Top Highlights: Best Things About Sacramento

best things about sacramento

Welcome to Sacramento, the capital of California! I’m excited to share with you the best things about this vibrant city and the must-see attractions that make it a top destination for travelers. From historic landmarks to outdoor adventures, Sacramento has something for everyone. So, let’s dive into the top highlights and explore the best of what this city has to offer.

Key Takeaways

  • Sacramento offers a vibrant cultural scene and a multitude of must-see attractions.
  • The California State Railroad Museum showcases the rich history of the railroad industry.
  • Explore the impressive Neoclassical architecture and preserved rooms at the California State Capitol.
  • The Crocker Museum of Art houses an impressive collection of California and European art.
  • Discover Sacramento’s history through the charming Old Sacramento district with its Gold Rush-era buildings.

California State Railroad Museum

The California State Railroad Museum is a must-visit destination for railway enthusiasts and history buffs. As one of the world’s largest railway museums, it boasts over 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, housing a fascinating collection of restored steam locomotives and railway coaches dating back to the 1800s and mid-1900s.

Step inside the museum and immerse yourself in the rich history of the railroad industry and its significant impact on California. The exhibits showcase the evolution of locomotives, the development of railroads, and the stories of the people who helped shape the state’s transportation system.

With its authentic and detailed displays, the museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the heyday of the railroad era. From beautifully preserved vintage trains to interactive exhibits, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and learn from.

For families and young visitors, the California State Railroad Museum provides engaging educational programs that bring the past to life. Kids can participate in hands-on activities and learn about the engineering marvels behind the historic trains.

During the summer months, the museum even operates steam locomotive and diesel train rides, allowing visitors to experience the thrill of riding on these historic marvels firsthand. It’s a chance to step back in time and imagine what it was like to travel by train in the golden age of railroading.

So, if you’re a fan of railways, a history enthusiast, or simply looking for an intriguing and educational experience, make sure to visit the California State Railroad Museum. It’s an absolute gem for anyone interested in exploring the fascinating world of railway history and historic exhibits.

California State Railroad Museum

State Capitol

The California State Capitol building is a prime example of Neoclassical architecture and serves as the center of state government. As you step inside, you’ll be transported back in time to a place rich with history and significance. The intricate details and grandeur of the building are truly awe-inspiring.

One of the highlights of visiting the California State Capitol is the opportunity to take a free self-guided tour. As you wander through the corridors and chambers, you’ll have the chance to explore preserved rooms that hold a wealth of history. Step into the governor’s office, where important decisions have been made, and the treasurer’s office, where financial matters are managed.

California State Capitol

Surrounding the Capitol building is the serene and picturesque Capitol Park. The park is a beautiful green space that offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Take a leisurely stroll through the park and admire the various monuments and gardens it has to offer.

One of the most notable features of Capitol Park is the World Peace Rose Garden, where vibrant roses bloom in a stunning array of colors. It’s a symbol of peace and tranquility in the heart of the city. Adjacent to the rose garden is the Vietnam War Memorial, a solemn tribute to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in service to their country.

Key Features of the State Capitol:

  • Neoclassical architecture
  • Preserved historic rooms
  • Free self-guided tours
  • Governor’s office
  • Treasurer’s office
  • Capitol Park
  • World Peace Rose Garden
  • Vietnam War Memorial

Visiting the California State Capitol is a must for anyone interested in California’s rich history and neoclassical architecture. The combination of the breathtaking building, historic rooms, and serene surroundings make for an unforgettable experience.

Crocker Museum of Art

The Crocker Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for art lovers in Sacramento. Located in a grand Victorian-era mansion, the museum houses an impressive collection of California art, spanning from the Gold Rush era to the present day. From stunning landscapes to mesmerizing portraits, this collection showcases the diversity and talent of local artists.

Crocker Art Museum

In addition to its focus on California art, the Crocker Museum also features a remarkable collection of European paintings, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich artistic heritage of the continent. From Renaissance masterpieces to modernist works, these paintings provide a comprehensive overview of European art movements.

The museum’s commitment to diverse art forms extends beyond paintings. Visitors will also find a captivating collection of American photography, capturing significant moments in history and evoking powerful emotions. Additionally, the museum features international ceramics, showcasing the versatility and craftsmanship of artists from around the world.

Not only does the Crocker Museum offer a treasure trove of art, but it also hosts a variety of exhibitions that combine historical and contemporary works. Whether you’re captivated by traditional techniques or inspired by cutting-edge installations, there is always something unique to discover at the museum.

For those looking to deepen their understanding of art, the museum provides educational programs and art classes. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, these programs offer a chance to expand your knowledge and hone your skills in a supportive environment.

Visiting the Crocker Museum of Art is an enriching experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the vibrant world of California and European art. With its stunning collection and commitment to artistic expression, this museum is a true gem that should not be missed.

Old Sacramento

Old Sacramento is a charming historic district located in the heart of the city, offering a captivating journey back in time. This vibrant area showcases the incredible Gold Rush-era buildings and provides an immersive experience into Sacramento’s rich history.

Visitors to Old Sacramento can explore over 50 well-preserved historic buildings, each telling its own unique story. Step inside the iconic Eagle Theater, which was one of the first theaters to open west of the Mississippi River. Marvel at the architectural masterpiece of the B.F. Hastings Building, a four-story red brick structure that served as the headquarters of one of California’s first major law firms.

The historic district is a delight to wander through, with its cobblestone streets and rustic charm. As you stroll along, you’ll discover a myriad of shops and boutiques where you can find unique souvenirs and handcrafted items. Take a break at one of the local restaurants and indulge in delicious cuisine, ranging from traditional American fare to international flavors.

For an even deeper appreciation of Old Sacramento’s past, be sure to visit the various museums in the area. Immerse yourself in the history of the Gold Rush at the Sacramento History Museum, or delve into the city’s maritime heritage at the California State Railroad Museum.

Activities in Old Sacramento:

  • Take a charming horse-drawn carriage ride through the historic streets.
  • Embark on a scenic riverboat excursion along the Sacramento River.

Old Sacramento is a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike. Its timeless beauty and preserved historical sites make it a must-visit spot for those seeking a glimpse into Sacramento’s fascinating past.

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is a fascinating living history museum that takes you back to the pioneer days in California. This historic park is a recreation of the first outpost established by Johann August Sutter in 1839.

The fort played a significant role during the Gold Rush and is a testament to the pioneer history of the region. As you explore the park, you’ll have the opportunity to step inside the restored adobe house and see the replica fort that is filled with artifacts from the pioneering and gold rush era.

One of the highlights of visiting Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is the chance to embark on self-guided tours. Discover the history of the fort and its impact on California as you stroll through its corridors and rooms. The park offers a unique glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of early pioneers.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious to learn more about California’s pioneer history, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is a must-visit destination. Immerse yourself in the past and gain a deeper understanding of the hardships and achievements of those who shaped the region.

Local Wineries

Sacramento is a haven for wine and craft beer lovers, with a variety of local wineries and breweries to explore. Whether you’re a connoisseur or simply looking to indulge in some wine tasting, Sacramento has something for everyone.


Discover the world of Sacramento wineries as you embark on tours and tastings at some of the region’s finest establishments. Revolution Winery & Kitchen is a popular choice, offering a selection of handcrafted wines made from locally sourced grapes. With its trendy atmosphere and knowledgeable staff, it’s the perfect place to expand your palate.

Acheson Wine Company is another must-visit winery. Known for their small-batch, artisanal wines, they pride themselves on quality and taste. Explore their elegant tasting room and sample their award-winning wines, crafted with passion and expertise.

Craft Breweries

If you prefer craft beer, Sacramento’s craft breweries won’t disappoint. Track 7 has gained a loyal following with its wide range of beer styles, from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts. Their commitment to quality and innovation shines through in every pint.

For a unique experience, check out Big Sexy Brewing Company. With its eclectic selection of brews, including seasonal and experimental flavors, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste buds. Their passion for crafting exceptional beers is evident in every sip.

Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or a beer aficionado, Sacramento offers an array of wineries and craft breweries to satisfy your cravings. Take the time to explore these local gems and immerse yourself in the flavors of the region.


Exploring Sacramento offers an array of memorable experiences and attractions that cater to diverse interests. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or an outdoor adventurer, this vibrant city has something for everyone.

Delve into Sacramento’s rich history and cultural landmarks, such as the California State Railroad Museum, which takes you on a journey back in time through its fascinating exhibits of restored locomotives and railway coaches. The State Capitol, with its Neoclassical architecture and preserved historic rooms, offers a glimpse into the heart of California’s state government.

If you’re passionate about art, the Crocker Museum of Art showcases a remarkable collection of California and European artworks, showcasing the region’s creative legacy. And for those seeking a taste of the past, Old Sacramento, with its Gold Rush-era buildings, provides an immersive experience of the city’s history.

Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the picturesque Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, which offers self-guided tours that bring pioneer history to life. And to top it all off, Sacramento’s local wineries and craft breweries provide a delightful selection of beverages to savor and enjoy.

So, whether you’re strolling through historic districts, marveling at art masterpieces, or sipping fine wines, Sacramento is filled with highlights that will captivate your imagination. Plan your trip to this charming city, and embark on an unforgettable journey exploring Sacramento’s wonders.


What are the best things about Sacramento?

Sacramento offers a vibrant cultural scene, historic landmarks, outdoor adventures, and a diverse food and drink scene.

What are some must-see attractions in Sacramento?

Some must-see attractions in Sacramento include the California State Railroad Museum, the State Capitol, the Crocker Museum of Art, Old Sacramento, and Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park.

What can I expect to see at the California State Railroad Museum?

The California State Railroad Museum showcases restored steam locomotives and railway coaches from the 1800s to the mid-1900s. It also offers immersive exhibits on the history of the railroad industry in California.

Can I visit the State Capitol in Sacramento?

Yes, visitors can take free self-guided tours of the California State Capitol, where they can explore preserved rooms such as the governor’s office and the treasurer’s office.

What kind of artwork does the Crocker Museum of Art exhibit?

The Crocker Museum of Art houses an impressive collection of California art, including works from the Gold Rush era to the present. It also features European paintings, American photography, and international ceramics.

What is Old Sacramento known for?

Old Sacramento is a historic district that showcases the city’s Gold Rush-era buildings. It offers a glimpse into Sacramento’s past and is filled with shops, restaurants, and museums.

What can I expect to see at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park?

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is a living history museum that recreates the first outpost of the white man in California. Visitors can explore the restored adobe house and the replica fort, which offers self-guided tours and displays artifacts from the pioneering and gold rush period.

Are there any wineries or breweries in Sacramento?

Yes, Sacramento is home to several local wineries and craft breweries. Visitors can take tours and participate in wine tastings at wineries such as Revolution Winery & Kitchen and Acheson Wine Company. Craft breweries like Track 7 and Big Sexy Brewing Company also offer a variety of unique brews to sample.

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