1. Sacramento Zoo
3930 West Land Park Dr, Sacramento, CA 95822-1123 · 916-264-5166
Set on over 14 acres, this is the largest accredited zoological park in the Central Valley. Guests can view over 4,000 exotic animals, including snow leopards, red pandas, and Sumatran tigers. 32 of the 130 species are endangered. Special programs are implemented by this zoo, such as the national breeding programs for two specific species on the endangered list. Adults and children will learn while having fun by attending the various stage presentations, special evening events, and weekend animal talks.
2. Old Sacramento
2nd St, between 1st and Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814 · 916-445-4209
Take a walking tour or ride in a horse-drawn buggy to experience this 28-acre Historical State Park. Shops, restaurants, museums and shows will keep you thoroughly entertained as you learn about the Gold Rush era of Sacramento. This was once an important commercial center in the Western United States in the 1840's and early 1850's. Be sure to stop by the Visitor Center (1101 2nd Street) to discover any current special events.
3. Sutter's Fort State Historic Park
2701 L St, Sacramento, CA 95816 · 916-445-4422
In 1839, John Sutter created a fort in the wilderness for European immigrants to call "home." The fort has been restored to exude its 1850's appearance. Visitors will enjoy the various exhibits through a self-guided tour narrated by a hand-held radio. Experience the living quarters, jail, bakery and blacksmith shop as the residents did many years ago. ADMISSION: Adult $3, Child (6-11) $1.50, Children (5 and under) Free
4. California Military Museum
1115 2nd St, Sacramento, CA 95814 · 916-442-2883
This interpretive museum highlights the military history and achievements of the state throughout its history. Displays of authentic military uniforms, equipment and written histories. Interesting look at California's role in U.S. military history.
5. California State Railroad Museum
111 I St, Sacramento, CA 95814 · 916-445-6645
This museum is part of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Permanent exhibits include historic locomotives, train cars and on-site theaters displaying films on the history of trains and their impact on the growth and development of the West. During the summer months, the restored Sacramento Southern Railroad steam train runs a regular excursion that travels six miles along the Sacramento River, and special theme trains run on occasion as well (Thomas the Tank Engine, Santa Claus Train).
6. Discovery Museum of Sacramento - Science and Space Center
3615 Auburn Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95821 · 916-575-3941
Interesting scientific exhibits, planetarium, animals and an on-site nature trail. Also includes an exhibit detailing the California Gold Rush and the growth of Sacramento.
7. Golden State Museum
1020 O Street, Sacramento, CA · 916-653-7524
This museum is housed at the California State Archives and examines California's growth and development and road to statehood. View the six-story Constitution Wall and courtyards. Take an interesting look at the early history and growth of the U.S.'s wealthiest state.
Top Weekend Getaways And Day Trip Excursions:
1. California State Fair
1600 Exposition Blvd, Cal Expo Fairgrounds, Sacramento, CA 91585 · 916-263-3247
More than 90,000 people attend this popular annual event. Competitions include traditional events such as jellies and jams, but the State Fair is home to a wide variety of cultural exhibits, food and entertainment. There are also plenty of thrilling rides, such as the classic Tilt-O-Whirl. Held for two weeks prior to and including Labor Day (late Aug-early Sep).
2. Festival de la Familia
1600 Exposition Blvd, Cal Expo Sacramento State Fair, Sacramento, CA 95815-5104 · 916-326-5520
Find out why more than 10,000 people flock to this one-of-a kind family favorite. Latino culture is showcased in a variety of musical, culinary and artistic forums. The fairgrounds are filled with song, color and excitement during this exciting festival.
3. Gold Rush Days
Old Sacramento, Sacramento, CA 95814 · 916-264-7777
Take a step back in time as Old Sacramento relives the Gold Rush era during this lively celebration held in early September. Craft demonstrations, food, art and entertainment - fun for the entire family.
4. Jazz Jubilee
various venues around Old Town Sacrament, Sacramento, CA 95691-3811 · 916-372-5277
More than 100,000 fans attend this, the world's largest festival celebrating traditional jazz. With over 40 venues, from large hotel ballrooms and the Convention center, to cozy and intimate clubs, there's plenty of action and variety to suit everyone, including the kids. The most energetic Jubilee goers head to the streets of Old Town on Friday night for the mini-festivals, which might highlight blues, zydeco, or swing. Performers come from all over the country, include vocalists to three-piece acoustic combos, from 10-piece Dixieland bands to full orchestras.
5. Six Flags Marine World
Marine World Pkwy, Vallejo, CA 94589 · 707-643-6722
A whole new world located just 55 miles outside of Sacramento. This is the only park in America that combines an oceanarium, a theme park, and wildlife exhibits. Ten different shows are provided, including the "Sea Lion Show," "Walrus Experience," and "Dolphin Harbor." 30 roller-coaster rides will thrill children and adults alike. Visitors also enjoy viewing and interacting with the numerous wild animals on display.
6. Waterworld USA
1600 Exposition Blvd, Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA 95815 · 916-924-3747
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the water rides in Sacramento's largest amusement park. Attractions here include a wading pool, "Shark Attack" (a five-story interactive waterslide), "Hook's Lagoon," and an inter-tube ride down the rapids of a man-made river. Additional features include sandy beaches with man-made waves, picnic areas, and a full concession stand. Shower areas are also conveniently available. ADMISSION: Based on height. Senior $9.95, Children (under 3) Free. Parking $5
7. Folsom Lake State Recreation Area
7806 Folsom-Auburn Rd, Folsom, CA 95630 · 916-988-0205
This 18,000-acre state park is located at the base of the Sierra foothills. Numerous opportunities for outdoor activities and adventures are available. Visitors can go horseback riding, picnic, fish, and hike. There is even a 32-mile bike path for cyclists to ride. Lake Natoma is found in this park, which provides additional activities such as boating, sailing, and swimming. Camping reservations recommended in advance, call 800-444-7275. ADMISSION: Dependant upon location. Day fees $2-$6 per vehicle, boat launching an additional $5 per vessel; camping fees Memorial Day-Labor day $14 per night, off-season camping $12 per night