Historic and endlessly charming, Old Sacramento stands like a time capsule back to the era of the California Gold Rush and the Transcontinental Railroad. Designated as both a National Historic Landmark and a State Historic Landmark, there is no shortage of history within. Its presence can be felt in everything from the period architecture, transportation, the dining, and even the shops. Old riverboats dot the Sacramento River, and horse-drawn carriages line the streets alongside the railroad.
Over centuries of time the area has been prone both to disaster and success, having been the site of fires and floods while also acting as a major economic and trade area. Today it is full of novelty shops, restaurants, saloons, an old schoolhouse, and exhibits. Many of its buildings offer treats from the past, including saltwater taffy and vintage toys. Visitors can also check out the California Railroad Museum located in the area. A wooden plank sidewalk offers the perfect opportunity to take a stroll and take it all in.
Getting to Old Sacramento is easy by any means — it’s beside the Amtrak station and accessible by bike trail, bus, boat, and car (for which the exit is J Street.) Shop and restaurant hours vary, but are generally open after 10 am and until evening hours. It is walking distance from many of the other downtown Sacramento sights.