Take a stroll around the streets of Old Sacramento to admire artfully restored 19th-century buildings, visit historical attractions and learn about this area’s past as a thriving gold rush city. In the evening, head out and enjoy entertainment of a more modern variety in the lively town center.
Old Sacramento is a 28-acre (11-hectare) National Historic Landmark, packed with over 50 historical buildings. The area became populated around the time of the 1849 California Gold Rush, and a thriving town has existed here ever since. Today, the area combines several world-renowned historical attractions and museums with a modern town center.
Learn about the area’s history by visiting a couple of the excellent museums. At the Sacramento History Museum you can see diverse exhibits, including real gold found in the area and replicas of houses belonging to the early miners. Make sure you take one of the underground tours. After the floods of 1862, the whole town was raised to combat further damage and a fascinating network of tunnels and old relics were left below.
Stop in at the California State Railroad Museum to learn about the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Take a ride on the old train and tour one of the restored coaches.
Walk around the town and you will see numerous other historical buildings. Among the highlights is the Eagle Theater, which dates back to 1849 and still holds performances today. Also of note are the Big Four building and the B. F. Hastings building, which was once the home of the California Supreme Court.
Enjoy shopping in the area’s boutique stores or end your day with a drink and some dinner in one of the many restaurants and bars.
Old Sacramento is located in downtown Sacramento. It is a short walk from the central train station or an easy drive from most city locations. Be aware that many of the attractions charge a small entry fee and may have different opening times throughout the year.