What to do in Sacramento if You Only Have a Day

Sacramento receives its fair share of one-day visitors. Some are here on business, some are driving through on route to somewhere else, some are just taking a day trip to the State Capital. Some are not even visiting but hosting a day trip for a good friend or family member in town. Ask anyone and I'm sure they have a different idea of how a day should be spent in Sacramento. The "must see" and "can't miss" spots will vary by person but there are some landmarks too that most agree on. 

This is a list of fun things that I usually throw out for the family/couple/individual who have/has never been to Sacramento and looking to get in as much as they can in one fun filled day.

1. The California State Capitol Museum

Along with many hustling & bustling state employees, the Capitol Building houses the California State Capitol Museum. They offer free tours of the Capitol every hour on the hour from 10am-4pm. After the free tour peruse the 40 acre Capitol Park which spans twelve city blocks. The park includes hundreds of species of trees, shrubs, and flowers and numerous monuments and memorials.

2. Old Sacramento


Twenty-eight acres of history and fun including six museums, a river walk and numerous shops and restaurants. Old Sacramento is a National Historic Landmark District and State Historic Park. Visit the California State Railroad Museum or the Delta King Riverboat, an authentic, historic, and permanently moored riverboat for a lunch at their restaurant, the Pilot House. Or if you're feeling adventurous rent a bike from Practical Cycle and ride along the Sacramento River on the popular American River Bike Trail.

3. A Museum...or two or three

Did you know that Sacramento has 27 museums? Some of them are free and some with a minimal charge. There is a museum for every one in Sacramento. For the young ones a visit to Fairytale Town or the Sacramento Zoo (aross the street from each other) ensures a fun day. Are you a history buff? Learn about Sacramento and its beginnings at the Sacramento History Museum or Sutter's Fort State Historic Park.  Or maybe you love art, the newly renovated Crocker Art Museum or the Sojourner Truth Multicultural Arts Museum is calling your name. For a complete list of museums go to http://www.sacmuseums.org/.

4. A Winery

Sacramento is not only surrounded by 8 wine regions (!) but it also has three urban wineries as well right in downtown Sacramento. An afternoon of (responsible) wine tasting can be a fun and scenic afternoon for adults. If you don't want to travel outside the grid, check out Revolution Wines, Sacramento's only midtown winery. But, if you're down for a little drive check out the wineries of the Sierra Foothills, California's Delta Region or in Amador County.

5. Walking Tour

The Downtown Sacramento Partnership offers unique tours through downtown that introduce visitors to the people, places and events that shaped California history. From John Sutter to Cesar Chavez, the tours cover over 150 years of state and local history. Topics range from art and architecture to cultural, religious and urban history. For a menu of tours stop by our office to pick up a pamphlet or visit www.downtownsac.org



The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission also offers Public Art Walking Tours. Monumental and intimate works of art can be experiences along streets, in buildings, and in parks throughout downtown. All you need is the map (available at our office), a good pair of walking shoes, a bottle of water, and a sense of adventure. For more information please visit www.sacmetroarts.org.


This is just a snapshot of all the fun things to see and do in Sacramento. Truthfully, one day is not enough time to truly appreciate all Sacramento has to offer. Guess you'll just have to come back!