The Sacramento region has played a huge part in the history of America. In Sacramento, nestled in with all of the modern amenities of a world-class city, there is an appreciation for our region’s history and the contributions we continue to make to the American culture. We are proud to give visitors to Sacramento an all-American experience, showcasing our history, culture and the celebration of our “Old West” heritage. From our role in the great California Gold Rush and the great American migration to America’s greatest pastime, Sacramento is a true slice of Americana.
Here are 10 Sacramento-area attractions that will show you the best of the Old West, American traditions and all the latest fads.
Sutter’s Fort - See what was once called the “capital” of a settlement known today as Sacramento. Established in 1839 by John A. Sutter, a German-born Swiss entrepreneur, Sutter’s Fort marks a pivotal point in the history of California and westward migration. The fort was a self-sufficient community that served as Sacramento’s original commerce center, offering supplies and rest to pioneers coming west. Learn about life in this settlement through costumed reenactments and interactive displays.
Marshall Gold Discovery State Park - Stand in the exact spot where John Marshall discovered gold in 1848, setting off one of the most significant migrations the world has ever seen. The tiny town of Coloma, with its various Gold Rush-era structures and cemetery, is located about an hour east of downtown Sacramento.
- Old Sacramento - Step back in time to the days of the Gold Rush. Against the Sacramento River as a backdrop and set amongst recreated or restored Gold Rush-era buildings, wooden plank sidewalks and horse-drawn carriages are more than 125 boutique shops, restaurants, attractions and museums – all within walking distance of several downtown Sacramento hotels.
- Military Museum – Located within Old Sacramento and other downtown Sacramento attractions, this museum is the official military museum and historical research center of the State of California. The museum houses more than 33,000 artifacts and a substantial library of archives focusing on California’s rich, but sometimes unknown, military history.
- Caifornia State Railroad Museum - Learn about the building of the Transcontinental Railroad and how trains have shaped people's lives, the economy and the unique culture of California and the West. With 21 meticulously restored locomotives and cars, the museum is widely regarded as one of North America’s finest and most visited railroad museums.
- Sacramento History Museum - The Gold Rush is only part of the story. The Sacramento History Museum is a reproduction of the 1854 City Hall and Waterworks. It explores Sacramento’s city founders, the Gold Rush, industry and more.
- Sacramento Wineries – California is known the world over for its superb wines, and some of its finest are made right here in Sacramento. From the rustic California Delta to the oak tree-dotted foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Sacramento’s wine region is one of the most diverse and scenic you’ll find anywhere.
- California State Capitol – California’s economy is one of the 10 largest economies in the world. Laws made in Sacramento play a major part in American politics. Learn what makes California’s capital tick at the California State Capitol. Opened to visitors in 1869, the State Capitol features changing museum exhibits and historical rooms offering a view into California’s political past while the rest of the building acts as a “living museum.”
- Raley Field – You can’t get a better American experience that sitting back and enjoying America’s pastime. Raley Field is the home of the 2008 PCL Champions the River Cats, and it is located within walking distance of Old Sacramento, downtown dining and downtown Sacramento hotels.
- Shopping – We love to shop in America, and Sacramento is home to a variety of shopping destinations that offer a variety of stores to please all types of shoppers. From big box classic American mall stores to locally owned specialty stores to high-end designer shops, we have it all here in Sacramento.