The most pleasant thing happened to me recently. I reconnected with an old girl friend. Pleasant, in that we have alot of shared history, and old, in that we first met when I was nineteen and she was seventeen. The last time we saw each other was 24 years ago back in Ohio. It has been enjoyable and enlightening catching up on the missed years and recalling past events. Unfortunately, all of this has thus far transpired over the phone because she lives in the Sacramento area of California. I have been to California, but not Sacramento. So, I decided to do some research on what Sacramento offers to the vacationer. I know this takes me out of the boundaries of Charleston and the Southeast, but it was worth a look-see and may be useful information to anyone interested in visiting the Sacramento area.
The first thing that caught my attention as I began to research, and I should have known this, was the fact Sacramento is the capital city of California. I pride myself on knowing the capitals of each of the states and this threw me for a loop because it somehow escaped my notice. In its early years, John Sutter played a large part in its establishment with the contruction of Sutter's Fort in 1839. Sacramento grew quickly and during the California Gold Rush was a major distribution point, a commercial and agricultural center, and a terminus for wagon trains, stagecoaches, riverboats, the telegraph, the Pony Express, and the First Transcontinental Railroad. In 2002, Time magazine featured an article recognizing Sacramento as the most diverse and integrated city in America.
In one of our conversations, my friend told me about an old part of Sacramento located along the Sacramento River where there are carriage rides and riverboat excursions. It is rightfully called Old Sacramento and is one of the top points of interest you would not want to miss when visiting the city. Old Sacramento consists of historical attractions and world-renowned museums set within the time of the California Gold Rush. There are also Underground Tours, Steam-Powered Excursion Train Rides, plenty of shopping, and plenty of dining with a river view. The Firehouse Restaurant is a popular Sacramento dining spot and is rated among the best in the city. The Melting Pot is considered one of the top romantic dinner restaurants and Biba's is highly rated for Italian cuisine. For a complete list check these out. Places to stay, check these accommodations.
Golfland Sunsplash is a popular family fun center located in Roseville outside of Sacramento. The main attractions at the park are the miniature golf courses and the water park. The water park contains some of the top water thrill rides called the Vortex, Revolution and StormRider. Other must-sees include the Tower Bridge, Sacramento Zoo, McKinley Park, Crocker Art Museum, Fairytale Town, Sutter's Fort, and Miller Park.
Sacramento is also centrally located near other places of interest in California such as Lake Tahoe, Napa Valley, and San Francisco, each within a two hours drive. One of its biggest celebrations will occur 9/2/2011 when more than 200 tons of dirt will be dumped on the streets of Old Sacramento as the annual festival, Gold Rush Days in Old Sacramento, "turns back the clock," transforming Sacramento’s historic district into a scene straight out of the 1850s with costumed re-enactors and gun fights.
Sacramento is similar to Charleston in many ways including its weather, with hot summers and no snow, but with different histories that influenced its growth and culture. I hope to be visiting soon.