Holidays are on the way, and so are your out-of-town visitors. They want to know what there is to see in Sacramento, and you get to direct them. No matter what their interests are, there will be something fun to do over the holidays. If it’s not directly in the city, it’s not far away. Here are some ideas for anyone heading in for the holidays.
California State Railroad Museum
125 I St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Out-of-town visitors really should take the time to see this beyond-awesome museum. The amount of California history here is staggering, and so are all of the train cars and especially the engines, some of which are behemoths from another age. This museum can be an all-day experience. It’s inside, so the weather doesn’t matter. Right out the door and across the parking lot is the Amtrak station, a perfect companion to the museum. The station, being rehabbed at this time, is a magnificent reminder of the days when the trains ruled travel. What a great combo of yesteryear and today!
Fox & Goose
1001 R St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
The location of this scrumptious eatery embraces a direct connection to the Sacramento rail yard. These brick buildings were once warehouses with tracks out front of trains unloading and loading. Today, the Fox & Goose occupies one of these brick masterpieces, offering guests absolutely wonderful meals. After a visit to the train museum, this is the perfect place to refuel. When you are done with the meal, take the time to explore this area. It is loaded with art studios, shops and a bronze foundry. The variety and quality of artwork is a good window into the creative side of the city.
Old Sacramento Underground Tours
101 I St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Underground? That’s where the original city is. Due to the constant flooding of the mighty Sacramento River, the first floors disappeared and the second floors became street level as the city filled in the area to avoid the floods. It’s a stunning look at what used to be. Tour guides are in period dress. As it is holiday time, enjoy the decked-out area and learn how the city celebrated way back when. It’s a unique view of Sacramento, and one that visitors will enjoy. The Old Sacramento area will be in holiday mode up at street level, always a great sight to see.
Related: Best Museum Tours In Sacramento
Gold Bug Park and Mine
2635 Gold Bug Lane
Placerville, CA 95667
Gold brought phenomenal numbers of people into California in 1849. Placerville was a hotbed of miners, and the Gold Bug Mine was pick-axed into history, just a short drive from Sacramento. Very family friendly, this great park offers tours of the mine, gold panning and a great place for a picnic. The added bonus is the city of Placerville. Tour the mine, then head back to town for wonderful cuisine along Main Street, which is home to an incredible foodie paradise. Placerville goes all out at holiday time. Shop the stores, visit the galleries or ride the stagecoach driven by Davey Wiser. You’ll do all of this in a town that has preserved its heritage quite well.
Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail
Sacramento, CA 95827
Sacramento, in addition to being known as The City of Trees, is also known locally as River City. The great American River and Sacramento Rivers meet and flow through it. Along the American River is the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, or for many the American River Bike Trail. It’s 32 miles of an incredible urban wild land interface. The trail starts at Discovery Park in downtown Sacramento. It is perfect for a bit of time walking along the river. It’s a riparian wonderland, right in Sacramento’s front yard. After a few hours in the hustle and bustle of this great city, a little respite along the river may be just the thing to do. Bundle up, it can be chilly along the river.
Related: Historic Walking Tour Of Sacramento
Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 37 years. In 2010 he retired from teaching after 36 years . He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at Examiner.com.