Sacramento is often overlooked by travelers visiting California, with travelers often choosing to explore the nearby Napa Valley, Tahoe Lake, or the city of San Francisco instead, leaving Sacramento’s sights and attractions unexplored.
But Sacramento deserves a stop of its own. With lots of historical and cultural attractions, it’s a city where the old blends in with the new, making it a perfect setting for a great weekend away.
Wondering what to do in Sacramento during your visit? Here are our Top 10 Recommendations:
Tour the California State Capitol
For a taste of history and a chance to pose beside the portrait of the former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, visit the California State Capitol. Entrance to the Capitol is free, although guided tours are also available between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Step back in time at Sutter’s Fort
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is the oldest restored fort in the United States. Dating back to mid-1800s, it offers visitors a chance to learn about life in the early years of the California Gold Rush. Take a self-guided audio tour of the living quarters, a jail, bakery, and blacksmith shop inside the fort.
Explore the complex exhibits at the California State Railroad Museum
There are over 225,000 square feet of exhibit space inside the California State Railroad Museum offering visitors an opportunity to admire beautifully restored railroad cars and locomotives. In the summer you can also hop aboard a 6-mile long excursion in the restored Sacramento Southern Railroad steam train that runs along the Sacramento River.
Experience the wild at the Sacramento Zoo
Located in William Land Park, the Sacramento Zoo is home to over 140 native, exotic, and endangered species and is one of over 200 accredited institutions of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in the United States.
Have fun with the little ones at Funderland/ Fairytale Town
Funderland is a great amusement park for younger children offering rides like teacups, bumper cars, and more. Fairytale Town is a more old-fashioned themed park. It has no rides, just sets that will take you back to nursery rhyme days.
Eat, Drink, and be Merry in Old Sacramento
Old Sacramento is a must visit for any traveler. It’s a great historic turned entertainment district that contains several museums, restaurants, and a variety of souvenir shops. Take a walking tour or a horse-drawn buggy ride to experience the area.
Sample local produce at the Certified Farmers’ Markets
California is known for its great local produce and there is no better way to sample the goodies than to buy them fresh from a farmer’s market stall. There are lots of great markets in and around the Sacramento area, but Davis Farmers’ Market on 4th St & C St in Davis, and the Sacramento Central Market are among some of the most popular ones.
Kick off the summer with concerts in Cesar Chavez Plaza Park
If you are visiting in the summer join locals and visitors at the Concerts in the Park series, the city’s longest-running, outdoor music festival has been around for over 20 years. Each Friday night more than 5,500 fans gather in Cesar Chavez Plaza Park to listen to local bands and DJs.
Cheer on the Sacramento Kings
From October to April, NBA fans can catch a game at the ARCO Arena. With the recent increase in popularity, the Kings now attract over 16,000 spectators each game, making for a really fun outing.