What to Do in Old Town Sacramento?

Seema Hazell

What to Do in Old Town Sacramento

Explore historic buildings and visit the California State Railroad Museum in Old Town Sacramento. Immerse yourself in the charm of this 19th-century district with a riverboat ride or horse-drawn carriage tours.

Old Town Sacramento channels the spirit of California’s Gold Rush era, offering an experience unlike any other. This national historic landmark district is a hub for tourism and entertainment. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities, such as strolling through its historic streets lined with wooden sidewalks, popping into various unique shops, or savoring the flavors of old-timey confectioneries and diverse dining establishments.

Engage with living history through educational exhibits and reenactments or unwind with live music and theater shows. This beloved locale not only captivates history buffs but also welcomes families and travelers eager to witness California’s rich past woven into the fabric of a modern city. Embrace the allure of Old Town Sacramento as it seamlessly blends the echoes of yesteryear with the pulse of contemporary life.

The Charm Of Old Town Sacramento

Imagine stepping back in time where history whispers from every corner. Old Town Sacramento is a living testament to California’s golden past. Explore streets with energy.

Historical Significance

Old Town Sacramento holds a special place in California’s story. This area witnessed the feverish rush of fortune-seekers during the California Gold Rush. Today, it serves as a fruitful trip to the past with numerous museums and historical sites.

  • Sacramento History Museum: Delve into the local lore.
  • California State Railroad Museum: See restored trains from the golden era.
  • Historic Eagle Theatre: Visit California’s first permanent theater.

Architectural Wonders

Beyond its historical allure, admire Old Town Sacramento’s stunning architecture. Each building tells a unique story with intricate designs from the 19th century.

  1. Stroll down cobblestone streets and gaze at the well-preserved buildings.
  2. Inspect the iconic B.F. Hastings Building, once home to the California Supreme Court.
  3. Marvel at the Big Four Building, a reminder of the influential railroad tycoons.

Victorian-era facades paired with the wooden sidewalks bring a distinct character. Feel the nostalgic charm as you wander through this historic district.

Top Attractions To Visit

Exploring Old Town Sacramento is like stepping back in time. Make the most of your visit with these must-see attractions.

California State Railroad Museum

Imagine the chug of steam engines from days gone by. The California State Railroad Museum offers a journey through the history of American railroads.

  • Glimpse vintage locomotives.
  • Discover trains from different eras.
  • Interactive exhibits engage all ages.

Picture yourself as a train conductor in an authentic rail car. Visitors love the full-size replicas and the engaging storytelling.

Old Sacramento Waterfront

The Old Sacramento Waterfront is a place where history and lively entertainment meet. Walking along the river, visitors feel a sense of the Gold Rush era.

Horse-Drawn CarriagesRide and hear tales of the past.
Boutique ShopsFind unique gifts and souvenirs.
Dining OptionsTaste local flavors by the water.

Make sure to snap a picture with the historic Tower Bridge in the background.

Shopping And Souvenirs

Old Town Sacramento is a goldmine of shopping delights. Guests find charming treasures along its historic boardwalk. Whether seeking a special keepsake or treating yourself, the local shops offer something unforgettable.

Stroll through this nostalgic district. Discover a wide array of stores. Find unique gifts for loved ones. Bring home a piece of Sacramento’s history. Let’s dive into the eclectic shopping scene!

Unique Boutiques

Explore the distinct character of Old Town. Each boutique presents a memorable experience. From vintage clothing to novelty items, the selection impresses.

  • Soap Saloon – Handcrafted soaps with a vintage twist.
  • Stage Nine Entertainment Store – Retro-themed gifts for all ages.
  • G. Willikers! Toy Emporium – A treasure trove of classic toys.

Local Artisan Crafts

Support local artisans. Their shops showcase the spirit of Sacramento. Handmade jewelry, pottery, and artwork await.

Featured Local Artisan Shops
Shop NameSpecialties
Delta HandmadeCustom jewelry and textiles.
Greenhouse GalleryOriginal paintings and sculptures.
Old Town CreativeArtisan furniture and home decor.

Culinary Delights In Old Town

Old Town Sacramento offers a feast for the senses with its culinary delights. From mouth-watering traditional dishes to modern cuisine, every palate finds satisfaction. Step into a world where every bite tells the story of Sacramento’s rich history and present.

Traditional Eateries

Immerse yourself in the charm of the past with age-old recipes and comfort foods. Here’s where you can indulge:

  • The Firehouse Restaurant – Savor upscale dining in a historic 1853 firehouse.
  • Fanny Ann’s Saloon – Enjoy classic American burgers and memorabilia-filled interiors.
  • Delta King – Dine on a historic riverboat with scenic river views.

Modern Dining Experiences

Ready for a twist on tradition? Check out these contemporary spots:

  • Rio City Café – Offers a modern Californian menu with a riverside backdrop.
  • Back Door Lounge – Perfect for craft cocktails and innovative small plates.
  • The Rind – Discover cheese-centric dishes and fine wines.

Entertainment And Nightlife

As the sun sets on Old Town Sacramento, a lively entertainment scene awakens. Music fills the air and themed bars come alive, inviting locals and visitors to enjoy a night out in this historic district. The cobbled streets turn into avenues of fun where every corner promises a new adventure. Whether you are in the mood for a live band or a cozy pub, Old Town Sacramento delivers a memorable experience.

Live Music Venues

Gather your friends and head to one of the many live music venues in Old Town Sacramento. Feel the rhythm of the city as you explore the music scene. From jazz to indie rock, there’s a sound for everyone.

  • The Jazz Hall: Step back in time with classic tunes and swinging melodies.
  • Indie Groove House: Discover new artists and original sounds in an intimate setting.
  • Riverbeat Stage: Enjoy live performances with a view of the Sacramento River.

Themed Bars And Pubs

Themed bars and pubs in Old Town Sacramento turn an ordinary evening into an extraordinary one. With unique decor and creative cocktails, each spot offers a distinct experience. Relive history or enjoy modern twists in these standout establishments.

Bar/Pub NameThemeMust-Try Drink
The Gold Rush SaloonWild WestSarsaparilla Shootout
SteamPunk AlleyVictorian FuturismCopper Cog Cocktail
Pirate’s CoveNautical AdventureBuccaneer Brew

Old Town Sacramento transforms at night, offering endless possibilities for fun and relaxation. Choose live tunes or a quirky pub to make your night unforgettable.

Seasonal Events And Festivals

Old Town Sacramento sparkles with events year-round. Each season brings a unique charm to this historic part of the city. Special events and festivals make Old Town a dynamic place to visit. Come see history come to life or celebrate the holidays with magic and cheer!

Gold Rush Days

Every autumn, the streets of Old Town Sacramento transform. Experience the 1850s come alive during Gold Rush Days! Here’s what to expect:

  • Costumed Reenactors: Meet characters from the past.
  • Live Music: Dance to old-timey tunes.
  • Historic Demonstrations: Watch blacksmithing and more.
September 1-4Gold panning, carriage rides, wild west shootouts

Holiday Magic

Old Town shines with festive lights come December. Look forward to these holiday events:

  1. Tree Lighting Ceremony
  2. Theater Performances
  3. Strolling Carolers

Bring your family for timeless holiday fun. Enjoy hot chocolate as you wander the decorated historic district.


Old Town Sacramento is like stepping into a historical treasure chest. The charm of its 19th-century architecture, coupled with shops and eateries, offers a delightful experience for all ages. So, whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply in search of fun, Old Town Sacramento awaits with open arms and endless adventures.

Don’t miss out on this enchanting slice of California’s past.

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