Sacramento is the Capital of California. It is not the largest city, with a population of just 500,000, but has many places to visit for a family vacation. Sacramento has hot summers with an average temperature of 94 degrees during the summer months. The City is steeped in history and is home to a number of excellent museums.
In this article we have listed our favorite places to go in Sacramento. Of course these are just a few selected highspots. Sacramento has so much more to offer.
Every city has certain key attractions that visitors are encouraged to visit, and Sacramento is bo different. Here are three of the top attractions that Sacramento has to offer families who are visiting the city.
You can find Sacramento Zoo in the beautiful Land Park just south of the center of the city. The Sacramento zoo is a respected institution that always puts animal welfare first, so you can pay a visit knowing that the animals are looked after properly. You will find all the regular activities that can be enjoyed at the zoo, I recommend that you do not mis feeding the giraffes, watching the antics of the primates, and of course seeing the majestic lions. Sacramento Zoo is a non-profit organization and is open 9am to 4pm .
If you have children in your party and you want to give them some time to play and use their imaginations, then Fairytale land is the ideal place to come. Kids can climb a treehouse, experience capturing a castle, be a and pirate on a pirate ship, and sail the oceans. That is just a couple of the numerous play opportunities at this wonderful attraction that has enchanted Sacramentans for 60 years. There are over 26 play sets to inspire them, farm animals to charm them, and two performances stages to enjoy.
Explorit Science Center
The Sacramento Explorit Center is the perfect place to inspire your child to take an interest in Science and Nature. At Explorit you will find a range of hands on activities that your child can participate in. They have educators available to assist your child and help them explore this science wonderland. They have a regularly changing main exhibit and other activities that are sure to keep your child stimulated.
Enjoy Adventure Outdoors
Sacramento enjoys a wonderful climate with long hot summers, just perfect for getting out and about with the family. Here are some of the places you can go to enjoy while you get your share of the wonderful fresh air as well
Mother Lode Visitor Center
Who can resist a whitewater rafting trip? At the Mother Lode river visitor center you will find a range of experiences that range from gentle family orientated outings to exhilarating Class IV plus rapids. There is something for everyone. . You will also find a challenging ropes course and zip-line to supplement the rafting. It’s a camp with hot showers and full kitchens where you can stay in a safety conscious yet fun environment that is environmentally friendly. Go on a weekday and you may pick up some discounts. It is an absolutely memorable place to visit to enjoy some adventure.
Visit the challenge center at Peak Adventures for an exciting high ropes course. The center features The Multiline, Up and Over Wall, Climbing wall, the dive, the Dangle Duo, and the Cargo Net. All these exciting activities to get the adrenaline flowing. There are over 20 elements from between one foot and forty foot from the ground.
Raging Waters is Sacramento’s largest water park. Just perfect for cooling off on those long hot summer days. The park has been established for over 30 years and comprises over 25 family friendly attractions. Be sure not to miss the 800ft Lazy River, and one of the original wave pools sets up un Califiornia. No time to get bored with over 20 water slides to master, Raging waters also has a variety of options for refreshments. Take advantage of the “All summer souvenir cup.” Buy this cup once and for the rest of the summer get free refills. Raging Waters is a great venue for family fun.
Sacramento has lots of golf facilities and you are sure to find a welcome when visiting Sacramento. The following courses are highly recommended
Eating & Drinking
One of the great things about leisure time and staycations, is the opportunity to relax and enjoy new places to eat and drink. Sacramento has no shortage of places to choose from. Her are some of the best.
Delta King – Authentic Riverboat Experience
Delta King is a stern-wheel steamboat that is over 285-feet-long. After a career sailing between Sacramento and San Francisco, she was retired, served a brief military career, and spent some time in British Columbia, before returning to Sacramento. She now serves as a hotel, restaurant, and venue. You can fid the Delta King moored downtown. For an authentic historic riverboat experience you should not miss this venue. The restaurants are great and it is an amazing place to chill out with a glass of wine.
Scotts on the River
The concept for Scott’s Seafood Bar & Grill was put together in 1976 by three guys. It started out as a 40 seat restaurant, but has grown to incorporate a riverside tent, a ballroom, and event venue. Imagine enjoying fine food in the seasonal tent on the bank of the river as you enjoy the sound of the waterfront and the constant flow of river craft. The food is extremely well reviewed and is an experience in itself. If you come to Sacramento , you just have to dine here at least once during your stay.
Alaro Craft Brewery
The centrally located craft brewery may be found in the heart of midtown. This was the first craft brewery in the city and also the most recognized, with so many awards to its name. In addition to the restaurant there are three heated covered patios. With 30 years of brewing experience, the Alaro has produced some great beers. They have a range of IPA’s, Pilsners, Stouts, Ales, to tempt your pallette. They also have lagers and classic beer styles on offer. You really should not miss the opportunity to try their signature Castillo IPA, which took the gold medal at the Great American beer festival in 2018. The Alaro also has a Spanish style menu that really is so well acclaimed by the public. Try to find time to enjoy their Pulpo Gallego (Wild Spanish Octopus, and Gambas al Ajillo).
When they first built Sacramento, the built it too near the river and flooding was a constant problem. They tried solutions like raising the complete town, so the first floor became the ground floor, leaving the old streets underground (see the tour below). However, over time the old town was abandoned as a center and became a run down area with the New Sacramento rising a bit further away from the river.
Old Town Sacramento is just brimming with western history. Its story features gold rush miners, cowboys, merchants, and ladies of the night. The area is a cross between a theme park and an historical district, some say it feels a bit fake, but most of the building stretch back to the mid 1800s, and 75% of people who visit think it is quaint and nostalgic. Most of the buildings are very well-preserved but housed inside you will find modern restaurants, which for some spoils the effect.
Whatever you think of its authenticity, there is a lot to see and do in Old Town Sacremento and after all, we are discussing vacation activities so it is a have to visit destination.
Old Sacramento Waterfront
The Old Sacramento Waterfront has now become a destination in its own right. With over 125 shopping, dining, venues, and attractions, you can find it all in the Old Sacramento waterfront. You will find both history and fun in this exciting destination.
The Waterfront has a Variety of Attractions
- California State Railroad Museum: 21 restored locomotives and railroad cars. Learn how railroads connected California.
- California Automobile Museum: A collection of more than 100 of the best preserved antique vehicles.
- Underground Tour: Flooding was a problem, so they raised the town by one floor. Tour the original underground floor.
- Gold Fever Tour: An interactive tour that charts the people and places connected with the gold rush
- Riverboat Ride: A relaxing view from the river of Sacrament. Try the happy-hour cocktail cruise
- Anytime Virtual Tour: Sit back and explore the history of Sacramento
- Classic Coach Rides: departing from 1002 2nd Street.
- Train Rides: Excursion: To and From Front street Railroad Depot, travel alongside the river.
- Heart Arch: A Great Photo opportunity.
- Huntington & Hopkins Hardware: A Recreation of a 19th century Hardware Store.
- Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum: A replica of an old one room schoolhouse
- River City Queen: Luncheon Cruises, Dinner cruises, Cocktail Cruises and Private Hire
- Sac Brew Boat: Peddle powered party boat for 16 people, bring your own beer and peddle away.
- Sacramento History Museum: Reproduction of the 1854 city hall.
- Sacramento Southern Railroad: Steam powered excursions
- Top Hand Ranch: Luxury Carriage Rides.
- Underground After Hours Tour: Murder, mischief, madness, madams, and mayhem in Sacramento
- Waterfront Attractions: Classic rides in the waterfront park
Nightlife in Old Sacramento
- Fanny Ann’s Saloon: Sacramento’s Coldest Beer and Finest BurgersLunch to late-night (Front street)
- O’Mally’s Pub: A family owned bar with restaurant (2nd street)
- River city Saloon: Sacramento’s last old western saloon (2nd Street)
Sacramento City Nightlife
Let the fun continue well into the night with the vibrant Sacramento nightlife, There are some really good clubs and bars to enjoy. Do not forget to try The Shady Lady Saloon for a top rated venue.
- Back Door Lounge: Located in Firehouse alley the back Dooor Lounge has great skilled bartenders and live music, all contained within luxurious decor.
- Mecca Club: A Dive Bar in Sunset Avenue, features friendly staff and regulars with ice-cold drinks, and a great Karaoke Night.
- Mix Downtown: L. Street, Sacramento – State-of-the-art club, elevators to the roof where there are fire pits and heated lamps, and spacious bars. Go down to the dance floor and there you can dance the night away with spacious dance floor and intimate booths.
- The Shady Lady Saloon: R Street Sacremento – This joint is rated among the top 25 best bars in the USA – Plenty of live music, skilled staff producing classic cocktails, all with a top rated sound system.
Laughs Unlimited Comedy Club
This comedy club was established way back in 1980. This club is one of the premier comedy clubs in the USA and has featured some excellent acts over the years. The excellent standards of this club have resulted in it surviving as one of the longest running comedy clubs in the country. Many top comedians have been here (see the wall of shame). You will find the club in Front Street, Sacramento.
London Nightclub & Lounge
A top quality multi level nightclub and lounge located in 10th Street, built by one of the best general contractor Sacramento. It has a contemporary feel and attracts a chilled selection of regulars who dance the night away on the top floor dance area, and relax on the mezzanine floor and Euro lounge.
As you can see, Sacramento is just bursting with places to visit and is an ideal destination of a short break. There is so much to see and do, from children’s activities right through to the hottest nightclubs. There is something for everyone. Next time you are looking for somewhere to visit, then think about Sacramento.