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50 Things To Do In Sacramento In 2022

There’s a popular joke that people only like Sacramento because of its proximity to “better” cities. While some locals do say this, Sacramento is a well-liked city because it has a lot of things. A lot!

For starters, it’s one of the greenest cities in the country. Its nickname is the City of Trees! It’s not just an old slogan. Sacramento has an incredible urban forest and has more trees than any other city in the U.S.

Sacramento boasts over 5,000 acres of parkland and recreation centers, miles and miles of trails for biking and hiking, and, as it sits on the confluence of the Sacramento River and American Rivers, tons of opportunities for aquatic activities!

Moreover, Sacramento is one of the most racially and culturally diverse cities in the country. It has a thriving food scene, both as a result of its ethnic diversity and its farm-to-fork culture.

It’s also rich in history, with a variety of beautifully preserved Victorian homes and Gold Rush-era landmarks. Lastly, Sacramento also has a thriving (though underrated) arts scene.

Still not convinced? Here’s a list of 50 things to do in Sacramento!

50 Things to do in Sacramento

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Check out Tower Bridge

What’s special about this place?

Connecting Sacramento to Yolo County across the Sacramento River since 1935, the Tower Bridge is a 225-meter-long vertical lift bridge.

Designed by architect Alfred Eichler, the bridge’s unique design has a strong Streamline Moderne influence, and is one of only a handful of bridge projects in the country that prioritized aesthetics.

One of Sacramento’s iconic landmarks, the Tower Bridge’s pedestrian pathways are frequented by tourists and locals alike!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Tower Bridge is a must-visit for families, architects and architecture enthusiasts, and tourists who want to get a more complete view of the Sacramento River. It’s also a great place for tourists who want to do some discreet people-watching!

What to do here?

Take a nice stroll on Tower Bridge. Check the panorama!

Check out its Streamline Moderne design, and check out its solid metal panels and how they cleverly hide the bracing on the bridge’s tower posts. Check out the Sacramento River, and catch the sunrise or sunset from the bridge!

Best time to visit

The Tower Bridge is accessible all year round. While there are fewer people during the day, it’s ideal to visit the Tower Bridge late in the afternoon, as the sunsets by the bridge are some of the best in Sacramento!

Explore the Sacramento Zoo

What’s special about this place?

Located at 3930 W Land Park Drive, the Sacramento Zoo is a 14.3-acre zoo. The Sacramento Zoo houses nearly 500 native, rare, and endangered animals that represent more than 120 species.

One of Sacramento’s top attractions, the Sacramento Zoo attracts over 500,000 guests annually.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A trip to the Sacramento Zoo is ideal for families, animal lovers of all ages, wildlife conservationists, and tourists looking to spend some time with animals and educate themselves on the conservation of certain endangered species.

What to do here?

Explore the Sacramento Zoo’s exhibits. Have your camera ready and take pictures. Check out the zoo’s Western Pond Turtle Conservation Project and learn about the ecological importance of the only aquatic turtle native to California.

Catch one of the Sacramento Zoo’s shows and see their awesome animal ambassadors, like the Harris’ Hawk and the Mali Spiny-tailed Lizard!

Best time to visit

The Sacramento Zoo is open daily, from 9 AM to 4 PM. As the zoo is fairly small, it’s best to visit the zoo during weekdays, when it’s not so busy.

That said, make sure to time your trip according to the kind of animals you’d want to see. Depending on the season, some animals are more active in the morning, while others are more active in the afternoon.

Learn more about Sacramento Zoo here!

Visit Fairytale Town

What’s special about this place?

Located at 3901 Land Park Drive, Fairytale Town is a long-standing 3.5-acre children’s play park.

Fairytale Town features a café, animals from the children’s favorite fairy tales, themed gardens, and over 25 colorful play sets that give children a backdrop to play out their favorite stories!

Park attractions include King Arthur’s Castle, a Pirate Ship, Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest, and the Giant’s Foot from Jack and the Beanstalk!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Fairytale Town is ideal for families, tourists traveling with children, and tourists of all ages who want to live out their favorite scenes from their favorite fairy tales!

If you’ve ever wondered what it’d feel like to be a character in a fairy tale, Fairytale Town is the place for you!

What to do here?

Tour Fairytale Town. Participate in tending Fairytale Town’s themed gardens. Catch as show at Fairytale Town’s Children’s Theatre.

Check out the park’s various play structures and nursery rhyme-style slides. Stop by all of the park’s fairytale-themed attractions, and make sure to check out Fairytale Town’s magical story boxes scattered throughout the park!

Best time to visit

Fairytale Town is open daily, from 9 AM to 4 PM. It’s best to visit the play park during weekdays to avoid large crowds. That said, it’s best to check the weather before visiting the park, to make sure a sudden downpour doesn’t spoil your fun!

Learn more about Fairytale Town here!

Go on an American River Bike Trail adventure

What’s special about this place?

Running between the confluence of the Sacramento River with the American River, the American River Bike Trail is a two-lane, paved, multi-use pathway. It is 32 miles long and mostly shaded.

The trail runs from Old Sacramento to Folsom Lake. There are many access points and places to park along the 32-mile route, and the trail passes through a number of notable landmarks and attractions (some of which are mentioned separately on this list)!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The American River Bike Trail is ideal for cyclists, in-line skaters, equestrians, hikers, joggers, and casual tourists who want to go on a comprehensive tour of Old Sacramento and Folsom Lake.

As the trail is one of the most scenic trails in Sacramento, it’s also ideal for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

What to do here?

Explore all 32 miles of the American River Bike Trail. Take one of its entry points, and go biking through the American River Bike Trail. If you’re not really into riding a bike, the trail is perfect for light strolls as well.

The trail runs through various parks and preserves, so make sure to make a few stops to take in the scenery and check out the wildlife along the trail!

Best time to visit

The American River Bike Trail is open daily, from sunrise to sunset. It’s best to explore the trail on a clear day, preferably during the spring and summer months.

That said, while the trail is mostly shaded, it’s best to bring enough water for your trip if you plan on biking through the entire 32-mile trail in one go!

Visit Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2701 L St, Sutter’s Fort Historic Park is the site of an important outpost in California in 1840—Sutter’s Fort.

Originally built by Johann Augustus Sutter, Sutter’s Fort was the first non-Indigenous community in the California Central Valley.

A decade after it was established, miners coming to California overran the site after gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill. Today, the site serves as a historic park and living museum.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is ideal for families, American history nerds, and tourists eager to learn about the California Gold Rush as well as the first European settlement in the California Central Valley.

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. Taking pictures is encouraged during the tour, so make sure to have your camera ready and take as many pictures as you want.

Check out the fort’s two-story Main Building, the only original surviving structure at the site. Don’t forget to check out the Museum Store inside Sutter’s Fort for books and collectibles related to the history of Sutter’s Fort Historic State Park!

Best time to visit

Sutter’s Fort Historic State Park is open daily, from 10 AM to 5 PM. As the park is almost always busy, it’s best to get there as early as you can, around 10 AM. The park tends to get packed at around 12 noon!

Spend a day at River Walk Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 651 2nd St in West Sacramento, on the west side of the Sacramento River opposite Old Sacramento, River Walk Park is a 7.5-acre park.

It features picnic tables, walking paths, a grand staircase, a levee top Promenade, and Raley’s Landing—all with wheelchair accessibility. It also offers one of the best views of Old Sacramento and the Sacramento skyline!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

River Walk Park is ideal for families and nature lovers. It is also ideal for tourists looking for a nice little park with great views of Old Sacramento and Tower Bridge! As everything is wheelchair-accessible, it’s great for tourists using wheelchairs.

What to do here?

Spend a day at River Walk Park.

Take a stroll along the riverbank. Sit by the water and disappear into a book. Check out some of the events held at the park, such as the Riverbank Music Festival. Do a bit of people-watching, and try to catch the sunset here!

Best time to visit

River Walk Park is open daily, from 7 AM to 7 PM. It’s best to visit the park at 4 PM onwards so you can catch the sunset. That said, it does get quite busy around that time. So, if you want some peace and quiet, visit the park any time before noon!

Check out the Crocker Art Museum’s collections

What’s special about this place?

Located at 216 O St, the Crocker Art Museum is the oldest art museum west of the Mississippi River.

Originally consisting of only the 45,000-square-foot Crocker family mansion and art gallery, the Crocker Art Museum opened the 125,000-square-foot Teel Family Pavilion in a much-anticipated expansion in 2010.

The Crocker Art Museum features the world’s foremost display of California art and is renowned for its collection of European master drawings and international ceramics.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Crocker Art Museum is ideal for families, artists and art enthusiasts, art historians, and tourists keen on learning about Californian and American art dating from the Gold Rush to the present!

As the Crocker family mansion is itself an architectural masterpiece as well as a California Historical Landmark, it’s a must-visit for architects and architecture enthusiasts as well.

What to do here?

Explore the Crocker Art Museum. Check out the historic E.B. Crocker mansion and art gallery, a masterpiece of local architect Seth Babson.

Check out the museum’s esteemed permanent collections, such as its European Art collection and American Art before 1945 collection. Browse the museum’s current exhibitions, and attend some of the museum’s special events.

Best time to visit

The Crocker Art Museum is open Thursday through Sunday, from 10 AM to 5 PM. It’s best to visit the museum on Thursdays and Fridays to avoid large crowds.

That said, as the museum is the only museum in the Sacramento region accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (kind of a big deal), expect the museum to be a little bit busy at all times!

Learn more about Crocker Art Museum’s here!

Do beach things at Paradise Beach

What’s special about this place?

Located at 5211 Carlson Drive, Paradise Beach isn’t technically a beach. It’s located on an oxbow bend in the American River that creates a cove where guest can do a variety of “beach things.”

It’s a fairly small strip of the American River and is not as popular as some of the other destinations on this list. That said, it is considered a hidden gem by locals.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Paradise Beach is ideal for families, nature lovers, swimmers, skimmers, and tourists looking to do some fishing. It’s also ideal for tourists looking for a not-so-crowded spot on the American River.

What to do here?

Spend a day picnicking at Paradise Beach.

Take a nice stroll by the riverbank. Rent a skim board and try your hand at skimming. Do a bit of fishing at by the river. If you plan on swimming in its pristine waters, just know that there isn’t a lifeguard on duty!

Best time to visit

Paradise Beach is open daily, from 6 AM to 6 PM. It’s best to spend a day here during the Spring and Summer months. That said, there isn’t really a bad time to visit Paradise Beach, so this largely depends on your itinerary.

Catch a Kings game at the Golden 1 Center

What’s special about this place?

Located at 500 David J Stern Walk, the Golden 1 Center is a 779,200-square-foot indoor arena.

It is home to the Sacramento Kings. The Golden 1 Center has a maximum capacity of 19,000, and hosts a variety of events, including concerts, conventions, comedy shows, and other sporting events.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Golden 1 Center is ideal for families, sports fans of all ages, Sacramento Kings diehards, and tourists looking for some indoor entertainment in an outdoor city like Sacramento.

What to do here?

Watch a Sacramento Kings game. Take in the Sacramento sports culture. For those looking for Sacramento King-related souvenirs, check out the Sacramento Kings TeamStore.

If you’re up for it, attend some of the other sporting events held at the Golden 1 Center, such as MMA fights and wrestling matches.

Best time to visit

The Golden 1 Center is open Monday through Saturday. 10 AM to 6 PM on weekdays, and 10 AM to 2 PM on Saturdays.

The best time to visit the arena largely depends on your itinerary and the event you plan on watching. It’s best to get to the arena at least an hour before your event starts!

Learn more about Golden 1 Center here!

Explore the Old Sacramento State Historic Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 111 I St, the Old Sacramento State Historic Park is a 296-acre cluster of early Gold Rush commercial structures.

A designated National Historic Landmark, the Old Sacramento State Historic Park features over 50 historic buildings (!), including the 1853 B.F. Hastings Building, and the 1855 Big Four Building. Virtually all buildings here date from the 19th century!

Some of the buildings within the historic area are mentioned separately on this list.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Old Sacramento State Historic Park is a must-visit for families, American history nerds, architects and architecture enthusiasts, and tourists who want to explore and learn about Gold Rush-era California—when it was still fresh out of Spanish and Mexican rule.

What to do here?

Have your camera ready and explore the Old Sacramento State Historic Park.

Check out the historic Lady Adams Building. Stop by the Big Four House and the B.F. Hastings Building. Stop by the Sacramento Engine Company No. 3, and check out the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum!

Best time to visit

The Old Sacramento State Historic Park is open daily, from 9:30 AM to 5 PM. It’s best to visit the historic district on weekdays to avoid large crowds.

That said, establishments within the Old Sacramento State Historic Park may have varying hours.

Discover the Sacramento River

What’s special about this place?

Spanning 719 kilometers from the Klamath Mountains to the Suisun Bay, the Sacramento River is the largest river in California.

The river flows through one of the world’s richest agricultural regions, and is home to hundreds of species of fish. As such, the Sacramento River is one of the best spots in Sacramento for kayaking, boating, swimming, and fishing!

The Sacramento River runs through several attractions that are mentioned separately on this list.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Sacramento River is ideal for all kinds of tourists. With a number of parks and attractions along its riverbanks, it’s ideal for all sorts of outdoor activities.

It’s also ideal for tourists who want to view Old Sacramento and West Sacramento from their major waterways!

What to do here?

Explore the Sacramento River.

Launch a boat on the waterway and check out Tower Bridge and the century-old I Street Bridge. Spend a day kayaking and fishing along the river, and go swimming at Discovery Park and Sutter’s Landing!

Best time to visit

The Sacramento River is accessible all year round. That said, the best time to explore the river largely depends on your itinerary. If you plan on going fishing, peak season is between April and October.

Visit the California State Railroad Museum

What’s special about this place?

Located at 125 I St, within the Old Sacramento State Historic Park, the California State Railroad Museum is a world-class museum that interprets the role of the rail transport vehicle in connecting California to the rest of the nation.

The museum features 21 restored locomotives and cars, some of which date back to 1862. Other exhibits include a vintage toy train exhibit, and an exhibit on Chinese railroad workers!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The California State Railroad Museum is ideal for families, American history nerds, locomotive enthusiasts and historians, and tourists keen on learning about the history of the railroads: the workers involved in building them, their human and capital costs, and the rail transport vehicles that shaped the state of California and the nation!

What to do here?

Explore the California State Railroad Museum.

Check out its locomotives exhibit. Stop by the Central Pacific Railroad No.1 Gov. Stanford and the Southern Pacific Railroad No.1 C.P. Huntington. Check out the museum’s Small Wonders: The Magic of Toy Trains exhibit and observe some 1,000 vintage toy trains.

Don’t forget to stop by the museum’s Chinese Railroad Workers’ Experience exhibit and Golden Spike Exhibit Gallery.

Best time to visit

The California State Railroad Museum is open daily, from 10 AM to 5 PM. It’s best to visit the museum on Mondays and Tuesdays to avoid large crowds.

For the full experience, visit the museum between the months of April and October. During those months, the museum’s Sacramento Southern Railroad takes passengers on a 40-minute route along the Sacramento River!

Learn more about California State Railroad Museum here!

Explore Sand Cove Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2005 Garden Hwy, Sand Cove Park is a 9.88-acre park along the American River.

It features a nice sandy beach with green spaces and a number of picnic areas. It’s considered a hidden gem by locals, and is one of the best places in Sacramento for family picnics!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Sand Cove Park is ideal for families, nature lovers of all ages, and tourists looking for a nice little beach getaway in Sacramento that’s not too crowded. It’s also ideal for tourists who want to do some fishing and/or go swimming in shallow waters.

What to do here?

Spend a day at Sand Cove Park. Have a nice picnic by the beach and soak up the Sacramento sun. Try your hand at salmon fishing, or go for a swim in this shallow strip of the American River!

Best time to visit

Sand Cove Park is open daily, from 9 AM to 5 PM. To avoid large crowds, it’s best to visit the park on weekdays, ideally early in the morning, around 9 AM to 11 AM.

For the full beach experience, it’s best to visit Sand Cove Park on a clear day, so make sure to check the weather before going here!

Engage your curiosity at the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity

What’s special about this place?

Located at 3615 Auburn Blvd, the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity is an interactive, kid-friendly science center.

It features a 120-seat planetarium, a design lab, and a nature discovery exhibit that feature various animal habitats and offer hands-on activities!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity is a must-visit for families, science enthusiasts, tourists traveling with children, and tourists looking to spend a day engaging their curiosity and learning about scientific concepts!

What to do here?

Spend a day at the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity.

Explore the engineering design cycle in the museum’s Design Lab. Check out reptiles and invertebrates at the museum’s Nature Discovery Exhibit. Catch a show at the museum’s planetarium!

Best time to visit

As of this writing, the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity is closed due to COVID. It’s best to check their website constantly for updates on their schedule, and their new operating hours.

Learn more about SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity here!

Visit the California State Capitol Museum

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1315 10th St within the California State Capitol, the California State Capitol Museum is a museum dedicated to the history of California and the California State Capitol.

Exhibits within the museum include historic rooms preserved to look like what they looked like at the turn of the twentieth century, gubernatorial portraits and two presidential portraits, and murals that tell the history of California.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The California State Capitol Museum is a must-visit for families, American history nerds, artists and art enthusiasts, architects and architecture enthusiasts, and tourists looking to explore the history of the California State Capitol and the stories of California’s governors.

What to do here?

Visit the California State Capitol and tour the California State Capitol Museum.

Check out the capitol’s neoclassical design. Explore the historic rooms preserved within the museum, such as the Legislative Bill Room, the 1906 Treasurer’s Office, and the Governor’s Private Office.

Check out the portrait of Abraham Lincoln at the Assembly Chambers. Check out the Arthur F. Mathews murals at the museum’s basement rotunda.

Best time to visit

As of this writing, the museum is closed due to COVID. That said, under normal circumstances, the California State Capitol Museum is open on weekdays, from 9 AM to 5 PM. It’s best to check their website for updates on their schedule!

Learn more about California State Capitol Museum here!

Explore Natomas Oak Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2230 River Plaza Drive, Natomas Oaks Park is a 13.24-acre park and oak preserve. The park features a number of picnic areas, an open field, and over-300-year-old oak trees!

All the oak trees in the park all date back to the 1800’s, and as such, hold great historical significance.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Natomas Oak Park offers a great getaway for families, nature lovers, history nerds, and tourists looking for a nice little stroll under the shade of 300-year-old oak trees!

The ancient oak trees are really the main attractions here, as this small patch of land is nearly all that is left of thousands of acres of oak groves.

What to do here?

Spend a day picnicking at Natomas Oak Park. Go for a stroll under the shade of ancient oak trees, and try to imagine what the park looked like in the 1800’s, before California was even a state!

Best time to visit

Natomas Oak Park is open daily, from 6 AM to 8 PM. It’s best to visit the park on weekdays, from 6 AM to 12 noon. The park tends to get a little busy in the afternoon!

Stop by Sacramento’s Eagle Theatre

What’s special about this place?

Located at 921 Front St within the Old Sacramento State Historic Park, the Eagle Theatre is a reconstruction of the first permanent theatre to be built in the state of California.

The theatre featured many types of entertainment for Gold Rush Sacramentans before getting flooded in 1850. Today, the reconstructed Eagle Theatre offers guided tours to its guests, and is one of the most recognized landmarks in the Old Sacramento State Historic Park.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Eagle Theatre is a must-visit for American history nerds and tourists who want to explore an important part of Gold Rush-era Sacramento.

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through the Eagle Theatre. Watch a video on the history of Old Sacramento and learn about Sacramento’s Gold Rush days. Check out the structure of the small theatre, and don’t forget to take pictures!

Best time to visit

The Eagle Theater is open daily, from 9:30 AM to 5 PM. The best time to visit the Eagle Theater largely depends on your itinerary. It’s quite a small building, and people typically don’t spend more than an hour here.

Explore Rancho Seco Recreational Area

What’s special about this place?

Located at 14960 Twin Cities Road in Herald, around 27 miles southeast of Sacramento, Rancho Seco Recreational Area is a 400-acre park.

It features a 160-acre lake, some picnic areas, a 7-mile hiking trail, and a 75-acre nature preserve. The park is also a popular winter retreat for a variety of birds, such as geese, hawks, bald eagles, and migratory birds!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Rancho Seco Recreational Area is a must-visit for families, nature lovers, birders, wildlife enthusiasts, all kinds of outdoor recreationists. It is especially ideal for tourists looking to do some kayaking, swimming, and fishing!

What to do here?

Explore the Rancho Seco Recreational Area. Spend a day picnicking by the park’s lake. Have your binoculars ready and do some wildlife viewing. Try to spot some of the birds that frequent the park.

Go hiking on the park’s 7-mile Howard Ranch Trail. Make sure to stop by the park’s Amanda Blake Wildlife Refuge, which houses captive-bred and rescued endangered animals including oryx and giant emu.

Best time to visit

Rancho Seco Recreational Area is open daily, from 7 AM to 6 PM. The best time to visit the park largely depends on your itinerary, as the park does have seasonal attractions—vernal pools in the winter and wildflowers in spring!

Visit the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 310 Back St in Coloma, just under 47 miles east of Sacramento, the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is a 576-acre state park.

The historic park is the site of the 1848 gold discovery that started the California Gold Rush! Park attractions include a monument of James W. Marshall, a reproduction of Sutter’s Mill, the Gold Discovery Museum, and the American River Nature Center.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A trip to the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is ideal for families, history nerds, gold panning enthusiasts, and tourists of all ages who are eager to learn about the California Gold Rush and where and how it started.

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park.

Learn how to pan for gold. Stop by the monument of James W. Marshall, the man who discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill.

Check out the Gold Discovery Museum, and look at gold-rush-era exhibits, such as mining equipment, household implements, and other memorabilia.

Best time to visit

The Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is open daily, from 8 AM to 8 PM. It’s best to visit on weekdays if you want to avoid large crowds.

That said, if you plan on taking gold panning lessons, it’s best to do so during non-summer months, as the lessons are not available when the temperature is above 92 degrees!

Ride the Sacramento Beer Train

What’s special about this?

Located at 18095 Co Rd 117 in West Sacramento, the River Fox Train is a common carrier railroad company.

The company offers special excursions, the most famous of which is the Sacramento Beer Train! Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like—a 2.5-hour open-air train ride with beer and music!

Who’ll enjoy this?

The Sacramento Beer Train experience is adults-only (duh), and is especially ideal for craft beer enthusiasts, and tourists looking for a more fun and laid-back way to explore Sacramento!

What to do here?

Take a ride in one of River Fox Train’s open-air cars.

Come in thirsty, and try a variety of local craft beers while enjoying the views of Sacramento and West Sacramento. Sure, you can do this the traditional way, but trust us, everything’s always better with beer.

Best time to do this

The best time to go on a Sacramento Beer Train adventure really depends on your itinerary, as reservations are required. It’s best to book your ride ahead of time to make sure you get a slot!

Learn more about Sacramento Beer Train here!

Bond with the animals at the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary

What’s special about this place?

Located at 403 Stafford St in Folsom, around 23 miles east of Sacramento, the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary is a zoo and animal sanctuary.

The zoo specializes in taking in animals that cannot be released back to the wild, and provides a safe haven for dozens of rescued wild and domestic animals. The zoo currently houses over 100 special animals!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A trip to the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary is ideal for families, animal lovers of all ages, and tourists eager to learn about the stories behind the zoo’s charming animal residents, and how to care for these kinds of animals.

What to do here?

Explore the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary.

Get to know some of its residents, such as their three North American black bears: Henry, Sequoia, and Tahoe. Check out bobcats Xena and Ophelia soaking up the sun. Don’t forget to visit the zoo’s resident prehensile-tailed skink, Solomon!

Best time to visit

The Folsom Zoo Sanctuary is open Thursday through Sunday, from 10 AM to 4 PM. There really isn’t a bad time to visit the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary, so the best time to visit largely depends on your itinerary.

Learn more about Folsom Zoo Sanctuary here!

Go camping at Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park

What’s special about this place?

Located in Pilot Hill, just under 44 miles northeast of Sacramento, Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park is a 1,418-acre park.

The park features over 12 miles of multi-use trails, a diverse variety of flora and fauna, and a stretch of the South Fork American River and several of its tributaries!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park is ideal for families, campers, nature lovers, birders, wildlife enthusiasts, hikers, and all kinds of outdoor recreationists.

It’s also ideal for tourists looking for a park that contains pretty much everything you’d want in a nature park—diverse plant and animal wildlife, rolling hills, open grassland, rivers, and clusters of woodland!

What to do here?

Explore Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park.

Go hiking or horseback riding through all 12 miles of the park’s trails. Go fishing at the tributaries of the South Fork American River. Explore the park’s wooded areas that heavily feature oak, coffeeberry, and foothill pine.

Go camping at the park. Try to spot some of the wildlife that thrive within the park, such as deer, coyotes, and alligator lizards!

Best time to visit

Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park is open daily, from 7 AM to 9 PM. The best time to visit the park largely depends on your itinerary, as the park’s landscape has something unique to offer with every season.

In any case, make sure to stay on the park’s trails, as poison oak is prevalent in the park.

Take a self-guided Sacramento Mural Tour

What’s special about this?

Home to the annual Wide Open Walls street art festival, Sacramento is known for its jaw-dropping murals.

As such, there’s no better way to start immersing oneself in Sacramento’s arts scene than by checking out the city’s murals—most of which were made by notable street artists, such as Jorit Agoch and John Pugh!

Who’ll enjoy this?

A Sacramento mural hunt is ideal for artists and art enthusiasts, casual fans of vibrant street art, and tourists who want a more unconventional way to explore Sacramento—not through its rivers and parks, but through its murals!

What to do here?

Take a self-guided mural tour through Sacramento.

Check out the Martin Luther King Jr. mural made by Andre Favila at 3216 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Stop by the Princess Leia mural made by Pixel Pancho at 712 J St.

Examine the Intertwining Snakes mural made by John Pugh at the alley next to the Church of Scientology of Sacramento. Make sure to bring your camera with you, and take pictures at every stop!

Best time to do this

Most of the murals in Sacramento are located in midtown and downtown. While downtown is generally safe, midtown Sacramento has a relatively higher crime rate. As such, it’s best to take a mural tour during the day!

Spend a day at the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

What’s special about this place?

Located at 7755 Folsom-Auburn Rd in Folsom, at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills, the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area is a 19,564-acre park.

The park surrounds the eponymous Folsom Lake, the ninth largest reservoir in California. The park also features a variety of trails and campgrounds, the decommissioned Folsom Powerhouse, and Lake Natoma.

One of the most visited recreation areas in California, the park attracts nearly three million people per year.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area is a must-visit for families, nature lovers, all kinds of outdoor recreationists, birders, wildlife enthusiasts, water sports enthusiasts (aquatic activities account for 85% of all recreation visits to the area), and tourists who want to escape the hustle and bustle of Sacramento!

What to do here?

Spend a day (or night) at the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

Hike through the park’s many trails, and check out the park’s unique flora and fauna. Walk among the park’s ancient blue oak trees, and try to spot some of the birds that frequent the area.

Rent an RV and camp out at one of the park’s many campgrounds. Stop by the Folsom Powerhouse. Go fishing, swimming, and/or kayaking at Folsom Lake!

Best time to visit

The Folsom Lake State Recreation Area is open daily, from 6 AM to 10 PM. It’s best to visit the area on weekdays to avoid large crowds.

Don’t forget to dress according to the season, as summers at Folsom Lake are generally hot and dry, while winters can be very cold!

Catch a film at the Crest Theatre

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1013 K St, the Crest Theatre is a historic film theatre and event venue in downtown Sacramento. Originally a vaudeville palace, the Crest Theatre was one of the premier first-run movie palaces in the Sacramento area.

It hosts a variety of annual events, including The Trash Film Orgy, the Sacramento French Film Festival, and the Sacramento Jewish Film Festival. While primarily a film theatre, the Crest Theatre also hosts concerts and live stage shows.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Crest Theatre is a must-visit for families, cinephiles, casual movie fans, and tourists who want to watch foreign arthouse films in downtown Sacramento as well as explore an important part of Sacramento’s local history.

What to do here?

Catch a live show or watch a foreign arthouse film at the Crest Theatre. Check out the theatre’s Art Deco design. Stop by the theatre’s auditorium, which has remained (at least aesthetically) the same since 1946.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Crest Theatre largely depends on your itinerary. That said, if you plan on watching a movie here, it’s best to get to the theatre at least half an hour before your movie starts!

Learn more about Crest Theatre here!

Visit Coloma Resort

What’s special about this place?

Located at 6921 Mt Murphy Road along the South Fork of the American River in Coloma, Coloma Resort is a family-owned resort.

The resort features a farm to fork café, and riverfront camping facilities across from Marshall Gold Discovery State Historical Park. Moreover, the resort offers a variety of outdoor activities like gold panning, whitewater rafting, river tubing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Coloma Resort is ideal for families, all kinds of outdoor recreationists, nature lovers, and tourists looking for a nature getaway with amenities that take experiencing the outdoors to another level!

As the Coloma Resort also hosts private events, it’s also ideal for tourists looking for that perfect outdoor wedding venue!

What to do here?

Go camping at the Coloma Resort. Rent a tent, a cabin, or an RV, and enjoy the great outdoors near the South Fork of the American River. Take a guided tour through the South Fork American River, and spend a day whitewater rafting!

Best time to visit

Coloma Resort is open all year round, from 9 AM to 5 PM. The best time to visit the resort largely depends on your itinerary.

That said, Coloma Resort makes for a nice stop before and/or after you explore nearby Marshall Gold Discovery State Historical Park!

Learn more about Coloma Resort here!

Do a little ghost hunting at Sacramento’s Old City Cemetery

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1000 Broadway, the Old City Cemetery, also known as the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery, is a 44-acre Victorian Garden style cemetery.

The Old City Cemetery houses the graves of California Gold Rush-era governors, criminals, Chinese immigrants, over 600 victims of the Cholera epidemic of 1850, and a host of Sacramento notables like Edwin B. Crocker.

The cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Old City Cemetery is ideal for history nerds, and tourists eager to learn about the Gold Rush-era Sacramento community, and how most of these early settlers died.

That said, the cemetery is also ideal for tourists looking to do some ghost hunting in Sacramento.

What to do here?

Explore the Old City Cemetery. Check out the graves of Sacramento notables like Edwin B. Crocker, Amos P. Catlin, Gen. George Wright, and John Augustus Sutter, Jr.

Check out some of the cemetery’s famous roses, and if you’re up for it, go on a guided ghost hunting tour in the cemetery grounds and learn about the cemetery’s infamous ghosts!

Best time to visit

The Old City Cemetery is open daily, from 7 AM to 5 PM. The best time to visit the cemetery largely depends on your itinerary. However, if you plan on attending the popular night-time Lantern Tours, you have to be in the area just before Halloween!

Explore the Cosumnes River Preserve

What’s special about this place?

Located at 13501 Franklin Blvd in Galt, just over 26 miles south of Sacramento, the Cosumnes River Preserve is a 46,000-acre preserve. It is home to California’s largest remaining valley oak riparian forest.

It features a number of hiking trails, a variety of wildlife typical of riparian habitats, and the only remaining unregulated river on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains—the Cosumnes River.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Cosumnes River Preserve is ideal for families, nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, birders, hikers, and tourists looking to do some low impact outdoor recreation and wildlife viewing.

What to do here?

Explore the Cosumnes River Preserve. Hike through over 10 miles of trails. Go canoeing or kayaking down the Cosumnes River, and cruise along the preserve’s riparian forests and wetlands.

Keep an eye out for some of the rare bird species that have been sighted on or near the preserve, such as the Swainson’s hawk!

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Cosumnes River Preserve depends on your itinerary. It is open daily, from 8 AM to 5 PM.

That said, if you plan on doing some intensive birding, the best time to visit the preserve would be during the fall and winter months!

Learn more about Cosumnes River Preserve here!

Check out West Sacramento’s Ziggurat

What’s special about this place?

Located at 707 3rd St in West Sacramento, on the shore of the Sacramento River, The Ziggurat is a ten-story, stepped pyramidal office building.

It is currently leased by the California Department of General Services as its headquarters. Designed by Sacramento architect Edwin Kado, The Ziggurat is designed to resist a seismic event of up to 6.9 on the Richter scale!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Ziggurat is a must-visit for architects and architecture enthusiasts, aspiring engineers, history nerds, and tourists looking to check out some of Sacramento’s modern architectural wonders.

What to do here?

Visit The Ziggurat. Examine its ancient Mesopotamian design.

Explore The Ziggurat’s interior, try to get to its upper floors, and check out the panoramic views of Sacramento, nearby Tower Bridge, and the Sacramento River from within The Ziggurat!

Best time to visit

The Ziggurat, as with most State offices, is open Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 5 PM. The best time to stop by the building largely depends on your itinerary.

As it is near Tower Bridge, it makes for a nice little extra trip after you’ve explored Tower Bridge!

Go hiking at the Auburn State Recreation Area

What’s special about this place?

Located at 501 El Dorado St in Auburn, over 33 miles northeast of Sacramento, the Auburn State Recreation Area is a 42,377-acre state park. Once a major gold mining site, the Auburn State Recreation Area features over 100 miles of hiking and horse trails.

As it’s located along 40 miles of the North and Middle Forks of the American River, aquatic activities such as swimming, boating, fishing, and whitewater rafting are popular here.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Auburn State Recreation Area is a must-visit for families, nature lovers, birders, wildlife enthusiasts, all kinds of outdoor recreationists, and tourists looking to spend a day or two in a scenic state park with a colorful Gold Rush heritage.

What to do here?

Explore the Auburn State Recreation Area.

Go hiking on the park’s Cardiac Trail. Go camping at one of the park’s designated camp sites. Have your binoculars and camera ready, and check out some of the wildlife that thrive here.

Go whitewater rafting at one of the forks of the American River. Tour remnants of the area’s Gold Rush days, such as the historic Mountain Quarries Bridge.

Best time to visit

The Auburn State Recreation Area is open all year round. That said, it’s best to consult a ranger regarding weather conditions and trail accessibility before planning a trip here!

Tour Sacramento’s Midtown

What’s special about this place?

Midtown Sacramento is a 2-square-mile district just east of Downtown Sacramento. Commonly known as Midtown, it is considered the cultural hub of Sacramento.

Midtown is home to an eclectic array of structures from different generations: Victorian houses dating to the 1800s, postwar apartment buildings, and stylish modern bungalows.

Midtown is also home to a variety of high-end restaurants, boutiques, galleries featuring regional art, and nightclubs!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A tour through Sacramento’s Midtown is ideal for families, architects and architecture enthusiasts, history nerds, foodies, art enthusiasts, and tourists looking to explore a unique side of Sacramento that’s often overlooked.

What to do here?

Tour Midtown. Have your camera ready and take pictures of Midtown’s unique array of Victorian, postwar, and modern houses.

Stop by Midtown’s Handle District and eat at some of Sacramento’s best restaurants. Check out Aioli Bodega Española, Zocalo, and Pushkin’s Restaurant. Have a few drinks at Fieldwork Brewing Co. or at Big Stump Brewing.

If you’re looking for souvenirs, stop by Zanzibar Trading Company and Art of Toys!

Best time to visit

The best time to explore Sacramento’s Midtown depends on your itinerary. It’s best to check out the hours of the establishments and restaurants you plan on visiting, and design your trip accordingly!

Learn more about Sacramento’s Midtown here!

Check out the infamous Dyer Lane

What’s special about this place?

Located at Elverta, just 16 miles north of Sacramento, Dyer Lane is a straight one-mile stretch of road. Considered to be one of America’s most haunted streets, it served as a meeting place for the Ku Klux Klan in the 1930s.

It has also been the scene of numerous automobile accidents. It is also where Bill Mullen, a high school student in the mid-80s, was beaten to death.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Dyer Lane is a must-visit for tourists looking to get into a little ghost hunting adventure in and around Sacramento.

It’s also ideal for tourists who want to learn more about the area’s local history, and tourists keen on visiting an old K.K.K. meeting place.

What to do here?

Walk through Dyer Lane. Check out some of the old trees that line the road. Explore the fields that flank the road. For the full experience, try exploring the rural road at night!

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Dyer Lane really depends on your itinerary, and what you hope to gain from exploring Dyer Lane.

If you’re in it for the thrill, it’s best to visit Dyer Lane at night. If you simply want to visit it for its history, then any time would be ideal. People don’t typically spend more than a few minutes here.

Visit Sly Park Recreation Area

What’s special about this place?

Located at 4771 Sly Park Road in Pollock Pines, just under 57 miles east of Sacramento, the Sly Park Recreation Area is a 1,600-acre state park.

While the Sly Park Recreation Area’s main attraction is Jenkinson Lake at its center, it also features over 9.5 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, and around 191 designated campsites.

It is also home to a variety of wildlife typical to woodlands in the Sierra Foothills!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Sly Park Recreation Area is ideal for families, nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, birders, avid hikers and equestrians, and campers.

It is also ideal for tourists looking for a nice lakeside setting that provides ample opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, and water skiing!

What to do here?

Spend a day at the Sly Park Recreation Area.

Explore the hiking trails around Jenkinson Lake, and try to spot some of the birds of prey that frequent the area, such as eagles and ospreys. Go camping at one of the 191 campsites in the area, and go fishing at Jenkinson Lake!

Best time to visit

The Sly Park Recreation Area is open daily, from 6:30 AM to 8 PM. While there’s really no bad time to visit the state park, it’s best to reserve a campsite ahead of time if you plan on going camping in the area!

Explore the California Automobile Museum

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2200 Front St, the California Automobile Museum is a 72,000-square-foot automobile museum.

Currently, the museum features over 130 vehicles, some of which date all the way back to the 19thcentury! Aside from its permanent exhibits, the museum displays constantly changing “rolling exhibits” that have included Japanese cars, micro cars, and iconic cars in cinema.

The museum also hosts an extensive collection of automotive materials in its library!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The California Automobile Museum is a must-visit for families, car collectors, car enthusiasts, car designers, history nerds, and tourists eager to learn about the history of the automobile and its impact on our lives.

What to do here?

Explore the California Automobile Museum.

Check out its extensive collection of historic vehicles. Check out the 1880s Columbia “Penny Farthing” Bicycle. Check out the iconic 1904 Ford Model C Runabout, and the 1912 Cadillac Model 30 Touring Car.

Don’t forget to check out the museum’s current exhibits as well, and if you’re planning to get rid of a unique vintage automobile, consider donating it to the museum!

Best time to visit

The California Automobile Museum is open Wednesday through Monday, from 10 AM to 5 PM. It’s best to visit the museum on weekdays to avoid large crowds.

Learn more about California Automobile Museum here!

Tour the Skyline Wilderness Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2201 Imola Ave in Napa, just under 62 miles west of Sacramento via I-80, Skyline Wilderness Park is an 850-acre wilderness area.

It’s home to a variety of wildlife, including deer and wild turkey. It features a number of camping sites, picnic areas, and over 25 miles of trails for hiking, biking and equestrian use.

Managed by a non-profit organization formed to protect the area, it is considered one of the best hikes in Napa!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Skyline Wilderness Park is ideal for families, nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, campers, and tourists who are looking to do some hiking and/or camping while visiting Napa Valley!

What to do here?

Rent an RV and camp out at Skyline Wilderness Park. Explore all its 25 miles of trails on horseback or on a bike.

Check out some of the wildlife in the area, and enjoy the stunning views of the nearby mountains. Hike to Lake Marie and check out the wildflowers and oak forests along the trail. Don’t forget to take pictures!

Best time to visit

Skyline Wilderness Park is open daily, from 7 AM to 7 PM. While there’s really no bad time to visit the park, it’s ideal to visit the park during the spring and summer months, when everything is green, and the weather is moderately warm!

Learn more about Skyline Wilderness Park here!

Learn about Gold Rush history at the Sacramento History Museum

What’s special about this place?

Located at 101 I St, within the Old Sacramento State Historic Park, the Sacramento History Museum is a reproduction of the 1854 City Hall and Waterworks building that also functions as a museum.

It is the only museum dedicated to the history of Sacramento and the history of the California Gold Rush. Museum exhibits range from Native American artifacts from the region, to exhibits on people who relocated to the area during the Gold Rush!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Sacramento History Museum is ideal for families, American history nerds, and architects and architecture enthusiasts.

It’s also ideal for tourists interested in learning about the Gold Rush and the history of Sacramento before, during, and after the Gold Rush.

What to do here?

Go on a guided tour through the museum.

Check out its current exhibits, such as the Century Cookbook from 1894 that features “a collection of carefully tested household recipes.” Learn about the first Gold Rush and how they survived during that time.

Stop by the museum’s Native American exhibit, and learn about the area’s original settlers and their way of life. Lastly, check out the remnants of the old city jail within the museum!

Best time to visit

The Sacramento History Museum is open daily, from 10 AM to 5 PM. It’s best to visit the museum on weekdays to avoid large crowds. That said, people usually don’t spend more than two hours here.

Learn more about Sacramento History Museum here!

Explore the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1624 Hood Franklin Road in Elk Grove, just over 15 miles south of Sacramento, the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is an urban wildlife refuge.

Currently, FWS owns and/or manages 6,550 acres of the area’s 17,640 acres. The refuge is composed of a variety of habitats that include freshwater lakes, grasslands, riparian forest, and perennial and seasonal wetlands.

These habitats support hundreds of species for both resident and migratory wildlife.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is ideal for families, wildlife enthusiasts, birders, and nature photographers. It’s a must-visit for tourists who want a more wildlife-focused, low-impact, nature retreat!

What to do here?

Have your camera and binoculars ready, and explore the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Go on a little hike through its paved trail, and try to spot some of the birds and small critters that use the refuge.

Due to its unique mosaic of habitats, the refuge is home to over 200 species of birds, some of which are considered endangered and threatened species.

Best time to visit

The Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is open on weekdays, from 7:30 AM to 4 PM. The refuge gets quite packed on Thursdays and Fridays, so it’s best to visit the refuge Monday through Wednesday.

If you’re planning to go birding, it’s best to check the refuge’s bird list for a comprehensive guide on the seasonal birds that visit the refuge.

Beat the summer heat at Raging Waters Sacramento

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1600 Exposition Blvd, Raging Waters Sacramento is a seasonal waterpark. A long-standing, family-friendly summer destination, Raging Waters Sacramento features over 25 exhilarating water attractions, waterslides, and pools!

Standouts include the park’s Dragon Den (a ProSlide CannonBowl), the Honolulu Half Pipe (a 40-foot tall water slide), and the Calypso Cooler (the park’s lazy river).

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Raging Waters Sacramento is ideal for families, tourists traveling with children, and tourists looking for a more traditional waterpark experience to beat the summer heat!

What to do here?

Spend a day with your family at Raging Waters Sacramento. Check out some of the iconic waterpark’s thrill slides, such as Splashdown, Hurricane, Cliffhanger Speed Slides, and the Shark Attack Waterslide complex.

Chill out at the park’s Calypso Cooler Lazy River. For classic waterpark snacks like corn dogs and chicken tenders, stop by the park’s Beachside Café!

Best time to visit

As mentioned above, Raging Waters Sacramento is a seasonal waterpark operating within the months of May through September. Operating hours may vary. It’s best to check out their calendar if you’re planning a trip here.

Learn more about Raging Waters Sacramento here!

Visit the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1019 11th St, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is a Roman Catholic cathedral. It is the mother church of the Diocese of Sacramento, and is one of the largest cathedrals west of the Mississippi River.

Completed in 1889, when Sacramento was still transitioning from a mining town into a capitol city, it is considered an important religious and civic landmark in Sacramento.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is ideal for families, architects and architecture enthusiasts, colonial history nerds, and devout Catholic from all walks of life. It’s also a must-visit for anyone on a pilgrimage through North America.

What to do here?

Visit the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. Examine the cathedral’s Italian Renaissance exterior and Victorian interior.

For practicing Catholics, attend mass at the cathedral, or at least spend a few hours in prayer here. For non-religious tourists, the cathedral is still one of the best places for quiet reflection and meditation in Sacramento.

Best time to visit

Sacramento’s Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is open on weekdays, 9 AM to 12 PM, and 1 PM to 5 PM.

The best time to visit the cathedral largely depends on your itinerary. That said, if you just want to pass by the cathedral to check out its architecture, any time is ideal.

Learn more about Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament here!

Check out Sacramento’s B Street Theatre

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2700 Capitol Ave, B Street Theatre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit theater.

B Street Theatre is dedicated to promoting education, literacy, and cultural enrichment by engaging its guests in the highest quality theatre arts and playwriting.

Its current mainstage, The Sofia, seats 250 patrons, and features contemporary productions that include classics, debuts & kids’ shows!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

B Street Theatre is ideal for families, and artists of all ages. It’s also ideal for tourists looking to catch a local production of some of their favorite plays, and see some of the region’s emerging playwrights, directors, and actors.

What to do here?

Catch a show at B Street Theatre’s mainstage, The Sofia. Watch a stage adaptation of Charade, Stanley Donen’s classic romantic whodunit.

Watch a production of Clare Barron’s Dance Nation, a 2019 Pulitzer Prize Finalist. Check out some of Sacramento’s best up-and-coming talents!

Best time to visit

The best time to visit B Street Theatre depends on the schedule of the show you plan on attending. It’s best to get to the venue at least an hour before your show starts!

Learn more about Sacramento’s B Street Theatre here!

Try Pangaea Bier Café’s legendary Pangaea Burger

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2743 Franklin Blvd, the Pangaea Bier Café is an iconic brewpub that features a wide selection of craft beers, and elevated bar food.

It is home to the two-time Sacramento Burger Battle Champion Burger, the Pangaea Burger! It’s been consistently rated as one of the top restaurants in Sacramento since it opened in 2008.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Pangaea Bier Café is ideal for foodies, casual beer lovers and beer connoisseurs alike, and tourists looking for a brewpub with a wide selection of craft beers and offers some of the best pub fare in the area.

What to do here?

Get a few drinks at Pangaea Bier Café. The menu changes regularly, but you really can’t go wrong with any of their craft offerings.

Try brews from top California breweries like Alvarado Street, Mission Trail, and Sacramento’s very own Urban Roots. Try the famous Pangaea Burger. Take a picture and brag about it on social media! Seriously, try the burger. It’s a two-time champ for a reason.

Best time to visit

Pangaea Bier Café is open Tuesday through Sunday. 11 AM to 9 PM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. 11 AM to 10 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.

The best time to visit Pangaea Bier Café really depends on your itinerary, just make sure you get there thirsty and hungry.

Learn more about Pangaea Bier Café’s here!

Stop by the Leland Stanford Mansion

What’s special about this place?

Located at 800 N St, the Leland Stanford Mansion is a historic 19,000-square-foot mansion and state park.

Originally built in 1856 by Gold Rush merchant Sheldon Fogus, the mansion was later purchased and remodeled by Leland and Jane Stanford. Today, the mansion serves both as Sacramento’s ceremonial reception center, and as a state park.

It is considered a stunning example of the splendor and elegance of the Victorian era in California.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Leland Stanford Mansion is ideal for families, American history nerds, and tourists eager to take a peek into Victorian era California.

The mansion, being one of the best-preserved structures in Sacramento, is also a must-visit for architects and architecture enthusiasts.

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through the Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park. Check out the Renaissance Revival architecture of the Seth Babson-designed mansion.

Check out the estate’s 19th-Century style gardens, and examine the original period furnishings within the mansion. As always, don’t forget to take pictures!

Best time to visit

The Leland Stanford Mansion is open daily, from 10 AM to 5 PM. The place is always a little busy, so it’s best to book a tour through the mansion at least a few weeks ahead of time. People typically spend one to two hours here.

Explore the Eldorado National Forest

What’s special about this place?

Located at 100 Forni Road in Placerville, just under 44 miles east of Sacramento via US-50 E, the Eldorado National Forest is a 596,724-acre U.S. national forest.

The national forest features a unique topography, with elevation ranging from 1,000 feet to more than 10,000 feet above sea level. It is home to 297 lakes and reservoirs, old growth forests totaling 122,000 acres, and a variety of multi-use trails!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Eldorado National Forest is a must-visit for families, campers, avid hikers, equestrians, nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, and all kinds of outdoor recreationists.

It’s especially ideal for tourists who want to explore an outdoor destination that provides virtually unlimited recreational opportunities, no matter the season.

What to do here?

Explore Eldorado National Forest. Go hiking at some of its scenic trails, such as the Caples Creek Trail, Granite Lake Trail, and Thunder Mountain.

Have your camera ready and take pictures. Go fishing on some of the forest’s streams and lakes. If you’re up for it, go rock climbing at some of Eldorado National Forest’s developed rock-climbing routes!

Best time to visit

As of this writing, the Eldorado National Forest is currently closed due to the recent Caldor Fire. That said, under normal circumstances, the forest is open all year-round, and offers a range of activities for each season.

If you’re planning a trip here, it’s best to consult a local ranger regarding weather conditions and the possibility of forest fires.

Go on a South Yuba River State Park adventure

What’s special about this place?

Located at 17660 Pleasant Valley Road in Penn Valley, just over 62 miles north of Sacramento via CA-70 N, the South Yuba River State Park is an 11,000-acre state park.

Aside from the scenic Yuba River pouring over granite ledges and along riparian meanders, the park is noted for: its diverse natural areas, its variety of multi-use trails, its diverse flora and fauna, and gold mining history!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The South Yuba River State Park is ideal for families, nature lovers, gold mining enthusiasts, wildlife enthusiasts, avid hikers, architects and architecture enthusiasts, birders, and tourists eager to explore a scenic park with gold mining history.

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through the park and learn about the area’s gold mining history.

Check out some of the historic 19th century bridges built along the length of the South Fork section of the Yuba River, including the Bridgeport Covered Bridge. Hike the park’s Independence Trail.

Get your camera ready, and try to take pictures of some of the birds that frequent the area, such as the Spotted Towhee, and the elusive American Dipper!

Best time to visit

The South Yuba River State Park is open daily, from 7 AM to 8 PM. It’s best to visit the park on weekdays if you want to avoid large crowds.

That said, if you plan on checking out the park’s wildflowers in full bloom, it’s best to visit during the spring months.

Learn about Native Californian culture at the California State Indian Museum

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2618 K St, within Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, the California State Indian Museum is a museum dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the culture of California’s indigenous tribes.

Exhibits depict three major themes of California Indian life: Nature, Spirit, and Family. These exhibits include a redwood dugout canoe, beadwork, and hunting and fishing tools (some of which are more than 2,000 years old).

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The California State Indian Museum is ideal for families, American history nerds, and tourists eager to learn about local history and Native American history and culture.

It’s also ideal for tourists looking to get their hands on Native-made souvenirs!

What to do here?

Tour the California State Indian Museum. Check out the Native American cultural items on display, such as traditional baskets and ceremonial regalia. Make sure to stop by the exhibit on Ishi, reputedly the last survivor of the Yahi tribe.

Learn about how Native American culture was forever changed with the arrival of the colonizers. Stop by the museum store and check out Native-made jewelry, hand-crafted dolls, and the area’s largest selection of California Indian books!

Best time to visit

The California State Indian Museum is open daily, from 10 AM to 5 PM. It’s a fairly small museum, and people don’t typically spend more than an hour here, so the best time to visit the museum largely depends on your itinerary.

Explore the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

What’s special about this place?

Located at 45211 Co Road 32B in Davis, just over 15 miles west of Sacramento via I-80, the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is a 16,000-acre wildlife area.

It primarily serves three functions: 1) flood control, 2) wildlife and habitat management, and 3) recreation and educational uses. It is home to nearly 200 species of birds, and is considered one of the nation’s most exciting developments in wetland conservation and education!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is ideal for families, birders, hikers, wildlife enthusiasts of all ages, and conservationists.

It is also ideal for tourists keen on learning more about wetland conservation, and the role of wetlands in slowing the speed of flood waters!

What to do here?

Tour the wildlife area. Hike its multiple walking trails, and check out some of the bird species that call the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area their home.

Go biking at the Causeway between Interstate 80 and the railroad tracks. Don’t forget to catch the sunset here!

Best time to visit

The Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is open daily, from 5 AM to 6 PM. As hinted above, it’s best to visit the wildlife area in the afternoon, around 3 PM onwards. This way, you get ample time to explore the Wildlife Area before watching the sunset!

Experience Sacramento’s Michelin-starred The Kitchen Restaurant

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2225 Hurley Way, The Kitchen is a Michelin-starred restaurant. It serves an eight-course prix fixe New American dinner based on a weekly seasonal framework.

The menu features the best and freshest ingredients, most of which are sourced locally and regionally—in keeping with the city’s farm-to-fork food culture!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Kitchen is ideal for families, serious gourmands and casual foodies, and tourists looking to spend a little bit more on an eight-course meal (it’s worth it, though). It’s also one of the best places in Sacramento for a romantic dinner!

What to do here?

There really isn’t much to plan here. The two-point program is as follows: 1) make a reservation ahead of time, and 2) enjoy your eight-course meal. Make sure to leave room for dessert!

Best time to visit

The best time to visit The Kitchen depends on your itinerary. That said, it’s recommended to get to the restaurant within 15 minutes after the restaurant opens, to ensure the dinner starts on time!

Learn more about The Kitchen Restaurant here!

Explore an actual Gold Rush-era gold mine at the Gold Bug Park & Mine

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2635 Gold Bug Lane in Placerville, Gold Bug Park & Mine is a 61-acre park. The park is named after its main attraction: a real Gold Rush-era gold mine, the Gold Bug Mine.

Aside from the iconic mine, the park also features a museum, a stamp mill, a blacksmith, a gift shop, and a variety of hiking trails! I guess you could say, it’s a real gold mine of activities.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Gold Bug Park & Mine is ideal for families, gold mining enthusiasts, American history nerds, and tourists keen on exploring an actual gold mine from California’s Gold Rush days!

What to do here?

Explore Gold Bug Park & Mine. Take a self-guided audio tour through the Gold Bug Mine, and learn about the mine’s history. Hike the park’s trails, and check out the park’s blacksmith shop and stamp mill!

For Gold Bug Mine and Gold Rush-related souvenirs, make sure to pop into the park’s gift shop!

Best time to visit

As of this writing, the Gold Bug Park & Mine is open on weekends, 10 AM to 4 PM. It’s best to get there as early as you can so you have ample time to explore the mine and the park’s hiking trails!

Learn more about Gold Bug Park & Mine here!

Explore sacred Native American grounds at the Mount Diablo State Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at Summit Road on the peak of Mount Diablo in Walnut Creek, just over 71 miles southwest of Sacramento via I-80 and I-680, Mount Diablo State Park is a 20,000-plus-acre park.

The park features an extensive system of hiking, horse, and bicycling trails. Considered a sacred place for Native Californians, Mount Diablo was home to many tribes.

Today, it serves as a mecca for outdoor recreationists, drawing more than 350,000 visitors each year!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Mount Diablo State Park is ideal for families, hikers, campers, cyclists, equestrians, wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers of all ages, and adventurous tourists keen on exploring a sacred Native American landmark.

What to do here?

Drive to the peak of Mount Diablo. Hike some of Mount Diablo State Park’s trails, and check out the beautiful plant life that thrive on the mountain’s volcanic environment.

Go camping at one of the park’s designated campgrounds, and take in the breathtaking views from the mountain’s summit!

Best time to visit

Mount Diablo State Park is open daily, from 8 AM to 7 PM. It’s best to visit the park in non-summer months, ideally during the spring and fall months.

That said, if you have to visit Mount Diablo during the summer months, it’s best to go to the summit late in the afternoon or early in the evening to avoid the summer heat!

Stop by the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1526 H Street, the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park is a 30-room, 3-storey Second Empire-Italianate Victorian mansion.

While it is currently unoccupied, it is the official residence of the Governor of California, and has served as the executive residence for 14 governors.

Built in 1877, it’s one of Sacramento’s best-preserved and best-known architectural landmarks.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A trip to the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park is ideal for architects and architecture enthusiasts, American history nerds, and tourists keen on exploring an important part of California history.

What to do here?

Pass by the Governor’s Mansions State Historic Park. Check out its distinct architecture, and imagine how it may have looked like in its heyday in the 19th and 20th century. Don’t forget to take pictures!Best time to visitAs of this writing, the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park is closed to the public. That said, it’s best to pair a trip here with a trip to the Leland Stanford Mansion and a trip to the California State Capitol Museum!

FAQ

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Sacramento

Is Sacramento worth visiting?

Sacramento is definitely worth visiting. With its rich history (Sacramento was formed by the Gold Rush), its stunning landscapes, scenic rivers, urban forest, and its famous farm-to-fork food scene, there’s something in Sacramento for all kinds of tourists!

Is Sacramento safe?

Sacramento is generally considered safe. Like any other city, there are some areas and neighborhoods that are considered less safe. That said, as long as you tour Sacramento during the day, you shouldn’t have any problems with safety. If you plan on exploring the city at night, it’s best to stay vigilant and stick to the main tourist spots.

Is a Sacramento trip expensive?

Yes and no. While Sacramento can be considered an expensive destination, it’s not as expensive as other cities in California, such as L.A. and Oakland.

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