In 2013, we asked followers of our newsletters and blogs to submit their favorite tourism experiences in Sacramento. We received responses from all over the nation as well as some international submissions. People told us about their experiences at Sacramento museums, attractions and hotels. From family travel to rediscovering familiar places to learning about all new places, we thoroughly enjoyed reading all submissions. There was a common theme throughout most of the submissions: Sacramento is a great and affordable tourist destination with world-class museums, restaurants and attractions. From family and educational travel to romantic weekend getaways to getaways with friends, a visit to Sacramento can create vacation memories that can last a lifetime.
Take a look at some of the top submissions we received. A winner was chosen each month, starting in March of 2013. Monthly winners received a VIP Pass to several Sacramento museums and attractions. And we are proud to announce our Grand Prize Winner. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a 2-night stay in a Sacramento hotel, dinner for 2 and an additional Sacramento VIP pass.
And the Grand Prize Winner is…
Mountain View, Calif.
My husband and I decided to take our five year-old son on a weekend adventure to Sacramento last April. We took the Capitol Corridor train from the Great American Station (near the new 49ers stadium) in Santa Clara. The train was very comfortable and had free WI-FI. It was interesting to see birds and marshland as we made our way toward the city. At the Sacramento station, we disembarked and walked just a half block to the California State Railroad Museum. Our son loved walking through the old trains and playing with the Thomas the Tank Engine toys upstairs. Afterward, we had a delicious meal in Old Sacramento and spent the night in a nice hotel accessible through a short pedestrian tunnel. The next day we walked back through Old Sacramento toward the Sacramento River and boarded the Empress Hornblower for a Sunday brunch cruise. It was a beautiful, sunny day and everyone enjoyed sailing up and down the river. When our time in Sacramento was done, we headed back to the station and soon everyone took a short nap on the train ride home. We now have a membership to the Railroad Museum and are making plans for our next visit! P.S. Our picture shows me and my son Ryan Albert aboard the Empress Hornblower.
Check out some of the great submissions from our other monthly winners.
Every six months, my husband and I travel from Redding, Calif., with our daughter to the SacAnime convention. We stay at one of the many hotels that Sacramento has to offer. It gives her the opportunity to enjoy a unique and fun event and gives us the opportunity to explore Sacramento. We haven't run out of places to go.
We have explored the Governor's Mansion, Sutter's Fort, Thunder Valley Casino, Old Sacramento, and have eaten at many of the delicious restaurants. We have attended Gold Rush Days twice and intend on going back many more times. We look forward to making a new itinerary every time that we plan to travel to Sacramento.
Next on our agenda is going on the Sacramento River Cruise, the Crocker Art Museum, and the Crest Theatre. Sacramento has so many places to see. We intend to see them all!
Our 5 year old grandson watches everything he can about trains on television, sometimes the same show twice a day. I decided to find a place we could take the Amtrak to see more trains. The obvious place after doing research was Sacramento. We had a very nice hotel within walking distance from the Amtrak station and Old Sacramento. We spent three days in Old Sacramento and one day at the Capitol. The highlight of the trip was a ride on the steam excursion train, but when our grandson found out they were using a diesel engine, he was crushed and told us he was not going to go on the train. We talked him into going and purchased first class tickets. He was able to stand on the observation deck at the back of the parlour car and was totally enthralled when he found out the engine was going to couple to our end of the train. That is his favorite part of trains at the moment. We really enjoyed the California State Railroad Museum. Our trip was something we will all remember for a long time, and maybe (hopefully) we will return to explore more of the city soon, because there is so much more to see and do.
My first visit to Sacramento was last November, when I came to do historical research on an architect who, in 1919, had moved from my hometown in Michigan to Sacramento to continue his career. During our 5-day visit we stayed in a downtown hotel near many of the places I needed to visit for my research, including the State Archives, libraries and the Center for Sacramento History.
I was amazed at how beautiful the city was. We were able to find all we needed within a few blocks of our hotel and each day, discovered many points of interest in between our destinations. As a historian, Old Sacramento State Historic Park intrigued me. The gardener in me found Capitol Park especially lovely. I was fascinated by the variety of unusual trees, the beautiful gardens, impressive memorials, and how well kept the park was. I enjoyed my visit to Sacramento a great deal, and now understand why the subject of my research loved the city too. I will definitely return for another visit.
Los Altos, Calif.
My favorite memory of a trip to Sacramento was when we took a long weekend trip to Sacramento to celebrate my daughter's tenth birthday. She and I used to watch Biba Caggiano's TV cooking show together every week. So, when I knew we'd be in Sacramento for my daughter's birthday, I booked a table for dinner at Biba's to celebrate. But I kept it secret, telling her that we were just going to find a low-key chain restaurant once we arrived in Sacramento. When we arrived at Biba's and were greeted by Biba herself, it was the highlight of my daughter's weekend. Biba was so warm and friendly. She took the time to make my daughter feel special - even though she was one of the youngest guests at the restaurant that evening. We'd love to go back to Biba's!
My wife and I love to visit Sacramento. We live in Fresno and when we want to get away, we like to stay in Old Sacramento. The people, the shops and the restaurants are fantastic. We especially love the history of Old Sacramento and the look and feel from the time of the Gold Rush era.
Every year for the last few years, I've come to Sacramento for the California Capital Airshow with my family. Previously, we only made a day trip of it. Last year, we stayed the entire weekend. We attended the air show Saturday, which was spectacular. On Sunday we went to Old Sacramento and the California State Railroad Museum. My 15 year old son didn't know learning some California history could be so much fun. My family and I had an amazing time, and the people we met were very friendly and accommodating. I will be back again this year. I look forward to seeing something new and making more great memories. My photo is a picture of my son in the cockpit at the air show last year, 2012.
For the past several years, I have been coming to Sacramento for the holiday surrounding Thanksgiving, because I have family members living nearby that I join on Thanksgiving Day. So I am always looking for great things to do in Sacramento. Last year, I saw an ad for the California Automobile Museum, which was featuring a specially curated display called "1968." I have nostalgia for that era, since that was in my college days when I was driving and for the first time and had the independence that the American dream of the automobile supports.
The docent showed me that all the cars are displayed along a path showing the automobile's historical development from the horse and buggy era to the present day. The docent was remarkably knowledgeable and passionate about cars, their designs, the evolution of their technological development, and their beauty. He was so loaded with fascinating facts and explanations of trends and relationships that I didn't want my time with him to end. It seemed he could answer any question, and the more answers he gave, the more questions I wanted to ask. Our intense conversation lasted so long that we had gone way past the end of his "shift." Even so, we talked on for yet another half hour! I highly recommend people taking advantage of the presence of this wonderful museum with all their gorgeous cars from every era. And since the museum owns more cars than they have room to display, you can go there again and again to see the other cars that they rotate into the display. And for sure, have a docent take you around (it doesn't cost any more). A docent like this will turbocharge the experience of your day there.
Essex, United Kingdom
Sacramento does not get enough prominence in the tourist information that we get about California, here in the UK. This is a great pity, as we discovered on our recent 4 night visit. There is so much to see and do, we could have spent much longer with you. The attached photo fails to capture my excitement at seeing Tower Bridge rise. Now I know how American tourists feel when they see our London Tower Bridge opening! We loved Capitol Park. We grow roses in our garden and were able to appreciate the beautiful rose garden dedicated to peace. Next to the rose garden, the Vietnam memorial gave us sobering pause to contemplate the hundreds of Californians who did not return. A guided tour of the impressive Capitol building provided insights into state political procedures and a contrast to our own.
St. Helens, Ore.
I was born in Sacramento, but I was raised in Portland, Ore. When I was younger, we only visited relatives and never did any sightseeing. Now I am retired, and I was able to come as a tourist to see Sacramento. I was very impressed with your museums, the Capitol and its grounds, and Old Sacramento. I was especially impressed that my friend Mary from Nevada (who met me here for this adventure) and I were able to do our own walking tour to see everything. The admission prices to your museums are wonderful -from free to $10 - and your museums are wonderful. All the volunteer guides were so knowledgeable, and it is easy to tell they love what they do! My favorites were the International Peace Rose Garden (still in full bloom in October), Sutter’s Fort, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the California State Capitol, and the Leland Stanford Mansion. Oh, I almost forgot the Cactus Garden.
An outstanding place to eat is the TreyBcakes Gourmet Bakery on L Street. The service and food are outstanding. Best bacon/cheese/avocado burger and cupcakes ever made! I hope to visit again soon, because I know there is a lot more to see in Sacramento.
We would like to thank everyone who submitted a Sacramento tourism experience. Feel free to continue to email us with your favorite vacation experiences in Sacramento. And begin your next (or first) trip to Sacramento by visiting our website - www.VisitSacramento.com.