A US National Historic Landmark District, Old Sacramento sits on the east bank of the Sacramento River and offers a glimpse of California history dating back to the Gold Rush and early days of the railroad. Occupying 28 acres (11 hectares), this area offers historical architecture, museums, and activities.
Visitors to Old Sacramento explore dozens of attractions, including the California State Railroad Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento History Museum, and the Pony Express Monument. Activities include horse and carriage rides and the Suspects Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre aboard the Delta King Riverboat, which has been converted into a hotel. This area also offers plenty of saloons, restaurants, and shops. A selection of tours are run by the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Old Sacramento is ideal for families and history buffs.
- The visitors’ center on 2nd Street offers information about Old Sacramento and the greater region.
- The district spans 8 blocks, so wear comfortable shoes.
How to Get There
Old Sacramento is located right off Interstate 5 (take the J Street exit) and a couple of blocks from the Sacramento Valley Amtrak station. It’s easily accessible for visitors arriving by train or by car. The Sacramento River Bike Trail runs along the waterfront.
When to Get There
Old Sacramento’s shops are generally open from late morning to early evening. Most eateries offer lunch and dinner, and several stay open until late. The area’s signature event, Gold Rush Days, takes place on Labor Day weekend (early September). Other events include ghost tours during the days leading up to Halloween and a Christmas tree lighting ceremony to kick off the holiday season.
California State Capitol Museum
After exploring Old Sacramento, head 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) southeast to the California State Capitol Museum for additional insight into California’s heritage. Artwork, historical items, and memorials are on display in the 19th-century building and its tree-filled Capitol Park.