10 Best Things to Do in Sacramento

10 Best Things to Do in Sacramento

Getaway Staff
Updated: Oct 16, 2019

The capital city of California, Sacramento is regarded as one of America’s most diverse cities. Filled with natural, historic, and cultural attractions, Sacramento brims with things to see and do. The city boasts a long and rich history in association with its indigenous populations, Spanish settlements, and the famed Gold Rush at nearby Sutter’s Mill. Sacramento is home to world-renowned healthcare centers and universities. As the seat of the state’s government, the city gets visits from political leaders as well as vacationers.


01Marvel at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

Fort State Historic Park

After gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill, the fort on the property was abandoned. Today, the house is house a museum that features period furnishings and implements used by gold seekers. An important part of the state’s history, the California discovery of gold in 1848 opened the territory up to mass settlement. Many visitors to Sacramento enjoy visiting this historic landmark to learn about the state’s spectacular past.

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02Stroll through Old Sacramento

Visiting Old Sacramento

Located on along the banks of the Sacramento River, Old Sacramento is an historic part of town that attracts many visitors who come to explore its old buildings and landmarks. Many of the historic buildings are now home to cafes and restaurants. The commercial area of town is a National Historic Landmark. When exploring the region, you’ll also find a diverse array of shops, galleries, and even museums.

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03Explore the Sacramento Zoo

The Sacramento Zoo

If you’re an animal lover, head to the Sacramento Zoo to enjoy its amazing exhibits. The zoo dates back to 1927. Since that time, it has expanded to incorporate more land and exhibits into its venue. It features animals from all over the globe. When you visit, you can expect to see orangutans, foxes, flamingos, grizzly bears, rattlesnakes, lemurs, chimpanzees, lions, giraffes, jaguars, otters, kangaroos, and more.

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04Admire the Exhibits at the Crocker Art Museum

Crocker Art Museum Sacramento

Founded in 1872, the renowned Crocker Art Museum features an outstanding collection of Californian art. Over time, the museum has expanded to a second building. Today, it features European, Asian, African, and Eurasian art. Aside from its permanent exhibits, the museum regularly showcases special exhibits on a wide array of topics. If you’re an art lover, don’t skip a visit to this exciting cultural venue.

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05Stop and Smell the Flowers at McKinley Rose Garden

McKinley Rose Garden

Take time out of your busy schedule to spend a morning or afternoon at the celebrated McKinley Rose Garden. McKinley Park is itself an historic attraction that dates to 1871. The rose garden was developed in 1928 and has continued to inspire visitors ever since. Featuring more than 1,200 roses, the garden has recently been redesigned to include sustainable features a new irrigation system.

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06Browse the California State Railroad Museum

California State Railroad Museum

The California State Railroad Museum is a celebration of trains and railroad transportation. It boasts more than 100,000 square feet of display space, allowing for easy viewing of exhibits like the historic train cars and engines. Visitors can walk into many of the wagons and cars to explore them during their visit. One of the highlights of the venue is its steam engine rides. There are also model train exhibits that are a big hit with kids.  

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07Dine on the Delta King

the Delta King

The Delta King is a historic paddle steamboat that used to transport people between Sacramento and San Francisco. Today, the 285-ft. long boat functions as a restaurant and hotel. When visiting, you’ll be able to explore parts of the vessel and learn about its unique history. For example, during WWII, its engines were requisitioned by the military for use in the war effort. Dining aboard the Delta King is an enjoyable experience—especially with its views of the river and surrounding skyline.

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08Cross the Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge Sacramento

The gloriously gold Tower Bridge was constructed over the Sacramento River in 1934 and is, today, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge connects East and West Sacramento. Its Art Deco style makes it a unique landmark. If you’re visiting the city, take time to cross this landmark at least once.  

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09Discover the UC Davis Arboretum

UC Davis Arboretum

The UC Davis Arboretum features roughly 100 acres of gardens. A small creek flows through the grounds adding to their picturesque look. When visiting the arboretum, you can expect to see a diverse array of botanical beauties like forsythia, roses, salvia, California poppies, and more. Aside from the beautiful flora that grows in the gardens, the fauna also attracts visitors to the arboretum and its lovely landscapes.

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10Have Fun at the California Automobile Museum

California Automobile Museum

With California’s sunny roadways, it’s no wonder that auto enthusiasts love tooling about in classic cars. The California Automobile Museum attracts many car lovers with its collection of classic autos and sports cars. The chrome fairly gleams from one exhibit to the next. The venue features antique and classic cars from every year since 1903. In fact, there are even some examples of autos that date to the late 1800s. If you love cars, you don’t want to miss this opportunity explore this popular Sacramento museum.

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