Even though it’s the capital of the Golden State, Sacramento isn’t always on the radar as a tourist destination in California. However, that notion has radically changed in recent years and in fact, this trailblazing city founded in 1850 has become one of the finest and most culturally diverse places for to visit in the entire country. Learn more about why you should visit the capital city of Sacramento!

 

Mulvaneys Restaurant is one of the great reasons to visit Sacramento
Mulvaney’s B&L (credit: Randy Yagi)

 

It’s America’s Farm to Fork Capital

Although the origins of the Farm to Table movement can be traced to the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento lays the accurate claim as the Farm to Fork Capital of America. That’s because the city lies in a bountiful region described as the largest agricultural producer in the nation, with 1.5 million acres of farmland and yielding more than 165 types of crops. What’s more, Sacramento holds over 1.5 million acres and many Bay Area restaurants source their food products here.

 

Visit the California State Capitol building in Sacramento
Visit the California State Capitol (credit: Randy Yagi)

California State Capitol

Completed in 1874, the California State Capitol is easily the most recognizable landmark in Sacramento as well as the most visited. Designed in the familiar Roman Corinthian architectural style much like the U.S. Capitol, complete with a central rotunda and Roman columns, the State Capitol is home to both chambers of the California State Legislature and the office of the Governor of California. Tours at the State Capitol are currently suspended due to COVID-19. However, the Capitol is open with limited hours and capacity.

 

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Crocker Museum Sacramento
Crocker Art Museum (credit: Randy Yagi)

Museums and Historical Attractions

For some visitors, it may come as a complete surprise to discover that Sacramento has about 30 exceptional museums and historical sites. Among the most-see for first time  are the California State Railroad Museum, California History Museum and the renowned Crocker Art Museum, oldest public art museum west of the Mississippi. Known as North America’s Railroad Museum, the California State Railroad Museum is located in Old Sacramento. Although Sutter’s Fort is a distance away, Old Sacramento is in itself a museum and a National Historic Landmark.

 

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Visit the state of the art Golden 1 Center downtown Sacramento
Visit Golden 1 Center (credit: Randy Yagi)

Golden1 Center

The dazzling Golden1 Center is one of Sacramento’s newest and without question one of its most important attractions. The state-of-the-art facility is home to the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and was the world’s first arena to be entirely solar powered. The Golden1 Center holds the NBA’s largest and only high resolution 4K video screens. The next time you visit Sacramento, make sure to see what’s events are happening here. Visitors should check the Golden1Center website for up-to-date-information.

 

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Bogle Vineyards Wine
Bogle Wine (credit: Randy Yagi)

 

Sacramento Wine 

One of the best reasons to visit Sacramento is its impressive collection of wine tsting. In all, the region has over 200 wineries spread across eight counties, yet all within a day’s drive from the capital city. But for a shorter, more casual drive, visitors should head over to wineries like Bogle Vineyards, Heringer Estates and Julietta Winery for superb wine tasting in Clarksburg. Other wine tasting recommendations are Great Bear Wineries, Old Sugar Mill and the Underground Tasting Room.

 

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Cal Expo/California State Fair

The popular California State Fair and its horse racing events may have already passed but there’s still plenty of things going on at Cal Expo. With a history that dates back to California’s early years of its statehood, the California Exposition and State Fair hosts events throughout the year, with upcoming events like the Tree Harvest Festival, Fall RV Show, Wizard World, American Trucking Show, Sacramento Home and Garden Show and in November, live harness racing.

Outdoor Recreation

The state capital is also a great spot for outdoor recreation, with its location at the confluence of two major rivers and miles of hiking and biking trails nearby. The best known trail is Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, which extends 32 miles between Discovery Park in Old Sacramento and Beal’s Point at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

 

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About The Author:

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who has covered national/international travel for CBS Local and all things San Francisco for CBS San Francisco. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University and a member of the Freelance Council of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).

He is a lifelong resident of Santa Cruz County, in California.