Visit the Capitol
Everything to help you plan your trip to the Capitol Museum
Prohibited items, directions & parking, hours of operation.
The Capitol is open in limited capacity. Here are the upcoming hours:
The Capitol is CLOSED on weekends, and most holidays. Please call the Capitol Tour Office at 916-324-0333 with any questions.
The Capitol Park remains open daily.
Capitol park tours.
Take a free guided tour through one of the most beautiful State Capitol grounds in the nation. Free Online Reservations available!
K-12 FREE Interactive Tours
We offer FREE interactive virtual field trips for K-12 students through our PORTS program. Stay connected to our state’s natural, cultural, and historical resources.
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We are providing FREE access to our online virtual tours. View rooms in 360 degrees and learn more about objects in the rooms!
The North (L Street) and South (N Street) entrances have wheelchair ramps. Sidewalks leading to the Capitol are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs can be checked out for use in the building. To check out a wheelchair, visitors should come to the information desk in the first floor Rotunda. A driver license will be held until the wheelchair is returned.
Assistive Listening Devices
Assistive listening devices are available for use during guided tours. Visitors should come to the information desk in the first floor Rotunda and inform museum staff there that an assistive listening device is desired.
Restrooms are located on the first floor on either side of the rotunda. Bathrooms are wheelchair accessible.
Elevators are located on either side of the rotunda.
Capitol Books and Gifts
Unique gifts and items related to California and the State Capitol, located in the basement. Please visit the Capitol Books & Gifts website for hours of operation and 24/7 online ordering.
ATMs and Vending Machines
ATMs and vending machines are open during operating hours, and are located in the basement next to the cafeteria seating area.
Visitors entering the Capitol building will subject to security-control measures and checks which include, but are not limited to:
Phones, camera, and video recorders are allowed in the Capitol, with some restrictions. Inside the museum rooms on the first floor, no flash photography is allowed. In the Senate and Assembly public viewing galleries, the following are not allowed: flash photography, equipment stands (e.g., tripods), and/or blocking aisleways or the views of other visitors. Medical devices are permitted.
Food and beverages.
Outside food and beverages are allowed in the building, but some designated areas may be off limits.
Pets are not allowed unless they are service animals. Drugs, narcotics, and non-aerosol sprays are not allowed unless they are for a medical prescription. Strollers are only prohibited in the gallery.
Directions & Parking
The Capitol is located at 1315 10th Street Sacramento, CA 95814. Get Directions
The center of California’s government is located in downtown Sacramento, close to several freeways and within walking distance of many hotels and restaurants. The streets in downtown Sacramento are numerical from west to east and alphabetical north to south. Street parking and parking garages are located throughout Sacramento.
The nearest parking garage is the City of Sacramento-Capitol Garage on 10th and L Streets. Metered parking is available on all sides of the Capitol building and surrounding areas. The Capitol reserves parking directly in front of the Capitol on 10th Street between L and N Streets for bus use.
Detailed parking information and rates can be found at the City of Sacramento’s website .
Your Guide to Visiting the California State Capitol in Sacramento
The California State Capitol is a must-see stop on any Sacramento itinerary. Take a docent-led tour or a self-guided tour to experience California’s rich history and witness the making of history through the modern lawmaking process. It's a living museum dedicated to sharing California's past and working to build California's future. The grounds and building are open seven days a week for the public to explore.
The Capitol building Entering on the north side of the building (L Street side) you walk into the state's county exhibits. Each of the 58 counties has a display case showcasing its best of the best. As you continue through the hallways, you will enter the Capitol Rotunda, one of the most amazing architectural features of the building. The rotunda divides and unifies the Senate and the Assembly, the two houses of the California State Legislature, which occupy the south and north wings of the Capitol, respectively. This circular room is 53 feet in diameter and rises 128 feet from the basement of the building to the oculus at the apex of the inner dome. We like to count how many light bulbs are out, if any, and imagine the daunting task of replacing those!
As you roam the building, keep an eye out for the portraits of every California governor. Some stand out more than others, make sure not to miss governors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Brown (his first term) and Ronald Reagan, California's only governor to go on to become President of the United States.
Many people do not realize that you can visit both the Senate and the Assembly galleries, even when houses are in session. The architecture of both galleries reflects an open form of government, inviting visitors to sit and observe the Legislature in action. The red of the Senate and green of the Assembly are borrowed from our centuries-old British parliamentary heritage. If you look carefully on the ceiling of both galleries you'll notice an artist "signature," a tiny gargoyle sticking his tongue out -- just one of many artists' marks throughout the building.
Be sure to make your way down to the Governor's office to take a picture with the giant bronze bear, gifted by Schwarzenegger. On the first floor you can also peruse historic rooms restored to reflect various architectural and legislative eras representing the evolution of California's history and philosophies through the legacy of its leadership. Some historic rooms that served former governors, secretaries of state, and treasurers are now preserved to show visitors what the offices looked like at the turn of the 20th century.
The Capitol Grounds
Capitol Park is 40 acres spanning 12 city blocks. The park is filled with trees, plants and shrubs that have been gathered from all over the world. And it features some incredible memorials dedicated to different facets of California history. Capitol Park includes memorials for the Mexican-American War, Father Junipero Serra, firefighters, peace officers, the Spanish-American War, the USS California Bell, the Vietnam War and more. For detailed information about each monument, click here.
One of the most popular spots in the park is the World Peace Rose Garden. It was created as a sanctuary of peace, love and inspiration for people of all nations, cultures and religions. Fun fact, the southeast section serves as a test garden for the All-American Rose Selections. Visitors are afforded the opportunity to see new rose varieties before they are available to the public.
Don’t worry if you can’t see all of these attractions on your first visit to the California State Capitol. With each visit to the Capitol, you are likely to see something new or find yourself on a completely different track, from history to current events to other hidden gems. Adding a visit to the Capitol into your itinerary allows you to see a very important part of Sacramento and the state of California.
For more information on visit the Capitol, click here .
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1608 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
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Home > United States > 20 Things To Do Alone in Sacramento: Solo Travel in Sacramento
20 Things To Do Alone in Sacramento: Solo Travel in Sacramento
By Dymphe / June 11, 2023
Curious about the things to do alone in Sacramento ? There are great activities in the city that are wonderful for solo travel in Sacramento!
If you're in the city of Sacramento, you will have a lovely time for sure. This city in the state of California in the United States has a lot to offer.
The city is the capital of California. One of the most famous sights is the California State Capitol.
There are many kinds of things to do alone in Sacramento. For example, there are unique activities, such as a running tour of the murals in the city. This is very fun and it allows you to meet others.
Furthermore, there are great groups you can join. For example, you can join a group and enjoy live music with others. Or you can watch movies with a group.
Moreover, solo travel in Sacramento is also great if you want to get to know the city. A great option is doing a self-guided tour in the city. And there are many more perfect solo activities!
Table of Contents
1. Take a Historical Food Tour of Downtown Sacramento
One of the best things to do alone in Sacramento is a food tour.
The " Downtown Sacramento Historical Food Tour " is a great one!
During this tour, you go to local eateries in the city of Sacramento.
There you can do a tasting of all kinds of dishes. This is a great way to discover the food of the city!
A local guide takes you to these places.
Also, during this tour, you walk through the city and see various landmarks and other sights in the city.
The local guide tells you all about the history of these places, which is great!
This allows you to both get to know the city and its food during this experience!
Also, there are vegetarian options available.
You do this tour with a group of other people. And this makes it possible to meet others when you are in Sacramento.
Also, it is great to have food in the company of other people during solo travel in Sacramento! During a solo trip you often eat alone, but with this tour, you don't have to!
2. Go on a Running Tour of the Murals of Sacramento: Fun Thing To Do Alone in Sacramento If You Like Being Active
Another one of the best things to do alone in Sacramento is to do a running tour of the murals of Sacramento .
This is a unique activity where you can get active and see interesting and beautiful things.
During the tour, you run for about 3.3 miles (or 5 kilometers). And the tour takes about 1.25 hours.
While running, you go to many murals in the city. In fact, there are more than 40 different artworks!
A local guide tells you to story beyond the artwork, which is very interesting!
What's great is that the running tour is rather easy. This makes it suitable for a lot of people.
Also, you do this tour with others, which makes it a perfect way to socialize in the city. So it's great for solo travel in Sacramento if you want to meet people.
3. Discover Sacramento’s Live Music With a Group
If you want to enjoy live music in the city during solo travel in Sacramento, this is the activity for you!
You can join the Meetup group " Sac Area Live Music & More ". This is definitely one of the best things to do alone in Sacramento if you love music.
This group hosts events where you can go to live music events in Sacramento. This includes music venues, festivals, and many more places!
What's great is that you can both enjoy the music and meet others at the same time during these meetups!
Another thing that's great about this group is that members can suggest events. Because of this, there are a lot of events that everyone can enjoy together.
4. Do a Tour of the California State Capitol: Nice Thing To Do Alone in Sacramento That’s Interesting
The next activity for solo travel in Sacramento is at the California State Capital.
This is a magnificent building in the city. Its architecture is impressive to see!
The building is home to the government of the state of California.
One of the best things to do alone in Sacramento is to do a tour of the building.
During these tours, you can see the building from the inside. And you can learn more about the history of California, the building, and the legislature of the state.
5. Join Talks in Sacramento
Joining a talk is another one of the best things to do alone in Sacramento.
You can go to a talk of the Sacramento Speakers Series to learn something new.
There are talks throughout the year that are very interesting to see.
When doing solo travel in Sacramento, I recommend checking out if there is an event when you visit.
The lectures are not only very interesting to see, but you may also make new friends at the events! This makes it perfect for when you're in the city by yourself.
6. Go to the Movies With a Group
Want to see a movie during solo travel in Sacramento?
Seeing a movie on your own can be a great experience.
You can choose the film you want and completely focus on it!
But you may want to see a movie together with a group during your trip.
A great way to do that is by going to an event of the " Sacramento At The Movies Group ".
During the events of the group, you can see a movie together at a theater with others in the group.
Afterward, you can discuss the movie together.
This is a fun way to see movies and make new friends at the same time!
7. Join a Running Club: Great Thing To Do Alone in Sacramento To Meet Others
If you want to be active, this is one of the best things to do alone in Sacramento for you!
You can join a running club.
The " Buffalo Chips Running Club " is a great one to join!
This is the largest running club in the city.
Furthermore, the running club organizes various events where you can go running together!
There are many different events that go to various parts in and near the city.
What's great is that everyone can join. You don't need any experience to join the running club. But check out if the event you want to take part in is suitable for your level!
Also, this is an amazing way to socialize when you're in the city.
8. Take Part in a Painting Class and Have a Drink
Another one of the best things to do alone in Sacramento is joining a painting class.
Painting & Vino is lovely for this.
During a 3-hour experience, you'll learn how to paint. This is lovely to do! Especially if you like being creative, this is great.
And at the same time, you can have a drink. That's because the events take place at wineries and restaurants in the city.
9. Meet a Group and Golf
Do you like playing golf and do you want to do this with a group of other people? Then, you should join the " Sacramento Area Golfers " group.
During the events of this group, you can play 18 holes with others. And sometimes the events are a bit different.
This is a lot of fun as you can socialize and play golf at the same time! For those who love golf, this is incredible for solo travel in Sacramento.
Keep in mind that you need to have experience playing golf if you want to join this group. It is not for beginner golfers.
10. Go Hiking with a Group: Perfect Thing To Do Alone in Sacramento To Be Active
If you like hiking, this is one of the best things to do alone in Sacramento for you!
When you join the Meetup group " Hikers and Company ", you can go hiking with others.
This is a lovely group that organizes all kinds of walks in the city and near it.
Some of the events take place in the city center, while others take place at parks outside of it!
This makes the events a great way to discover the nature of Sacramento in an active way.
Also, the hikes are a great way to socialize in the city.
11. Tour the California State Railroad Museum
The California State Railroad Museum is an interesting museum in the city.
You can learn here about how trains connected the state of California to the rest of the country.
There are many objects at the museum that are great to see during solo travel in Sacramento. For example, there are railroad cars and locomotives.
Also, you can do an excursion train ride at the museum. During this experience, you ride a historic train, which is incredible!
During the ride, you can get beautiful views out of the windows of the train, which is great!
12. Play Volleyball With a Group in Sacramento
If you like playing volleyball, you can do that in Sacramento.
The " Adult Volleyball Program in Sacramento, CA Area " Meetup group is good for this!
This group hosts events during which you can learn to play volleyball. And they have events during which you can play volleyball matches with others.
The events take place each weekend at a place in or near Sacramento.
These volleyball events are a lot of fun and a great way to meet others in Sacramento! And it's one of the best things to do alone in Sacramento if you want to be active.
To join the events you need to be between the ages of 18 and 70. And keep in mind that you need to know the basics of the game if you want to join an event.
13. Do a Self-Guided Tour of Sacramento: Great Thing To Do Alone in Sacramento To Get To Know the City
Doing a self-guided tour of the city is another one of the best activities for solo travel in Sacramento.
You can download a self-guided tour of Sacramento from GPSmyCity and explore the city on your own.
Each tour lets you explore another part of the city!
When you do this tour on your own, you can better focus on all the things you see, which is great!
14. See How Bees Make Honey
Another one of the best things to do alone in Sacramento is seeing how bees make honey during a tour in Sacramento .
During this, you can learn all about the importance of bees. And you'll learn everything there is to know about bees.
You can see bees from up close. And you can look inside the beehives. This is very interesting.
Also, at the end of the tour, you can taste honey!
You do this tour with a group of other people, which is awesome.
15. Go to an Event at the Crocker Art Museum
Another museum you have to visit is the Crocker Art Museum .
You can see here a lot of Californian art.
Moreover, the collection of the museum consists of works from the Gold Rush till the present day.
Besides that, you find here paintings and other works from all over the world. And you find the country's largest international ceramics collection at the museum!
One of the best activities for solo travel in Sacramento is attending an event at the museum! There are often events that are very interesting and fun. Moreover, you can meet other people at these museum events.
16. Join the Sac Brew Bike
Another one of the best things to do alone in Sacramento is to take part in the Sac Brew Bike .
During the tours of Sac Brew Bike, you ride a party bike. This is a bike that can fit a lot of people. Each person sits at a seat with a pedal and together you move the bike forward!
This is a very fun experience where you can meet others and socialize.
Furthermore, what's great is that you explore the bars of Sacramento.
With the bike, you go to various bars in the city where you have a drink and a fun time!
17. Learn About History at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Parks
Sutter's Fort was a fort that played an important role in the history of the state. To be more specific, it played a role in the Gold Rush.
When you go here, you can learn about the history of the place through a self-guided tour. Because of that, it is a great activity during solo travel in Sacramento!
18. Go Indoor Skydiving in Sacramento: Nice Thing To Do Alone in Sacramento That’s Very Unique
Indoor skydiving is one of the best solo activities in Sacramento. You can do this at iFly Sacramento.
During this activity, you float on air inside a wind tunnel. This gives you the same feeling of flying as you would have when you jump from an airplane.
Furthermore, everyone can do this and it is completely safe! An instructor helps you with everything to give you a fun experience during your solo trip!
19. Bike With a Group
Another one of the best things to do alone in Sacramento is biking with a group.
You can do this through the Meetup group " Folsom Bike Events ", which is a bike cycle club.
This cycling club organizes events for all skill levels. And the goal of the club is to bring people together that like cycling. This makes it amazing for solo travel in Sacramento if you like cycling.
Each bike ride they organize lets you explore a different part of the city of Sacramento! This is great when you want to explore the city and meet others at the same time.
Make sure to check which skill level you need for the event you want to join. Not all events are for every skill level.
20. Take Part in All Kinds of Events in Sacramento and Make New Friends
The " Sacramento Social Club (20's & 30's) " is a great group to join if you want to explore the city together with others.
This club is not about a certain specific activity, they organize a variety of events.
For example, they organize hikes, dance nights, games of kickball, and much more. It can be anything!
If you want to do something together with others, going to an event of this club is great!
You might find events with activities that you like a lot. Or you might discover activities that you didn't know before, but that become new hobbies of yours!
What's great is that you can discover the city and make new friends in Sacramento at the same time!
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The WELL offers guided tours to large groups, small groups, and individuals. We do provided tours on a walk-in basis, however, we recommend prescheduling your tour to avoid a long waiting period. Tours typically last between 5 - 15 minutes. Individuals on a tour must stay with the group the entire time, and are not authorized to use equipment or take photos inside the facility.
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The gym box interior contains “sunflower seed” wall panels, a green product made from agricultural waste. Use of these panels reduces waste and saves trees.
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15 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Sacramento, CA
Written by Brad Lane Updated Dec 25, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )
Author Brad Lane has enjoyed several trips to Sacramento while on assignment for PlanetWare .
Sacramento, the state capital of California, is a storied city with a long history and several visitor attractions. It's about 93 miles northeast of San Francisco within the Central Valley of California. Notably, the city sits at the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers. This region boasts sunny days throughout the year with hot and dry temperatures throughout the summer.
The city's history is readily on display at places like Old Sacramento, near the waterfront. This historic district dates back to the mid-1800s and the California Gold Rush. Several buildings still stand from this era, offering an immersive world to walk through. Today, modern establishments occupy these old storefronts, including some of Sacramento's best museums.
Much of Sacramento's appeal extends beyond its historical attractions. This modern seat of state government touches upon several aspects of fun things to do. From fashionable neighborhoods to airy city parks and miles-long bike trails, the city offers several places to visit for enjoying its nice weather.
The best time to visit is generally between spring and fall. This is a great time of year weather-wise and is also when the city hosts some of its most prominent festivals and events.
Find the best things to see and do in this city with our list of the top tourist attractions in Sacramento.
See also: Where to Stay in Sacramento
1. California State Railroad Museum
2. state capitol, 3. crocker museum of art, 4. old sacramento, 5. sutter's fort state historic park, 6. california automobile museum, 7. fairytale town, 8. sacramento zoo, 9. california state indian museum state historic park, 10. midtown, 11. american river bike trail/jedediah smith memorial trail, 12. mckinley park, 13. california museum, 14. leland stanford mansion state historic park, 15. cathedral of the blessed sacrament, where to stay in sacramento for sightseeing, sacramento, ca - climate chart.
Highlights: Massive indoor museum housing trains and immersive exhibits
With more than 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, the California State Railroad Museum is among the world's largest railway museums. Located in Old Sacramento, this museum is one of the premier attractions in the city.
It houses restored steam locomotives and railway coaches dating from 1862 to 1944. Almost all the wagons can be viewed inside. Some cars are furnished, complete with dining place settings, which show the level of comfort once offered on the trains. You can walk through a sleeper car as well.
Exhibits focus on railroad history and other related topics. A few prominent displays touch upon the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad and the role early immigrants had in laying the first tracks. More broadly, the museum showcases the ways the railroad industry influenced California history.
Families with children will appreciate the Kids' Corner educational programs and All Aboard for Story Time book readings. Other educational programs include a Junior Engineer program for children ages 7-12.
During the summer months, the California State Railroad Museum operates trains along the Sacramento River. Riding aboard a historic steam locomotive or a vintage diesel train is sure to be one of the highlights of your visit.
Address: Second Street and I Street, Sacramento, California
Read More: Best Museums in Sacramento
Highlights: Center of state government with parkland and free self-guided tours
One of the top places to visit in Sacramento is the California State Capitol building. This structure is an excellent example of Neoclassical architecture and was built in the 1860s. It underwent significant restoration in the 1970s, updating the Capitol to modern building code and preserving some of the most historic rooms.
Today, the California State Capitol is the center of state government and also operates as the California State Capitol Museum. The public is welcome to tour the historic halls throughout the week. A few of the preserved rooms in the museum include the governor's main office and the 1906 treasurer's office. Other historic attractions include portraits and various other artworks, as well as antiques.
The Capitol building itself is an eye-catching attraction. But the adjacent colorful gardens extending several blocks, comprising Capitol Park , make it the most beautiful among Capitol complexes in the United States. Tall palms and numerous other species of trees and plants line the pathways, and several monuments stand out against the foliage.
Since December 1988 a bronze group sculpture, the Vietnam War Memorial , has stood in the northeast part of Capitol Park (L and 15th Street); its construction was entirely funded by donations, and it commemorates those who sacrificed their lives in the longest war involving the USA.
Address: 1315 10th Street, Sacramento, California
Read More: Best Parks in Sacramento
Highlight: Victorian mansion turned art museum displaying Californian and European art
The Crocker Art Museum holds an impressive collection of California art from the Gold Rush era until the present, as well as European paintings and drawings and American photography.
The original collection, which still forms the backbone of the museum, was donated by Margaret Crocker. This private collection was assembled by Judge Edwin B. Crocker from 1868 to 1872. The museum's main building is a grand Italianate Victorian-era mansion, a California Historical Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In addition to the Victorian house, the Crocker Museum of Art displays some of its collection in the contemporary Teel Family Pavilion , which opened in 2010 and tripled the original museum's size.
The California art collection represents works created from 1860 to the present, while the assortment of European art includes 17th-century Dutch and Flemish artwork, Italian Baroque paintings, and 19th-century Central European pieces. The museum's photography collection boasts stunning images by Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange, among other American photographers.
For children (age five and under) the museum's Tot Land area is a delightful space devoted to playful activities and hands-on creative installations. The museum also offers Art Camp classes for children and painting classes for adults.
During summertime, the museum hosts music concerts and a film series; movies are shown in the outdoor courtyard.
Address: 216 O Street (Between 2nd and 3rd Streets), Sacramento, California
Highlights: Landmark part of town with museums, shopping, restaurants, and hotels
Old Sacramento covers eight blocks (28 acres) of historic buildings along the city's waterfront, designated as a National Historic Landmark . Some of the Gold Rush-era structures are now part of the Old Sacramento State Historic Park , including the Eagle Theater built in 1849, the B. F. Hastings Building (circa 1853), and the Big Four Building dating to 1855.
Old Sacramento includes more than 50 historic buildings, mostly from the 1850s, which represent the city's original commercial district, an area that once thrived thanks to the commerce propelled by the Pony Express and the transcontinental railroad.
The buildings are still occupied by over 125 locally owned shops , restaurants , hotels , and museums , which makes the area appealing for tourists. Expect crowds of people filling these historic streets, window shopping, and being guided by the senses. It's a fun area to wander and soak in the history of the area.
Fun things to do in Old Sacramento include taking a jaunt in a horse-drawn carriage, boarding a riverboat excursion , or climbing aboard a vintage locomotive for a railroad ride. And the California State Railroad Museum and Sacramento History Museum are nearly neighbors in Old Town, each offering a first-class museum experience.
Originally, this area was seen as a great commercial center for the new city in the mid-19th century. However, floods proved to be a serious problem, and the city was raised by adding earth to this low-lying area. Eventually, the focus of the city center shifted, and this area had become an impoverished red light district. In the 1960s, the area underwent redevelopment, which led to the creation of what can be seen here today.
Highlights: Historic park at the center of town, popular for self-guided tours and school visits
Sutter's Fort Museum stands on what was once the site of the first outpost of the white man in California, set up by the German-Swiss immigrant Johann August Sutter in 1839. The adobe house built in the same year has been restored in the original style, and houses relics of the pioneering and gold-rush period.
Today, the replica fort surrounding the adobe house sits near the center of the city in Midtown , approximately 1.5 miles east of the State Capitol. Visitors pay a small fee to enter the state historic park and start touring the display rooms. Rangers set up next to several of these displays, offering additional information about the exhibit.
Of note are items related to the town's founder, whose estates reached as far as the other side of the American River near Coloma. After gold was discovered, Sutter was literally overrun by gold-seekers, to such an extent that he was forced to flee.
Address: 2701 L Street (Between K and L Streets and 26th and 28th Streets), Sacramento, California
Highlights: Vast collection of antique and vintage automobiles under one roof
The California Automobile Museum displays a collection of more than 120 vintage automobiles dating from 1885 to current times. The museum has an extensive collection of Ford cars, with models from 1904 to 1969. The extensive assortment of classic and modern vehicles on display shows the development of American automobiles over the past 130 years.
Special exhibits presented throughout the year 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. The museum also offers Sunday Drives on the third Sunday of each month.
Address: 2200 Front Street (at the corner of V Street), Sacramento, California
Highlights: Family-favorite theme park with gardens, playgrounds, and puppet shows
A popular recreational destination for families with young children, Fairytale Town is a storybook-theme park with 25 play sets based on fairy tales and nursery rhymes such as Cinderella , Humpty Dumpty , Mother Goose , and Peter Rabbit .
The park also has gentle farm animals, which children can visit. Eeyore the miniature Sicilian donkey (a character in Winnie the Pooh ) and Maddie "the Cow that Jumped over the Moon" are among the favorites.
Other highlights of FairyTale Town include the learning gardens, puppet shows, music performances, and the collection of 20 "magic story boxes" that tell stories through narration and songs.
Address: 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento, California
Highlights: Hundreds of animals and several learning opportunities within Land Park
Animal lovers will enjoy visiting the Sacramento Zoo , home to more than 500 exotic animals, from aardvarks and African lions to giraffes and jaguars, as well as more than 200 reptiles. A few other favorite residents include red pandas, snow leopards, and various primates like chimpanzees and orangutans.
The 14-acre zoo also has 14 different aviaries, which provide shelter to 35 species of birds. Many of the zoo's animals are rare and endangered. As a way to support wildlife protection, the zoo is involved in local and international conservation projects.
Plan some of the day to enjoy the surrounding William Land Park, better known as Land Park . Alongside the zoo, it's home to Fairytale Land and extensive parkland. The park's several paved and dirt trails are a pedestrian favorite, passing by scenic landscape features like ponds and gardens.
Address: 3930 West Land Park Drive, Sacramento, California
Highlights: Fascinating museum filled with artifacts, near Sutter's Fort State Historic Park
To understand the history of California, a good way to start is by learning about the original inhabitants: Native Americans. The California State Indian Museum State Historic Park gives visitors an in-depth view of the culture and lifestyle of the indigenous people who have lived on the land that's now California for thousands of years.
The museum illustrates Native American life by presenting three distinct themes: Family , Nature , and Spirit . The exhibits feature items used in everyday life and for specific occasions, including a redwood canoe, ceremonial objects, and hunting and fishing tools , some of which date back 2,400 years. Photographs and educational content help provide deeper insights into the culture.
Note the Indian basket collection , a superb assortment of more than 3,000 woven items, from decorative bowls to burden baskets for carrying heavy loads, cooking baskets designed to steam food, and watertight baskets for preparing acorn soup.
You can also take part in the museum's hands-on activities such as creating shell beads and using a mortar and pestle to grind acorns.
The museum store sells jewelry, baskets, and other handicrafts made by the local Native American community.
Address: 2618 K Street, Sacramento, California
Highlights: Bustling neighborhood with art galleries, theaters, shopping, and dining
Midtown is a vibrant and bustling area of the city at the heart of Sacramento's urban center, located between 16th and 29th Streets and between E and R Streets. The top tourist attraction within Midtown is Sutter's Fort State Historic Park .
Midtown is also the place to go for shopping , art gallery hopping, theater and dance performances, comedy shows, and gourmet dining at trendy restaurants. It's a fun area to wander day and night, with entertainment stemming from every street corner.
Many of the art galleries participate in Second Saturdays and host free receptions on every second Saturday of the month from 6pm to 9pm.
Among locals, a popular event is the Midtown Farmers Market , which brings together more than 50 farmers and other vendors selling fresh fruit, vegetables, and food products. The farmers market features chef demonstrations on a monthly basis and craft vendor stalls on the second Saturday of the month.
Highlights: long-distance bicycle trail popular for all types of non-motorized travel
Part of Sacramento County's American River Parkway Regional Park, the American River Trail is a well-maintained paved path, which winds through a pleasant natural environment, lined by shady oak trees. It's also one of the more popular walking and hiking trails in the Sacramento area.
The 32-mile trail parallels the American River, starting in the city of Folsom and ending up in Old Sacramento. Access to the park is available from Discovery Park, Howe River Access nature preserve, Paradise Beach recreation area, and River Bend Park.
The trail is designed for cycling , jogging , walking , and horseback riding . The park also allows fishing and picnicking . Another name for the trail is the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail , a tribute to the first American explorer to arrive in California.
Highlight s: Bustling public park with a rose garden, swimming pool, and community center
McKinley Park , on the west edge of East Sacramento, is one of Sacramento's busiest parks. But with over 30 acres of open space, it's rarely a crowded place to visit. Throughout this ample parkland that dates back to the 1870s, several park amenities lend to frequent day trips.
Sports facilities are abundant at McKinley Park. Alongside basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, the park also has softball and soccer fields. Horseshoe pits are also available. And during the extended summer months, the swimming and wading pool at McKinley is a hot spot to cool off.
Other amenities at the park include a library and community center. The landscape nature is another reason to visit. Paths wind around and throughout the open space, passing by palm trees and ponds.
For flower enthusiasts, spend some time at the Fredrick N. Evans Memorial Rose Garden .
Address: 601 Alhambra Boulevard, Sacramento, California
Highlights: Two floors of exhibits relating important eras and moments in California history
For residents and visitors alike, the downtown California Museum is worth a visit. This non-profit facility shares the story of past pioneers and innovators that shaped the Golden State. Exhibits on display cover early immigrants that built the railroads and intrepid women whose California legacies last today.
The California Hall of Fame is a signature exhibit on the first floor of the museum. Several familiar names adorn this tribute to current and past residents, including the likes of Walt Disney, Willy Mays, and Dr. Maya Angelou. Placards beneath each inductee offer extra insight into the lives of these California all-stars.
Other topics at the museum include the California Gold Rush, the internment of American citizens during World War II, and the history of California missions. Expect to spend approximately half the day wandering the two floors of exhibits.
Address: 1020 O Street, Sacramento, California
Highlight: Guided tour of an opulent mansion that's now used to house foreign dignitaries
Recently renovated to the tune of 22 million dollars, this stunning mansion will not fail to impress you. Considered an exceptional example of Victorian-era architecture, the 19,000-square-foot building features 17-foot ceilings and ornate woodwork, and is furnished with period pieces.
The mansion is located right downtown, and the juxtaposition of this ornately decorated building set against the modern glass buildings is stunning. Its location also makes it an easy piece of architecture to espy, two blocks southwest of the State Capitol.
Tours are available most days but may be canceled on occasion, as the building is also used for state functions and to host international dignitaries. Tours are free and last approximately 30 minutes. Narration along the way dives into the stately history of the mansion.
Highlights: Architecturally impressive cathedral downtown with services every day.
The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament has been a spiritual center in Sacramento since 1889. Fitting for a California architectural landmark, the cathedral's multi-towered facade is reminiscent of a Spanish colonial church.
The exquisite Neoclassical interior reveals an inspiring domed ceiling and decorative details. Colorful stained-glass windows illuminate the sanctuary, imparting an ethereal glow.
The cathedral offers Eucharist celebrations (Mass) every day and also provides ceremonies for baptisms, weddings, and other occasions. The museum is downtown, less than two blocks from the State Capitol.
Address: 1017 11th Street, Sacramento, California
Tourists who want to see the top attractions of Sacramento should stay in the city center, near the State Capitol or Old Sacramento. From here, other prime attractions are close by, including the California State Railway Museum, Governor's Mansion State Historic Park, and Crocker Art Museum. Here are some highly-rated hotels in these convenient locations:
- Across the street from the State Capitol, the Hyatt Regency Sacramento is one of the city's most popular hotels, with a wellness spa, outdoor pool with cabanas, and hot tub.
- Those who prefer boutique accommodation will appreciate The Citizen Hotel, Autograph Collection in an elegant building from the early 1900s. Every room is different, and the hotel is also home to the renowned farm-to-fork Grange Restaurant.
- Opposite the Convention Center and only a block from the State Capitol, the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel , with a fitness center and heated outdoor pool, is another popular upscale option.
- A block from the State Capitol and Convention Center, the Residence Inn by Marriott Sacramento Downtown at Capitol Park is known for its friendly service and large suites with fully equipped kitchens.
- Another solid mid-range choice is Embassy Suites by Hilton Sacramento , with spacious rooms and an indoor pool. The hotel lies across from the Riverfront Promenade in Old Sacramento and within walking distance of the State Capitol.
- The good-value Governors Inn Hotel , with large, clean rooms, is only a five-minute drive from the State Capitol and offers a free airport shuttle.
- A short stroll from Old Town Sacramento, the Best Western Plus Sutter House , with a swimming pool, is a popular budget choice within walking distance of the State Capitol, while the Vagabond Inn Executive Sacramento Old Town is only half a block from Old Sacramento.
The best time to visit Sacramento is the shoulder seasons, including April, May, and June, and September and October. These months receive generous warm weather and long days, and avoid the extreme heat of the summer in California's Central Valley. These months, especially April and October, also offer more affordable times to travel.
These shoulder seasons also tend to stay dry in Sacramento. Rain moves into the forecast by the end of October, typically, and remains until March. Autumn strikes at some of the trees through October, but March into April is the most colorful time of year, as the city's many rose gardens spring to life.
Despite the heat, the summer is still one of the most popular times to visit Sacramento. Averages are in the low 90s Fahrenheit this time of year. Plan on enjoying outdoor activities in the morning or evening this time of year, and perhaps find refuge at one of Sacramento's many air-conditioned museums during the day.
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Nearby Places to Visit: The most obvious destination to visit near Sacramento is San Francisco . Spend a day sightseeing and exploring the city's treasures.
For a little more nature, head inland to Lake Tahoe , just two hours away. In summer, hit the nearby hiking trails or spend some time gazing out at the beautiful deep blue water. In winter take advantage of some of the best skiing in the state at Tahoe's ski resorts .
A little further afield, Yosemite National Park is a half-day drive away, as are Redwood National and State Parks, home to the giant redwoods and some wonderful hiking trails.