Things to Do in Sacramento
Sacramento Travel Bucket List: Top Things to Do and See
You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for an exciting and fulfilling travel experience. In this blog, we have curated the ultimate Sacramento Travel Bucket List, featuring the top things to do in Sacramento, California.
Our bucket list will take you on a culinary journey through Sacramento’s farm-to-fork movement, tantalizing your taste buds with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. And for those seeking adventure, we’ll unveil hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path attractions that will leave you craving more.
So grab your travel essentials and prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey through Sacramento. Let’s dive into this exciting Sacramento travel bucket list, packed with remarkable experiences that will keep you engrossed from start to finish!
Here are the top 7 things to do in Sacramento.
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1. California State Railroad Museum
The California State Railroad Museum is an essential destination for those fascinated by trains and enthralled by history. Spanning over 200,000 square feet, it’s among the largest railway museums in the world and a true gem of Old Sacramento.
Step inside and marvel at the beautifully restored steam locomotives and railway coaches dating back to 1862. Nearly all the wagons can be viewed inside, some even furnished with original dining place settings, giving you a glimpse into the luxurious comfort once offered aboard the trains. Don’t forget to stroll through the sleeper car for a truly immersive experience.
The exhibits in the museum delve into railroad history and related topics, with particular emphasis on the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad and the important role early immigrants played in laying the first tracks. But it’s not just about the past – the museum also highlights the ongoing impact of the railroad industry on California’s history and development. For train lovers and history enthusiasts alike, the California State Railroad Museum is an absolute must-visit. Make sure to include it on your list of “things to do in Sacramento” and prepare for an unforgettable experience.
2. Encounter majestic giraffes at the Sacramento Zoo.
Get ready for a day filled with excitement and wonder at the Sacramento Zoo, one of the top destinations for fun things to do in Sacramento. Whether you’re an animal enthusiast or looking for a memorable experience for the whole family, this sprawling zoo is sure to captivate and entertain.
Nestled on the outskirts of William Land Park, just a stone’s throw away from Downtown, the Sacramento Zoo offers a unique and picturesque setting. As you explore the grounds, you’ll encounter diverse habitats meticulously designed to mimic the animals’ natural environments. From expansive tundras and serene wetlands to majestic mountain ranges and lush tropical forests, each habitat provides a captivating experience.
With over 140 species of adorable, rare, and endangered animals, there’s something for everyone to admire. For an extra special experience, consider opting for a VIP hands-on or feeding encounter, where you can get up close and personal with select animals. Creating lifelong memories and deepening your appreciation for these fascinating creatures is a fantastic opportunity.
3. Aerospace Museum of California
Embark on an awe-inspiring journey through aviation history at the Aerospace Museum of California. This remarkable destination caters to individuals of all ages, whether you’re an aspiring pilot or fascinated by the wonders of flight.
Step into a world of interactive exhibits and captivating artifacts that bring the industry’s rich history to life. Delve into the technology and social aspects shaping aerospace advancements, gaining a deeper understanding of this remarkable field.
As you see the museum’s impressive collection of 40 unique aircraft, including sleek and powerful fighter jets that exude elegance and strength, prepare to be amazed. For an immersive experience, climb into a meticulously reconstructed cockpit and imagine what it’s like to operate these magnificent machines.
But the excitement doesn’t stop there. If your interests extend beyond Earth’s atmosphere, explore the rocket section. Here, you’ll encounter thought-provoking exhibits that delve into the future of space travel, along with a fascinating display of rocket parts that shed light on the extraordinary processes involved.
If you’re seeking an enriching and educational experience in Sacramento, don’t miss the Aerospace Museum of California. Add it to your list of things to do in Sacramento and prepare to embark on a journey that will ignite your imagination and deepen your understanding of the incredible world of aviation.
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4. Crocker Art Museum
When exploring the must visit places in Sacramento, the Crocker Art Museum stands out as a cultural gem that art enthusiasts should not miss. With a rich history spanning nearly 14 decades, this esteemed institution holds the title of being the longest-running art museum west of the Mississippi River.
Located on Downtown O Street, on the eastern side of the flowing river that traverses the state capital, the Crocker Art Museum is home to an extraordinary collection of paintings and sculptures that carry stories from generations past.
Step into the museum and be captivated by its diverse offerings, including international drawings, European, Asian, and African paintings. However, the true showstoppers are the premier collections of Californian art and an extensive ceramic collection, both of which showcase the region’s unique artistic expressions.
In addition to the captivating permanent exhibits that could easily fill exploration hours, the museum hosts occasional film screenings, guided tours, and educational workshops. These offerings further enrich the visitor experience, providing deeper insights into the art and its historical context.
Prepare to be inspired and transported through time as you navigate the halls of the Crocker Art Museum. Allow yourself ample time to appreciate the remarkable works on display. Take advantage of the museum’s diverse programs and events that enhance your understanding and appreciation of the art world.
5. State Capitol
A must visit destination in Sacramento is the iconic California State Capitol building. This magnificent structure is a shining example of Neoclassical architecture, constructed in the 1860s. Through significant restoration efforts in the 1970s, the Capitol was brought up to modern building standards while preserving its most historically significant rooms.
Today, the California State Capitol serves as the hub of state government and houses the California State Capitol Museum. Visitors are welcome to explore the historic halls and rooms throughout the week. Notable attractions within the museum include the governor’s main office and the meticulously preserved 1906 treasurer’s office. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the diverse portraits, artworks, and antique collections.
Beyond the captivating interiors, the Capitol building is a sight to behold. Its striking presence is enhanced by the vibrant and expansive Capitol Park, a collection of colourful gardens that stretch across several blocks. The park creates a picturesque setting with tall palms, diverse tree species, and lush vegetation. Numerous monuments and sculptures punctuate the landscape, adding a touch of grandeur to the surroundings.
One notable sculpture is the Vietnam War Memorial, a poignant bronze group located northeast of Capitol Park, near L and 15th Street. Completely funded by donations, this memorial is a tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the longest war involving the United States.
Prepare to be enchanted by the combination of architectural splendour, historical significance, and natural beauty at the California State Capitol. It’s a place where the past and present intersect, offering visitors an immersive experience that celebrates both artistry and the enduring spirit of governance.
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6. Old Sacramento
When looking for places to visit in Sacramento for free, the historic neighborhood of Old Sacramento is an absolute must-see. This picturesque district, spanning eight blocks along the waterfront, offers a captivating journey into the city’s rich history. Notably, Old Sacramento has been designated as a National Historic Landmark, ensuring the preservation of its charm for generations to come.
Step back as you encounter iconic buildings such as the Eagle Theater, built in 1849, the B. F. Hastings Building from around 1853, and the Big Four Building from 1855. These architectural gems are a testament to the area’s vibrant past and provide a glimpse into the city’s early commercial district, which thrived during the era of the Pony Express and the transcontinental railroad.
Today, Old Sacramento continues to buzz with life, with over 50 historic buildings housing a diverse array of locally owned shops, restaurants, hotels, and museums. As you wander the streets, you’ll be enveloped in the lively atmosphere created by visitors and locals alike. Indulge in window shopping, savour the tantalizing aromas wafting from eateries, and let your senses guide you through this vibrant enclave of history.
There are plenty of activities to engage in while in Old Sacramento. Take a leisurely ride in a horse-drawn carriage, embark on a riverboat excursion, or hop aboard a vintage locomotive for an unforgettable railroad journey. For museum enthusiasts, the California State Railroad Museum and the Sacramento History Museum, located near each other, offer captivating exhibits that delve deeper into the area’s storied past.
Old Sacramento beckons with its old-world charm, blending history, entertainment, and cultural experiences into a delightful tapestry. Come and explore this enchanting neighbourhood, where every step transports you to a bygone era and where the spirit of the past mingles harmoniously with the present.
7. Fairytale Town
Step into the enchanting world of Fairytale Town, a beloved destination for families with young children seeking whimsical adventures. This storybook-themed park is a delightful playground featuring 25 play sets inspired by timeless fairy tales and nursery rhymes, including beloved characters like Cinderella, Humpty Dumpty, Mother Goose, and Peter Rabbit.
As you explore the park, you’ll have the chance to encounter gentle farm animals, adding an extra element of joy to the experience. Meet Eeyore, the miniature Sicilian donkey from the beloved Winnie the Pooh stories, and befriend Maddie, fondly known as “the Cow that Jumped over the Moon.” These lovable creatures are sure to capture the hearts of little ones and create lasting memories.
Fairytale Town offers more than just playsets and animals. Immerse yourself in the learning gardens, where educational experiences await. Enjoy captivating puppet shows and live music performances that add a touch of magic to your visit. Don’t forget to explore the collection of 20 “magic story boxes,” each narrating captivating tales through narration and enchanting songs.
When compiling your list of things to do in Sacramento with children, make sure to include Fairytale Town. It is a place where imagination flourishes, storytelling takes center stage, and the magic of childhood is celebrated.
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Q: What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Sacramento?
A: Sacramento boasts numerous outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. The American River Parkway is a sprawling green space that offers scenic trails for walking, jogging, or biking along the river. You can also go kayaking, paddleboarding, or fishing in the river. Nearby Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma provide boating, sailing, and picnicking opportunities. The Sacramento River offers riverboat cruises and scenic riverfront parks to enjoy. Additionally, the city has several golf courses, parks, and gardens where you can relax and soak in the sunshine.
Q: Are there any special culinary experiences in Sacramento?
A: Absolutely! Sacramento is known for its vibrant culinary scene. The city offers diverse dining options, from farm-to-fork restaurants highlighting local and sustainable ingredients to international cuisines representing various cultures. Exploring the thriving food scene in Midtown and Downtown Sacramento is a must. Additionally, visiting the historic neighbourhoods of Old Sacramento and the bustling farmers’ markets can provide opportunities to sample delicious local specialties and artisanal products.
Q: Which attractions should I prioritize when visiting Sacramento?
A: Sacramento offers a range of must-see attractions. Some notable ones include the California State Capitol building, where you can explore the seat of state government and learn about California’s history. The Crocker Art Museum showcases an impressive collection of art spanning centuries and continents. With its historic buildings and waterfront location, Old Sacramento is a charming district to explore. The California State Railroad Museum is a treat for train enthusiasts, and the Sacramento Zoo offers a memorable experience for families and animal lovers.
Q: What are some recommended activities for families visiting Sacramento?
A: Sacramento provides plenty of family-friendly activities. Fairytale Town is a popular destination with its storybook-themed park and playsets inspired by fairy tales. The Sacramento Children’s Museum offers interactive exhibits designed to engage young minds. Enjoy a fun-filled day at Raging Waters Sacramento, a water park with thrilling slides and attractions. Exploring the Sacramento River by taking a riverboat cruise is another enjoyable option. Additionally, visiting the Aerospace Museum of California or embarking on a bike ride along the American River Bike Trail can be exciting for the whole family.
Q: When is the ideal time of year to plan a trip to Sacramento?
A: The best time to visit Sacramento depends on personal preferences. Spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) offer pleasant weather with mild temperatures, making them popular seasons to explore outdoor attractions and enjoy festivals and events. Summers (June to August) can be hot, but they also provide opportunities for outdoor activities and activities like rafting on the American River. Winter (December to February) brings cooler temperatures, but you can still enjoy indoor attractions and holiday celebrations. Ultimately, the best time to visit Sacramento is based on individual interests and desired weather conditions.
These attractions, along with the outdoor activities, culinary experiences, and family-friendly options available in Sacramento, provide a diverse range of experiences for visitors.So, what are you waiting for? Let’s begin our exploration of Sacramento on next vacation.