While Sacramento formed as long ago as the mid 19th century, it was the gold rush that sent the city in to a state of fervor, and propelled thousands of newcomers into town to pan and dig for their livelihood. The promise of riches, of course, are long gone, but the city remains a popular Californian draw, sunny and welcoming, and operating at a notably slower pace of life than much of the rest of the state.
Old Sacramento Town – now purely a tourist attraction – is perhaps the city’s biggest draw, with rustic boardwalks and horse drawn carriages still lining the old streets. While it’s a far cry from the modern centre, exploring the more old-school Sacramento experience is a great taste of the California of more than a century ago, and an impressively all-encompassing experience, if you can ignore the numerous tat-flaunting souvenir stores.
Back in the city itself, the major attractions include Cesar Chavez Park, the perfect downtown spot to snap the skyline or soak up Sacramento’s more impressive downtown buildings. The ancient Croker Art Museum has been going for longer than any other west coast museum, though the collection is of a varying standard, and the State Indian Museum is another inspiring look at the area’s past, exploring the role of native Americans in California.
It’s just as exciting to get out of Sacramento, though, with locations like San Francisco and the stunning Lake Tahoe within a mere stones throw. For gamblers, Reno’s not too far either, while the wine tasting area of the Napa Valley is just around the corner. Many visitors, then, use Sacramento as a relaxed and worthy hub for other local sights, settling down in the city for their evenings and weekends.
There are plenty of rivals for your attention in California, and Sacramento’s most likely to win out for those with a slightly more relaxed disposition. The city is idyllic when it comes to chilled out days exploring, walking the parks and making the most of a pace of life that seems so laid back it’s almost un-American.
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