A capital idea? Where to go and what to do in Sacramento

California-State-Capitol-Museum

So, can you name the capital of California? … That’s right, it’s Sacramento, of course! Now, sure, it’s a city that does tend to get a little overshadowed by the biggest cities in the US’s biggest state; that’s only natural. Yet, don’t doubt it, there’s much to recommend Sacramento – not least its history, given that it lies at the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers, ensuring that its early ‘Old Sacramento’ district actually harkens all the way back to California’s legendary Gold Rush era.

Moreover, this is a city that for anyone staying at any nearby Good Nite hotels features a number of attractions that just can’t be passed up…

State Capitol

The seat of California’s democratic power, the State Capitol building was constructed way back in the 1860s in a typical but instantly striking Neoclassical style. So much for all the pomp and politics, though, because perhaps what’s really worth writing home about (for those who’ve booked at any AAA hotels Sacramento CA) has to be its several-blocks-long, oh-so colorful gardens, which feature tall palms and beautiful species of trees and plants – all of which lend the Capitol an undeniable air of enhanced elegance. It’s fair to say, too, that the building’s museum, portraits, sculptures and its Vietnam War Memorial (unveiled in 1988) and are worth checking out, especially for history and art buffs.

California State Railroad Museum

Among the world’s largest museums dedicated to all things railways-related, this terrific venue’s where to head for folks nostalgic for the age of steam, not least because it’s home to restored steam locomotives and furnished railway coaches (including a luxurious sleeper car) – some of which date all the way back to the 1860s.

old Sacramento station

Fittingly located in the city’s picturesque old quarter that’s Old Sacramento, this premier attraction also features exhibits focusing on railroad history, as well as firmly family-friendly Kids’ Corner educational programs and story-book readings. And, as if that’s not enough, most summers, the museum’s responsible for running steam trains on the tracks alongside the Sacramento River, which visitors can take a ride on – an experience nobody who’s booked a stay at the best hotels in California would want to miss, surely?

Fairytale Town

Don’t you think a storybook-themed park would be a great idea, in which kids could engage with all the characters from their favourite books? Well, yes, because it’s such a good idea, somebody’s only gone and made it a reality, in the form of Sacramento’s very own Fairytale Town.

Here, visitors big and small (especially those staying at nearby at Good Nite Inn Sacramento) can meet and engage with heroes, villains and more from the worlds of fairy tales and nursery rhymes – the likes of Cinderella, Humpty Dumpty, Mother Goose and Peter Rabbit – as well as gentle farmyard animals, including an adorable miniature Sicilian donkey named Eeyore (after the iconic character from Winnie the Pooh,) and Maddie ‘the Cow that Jumped over the Moon’. Popular highlights also include learning gardens, puppet shows, music performances, and the telling of stories through narration and songs. What a day out for the little ones!

Sacramento Zoo

Sacramento Zoo

Finally, one for the animal lovers out there… home to in excess of 500 exotic animals, (everything from aardvarks to African lions and giraffes to jaguars) and even 200-plus reptiles, Sacramento Zoo boasts 14-acres of land and 14 different aviaries, which themselves are home to at least 35 species of birds.

That’s not all, though, because given the fact many of its animals are rare and endangered, the zoo is extremely active in supporting wildlife protection and so heavily involved in local and international conservation projects – and actively seeks to enlighten and educate visitors on the need for animal conservation, as well as delivering a terrific day out, needless to say!