Walk along the decks of a once-sunken ship, dine on the bow as the breeze sweeps across from the river and get a unique view of Old Sacramento when you walk aboard the Delta King, which has retired from its days plying the waters of America and is now an iconic hotel/lounge.
The ship was built in Glasgow, Scotland and Stockton, California and along with its sister ship, the Delta Queen, was christened on May 20, 1927. The paddlewheelers carried passengers between Sacramento and San Francisco -- a 10-and-a-half-hour journey -- and was the site of Prohibition-era drinking, jazz bands, gambling and fine dining, according to the Delta King website.
In 1984, after being partially submerged for 15 months in San Francisco Bay, the Delta King was towed to Old Sacramento, where it was completely renovated back to its original form.
Five years later, it reopened on the Sacramento River, where it has since been a destination for visitors from all over the world.
We walked into the lobby of the Delta King, and we were immediately transported back to another time. It is so cool that this is a hotel visitors to Sacramento can actually stay in! Photos of the ship in its original days to its grand restoration line the walls in the lobby and hallways of the boat.
We wandered out of the hotel lobby and walked along the deck to the paddle wheel - silent, but still majestic. We could imaging it spinning around and the sound of water churning over the paddles as it would move through the water.
We had a lovely lunch up top in the Pilot House. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner for visitors. It also features beautiful views of Sacramento's Tower Bridge and the flowing river below.
After lunch, it was time to check out a couple of Sacramento's other great attractions.
There are lots of museums, restaurants and shops in Old Sacramento and enough different activities for young, old and all ages in between. On this day, Carol, Janet and Cindy wandered the streets of Old Sacramento, admiring many of the buildings and sites we first learned about when we took the Go Underground Tour in Old Sacramento and the Old Town Sacramento Ghost Tour. We’d done the Sacramento History Museum and the California State Railroad Museum.
The School House Museum was closed the day we visited Old Sacramento, but we were still able to view the building and small playground from the outside. But for now, we’ll use this as a great excuse to return to Old Sacramento.
In sharp contrast to the old, wooden sidewalks of Old Sacramento, we wandered into downtown proper and admired the progress of the
construction of the new Golden 1 Center being built between Seventh and Fifth streets between J and L. Impressive progress. It is amazing to see a city celebrate its past in Old Sacramento, yet steps away, the future is at hand with the new arena and even more downtown improvements and updates.
Anyhow, it's just one more thing to brag about and visit in our hometown.
If you really want to get the Old Sacramento experience, stay a few nights on the Delta King itself. Book a room here.