Established during the 1849 California Gold Rush, Old Sacramento was the very first historic district to be created in the western United States, and is home today to a wide variety of museums, attractions and dining options. Covering an area of 28 acres along the banks of the Sacramento River, here are just a few of the highlights that you can expect to see when taking a stroll through Old Sacramento.
The Museums of Old Sacramento
While you may not have time to fully tour each of the museums of Old Sacramento, they are all located within walking distance of each other, making it easy to spend a small amount of time at each as you pass by. The California Automobile Museum is a must-visit for car enthusiasts, as it has over 150 exhibits that tell the story of the development of the automobile. The California State Railroad Museum is another one that focuses on transport, with everything from extravagantly restored trains to antique locomotives. Of course, the Sacramento History Museum is definitely worth stopping off at if you want to learn more about the city’s dramatic history, as well as its turbulent Gold Rush past, while the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum is a living replica of a one-room schoolhouse from California’s early days.
The Delta King
Located at the end of Old Sacramento, the Delta King is a historic riverboat that dates back to 1927, and has been beautifully restored since then. While the boat does not run anymore and is permanently docked here, it is still open for the public to explore, and even has a restaurant where you can enjoy a meal with a stunning waterfront backdrop.
Old Sacramento Underground Tours
Depending on how much time you have to spare, an underground tour of the city is well worth taking. These tours begin at the Sacramento History Museum, and take visitors down through excavated foundations and enclosed pathways, while teaching them all about the only successful street-raising project in California.
Shops and Restaurants
Old Sacramento is home to a wide range of shops and restaurants that each manage to maintain a quaint and traditional charm. The shops, of which there are everything from toys to handcrafted jewellery, can easily be browsed as you stroll through the town, and you are likely to pick up a few unique souvenirs, whether this may be a local piece of art, or a photograph of you and your group dressed up in Old West attire, a service that is provided by the town’s two old-fashioned photo shops. When it comes to restaurants, there are many to choose from, but if you are just seeking a sweet treat to snack on while you wander through town, head to Danny’s Mini Donuts, or to Munchies Salt Water Taffy.
Old Sacramento is an area unlike any other, and really does make you feel as though you have stepped back in time. While you may not be able to explore the entire area on foot, a leisurely stroll through Old Sacramento will still reward you with plenty of memorable experiences.