About 93 miles northeast of San Francisco is California’s beautiful capital, Sacramento. Visitors will find a number of interesting museums and Old Sacramento, with its historic buildings, shops and restaurants, is a great place for tourists to do sightseeing or simply relax. The climate here is influenced by the coast and as a result the best time to visit is during the dry season between spring and autumn.
1 State Capitol
The State Capitol building was built in the 1860s in a typical neo-classical style, but the colorful gardens, which extend over several blocks, with tall palms and countless other types of trees and plants, make the building one of the most beautiful Capitol buildings in the United Kingdom. States. Several rooms are dedicated to the State Capitol Museum, featuring portraits and various other works of art, as well as antiques.
Since December 1988, a bronze statue group, the Vietnam War Memorial, has stood in the northeast part of Capitol Park (L and 15th Street); its construction was funded entirely by donations and it commemorates those who sacrificed their lives in the longest war in which the US was involved.
Official site: capitolmuseum.ca.gov
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2 California State Railroad Museum
With an exhibition floor space of more than 100,000 square feet, the California State Railroad Museum is one of the world’s largest railroad museums. It houses restored locomotives and rail cars of all ages. Almost all cars can be viewed inside. Located in Old Sacramento, this is one of the main attractions in the city. Some cars are furnished, complete with dining options indicating the level of comfort once offered on these trains. You can also walk through a sleeping car. There are also model trains and kid-oriented areas. During the summer months, the California State Railroad Museum also offers steam locomotive train rides along the Sacramento River.
Address: Second Street and I Street
Official site: https://www.csrmf.org/
3 Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
Sutter’s Fort Museum stands on what was once the site of the first white man’s outpost in California, founded by German-Swiss immigrant Johann August Sutter in 1839. Built the same year, the adobe house has been restored to its original style and houses relics of the pioneer and gold rush period. There are also items relating to the city’s founder, whose estates extended as far as the other side of the American River near Coloma. After gold was discovered, Sutter was literally overrun by prospectors, forcing him to flee.
Address: 2701 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95816-5613, United States
Official site: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=485
4 Crocker Museum of Art
The Crocker Art Museum has an impressive collection of California art, as well as European and East Asian art, photography and contemporary pieces. The original museum building and collection, which still forms the backbone of the museum, were donated by Margaret Crocker. This private collection was assembled by Judge Edwin B Crocker in the 1860s.
California and American art includes pieces dating back to 1848 with everything from Daguerreotypes to Ansel Adams photographs and paintings ranging from the early 19th century to the current decade. The building itself, which began with the original 1873 Victoria House, has undergone restorations that added the contemporary, 125,000-square-foot ‘Teel Family Pavilion’.
Address: 216 O Street, Sacramento, CA 95814-5324, United States
Official site: https://www.crockerartmuseum.org/
5 Old Sacramento
Old Sacramento runs along the Sacramento River, an area that was seen as a major commercial center for the new city in the mid-1800s. But flooding proved to be a serious problem and the city was raised by adding soil to this low-lying area. Eventually the focus of the city center shifted and this area became an impoverished red light district. In the 1960s the area underwent redevelopment that led to the creation of what can be seen here today. Historic buildings are now occupied by shops, restaurants, hotels and museums. This is a commercial area with a National Historic Landmark designation. Old Sacramento State Historic Park has numerous historic buildings in the area.
Official site: https://oldsacramento.com/
6 California Automobile Museum
First established in 1987, the California Automobile Museum contains a collection of Ford automobiles, with an example from each year and at least one model from each of the years 1903-53. More than 160 antique and classic vehicles are on display, telling the story of the development of the automobile in America. Exhibit vehicles range in age from the late 1800s to the early 2000s.
Address: 2200 Front Street, Sacramento, CA 95818-1107, United States
Official site: https://www.calautomuseum.org/
7 Fairy Tale Town
Fairytale Town is a family park with all kinds of fun and educational things for children to see and do. The park has farm animals, learning gardens and themed areas based on fairy tales and rhymes.
Address: 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95822-1270, United States
Official site: https://www.fairytaletown.org/
8 Governor’s Mansion
Built in 1878, this beautiful Victorian mansion served as a residence for thirteen California governors, the last being Ronald Reagan, who lived there from 1966 to 1975. This mansion is located in the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park. The incredibly ornate and beautiful building was built for a private individual and then purchased by the state in 1903 for Governor George Pardee. The mansion is decorated with very nice furnishings, with features and special touches from Europe. Outside the house, the extensive grounds contain gardens with exotic plants from all over the world. Of particular interest is the swimming pool from 1959.
Address: 1526 H Street, Sacramento, CA 95814-2005, United States
Official site: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=498
The Sacramento Zoo is a great family attraction, with hundreds of exotic animals from all over the world. They also have interesting collections of birds and reptiles. The zoo is involved in local and international conservation projects.
Address: 3930 West Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95822-1123, United States
Official site: https://www.saczoo.org/
Where to Stay in Sacramento for Sightseeing
Tourists who want to see Sacramento’s top attractions should stay in the center of the city, near the State Capitol or Old Sacramento. From here, other top attractions are nearby, such as the California State Railway Museum, the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park, and the Crocker Art Museum. Here are a few highly rated hotels at these convenient locations:
- Luxury hotels: Located across from the Capitol, the Hyatt Regency is one of the city’s most popular hotels, featuring a wellness spa, outdoor pool with cabanas and hot tub. Those who prefer a boutique hotel will appreciate the Citizen Hotel, Autograph, in an elegant early 20th century building. Each room is different and the hotel is also home to the renowned Grange restaurant, from the farm to the fork. The Sheraton Grand Sacramento is located across from the Convention Center and just steps from the State Capitol. It has a fitness center and heated outdoor pool and is another popular luxury option.
- Mid-range hotels: Just steps from the State Capitol and Convention Center, Residence Inn Sacramento Downtown is known for friendly service and large suites with fully equipped kitchens. Another good mid-range choice is Embassy Suites by Hilton Sacramento, with spacious rooms and an indoor pool. The hotel is located across from the riverfront in Old Sacramento and within walking distance of the State Capitol. The Holiday Inn Express offers excellent value for money and is located opposite the Governor’s Mansion. Guests can also walk to the State Capitol and Convention Center from here.
- Budget Hotels: The affordable Governors Inn Hotel, with large, clean rooms, is just a five-minute drive from the State Capitol and offers free airport shuttle service. The Best Western Plus Sutter House, with a pool, is within walking distance of Old Town Sacramento and is a popular choice within walking distance of the State Capitol. The Vagabond Inn Executive is located just half a block from Old Sacramento.