Sacramento, CA

Travel Guide
Sacramento featuring heritage architecture and an administrative buidling
Go gold panning, admire historic architecture and explore fascinating museums in the capital of California, a city constructed on the funds from boomtown fortunes.

California’s capital, Sacramento, was built using fortunes made from gold mining. Come to the city today and you’ll sense that a gold rush-era atmosphere still endures. A strong cultural scene also thrives. Visit a wide range of museums and galleries devoted to such varied topics as train travel, famous Californian figures and Native American cultures that were almost erased by the rush of gold-seeking settlers in the mid 19th century.

The roots of modern-day Sacramento can be traced back to the California gold rush, which began in 1848. The discovery of gold in the nearby Sierra Foothills led to a mass influx of prospectors and the city was soon established.

Explore the Old Sacramento area near the port to soak up the old-world atmosphere and learn more about the wave of pioneers who arrived in search of their fortune. Shop for gold rush-inspired souvenirs in the shops, take a boat cruise along the Sacremento River and hop aboard a horse-drawn carriage.

Find out more about Sacramento’s early days in the area’s array of museums. Among the most notable are the California State Railroad Museum, the Sacramento History Museum, Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum and Huntington and Hopkins Hardware, a recreation of a 19th-century hardware store.

Of course, Sacramento’s history didn’t begin with the gold rush. Prior to this, the area was inhabited by Native Americans. Inspect artifacts and learn about the lives of the pre-gold rush inhabitants at the California State Indian Museum. The museum is adjacent to Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, where Swiss-German immigrant John Sutter set up a trading outpost in 1839., to view the state-owned art collection and the memorial-dotted grounds. Art lovers will also enjoy the Crocker Art Museum, with a 15,000-strong collection featuring everything from ceramics to Italian Baroque paintings to street photography.

Sacramento is located at the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers. Use buses, trolleys and light rail to get around town. To experience a more modern side of life in Sacramento, explore the hip Midtown district.

Where to stay in Sacramento

Courtyard by Marriott Sacramento Cal Expo
Courtyard by Marriott Sacramento Cal Expo
3 out of 5
1782 Tribute Road, Sacramento, CA, 95815
The price is $122 per night from Feb 5 to Feb 6
$122
per night
Feb 5 - Feb 6
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Sacramento. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and room service. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (1,093 reviews)
"Friendly staff, cleanliness, good location"

Reviewed on Jan 25, 2023

Courtyard by Marriott Sacramento Cal Expo
Residence Inn by Marriott Sacramento Airport Natomas
Residence Inn by Marriott Sacramento Airport Natomas
3 out of 5
2618 Gateway Oaks Drive, Sacramento, CA, 95833
The price is $134 per night from Feb 5 to Feb 6
$134
per night
Feb 5 - Feb 6
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Sacramento. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free train station pick-up. Our guests praise the helpful staff ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (1,045 reviews)
"All of the staff is wonderful. Everyone is so nice and helpful. I have stayed at many hotels all over the world. The staff here at the Residence Inn is by far the best."

Reviewed on Jan 26, 2023

Residence Inn by Marriott Sacramento Airport Natomas
Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown-Arena, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown-Arena, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
300 J St, Sacramento, CA, 95814
The price is $148 per night from Feb 12 to Feb 13
$148
per night
Feb 12 - Feb 13
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Sacramento. Enjoy free WiFi, an outdoor pool, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (1,031 reviews)
"room was a corner room and was smaller than expected but clean."

Reviewed on Jan 23, 2023

Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown-Arena, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
WHOLE Family - Crestline
WHOLE Family - Crestline
3 out of 5
4248 Crestline Ave, Fair Oaks, CA, 95628
Stay at this 3-star vacation home in Fair Oaks. Enjoy free WiFi. Popular attractions Sky High Sports and Nimbus Dam are located nearby. Discover genuine guest ...
1.7/5 (6 reviews)
"The steps were unsafe no rails, house furniture was dirty, room was not as promised per the pictures. I WILL NEVER BOOK WITH THESE CROOKS ever again"

Reviewed on Oct 22, 2022

WHOLE Family - Crestline
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Sacramento Cal Expo
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Sacramento Cal Expo
2.5 out of 5
1784 Tribute Rd, Sacramento, CA, 95815
Stay at this aparthotel in Sacramento. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and a 24-hour fitness center. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
4/5 Very Good! (1,060 reviews)
"Great staff, parking is limited and it’s $5 a day. We tripped on the sidewalk because there’s a huge crack on the cement. The rooms are clean, breakfast is good and kept very well stocked and clean by a lovely lady that was extremely caring and helpful."

Reviewed on Jan 23, 2023

TownePlace Suites by Marriott Sacramento Cal Expo
Harbinson House
Harbinson House
2 out of 5
2217 22nd St, Sacramento, CA, 95818
Stay at this residence in Sacramento. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and housekeeping. Popular attractions California Highway Patrol Headquarters and Thistle ...
5/5 Exceptional! (1 review)
"Overall great experience. The weather was really bad the night we stayed and the power went out while we were out in Sacramento. The owner stayed up for us and even had candles ready for when we returned to the house. Top notch service and great stay."

Reviewed on Jan 20, 2023

Harbinson House
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Sacramento

While some of the major attractions located downtown are within walking distance of one another, you will need access to a car to get the most out of Sacramento. There is a light railway and public buses, but these don’t offer the same flexibility as driving and you may feel limited if you rely on them. Rent a car from one of the rental companies located in the city center or get one at the airport. Visit the California Department of Transportation website.Browse Sacramento rental cars.

Best time to visit

May and June generally see Sacramento’s events calendar packed with festivals. However, visiting between May and September will mean enduring extreme heat, with daytime temperatures often in the 90s F (30s C). Visit in the late fall or the early spring for more moderate weather. You will still find the city filled with life in these seasons, even if there are fewer events to choose from.

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Things to do

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Cities near Sacramento