauffeured vehicle as you take in the stunning mountain views. Your guide will take care of making appointments at up to three different ski resorts, so all you have to worry about is hitting the slopes.

Top 3 Places To Stay in Sacramento

Downtown Sacramento skyline at late dusk

The best places to stay in Sacramento are:

1. The Inn & Spa at Parkside

This 1936 B&B is located off Interstate 305, a mile from the California State Capitol Museum and Downtown, and 3 miles from the Sacramento Zoo. The elegant rooms and suites offer smart TVs and free WiFi. Some rooms feature in-room whirlpool tubs, balconies, and/or fireplaces. The attic suite offers ornate decor and a kitchenette. Parking is free. A multi-course gourmet breakfast is provided, as is a nightly social hour with gourmet cheese and soft drinks. The hotel also has a spa.

2. Hyatt Regency Sacramento

The Hyatt Regency Sacramento hotel is a luxurious establishment located across from the California State Capitol. It is also one mile from the Old Sacramento State Historic Park and two miles from the California State Railroad Museum. The rooms are well-appointed and offer free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, minibars, coffeemakers, work areas, and pillow-top mattresses. Upgraded rooms come with views of the Capitol building and/or access to a lounge with breakfast and snacks. Suites feature separate living rooms with minifridges.

3. Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown

With a convenient location near the Amtrak station, Old Sacramento, and the airport, the Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown is a great choice for travelers. The rooms are clean and comfortable, with plenty of amenities like free WiFi and flat-screen TVs. Plus, kids 19 and under stay free with an adult! This is an economic option you won't regret.

In Conclusion

Aerial view of the California State Capitol building in Sacramento

Sacramento is a great city with plenty to offer tourists and visitors. Whether you're looking for a fun outdoor adventure or a chance to explore the city's rich history, Sacramento has something for everyone. And with so many great places to stay, it's easy to find a comfortable place to call home while you're in town. We wish you all the best on your time in Sacramento and all your future endeavors!

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