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Trees, rivers, and a lot of California history are part of the atmosphere in Sacramento, a city whose rustic landmarks and natural beauty point to its own unique place in the American story. Home to landmarks from Sutter's Fort to the State Capitol and the California State Fair, the city has been welcoming visitors since the days of the Gold Rush. With all that heritage, there’s no shortage of things to do in Sacramento. It doesn't hurt that you're surrounded by one of the greenest urban spaces in America, with a climate that wouldn't be out of place in the Mediterranean.
With just enough high-rises to make a nice skyline, Sacramento’s central business district includes City Hall, the California State Capitol, and the Sacramento Convention Center. That concentration of meeting rooms has attracted its share of Sacramento hotels, whose guests flock to the outdoor mall at Westfield Downtown Plaza and the more than 4 miles (6.5 km) of waterfront that stretches along the Sacramento and American rivers.
Just east of the city center, Midtown holds some of the Sacramento’s oldest neighborhoods. Victorian homes line orderly streets near landmarks like Sutter's Fort, and bicycle paths lead all the way out to the suburbs. The diverse community counts artists, musicians, and more than the usual share of state legislators among its residents, and its Lavender Heights neighborhood is the historic home of Sacramento's LGBT community.
Named for the city park that anchors one of Sacramento's bigger stretches of green space, Land Park's well-shaded avenues are a good example of how the City of Trees got its nickname. The Sacramento Zoo and a pair of amusement parks fill out the space among the woods.
One of most recent parts of the city to be developed, Natomas is home to Sleep Train Arena, San Diego International Airport, and plenty of outdoor space. North Natomas Regional Park features a network of trails and grassy fields, with dog parks and open spaces for the Central California wildlife.
Fruit trees and gold helped to put Sacramento on the map, and you can still find signs of the 19th-century boom. The old colony of Sutter's Fort still stands at the edge of Midtown, while the cobbled streets and steamboats of Old Sacramento would look familiar to a visitor from the 1860s. And with a population closer to that of Portland than Los Angeles, the city has plenty of room left for the biggest tree canopy in the United States.
State capitals tend to attract a wealth of historic monuments and museums, and a state like California has plenty of heritage to explore. The Crocker Art Museum hosts the oldest public art collection in the western United States, while the California State Railroad Museum celebrates the city's place at the end of the Transcontinental Railroad. You can take a look through California history at the State Capitol Museum, or at more than a century's worth of vintage cars at the California Automobile Museum.
If the weather's too nice for you to stay indoors, then there's plenty to do in the open air. You can board a heritage train car for a ride on the Sacramento Southern Railroad, take a cruise on the Sacramento River or take a food tour to see how the city got its reputation for trendy farm-to-table dishes. Out past the suburbs, you can go for a swim at Granite Bay Beach or take a hike in the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, and you're just a quick drive away from the Napa Valley or the whitewater rapids on the Sacramento River.
You'll find loads of fun activities to do with your kids in and near Sacramento. Keep the crew happy with our family friendly experiences.
There's no need to run your credit card hot in Sacramento. The following won't cost a red cent.
Wells Fargo History Museum - Jam-packed with fascinating displays and objects, this place is heaven for curious minds.
William Land Park - Plenty of fun awaits at this enjoyable place.
California Department of Parks and Recreation - If you're an admirer of modern-day architecture, add this attraction to your must-see list.
Libby's Cannery - If you're planning to explore the area's history through its landmarks, mark this one down on your itinerary.
Sutter General Hospital - Look up your guidebook and find out why this place is worth adding to your itinerary.
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament - Get in touch with your spiritual side or simply savor the peaceful ambiance at this site of worship.
Loch Leven Lakes Trail - Let nature's rugged beauty calm your soul.
Cesar Chavez Park - Whether you know your apple trees from azaleas, you'll find beauty in this gorgeous display.
Known for its abundant dining options and interesting museums, there's plenty to explore in Downtown Sacramento. Top attractions like Golden1Center and California State Capitol are major draws, and you can catch the metro at 8th & H/County Center Station or 7th & I/County Center Station to see more of the city.
Soak up the good weather (and get a little exercise at the same time) with some of these top activities:
A Indoor Skydiving Experience is an awesome indoor activity to try if the weather isn't behaving.
If you want to explore the best of this destination, add these attractions to your itinerary:
Get ready for some frugal fun with a Historic River Cruise on the Sacramento River or a Sacramento Rock the Yacht Cruise on the Sacramento River.
Your time away in Sacramento needn't break the bank with free things like these on offer: