After leaving Lake Tahoe, I headed in the direction of Napa Valley. My first stop on the way there was Sacramento. It was a hot day, 97 F kind of hot. Not very far from the California Capitol Building, I found a Mexican restaurant, Carolina’s Mexican Food. The restaurant’s menu features enchiladas, burritos, and tacos made with fresh ingredients. I ordered a burrito – carnitas with fresh guacamole and pico de gallo salsa. It was as delicious as it looked.
To escape the heat of the day, I decided to tour the State Capitol. After cooling off in the well air- conditioned building and learning a little bit of history, I went on a walk in the adjacent to the Capitol gardens, which feature plants from around the world.
My next stop in Sacramento was the Old Sacramento. Old Sacramento or Old Sac is located within the Old Sacramento Historic District of Sacramento, California. With its Gold Rush era buildings, quiet streets, and railroad station, the place has a feel of an Old Western movie set.
After being restored and developed, the historic district has become one of the main tourist attractions in Sacramento. With over 5 million visitors annually, Old Sac offers a great variety of attractions such as museums, river boat tours, railroad excursions, riverside bike treks, and horse-drown carriages. The most popular event in Old Sac is Gold Rush Days, a 4 day free to the public Sacramento heritage celebration, which takes place over Labor Day weekend. The event features live music, Old West theatrics, history re-enactments, horse-drawn carriages, cowboys on horseback, ladies riding sidesaddle, wagon rides, and gold panning.
Once again to cool off, I stopped at Rio City Cafe. With its view of the historic Tower Bridge and the Ziggurat Building, the cafe was an ideal place to enjoy my cold drink.
On a cooler day, I would have definitely chosen to sit outside on the cafe’s spacious deck, overlooking the Sacramento River. I didn’t get to dine here on this trip, but I made sure to look at the menu. Rio City Cafe offers California Cuisine prepared with local and seasonal ingredients, and the drink menu features wines from Napa Valley and other California wineries.
Unfortunately I didn’t not have enough time to stop at the history rich River City Saloon. The saloon serves deli style sandwiches, and on its drink menu you can find Old West Sarsaparilla brewed exclusively for the saloon by River City Brewing Company.
In this tranquil town souvenir shops, candy stores, restaurants, museums, and many other attractions are just walking distance from each other.
To learn how railroads affected American society, visit the California State Railroad Museum, and take a train excursion on the South Sacramento Railroad.
My 5 hour stay in Sacramento didn’t only satisfy my taste-buds, but it also expanded my knowledge of California history, so if you are a foodie and a history buff, Sacramento is a right place for you. Happy travels!