Secrets of Sacramento

The Californian capital of Sacramento is a city of surprises.  For a city with a population of just 460,000, Sacramento has facilities that are good enough for a city of much greater size.

The city’s history began in 1839 when Johann Augustus Sutter settled at the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers.  When the Mexican government and Governor Alvarado granted 48,000 acres of land to Sutter, they did not realize that they had given away a literal goldmine.  Gold was discovered in 1848 just thirty miles east of Sacramento.  The news of the discovery spread like wildfire around the globe and fortune hunters came by the thousands from all corners of the world to California—Sacramento to be precise.  California became a state in 1850 and Sacramento its capital four years later.

Located just 90 miles (148kms) from San Francisco, Sacramento is a very accessible city, and one of the few places in the world where you can go surfing in the morning and snow skiing in the afternoon, given that it is just 86 miles (138kms) from Lake Tahoe.

One of the places to add to your ‘must visit’ list is Old Sacramento.  

Once a thriving riverfront pioneer town, Old Sacramento now primarily exists as living historic district. The boardwalk style sidewalks and horse-drawn stagecoaches give this small section of town a unique flavor. Old Sacramento contains several museums, restaurants, and the usual assortment of souvenir shops all within walking distance of each California Srare Railroad Museum,other. Best of all, it’s a five minute walk from the Amtrak station. It’s best visited in late afternoon and early evening. Parking can be scarce, so be sure to utilize the reasonably priced parking structures in the K Street Mall. There’s a nice, short, safe walkway between K Street Mall and Old Sacramento.

In this area you’ll be able to visit the California State Railroad Museum, which contains many well-preserved trains, and you can even enjoy steam train rides.  Also worth a visit is the Sacramento History Museum which explores the region’s history from the days before the Gold Rush to the present.  The museum boasts two stories of interactive galleries and is the perfect starting point for exploring the Old Sacramento State Historic Park.

Of course, you couldn’t leave Sacramento without visiting the California State Capitol which includes the historical state capitol building and the surrounding 16 square city blocks, known as Capitol Park. Inside, tours of the capitol, its legislative chambers, and its restored historic offices are available daily. Outside, the public is free to visit the many gardens, memorials, and monuments located throughout the 40-acre park’s grounds.

Also worth seeing is Sutter’s Fort, which is located in Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is the oldest restored fort in the United States. Built by John Sutter in the 1840’s, the fort now hosts a collection of pioneer and early California artifacts. Self-guided audio tours are available.

There is a lot of culture in the city as Sacramento is home to over 32 theatres, galleries and museums.  Night clubs range from quiet piano bars to folk, pop, hip-hop, country western and rock & roll.

The city is easily accessible from all directions.  Interstate 80 and US Highway 50 run east/west; Interstate 5 and US Highway 99 run north/south.

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