Sacramento started with the founding of Sutter’s Fort by the swiss settler John Sutter in 1839. Gold was find nearby in 1848, which started a gold rush, and the expansion of the city. Sacramento was an overnight success, and in 1879, the city was named the permanent state capital of California.
Sacramento has a wonderful, temperate, Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot, dry summers. With an average of around 19 inches of rain per annum, it almost has a desert climate. Snow is extremely rare, with a dusting every eight to ten years.
The Sacramento Zoo is located in William Land Park, just south of the city. Open since 1927, the Sacramento Zoo is home to over 140 native, rare and endangered species and is one of over 200 accredited institutions of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Zoo is wholly managed by the nonprofit Sacramento Zoological Society and inspires conservation awareness through education and recreation. More information is available at the Sacramento Zoo website.
Sacramento has several major museums, among them the Crocker Art Museum, which is the oldest public art museum in the western United States. For fans of steam, check out the California State Railroad Museum, in Old Sacramento. The museum has working steam locomotives to ride, and many historical exhibits. A family-focused educational treat is The Discovery Museum of Sacrameto, with exhibits on history, science and space. The worlds most complete antique Ford collection is at the Towe Auto Museum, just a mile south of Old Sacramento. For all the excitement of the Gold Rush, visit the Wells Fargo History Museum, also in Old Sacramento. Stagecoaches, gold, mining, business, commerce are all colorfully interpreted for visitors.
Visit the Esquire IMAX theatre – the 6 story high screen and wrap around digital sound are used to stunning effect, with such shows as Fly Me To The Moon 3D, Wild Ocean 3D, and you can even see the blockbuster summer movie, Batman: The Dark Knight.
No trip to California, Surf Capital of the World, would be complete without a visit to the California Surf Museum. Based in Oceanside, the museum features new exhibitions every six months, documenting the greats of the California surfing scene. Merchandise is also available. For more details, check out the California Surf Museum website.
An unusual destination is The California Caverns – four magnificent natural caverns. Filled with incredibly beautiful rock formations, they make for a magical trip. Besides basking in the beauty of the caverns, take a thrilling ride on an zip line aboveground at Moaning Cavern.
For loads of family swimming and adventure fun, try the Raging Waters waterpark in Sacramento. Loads of experiences are available, from the ultimate water thrill ride, The Dragons Den, the Honolulu Half Pipe, Hurricane Bay Slide, and Hooks Lagoon. More details available on the Raging Waters Sacramento website.
Sacramento has a great deal to offer for feeding the family, from cheap and cheerful venues like Dos Coyotes Border Cafe (several locations in the Sacramento area) and Pieces Pizza by the Slice (near the corner of 21st and Capitol), to mid-range like Cafe Marika (2011 J Street – note! Cash only, no credit cards!), to high scale places like Morton’s Steakhouse (521 L Street) where they pride themselves on cooking the tenderest steak.
San Diego is served by Sacramento International Airport, which is located only 10 miles northwest of the center of the city. The city also has Amtrak rail links, with the Samcramento Valley Rail Station being located at the corner of 5th and I streets.
Little known fact about Sacramento – The wave of people moving to Sacramento during the Gold Rush in 1848 is recorded as the largest human migration in history.