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Best things to do in Sacramento

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Where in the world: USA  /  California  /  Sacramento

Top 15 things to do in Sacramento

1. California State Railroad Museum

Dedicated to the "iron horse" that connected the Golden State to the rest of the country, California State Railroad Museum holds over 20 locomotives and railroad cars. Watch for the large-scale model of the Donner Pass that allowed trains to pass through the Sierra Nevada mountains--it prompts photos from many visitors. Other locomotives outside have been restored to gleaming chrome and dark iron. Book a tour through the railcars, given by costumed train enthusiasts, who explain the mechanics and the lifestyle on the tracks.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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3. California State Capitol Museum

Visit the restored historical offices of the secretary of state, treasurer, and governor at California State Capitol Museum. This 19th-century granite building, which bears a striking resemblance to the nation’s capitol building, houses the California state legislature. Take a free tour of the grounds, which include more than 100 memorials to significant people and events involving the state and a museum presenting portraits, murals, antiques, and contemporary art. There is nearby metered and garage parking available for a fee.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. Wine Tours & Tastings, Napa

Delve into the gourmet culture of a world-famous wine region on a guided tasting tour of Napa Valley. As you admire the lovely scenery of sprawling vineyards and rolling hills, your engaging guide will provide a bit of history behind both big-name and family-owned estates. You can cycle (regular or electric bike) down country trails, hop on the historic Napa Valley Wine Train or Sonoma Wine Trolley, lounge on the comfy seat of a private limo or party bus, or join a walking tour of Healdsburg. Choose from a number of combo tours, some of which include trekking in Muir Woods or a visit to a medieval-style castle. The duration of these tours is flexible, spanning from 60 minutes to 2 days.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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5. Wine Tours & Tastings, Sonoma

Immerse yourself in the gourmet culture of the country's esteemed wine-producing region by savoring premium wines paired with local fare on a guided tasting tour from Sonoma. Your friendly guide will share with you insider stories about winemaking in Napa Valley, while you take in lovely views of rolling hills on the way to a family-owned vineyard. With so many ways to do this scenic trip--by party bus, limo, bike, wine trolley (a replica of San Francisco cable car), or the famous Napa Valley Wine Train--you'll easily find the one that suits your personal style. In addition to touring celebrated wineries and tasting creative dishes, on some excursions you'll get to visit a medieval-style Italian castle or Alcatraz Island. The duration of the tours is flexible, spanning from 3 hours to 2 days.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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6. American River Bicycle Trail

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. Crocker Art Museum

Showcasing art since the 19th century, Crocker Art Museum features an extensive collection of work from Californian artists. The first public art museum founded in the western part of the country, the museum is known for international ceramics. Admire works from masters like Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Henri, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Edwin Deakin. If you work up an appetite, enjoy dishes made with fresh, seasonal ingredients at the cafe. The museum offers a variety of docent-led tours, which are free with admission.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. Wine Tours & Tastings, Santa Rosa

Suggested duration: 8 hours
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9. Capitol Park

The California State Capitol is home to the government of California. The building houses the bicameral state legislature and the office of the governor.
Located in Sacramento, the Neoclassical structure was completed between 1861 and 1874 at the west end of Capitol Park, which is framed by L Street to the north, N Street to the south, 10th Street to the west, and 15th Street to the east. The Capitol and grounds were listed on the office of the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and listed as a California Historical Landmark in 1974, with a re-dedication on January 9, 1982 to commemorate the close of the bicentennial restoration project.
ExteriorThe building is based on the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. The west facade ends in projecting bays, and a portico projects from the center of the building. At the base of the portico, seven granite archways brace and support the porch above. Eight fluted Corinthian columns line the portico. A cornice supports the pediment above depicting Minerva surrounded by Education, Justice, Industry and Mining.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Safari West, Santa Rosa

Enjoy an African adventure in wine country at Safari West. On the three-hour riding and walking tour, you'll see a variety of exotic wildlife, including gazelles, zebras, antelopes, Cape buffalo, and wildebeests. During the walking portion, admire colorful birds in the open-air aviary, and watch primates play in the branches on Lemur Island. After the safari, try some barbecue and local wine on the cafe's veranda. On-site lodging is available. For guided tours on an all-terrain vehicle, reserve in advance; space is limited. Custom and private tours are also available.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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11. Wine Tours & Tastings, Healdsburg

Get a taste of California's wine country with a tour and a tasting in and around Healdsburg, northern California's wine capital. You'll explore vineyards, rolling hills, and orchards on foot, by bicycle, or in a car. A professional sommelier will answer all the questions you might have about the art of winemaking, introduce you to the wine country's blooming culinary scene, and share local stories. In a small group of no more than 10 people you'll enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, taste wines unavailable elsewhere, and discover how they can be paired with artisanal bites of local blue cheese, charcuterie, and stuffed mushrooms. Guided tours are customizable and their duration is flexible (3-7 hours).
Suggested duration: 5h 30 min
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12. Sacramento Zoo

Visit the wildlife oasis and see and interact with animals from the four corners of the world at Sacramento Zoo. From red pandas to penguins, the modest-sized zoo is home to a variety of animals, all living in spacious habitats. The zoo layout caters to its youngest visitors, allowing kids to go easily from one habitat to the other and ensuring children in strollers have a good view of the animals. For a small fee you can take part in giraffe feeding, which takes place twice a day and is one of the zoo's main attractions. If you get tired of walking you can hop on a train, or take a break by having a snack or visiting the gift shop.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park

The Leland Stanford Mansion is a stunning example of the splendor and elegance of the Victorian era in California. On your tour of the 19,000-square-foot Mansion you will see:

• 17-foot ceilings

• Gilded mirrors and exquisitely detailed carved moldings

• Beautifully restored woodwork

• Elegant 19th century crystal and bronze light fixtures

• Historic paintings

• Re-created carpeting and draperies based on photographs from the 1870s to

match the original interior design

• Original period furnishings that belonged to the Stanfords.

• 19th-Century style gardens
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

The site of the first European settlement in the region and resting place for many travelers who were headed west, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park recalls the pioneering spirit of the California Gold Rush's early years. Founded in 1839 by John Sutter, the fortified structure has since been restored and today is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Wander the grounds and view the adobe-style architecture of the central building (the only original surviving structure), which is surrounded by thick walls, defensive towers, and other buildings. Stop by the museum to view items owned by early pioneers who sought aid from the fort, including some from the infamous Donner Party. You can also join a guided tour to learn more about the history of the short-lived settlement, the region, and its residents.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. V. Sattui Winery, St. Helena

Known for its large retail store and picnic area, V. Sattui Winery produces over 60 wines from 20 varieties of grapes. During your visit, you will be presented with wines to taste, as well as with pates and deli-style offerings. Tasting takes place in a wine room with wooden cabinets and extravagant wine-handling tools. The picnic grounds sit near giant oak and walnut trees and feature a barbecue, pizza, and mozzarella bar. If you're hungry, be prepared to purchase wines and delicacies on-site, as outside food and drink is not allowed.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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