When arranging a trip to the USA, to be specific to California, numerous frequently don’t focus on astonishing urban areas that lie away from the “untwisted” vacation destinations. One of these undeservedly less well known urban communities is Sacramento. It is situated in the core of the Land of Gold — Gold Country — in the Sacramento Valley on level fields at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Sacramento is one of the oldest places in California, so it’s not surprising Sacramento is the state capital. It is a city with a bright and rich history. When planning to visit Sacramento during your trip to the USA, you can create your own route depending on what you’re interested in: historical places, nature, cuisine, or entertainment. Even one day will be enough for you to see Sacramento attractions that will remain in your memory forever.
Explore the Old Sacramento
First of all, go to the Old Sacramento. Old Sacramento is a recreated wooden city from the time of the conquest of the Wild West, when there was a saloon on every corner, and horse-drawn carts were carried along the roads. You will feel like being transported through the centuries into the past.
Old Sacramento Old Town is located on the banks of the Sacramento River. From the Tower Bridge, which limits the historical part of the city, the Capitol Mall departs, the promenade leading directly to the Capitol. Walk here just one mile. All interesting and beautiful buildings are also located near the Capitol. And if you have time and willing, you can wander a bit to admire the authentic architecture of Sacramento.
Old Sacramento is six blocks of historic buildings with shops, restaurants and museums, located between the river and the modern city. Some Old Sacramento buildings still served as gold miners in 1849 during the gold rush, although most of the buildings date back to 60–70 years of the XIX century. It was at that time that Sacramento became the link between the wealthy cities of the coast of California and the rural plains of the plains.
In Sacramento, the Pony Express stopped and there was a station for transcontinental trains, in addition, you could get to San Francisco by river on a boat. The marina still has the Delta King Riverboat, the last paddle-wheel steamer, as we saw in Savannah in Georgia and Lake Tahoe. From 1927 to the present, this is a 3-star hotel and restaurant. You can live there for about $ 140 per day.
Another thing not to miss in Sacramento is the Tower Bridge. On the opposite bank in West Sacramento is the Ziggurat gold step pyramid, built at the end of the 20th century to remind of the ziggurats of Mesopotamia and the days of the gold rush, as I understand it. This building is now occupied by the California General Affairs Department. It mainly addresses Sacramento business issues.
Nearby is a Sacramento school of the XIX century, in which there was only one room. Just imagine: all students in one class! The school building looks like the ones in the Great Smoky Mountains, but more than in the Fruta Valley at Capitol Reef in Utah. It’s open for tourists, so you can check how and what little Americans learned in the 19th century.
Visit one the main street of old Sacramento with amazing 19th century Californian style houses. You will walk on real wooden sidewalks and see the part of the preserved old railway. Here on the embankment you will see the miracle of engineering and design of the 30s of the 20th century: an electric bridge over the Sacramento River, the central part of which rose to let ships pass during the navigation period.
Turning your back to the bridge, you will see (in the distance) another attraction of the city — the Sacramento Capitol — the place where the state government of California works. Entrance there is also absolutely free, in addition, interesting hourly free tours in English are held every hour.
Emerge in the atmosphere of the Old Sacramento
As we’ve mentioned, the new Sacramento cannot boast a huge number of famous attractions. And basically, tourists come there to experience the spirit of the Gold Rush, go to the Railway Museum and visit the Capitol and other state institutions of Downtown, the entrance is absolutely free to anyone.
In Sacramento, you can ride on a cart of settlers (the same Wagon-Wheels), harnessed by horses. Price — from $ 15 to $ 60, depending on the duration of the trip and the route. The old depot and steam locomotives attract children and those interested in this type of transport.
Immediately behind the depot, you can find some Sacramento museums: The Sacramento History Museum, where you can learn about the history of the region, and the California State Railroad Museum with old locomotives and trains that were used in Sacramento for decades.
If you need more historical information, go further towards the visitor center. Although it’s not of much help, there is an old wagon inside!
When your walk along Old Sacramento is over, you can set off along a convenient pedestrian walkway along the highway towards the city. You can complete your acquaintance with Old Sacramento at the source of this city — near the famous fortress, which was the beginning of the development of the city on this land in California.
Visit California Capitol
The California State Capitol is the seat of the state government of California. When he was the governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger used to work there. The Sacramento building in the neoclassical style was built in the period from 1861 to 1874.
The Sacramento Capitol is one mile from Tower Bridge. It is open from 7:30 (on weekdays) and from 9:00 to 17:00 daily. Admission is free from N Street. You cannot carry bags wider than 35” x 32”. You can learn details on the official site.
The Sacramento Capitol stands in the middle of a large landscape park and was built in 1874 in the style of the Greek Renaissance with a Corinthian portico and a large golden central dome, on top of which a copper ball flaunts. It is very similar to the Capitol in Washington.
The building was restored several times (the last time in 1970). The Sacramento Capitol looks magical. A very airy white building, which you can admire as well as the antique buildings left after Ancient Greece or Rome or the best architectural masterpieces of Europe.
The Sacramento Capitol is also a museum of the political and cultural history of California. We go into the huge doors. By the way, there are several entrances to the Sacramento Capitol. Tourists are allowed through the south entrance: be prepared for a brief examination of your belongings.
It is worth visiting the State Senate Chamber, where important voting takes place and weighs a portrait of George Washington. The chamber is to the right of the entrance. You can take part in the free Sacramento Capitol tour, which begins approximately every hour at its entrance. If you love to walk alone, wander around the magnificent building on our own – Sacramento is a perfect place for such promenades.
This is one of the largest capitols. In addition to the capital, it can still be compared at City Hall in San Francisco. But our beloved Capitol in Austin, the capital of Texas, looks similar, but made of another stone. Palm trees and magnolias grow around the building and, in general, the area near the government building resembles a blooming garden. That looks somewhat unexpected even though Sacramento nature is 100% Californian.
Other Interesting Sacramento Destinations
The most loved excursion spot for both Sacramento vacationers and local people is William Land Park, which is spread right around a hundred hectares. Here you may not simply meander in the shade of a hundred-year-old rear entryways, yet in addition play golf or even visit the zoo, where numerous types of colorful creatures are gathered. As a rule, Sacramento can be pleased with its parks, of which there are as of now eight dozen in the city.
You can broaden your relaxation time in Sacramento by heading off to an artful dance (all things considered, there is a changeless city expressive dance troupe) or going to one of the old style music shows that are consistently given by the nearby ensemble symphony. It will likewise be intriguing to visit Fort Sutter, totally remodeled as per the soul of the nineteenth century. Of the cutting edge design landmarks, the great Sacramento Ziggurat pyramid, raised on the waterway bank, stands apart particularly.
Sacramento city has many bars, cozy cafes and restaurants serving Californian, Mexican and European cuisines, excellent fish dishes, as well as famous California wines.
1. Sacramento Zoo
Americans love the local zoo, even though it is significantly inferior in size to the San Diego menagerie — for its good layout and animal-friendly environment. The main favorites of the Sacramento public (and, by the way, the largest inhabitants) are giraffes.
2. Crocker Art Museum
The craftsmanship assortment put away in the chateau worked in 1870 is nearly the worthiest in the entire state, not simply Sacramento. There was a spot for both old style and present day painting, and little figure, and pottery. What’s more, obviously, works of California specialists involve a significant spot in the lasting presentation.
3. California State Railroad Museum
The Museum of the History of American Railways in Sacramento will more likely than not speak to the two youngsters and grown-ups — the work has trains and steam trains for novices and epicureans of innovation, and old napkins, china sets, apparatuses and candelabra from eating vehicles for authorities of excellent things. On the second floor of the Sacramento gallery is an assortment of toy railroads
4. Gold Country
A picturesque Sacramento road has been laid along the plain from Nevada City to Sonora with rural landscapes and small historic towns, ghost towns and still inhabited.
Along the plain, there is highway 5, around which small farming towns have gathered. The largest cities like Sacramento, Nevada City or Sutter Creek can serve as a base for traveling through the Land of Gold.
Time for a meal: Best restaurants in Sacramento
1. Joe’s Crab Shack fish restaurant
One of the first restaurants you’ll hear about in Sacramento is the Joe’s Crab Shack fish restaurant. They serve fresh seafood, cool cocktails and have a lot of interesting specials. This Sacramento restaurant has a good rating and is always full – locals love this place. In Joe’s restaurant you can not only eat crabs, but also buy souvenirs to remind you of your Sacramento trip.
2. The Firehouse
Need a very good quality eatery in the region of Old Sacramento? Go straight path to The Firehouse. The most honor winning café in the Old Sacramento, The Firehouse has been built up the greater part a century back!
The Firehouse has been serving gourmet suppers to occupants in a notable structure going back to 1853. The spot itself opened in 1960, and was later assigned as a recorded milestone. The Sacramento eatery has an incredibly huge assortment of wines: a few visitors state there are a great many alternatives to browse (to be exact, it keeps 2,100 individual names and more than 18,000 jugs in the basement). It’s not amazing that The Firehouse got the “Grant of Unique Distinction” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine twice: in 2006 and 2007.
The writer of the well-known cookbook and TV culinary specialist, Biba Caggiano has gotten numerous honors including ‘The Best Northern California gourmet expert’ title. Brought up in Italy, she got her experience to Sacramento 1986, and from that point forward her eatery has become the beginning stage for legitimate Italian cooking in the city.
Try the masterpieces like costoletta di maiale col balsamico (singed pork cleave with balsamic vinegar coat presented with farro, relic squash and radicchio) or the renowned Italian lasagna. Visitors appreciate wines from all over Italy and California, including Sacramento, just as a warm greeting from the leader herself. Incredibly delicious dishes and remarkable hospitability add to Biba’s perceived notoriety.
In the event that you need something light and veggie lover, this isn’t the spot that offers a lot of decision. Biba is an absolute necessity visit for individuals looking for great Italian dishes in present day translation. Try the popular Italian dishes – they are simply fantastic!
Where to live in Sacramento?
Sacramento is located 130 km from San Francisco, so a trip to the capital can be planned for one day without spending the night. However, if you travel around the country and your path lies further east to Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountains, you can stop in Sacramento.
If you’ve got money to spare and want to enjoy the atmosphere of Californian Sacramento hotels, consider two great places.
The Citizen Hotel 4 *
This Sacramento hotel is located in the city center, close to the Capitol and the Congress Center. The building was built in 1926 for Cal Western Life Insurance and still retains the exquisite charm of that era: vaulted ceilings, marble and noble wood complement the interior of a luxury boutique hotel. We have not forgotten about modernity either: a Mac is installed in each room.
In addition to its location, this Sacramento hotel is attractive for its wide range of services and the first-class Grange Restaurant. Local cuisine is on the menu, and in California it means the freshest vegetables from the Central Valley, Pacific Ocean gifts and wine from Napa and Sonoma.
Le Rivage Hotel 4 *
Located on the banks of the Sacramento River, this hotel has its own marina. Other highlights include La Lé Spa and Scott’s Seafood on the River, which has been recognized as the best fish restaurant in town for 15 years.
Sacramento is a must-visit for those who want to explore California and emerge into the history of this fabulous state. Sacramento has a lot of interesting places to offer, and there, you can definitely spend a day to remember.