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Founded in 1839, California's capital city began life quite humbly as Sutter's Fort but was rocketed to fame and fortune in 1849 by the California Gold Rush. The modern city surrounds Old Sacramento, with its raised wooden boardwalks fronting Wild West style saloons and even a paddle-wheel steamboat, while Sutter's Fort State Historic Park preserves what remains of the original settlement. Although surrounded by farmland of the flat, fertile, and seemingly endless Central Valley, Sacramento buzzes with energy, humming along as the center of California's political power. The grandiose neo-classical State Capitol building makes the point: it's ...

Founded in 1839, California's capital city began life quite humbly as Sutter's Fort but was rocketed to fame and fortune in 1849 by the California Gold Rush. The modern city surrounds Old Sacramento, with its raised wooden boardwalks fronting Wild West style saloons and even a paddle-wheel steamboat, while Sutter's Fort State Historic Park preserves what remains of the original settlement. Although surrounded by farmland of the flat, fertile, and seemingly endless Central Valley, Sacramento buzzes with energy, humming along as the center of California's political power. The grandiose neo-classical State Capitol building makes the point: it's open to visits. Though inhabitants of nearby and more urbane San Francisco guffaw at the notion of a sophisticated Sacramento, it really does boast hip restaurants and a lively nightlife, and two days is barely enough to make the most of the museums and thriving cultural scene. Don't miss the world-class Crocker Art Museum, the California State Railroad Museum, and the California State Indian Museum. Then head out to the new Aerospace Museum of California, on the former McClellan Air Force Base. And do leave time to explore the Sacramento Delta, with its historic riverside hamlets.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Sacramento is the state capital of California and is located in the north central part of the state.
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
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