California Travel ‘Begins’ in Sacramento

Any map will tell you: Sacramento is the “star” on the California map. As the oldest incorporated city in the state, the city has Gold Rush history, cutting-edge cuisine and some new surprises. After all, this is where it all began!

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The city that settled between the Sacramento and American rivers. was founded in 1849, and the historical reminders of Sacramento are everywhere, from Sutter’s Fort to Old Sacramento. The city is well known as California’s state capitol, but did you know that it is also the “Tree Capital of the World?”

Fall in the Capitol

Sacramento has more trees per capita than any other city in the world, and autumn turns downtown into a visual feast of fall’s vibrant colors. One of the best places to watch nature’s fall fireworks is Sacramento’s Capitol Park, where more than 40 acres of trees from almost every continent and climate are on display, and that’s just a fraction of the 6 million trees within Sacramento County.

 

Take a free tour of the California State Capitol, tour the Leland Stanford Mansion, visit the California State Railroad Museum or stroll down the Gold Rush-era cobblestone streets and wooden sidewalks in Old Sacramento, one of the most popular historical attractions in the state. Riding bicycles through tree-laden William Land Park is another wonderful way to spend a fall day, especially when combined with a visit to the Sacramento Zoo and Funderland.

Old Sacramento

Once a thriving riverfront pioneer town, Old Sacramento now stands out as a 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 other. Best of all, it’s a five-minute walk from the Amtrak station.

The spacious California State Railroad Museum contains a vast collection of old yet well-preserved trains and equipment. Just south of the museum, take a 40-minute excursion on a historic steam train, operated on weekends April through September.

The two-story Sacramento History Museum explores the region’s history from the days before the Gold Rush to the present with fascinating interactive galleries. The museum also offers the perfect starting point for exploring the Old Sacramento State Historic Park.

The Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts, known simply as The Sofia, is the new, state-of-the-art home of the B Street Theatre, an independent company that has long been a fixture on the city’s arts and culture scene. Years in the making, it opened in January 2018 with two stages and a diverse lineup of plays, music and dance performances, speaker series and other entertainment.

Sacramento’s D.O. Mills Bank Building will soon open as a public space with 10 to 12 local food vendors and several bars over three floors. The identity of the 1912 historic landmark will not be compromised and unique architectural details of the building will remain. The Bank is scheduled to open in late 2018.

 

Once an industrial warehouse district, Sacramento’s R Street Corridor is now a bustling entertainment district. Visitors can enjoy a cocktail at the famed Shady Lady Saloon, try some poke at local favorite Fish Face, tour the amazing creations from residents at the Artist’s Lofts and shop in unique boutiques.  R Street continues to see new additions, so even more excitement is yet to come.

California’s Best-Kept Secret Wine Region

The Sacramento region is home to more than 200 wineries and tasting rooms, many of which offer free or affordable tastings and opportunities to meet the winemakers themselves. If time is limited, explore the wineries inside the city. Several downtown Sacramento venues now offer tastes of regional wines, such as the Underground Tasting Room in Old Sacramento, Revolution Wines, 58 Degrees & Holding in Midtown and Downtown & Vine near the Convention Center.

Built in 1934 as an operating beet sugar factory, The Old Sugar Mill now houses 15 wineries offering varietals from all over Northern California. The Old Sugar Mill is located in the heart of Clarksburg AVA, just 15 minutes south of downtown Sacramento.

Street Art Tours

Sacramento’s Wide Open Walls mural festival continues to change the landscape of the city, and the August 2018 mural festival featured local, national and international artists who added to the array of public art – including a stunning tribute to Johnny Cash by Shepard Fairey. The Sacramento Tour Company’s walking, running and biking tours explore several of these new murals. Guests learn about the artwork, artist inspiration, as well as the history of street art in Sacramento and the evolution of street art around the world.

 

Find out more about Sacramento here.

Photos courtesy of Visit Sacramento/TravMedia

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