48 Hours In Sacramento, California For First Timers


Bleisure Report: 48 Hours In Sacramento, California for First Timers

Sacramento is not a city that an international, or even an American tourist thinks of when they think of California. But this state capital is just as interesting as the major tourist hubs like Los Angeles or San Francisco.


The city is located just 2 hours North East from Downtown San Francisco, halfway between the ocean and famous Lake Tahoe. It is an important landmark on the California map, not only for its federal importance, but is also the fastest growing city in California and is a great example of its history, showing influences from many periods of occupation- Native American, Spanish and American. 

It’s best known for its huge role in the California Gold Rush that started in 1848 when gold was discovered in a nearby mine. If you let it the city will take you through this huge event in American history.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING SACRAMENTO?

• Despite the fact that the city is located in the Northern part of California, the summers can get really hot, and really dry there. With average temperatures of 34 Celsius degrees (93 Fahrenheit) and 0 rainy days. So carry lots of water and don’t stay in the sun for too long.

• If you’re a wine fan, you’ll love it there. The city is home to some award-winning wineries. Same goes for the taco lovers, there are tacos everywhere.

• Do not worry too much about getting lost while exploring the city, as everything is built based on a straight grid. The streets are literally letters and numbers.

VISITING SACRAMENTO FROM ABROAD

When visiting the USA you should make sure that you have appropriate documents. ESTA Travel outlines all the necessary actions you need to take before you trip. Visitors from over 40 countries can use Visa Waiver Program, which allows them to complete and receive their ESTA online. 

If you are not a resident of the allowed Visa Waiver Program, you should visit the American Embassy website to find out how you can apply and what you’ll need to receive your visa. Please allow a couple months before your trip to get your visa ready.

WHAT TO DO IN SACRAMENTO 

FOR HISTORY AND CULTURE LOVERS

As every proper state capital should, Sacramento provides great insights into early and modern American culture, as well as the history of the area through various museums and historic districts located within the city.


Old Sacramento, California [ photo by pixabay ]
  
Old Sacramento

The Historic Park is one of the main tourist sections of the city, it attracts visitors from all over the world with its interesting history and architecture. Many of the former 19th- century houses are still standing and can be explored within Old Sacramento, such as Big Four House and Pony Express Terminal. 

The architecture within the park shows influences of both the Victorian era, as well as those of Spanish colonies, the houses resemble many of those found in e.g. Havana or Madrid, with details of those found in e.g. Paris, like iron balconies.

Address: Old Sacramento Historic District

California State Railroad Museum

America’s history is filled with stories of the amazing railroad systems that spread across the nation. The history of the industry can be explored in detail at the museum. And not only, the museum explains how the railroad changed and affected lives of the whole country, its residents, as well as the workers. You’ll also have a chance to see some restored cars and locomotives dating to the mid- 19th century. 

Address: 111 I Street

California State Capitol Museum

As the name suggests the state capital hosts government offices, and this is where the California governor resides. The impressive building is surrounded by a green Capitol Park. When visiting the museum you have a chance to learn about the past, but also experience the present. The museum, through the great pieces of art and architecture, tells you stories of how California entered the country and what were its paths for the last two centuries.

Address: 1315 10th St Room B-27

California Automobile Museum

They have a railroad museum for the history fans and also an automobile museum for those more interested in the history of motorization. The exhibit features a very rich collection of different types of cars that filled California roads for the last century, including classics and race cars. Besides the actual preserved automobiles they present the visitors many modern day models of the famous machines.

Address: 2200 Front St

Aerospace Museum of California

We had something for the car lovers, now it’s time for the aviation fans. This museum features many authentic aircrafts, both military and civil. Fans of space will also see some great replicas of spacecrafts. In addition to over 40 aircrafts, there are many artefacts to be found within the museum, right next to historic engines, that filled e.g. the World War I aircrafts.

Address: 3200 Freedom Park Dr, McClellan Park

Sacramento History Museum

That rush for gold and desire for wealth. Where else can it be experienced more than in California? The History Museum will take you deep into the roots of California gold rush that started in the mid-19th century. You’ll learn everything about the nearby gold and the early American mining technologies.

Address: 101 I Street

Bleisure Report: 48 Hours In Sacramento, California for first timers

Sacramento was all about the gold, but it wasn’t its only job. Sutter’s Fort, formerly known as ‘New Helvetia’ is a trace of the earliest Sacramento.  The site was built in 1841 and is associated with the first non-indigenous community in California as well as the foundation of the city of Sacramento. But with the importance of gold, the fort ended on gold- it was shut down after discovering this precious material in the nearby mine.

Address:   2701 L St

California Museum

This museum, for a change, is filled with traces of more modern culture, but not only that. It features California’s Hall of Fame, which is designated to honour those who helped build the California spirit. Other exhibits refer to histories of California’s women, Native Americans or even skateboarders.
Address: 1020 O St

FOR NATURE LOVERS

Every busy trip requires a little relaxation from time to time, and what is a better way to relax than spending some time surrounded by nature? 

Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail

Located north of Downtown Sacramento, this paved trail is a great opportunity to get some exercise, whether it’s running, biking or walking, and enjoy some Californian nature. The trail is a total of 32 miles long (50 km) and runs between Sacramento River and Beal’s Point at Folsom Lake.


Folsom Lake, Sacramento, California [ photo by pixabay ]

Folsom Lake

Whether you decide to bike or drive there, Folsom Lake is worth a stop. The lake, with its 75 miles or shoreline, provides visitors with the chance for many fun activities, such as sunbathing, swimming , and boating. It’s a great place for bird lovers, as the lake is home to a number of species all year round, including towhees and blue scrub jays. Some may get a chance to see some hawks and eagles in the area as well. The Recreation Area also has campgrounds if you wish to stay longer.

FOR WINE LOVERS

Sacramento is home to some great wineries and whether you’re a wine geek or just like to have a glass of good wine from time to time, you’ll enjoy exploring some of the best wineries of the area.


Sacramento, California Vineyards [ photo by pixabay ]
  
Naggiar Vineyards & Winery

The winery is family owned and visitors can get some great fully guided tours that will let you explore the insights of the wine industry. The wine is made from the locally grown grapes, produced and bottled at the winery. There is also a chance to try some great wine in a relaxing tasting room with Tuscan influences.

Old Sugar Mill

Connection of history and great wine. The Mill started its life as a bit of sugar refinery in the early 20th century, and today it is hosting a number of great wineries together with picnic grounds, all in one location.

The Underground Tasting Room

Instead of choosing one winery to visit and explore, the Underground tasting room gives you a chance to focus on sampling of all the best local wines. The Tasting Room is also a great place to get some gifts for the family at home.

FOR THE LITTLE ONES

If you’re traveling with kids, Sacramento has a bunch of places for the little ones to not get bored while exploring the city.

Fairytale Town
Visit the park for some interesting fun among the famous fairy tales with lots of animals to give pets to. The Town has over 20 playgrounds, each one with a different theme. The park also features a café for the adults to relax while the kids are having fun.

Sacramento Children’s Museum

The museum provides a chance for the kiddos under 8 years old to not only have great fun, but also learn and explore. The number of interactive teaches kids many basic skills and explains many world mysteries through balls, tubes and artificial currents.

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