The Top 10 Sacramento Attractions That Are Not Just for Tourists
No matter how long you’ve lived in Sacramento, you simply can’t explore the city enough. There’s a reason it is a popular destination for tourists throughout the country and across the world! And because Sacramento is California’s capital, there are several museums and landmarks that Californians travel from far and wide to see.
These said “tourist attractions” should not be ignored by locals. In fact, these attractions are sometimes the best that the city has to offer! Take advantage of the many amazing museums, parks, tours, and other tourist must-dos in Sacramento — whether you’re a local or a visitor.
1. A Stroll Through Old Sacramento
Old Sacramento is a common destination for visitors to the city — for its historic charm, high concentration of locally owned businesses, and overall nostalgic feel. Why reserve your Old Sacramento visit strictly for when you’re hosting out-of-town guests? Make a stroll through the cobblestone streets of Old Sacramento a regular routine, as you pop in and out of the charming boutiques, grab a bite to eat at local eateries, and take in the captivating feel of this historic area.
Why is it that historic landmarks and educational centers are often frequented by tourists more than locals? Brush up on your historical knowledge with a visit to Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park in Midtown, where you’ll learn about pioneers who arrived in the area at the dawn of the California Gold Rush. This historic fort was built by Swiss immigrant John Sutter in 1839, and has since been restored to its former state, allowing visitors to see exactly what it looked like. Admission is just $5 for adults and $3 for youth, making this an affordable, fun and educational outing for the family!
Likewise, the California State Capitol Museum is a go-to spot for visitors to the city. But when’s the last time you visited this quintessential Sacramento staple? History merges with the present day in this stunning building, where you will experience California’s rich history and witness the modern lawmaking process in action. Admission to the museum is completely free, and you can even join a public tour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sacramento has one of the world’s best food scenes, as the city prides itself on its abundance of farm-to-table fare and constantly evolving creative dishes. No matter how many times you visit the eateries in the city, there is still something more you can learn, taste and see. Local Roots Food Tours take you behind the scenes as you connect with restaurants and their chefs, and shops and their keepers, exploring both history and the current day. Their three-hour walking tours take you through some of Sacramento’s most historic — and delicious — neighborhoods, including Midtown, downtown, and Sutter District.
This may be the ultimate in attractions for visitors, as the Leland Stanford Mansion serves as the state’s official reception center for leaders around the world. And it makes perfect sense, as this exquisite space is filled with elegant 19th century light fixtures, original period furnishings, historic paintings, restored woodwork, and much more. Whether you’re visiting for vintage home inspiration or a history lesson, you’ll have a wonderful time during your tour of this restored mansion! Tours occur daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., with the last tour starting at 4 p.m.
Photo Courtesy of the Crocker Art Museum
While the Crocker Art Museum certainly hosts a myriad of historic pieces, it is constantly evolving as new art is released. With a steady rotation of exciting exhibitions, a jampacked event calendar, and a diverse selection of pieces coming in and out of the museum, there is something new to see with each visit. Make it a point to visit the Crocker Art Museum soon, whether you’ve been there before or not!
William Land Park is a hub for activity for both kids and kids at heart. The 166.5 acres of developed land in the Land Park neighborhood hosts a number of venues that both tourists and locals frequent, including an amphitheater, Fairytale Town, Funderland, the Sacramento Zoo, a golf course, jogging paths, lakes, picnic areas, and much more. William Land Park is perfect for soaking up the beautiful Sacramento weather and letting your little ones get some energy out.
Photo Courtesy of Urban Adventure Quest
This time, following a map isn’t just for the tourists! Urban Adventure Quest is an interactive scavenger hunt that will take you on a journey among the historic points within the Capitol district and then into the fabled streets of Old Sacramento. This thrilling scavenger hunt adventure exposes you to Sacramento’s famous sites as well as some hidden gems along the way. See how well you actually know this city! You can start by taking our quiz on Sacramento trivia…
Photo Courtesy of the California State Railroad Museum
The California State Railroad Museum is one of Sacramento’s most popular visitor destinations, with guests traveling from around the world to see this 225,000-square-foot space in person. This certainly means locals need to experience this world-renowned museum if they haven’t already! Explore the history of California railways through engaging exhibits including immaculately restored engines and cars, which eloquently tell the story of the state’s vibrant railroad history. Visitors of all ages will enjoy a visit to the California State Railroad Museum!
10. Sac Brew Bike
Photo Courtesy of Sac Brew Bike
While a tourist may love a local brewery tour, it’s the residents who will gain the most from an educational and fun look at the local craft beer scene. That way, you may find your favorite hotspots and revisit them down the road! Speaking of roads, this fun bike puts a new spin (pun intended) on brewpub crawls, as you hop on board this “bar on wheels” that stops at a number of brewpubs in the city. Brush up on your local beer knowledge, get a workout, listen to music, and sip on some fine brews all at once!
Which local-approved “touristy” attractions would you add?
Let us know in the comments below!