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Sacramento Experiences

Sacramento is a city in the heart of California. The comfortable climate with warm winters and long hot summers welcomes tourists and is pleasant for many plants to grow, including even grapes. This creates positive conditions for several wineries, some of which are open for tours and degustations.

As Sacramento stands on two rivers and has numerous parks, it is an excellent place for walking, playing golf, and going in for all kinds of outdoor sports and activities.

Sacramento is a place with a notable history. First, Native American tribes inhabited it. Then, European immigrants settled. The state is most famous for the Gold Rush times when the mining started there, and crowds of adventurers arrived with a desire to become rich. Now you can familiarize yourself with its history by visiting museums and other historic landmarks, which the city has in abundance.

Sacramento residents lead a rich cultural life. There are numerous modern art galleries, theaters, and museums.

Once in Sacramento, you can receive tons of positive emotions and visit a lot of exciting places. Here are some of them below:

Table of Contents

CALIFORNIA STATE CAPITOL MUSEUM

Should you take an interest in political life and are curious about the places of residence of the local authorities, you are welcome to the State’s Capitol, one part of the California State Capitol Museum.

It is a neoclassical-style structure taking after the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Its construction finished between 1861 and 1874, and it has housed the Californian government since 1869.

You can find the governor’s office and the chamber of the Senate, adorned in red colors. It looks nearly identical to the British House of Lords, and the Assembly chamber decorated in green looks like the House of Commons in Britain.

On the first floor of the structure, there is the restored Treasurer and offices of government and state secretary. The basement houses a gift shop, a small theatre, and “The History of California” mural.

The Capitol stands amid Capitol Park, the other segment of the complex. It is a spacious garden with over a thousand trees brought here from different countries. The park has over 150 memorials in honor of significant events and residents of California.

CROCKER ART MUSEUM

The museum is a spacious gallery where one can enjoy art-works in a wide range of genres, from classical paintings to impressionists’ works and Pop Art.

Its history started in the 1870s when the Crocker family opened their home art gallery after bringing over two thousand works of art from their trip around Europe. Many prominent people of that time came to admire their collection, including President Ulysses Grant and Oscar Wilde.

After Judge CrCrocker’s death, his wife gifted the gallery to the Sacramento city. It became the Crocker Art Museum in 1978, and in 2010 it tripled in size by annexing a specially constructed building.

Now it is a full-scale museum with a library, auditorium, and an art education center hosting permanent and temporary exhibitions. The permanent display comprises:

EUROPEAN ART COLLECTION

It consists of over 700 paintings and 1300 Old Master drawings and a variety of prints brought by the Crocker family, mostly from Germany in the 1870s. The collection includes some rare works by a wide range of artists like Jan Brueghel the Elder and Klaes Molenaer. During a short period, it was the most considerable private collection in the country. Another part of the European collection includes gifts from various philanthropists and art enthusiasts; it boasts several works by the Hague School’s painters and even by Renoir. You can also see the pictures by Albrecht Durer and Fra Bartolomeo.

ASIAN ART COLLECTION

The Asian Art collection started in 1920 and has over 600 Indian and Persian miniature drawings and paintings, some Buddhist Art from between Pakistan and Southeast Asia, Japanese military outfits and teaware, Chinese ceramics, and tomb apparel.

AFRICAN AND OCEANIC ART

This collection has numerous casual and traditional ceremony objects along with bis poles. These are wooden figures up to seven meters in height made by the Asmat of New Guinea to satisfy the spirits of the dead members of their tribe.

CALIFORNIAN AND AMERICAN ART

This collection comprises the works from early art to the present day. The works by Charles Christian Nahl, for example, depict the Gold Rush period. Here are the works by American impressionists (Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, Georgia O’Keeffe), abstract expressionists, and Pop Artists. All in all, this collection spans 150 years of painting, sculpture, photography, contemporary prints, and craft media.

CERAMICS

The artifacts of this collection cover a huge time period. The earliest ones date as far back as the Neolithic Period. The 18th century is represented by a collection of Meissen porcelain, and the 20th century by the works of such potters as Hamada Shoji and Lucie Rie.

OLD SACRAMENTO STATE HISTORIC PARK

This place is indeed worth seeing. It is in the Old Sacramento Historic District and is famous nationwide.

There are several historical museums on its territory, such as the State Railroad Museum, the Sacramento History Museum, and the Eagle Theatre.

After a refreshing walk in the park, you can ride on a historic train, the same as used to go along the Central Pacific Railroad. Another option is a cruise on a riverboat, and then you can embark on a journey in a horse-drawn carriage.

Among other things to see in the park, there are some mid-19th-century buildings. As the city suffered a lot from several consecutive fires and floods, some of the original buildings were moved here, and others, restored. Their architecture is of the typical Spanish Colonial Style. The structures have full-height balcony windows, large arched doorways, and wrought-iron balconies.

Nowadays, most of them host various places of tourist attractions, such as gift shops, restaurants and so on.

THE AMERICAN RIVER BIKE TRAIL

The Trail, also known as the Jebediah Smith Memorial Trail, is a 50-kilometer long paved commuter artery used mostly by cyclists. It is among the longest specially built trails for bicyclists in the country. It starts where the American and the Sacramento Rivers meet and runs on to Beal’s Point. It is named after Jebediah Smith, a fur trapper and explorer of the land between today’s Old Sacramento and Folsom. The bicycle trail appeared in the late 19th century, but alit fell in disuse in the early 20th century due to the growing popularity of cars. Only in the 1970s, the trail was rediscovered, paved, and the pathway obtained one more section.

Nowadays, about five million people use the Bike Trail every year. They are mostly cyclists, but you can also see people walking, jogging, skating, and even horse-riding.

As the trail follows the American River bed and goes along the picturesque wildlife, one can see such notable places as Discovery Park, California State University, the Fair Oaks walking bridge, Sutter’s Landing Park, Sacramento, and Folsom Lake.

On the Trail’s official website, you can find maps, some general instructions, as well as bicycle rentals that offer different kinds of bikes, such as city, racing, and mountain bikes.

THE CATHEDRAL OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

This Roman Catholic Church cathedral, built in 1889, is considered one of the most notable temples to the west of the Mississippi River. It is a 66 meters high building (including its spire), and its exterior is performed in the Italian Renaissance style, while its interior is Victorian style. It is situated in the downtown of the city, not far from the State Capitol.

While it is open for tourists, the place is an operating Roman Catholic church. It serves masses in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

The building of the cathedral started in 1887 and was directly connected with the Gold Rush. Patrick Manogue was one of those who came here to try their luck in gold mining. His dream was to earn enough to go for education to Paris, France. And he succeeded. He came to France to become a priest. There, he got inspired by the local churches, especially be L’Eglise de la Sainte-Trinite (the Church of the Holy Trinity), and came back to the state to build The Cathedral.

Today, the cathedral, as many landmarks in the area, combines history and modern life. It is a peaceful place with stained-glass windows depicting scenes from the Bible. There is a marble front with a mosaic, two chapels with large murals, and an organ. Besides attending masses, you can have a free guided tour or listen to a self-guided tour on the cathedral website, and visit a church gift shop to buy some religious stuff.

CALIFORNIA AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM

Those fond of cars and their influence on our personal, social, and economic life must not miss the chance to visit the California Automobile Museum.

Its exposition of over 150 vehicles shows the history of California’s relations with automobiles that started in the 1880s.

Here, you can see a “Penny Farthing” bicycle and Benz Patent-Motorwagen of 1886; Cadillacs, Studebakers, and Fords of the 1900s; Lincoln of the 1930s; cars of Post-War America; Porsches and Lamborghinis side by side with a Ford F 100 truck; race cars of 1980s and 1990s; environmentally friendly cars of the 21st century; left and motorcycles.

Most cars of the exposition are loaned from private owners. That is why the exhibitions at the museum change from time to time.

The museum offers tours for children, where they are allowed to touch and climb into the automobiles. Also, there are various special classes for car lovers.

SUTTER’S FORT

Sutter’s Fort is the point where the city appeared. It started in 1839 as a trade and agricultural settlement and the first European colony in the area. In 1848, gold was found here, which gave a start to the Gold Rush. Soon the fort was abandoned, but in the 1890s, it was rehabilitated and given to the State. Now, it is a National Landmark.

2ND SATURDAY ART WALK

Every second Saturday of every month, all year round, the town holds the 2nd Saturday Art Walk. This is an open house event that lasts from about 5.30 pm to 9 pm. You can get acquainted with the local art galleries, local artists, local live music, local food and drinks, and street fairs.

2nd Saturday Art Walk is an excellent chance to discover local art, socialize, have a good time with friends, and have a drink or snack touring the galleries.

SACRAMENTO KINGS

Once you come here, you could try to catch the Sacramento Kings basketball team’s home game. Though they might not be a top basketball team now, they have won the NBA title at some point in the past. Check the Golden 1 Center to find out if they are going to play shortly.

THE ZOO

Initially, The Sacramento Zoo was very small and had about forty animals from the local parks. By the middle of the century, it had two elephants. And in 1958, an educational program started there. A bit later, it grew about three times bigger than it had been, and new animals started arriving massively to the zoo. In the 1980s, it changed the typical bars and walls for more spacious animal enclosures, making the habitat more naturalistic.

Now The Zoo accommodates over 500 animals, including various reptiles, felines, apes, giraffes, red pandas, grizzly bears, and other local and world fauna members.

THE TOWER BRIDGE

The beautiful Tower Bridge performed in Streamline Moderne style connects two banks of the Sacramento River. It is a vertical lift bridge built in 1935, with car lanes and sidewalks.

Originally silver in color, with sky-blue pylons, Tower Bridge is now all-gold to match the State Capitol Cupola located nearby.

It is worth taking a walk around there to admire the beauty of its construction and the city’s panorama.

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