California is a beautiful state that has some of the biggest cities in the nation. While San Francisco and Los Angeles may be prime tourist destinations in the state, there are other cities in California that offer just as many attractions and experiences and maybe even for half the expense. For one, the state capital Sacramento should be in everyone’s list of places to visit, especially given its rich history that dates back to the Gold Rush. Indeed like its slogan says, California does begin in Sacramento, and you’ll easily find yourself falling in love with this city once you visit. Here are 10 things you must do in Sacramento if you’re visiting for the first time.
1. Old Sacramento State Historical Park
Whether you’re a history buff or not, one of the first places you should go see in Sacramento is the Old Sacramento State Historical Park. It’s a huge, 28-acre National Historic Landmark that covers the entire area of 1850’s business district. Some of the buildings here date back to the beginning of the Gold Rush.
2. California State Railroad Museum
There are a total of six buildings here that will take you back in time through the history of the railroad and how it shaped California. This museum is a favorite among visitors to the city; you’ll see many restored railroad cars and even the Railway Post Office that you can literally step into.
3. Sacramento Zoo
Make sure you to take some time to visit this impressive zoo. It started of small being just “the little zoo in the park.” Over time, the little zoo that only had 40 animals grew to now be home for 400 animals that have traveled from all over the world to take residence at the Sacramento Zoo.
4. Sutter’s Fort
Here’s yet another history lesson waiting for you in Sacramento. Sutter’s Fort may be abandoned now, but it has been restored to its former glory; it’s now at the center of the Gold Rush activity history and everything that was the beginning of state.
5. Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament
There’s one place in all of Sacramento that will make you feel like you’ve traveled across oceans to get to Europe. This cathedral was built in 1887 and is quite the sight to behold. The interior dome alone is something worthwhile to see, but you should know that there’s a 13 foot crucifix in there with a 14 foot crown overhead that weighs nearly a ton.
6. Raging Waters
If you’re the type that likes water parks and thrill rides, you should definitely go to Raging Waters. It’s the largest waterpark in all of Sacramento. You can have your fill and take your pick out of the 25 water slides in the theme park. Otherwise, you could easily go down all the slides too.
7. Sacramento River Bridge
Also known as the Tower Bridge, this iconic landmark was built in 1935 and has withstood strongly since. The bridge itself connects the east to the west by connecting Sacramento County to Yolo County.
8. Fairytale Town
Sacramento is full of unique attractions, but one of the most unique sights to see happens to be a Fairytale Town. This attraction is actually a children’s museum and a play area that happens to be 3.5 acres in size. There’s so much to explore there and so much to discover as well. You could easily get lost in all the fairytale stories that are brought to life in the attraction.
9. The American River Bike Trail
The trail is made for cycling, but no one’s really stopping you from walking it. The only problem is this trail is 32 miles long. You can definitely cut the trail in half if that works for you. Either way, the trail is the most scenic in all of Sacramento, and it’s something that you’ll definitely enjoy.
10. The Dive Bar
There are plenty of restaurants you could eat at in Sacramento, but out of it all, you should definitely pay a visit to the Dive Bar. This restaurant is actually a tank that can hold up to 7,500 gallons of water. Mermaids and mermen will surround you and swim around while you sip on your cocktail. Where else could you get such an experience? Only in Sacramento.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker