Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Old Sacramento

It might be considered a bit cheesy and a little touristy-- but if you live in Sacramento, or are visiting, you should take the opportunity to go back in time and visit a little place called Old Sacramento.

Photo Source: Trip Advisor

This part of town lines the Sacramento River downtown, but it's a bit hidden behind the modern-day city.  Once you turn on Front Street and round the corner, you're transported back into the Mid-19th Century complete with cobblestone roads and a wooden boardwalk along the river.  You could spend an entire day exploring the shops and museums.

Honestly, this is our go-to place to take people visiting from out of town because there's something for everyone.  So if you're interested, I've put together a list of things to checkout if you find yourself in Old Sacramento.

The State Railroad Museum

This is by-far one of our favorite museums in Sacramento (not that we've been to many).  If you didn't know, California's capital city has a very rich train history.  In fact, the Western portion of the transcontinental railroad started here.  The museum is full of awesome history.  I recommend taking the tour-- the guides are incredibly knowledgeable, and it's really interesting to learn about Sacramento's rich train history.

The museum is also full of different styles of train cars, which you can walk through and exhibits upstairs about high-speed rail and other train-centric topics.  There's also a movie about the development of the transcontinental railroad.  You could easily spend an entire morning here.

In the spring and summer time, you can take a ride in a steam engine along the river.  The train ride is sponsored by the museum, and I recommend it if you have the time.  It's a fun little ride, and you get to learn a little more about the city's rich train history.

For pricing information, click here.

Other Museums to Check Out

Old Sacramento is home to several museums and historical displays.  We haven't hit them all up, but there are a few others I will recommend if you're planning to spend the day there.  The Wells Fargo History Museum gives you a look into the 1800's and the history of the bank, and how important it was in the west.  It's free, and a fun little stop.

Next door to Wells Fargo is the visitor's center.  It's home to some pretty interesting artifacts, including an old stage coach-- which is worth the stop just to look at.  You can also get some fun information about the surrounding area.

When you're done there, take a walk to the riverfront and walk around the Delta King.  It's a refurbished 1927-era riverboat, that now acts as a floating hotel and restaurant.    It's a cool place to walk around, and if you get hungry-- the restaurant is good and has a great view of the river.

Underground Sacramento Tour

Photo Sources: Sacramento History Museum

We've been on several underground city tours-- so I was expecting something a bit different when my parents came to visit, and we decided to take them on the underground tour of Old Sacramento.  The tour isn't technically underground, it's underneath several buildings that had to be built up because they were in the direct path of a flood plain.

The tour is full of interesting facts about Sacramento's history, and you get to wear these neat headphones so you can hear everything the tour guide is saying, which gives you more of an opportunity to wander around and look at things while you listen to the tour.

For pricing information, click here.

Shops & Restaurants

There are some pretty cool shops and restaurants to checkout once you're done with your history lessons at the nearby museums.  There are just a handful I am going to share with you, but I encourage anyone visiting to checkout the shops.

The Chef's Olive Mix.  We stumbled in here when Jason's mom and step dad came to visit.  It's full of different olive oils and vinegars to try.  It sounds a little gross, and I thought it was at first-- but it's actually pretty fun.  And the prices are pretty affordable.  For more information, click the link here.

Fat City Bar & Cafe.  Good food, good space-- what more do you need?

Rio City Cafe.  The first place I ate on my first visit to Sacramento for my job interview.  The food is good, and it's right on the river.

Danny's Mini-Donuts.  We stopped in here on a whim, when my sister-in-law and her friends came down for a visit.  These little bastards are delicious, especially the cinnamon sugar ones.  Delicious.

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