With Sacramento being the capitol of the state of California, it is not surprising that they have an active and very interesting historical district, called "Old Sacramento". This was the commercial district during the gold rush, and has been redeveloped with cobblestone streets, wooden sidewalks, museums, restaurants, and shops that preserve its historical character.
Since the area consists of 28 acres, bordered on one side by the Capitol Mall, and the Sacramento River on the opposite side, some visitors take advantage of the horse-drawn carriages or covered wagons to get an overview of the entire area. Besides the real horses in this photo, the statue of the horse on the left is a tribute to the fact that this was the western terminus of the Pony Express riders often spoken of in Western lore.
There are numerous specialty shops to be explored, such as candy stores, toy stores, an olive products store, clothing boutiques, etc.
I had to stare at this giant "device" on the wall of the store above for quite some time before I realized that it was meant to represent a gigantic hat pin!
But a kite store as colorful as this one in Old Sacramento demands the shooting mode be set to COLOR!
There are numerous choices for grabbing a meal or a snack in Old Town, both along the boardwalk sidewalks, or overlooking the Sacramento River. You could also dine ON the river, in one of the elegant rooms of the Delta King Riverboat Hotel, which is permanently anchored adjacent to the historic district.
My meal choice on this most recent visit was the "Indo Cafe" along the boardwalk. It was prepared and served by a chef of Indonesian background, and the presentation, as well as the taste, was delightful!
This is Pioneer Park, and contains relics of some of the original architecture from the gold rush days.
The Huntington and Hopkins Hardware Store is a representation of a small-town 19th century hardware store that has such period items as lanterns hanging from the ceiling, crates stacked on the floor, and an assortment of tools and implements. Docents provide historical information and explain how some of the older tools were used. It also contains a retail operation, selling hard to find items such as oil lamps and old-fashioned toys.
The California State Railroad Museum is a three-story steel, brick and glass structure housing 21 restored locomotives and train cars, such as the one shown in this photograph. The year I attended the Memorial Day Music Festival, a ticket to this excellent museum was included in the tourism package I purchased.
Steam trains of the Sacramento Southern Railroad transport visitors on a 6-mile journey on weekends, April through September, and depart from the depot shown here, that is adjacent to the Sacramento River.
This photo shows the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum that was designed to resemble an 1884 one-room schoolhouse that served students in Yolo County.
The museum has a potbellied stove, with both original and replica furniture, fixtures, and books. Admission is free, and it is a popular starting place for school field trips to Old Sacramento.
This photo is a reminder to mention that the Wells Fargo History Museum is in the lobby of the Wells Fargo Center, and has exhibits illustrating the development of the company. Topics covered include the gold rush, the Pony Express, and early banking.
There are placards throughout Old Sacramento that concisely tell the visitor historical information relevant to the particular place they are standing.
Anytime is a good time to stroll through Old Sacramento, but visiting there during the Memorial Day Music Festival ( http://www.sacmusicfest.com/ ) is especially exciting!
One year, my relatives planned their family reunion to coincide with the big Memorial Day musical festival, and we had a guaranteed roster of entertainment options, including watching a colorful parade of marching bands, Western characters in costumes, antique cars, and mounted police brigades.
During music fest on Memorial Day weekend, you can take your pick of dozens of different types of music, in dozens of different locations. So start planning your trip to Old Sacramento ASAP by going to http://www.discovergold.org/ to select your lodging and other travel considerations. Proverbs 16:31 states that "Gray hair is a crown of splendor...". and I would likewise say that Old Sacramento is a "crown of splendor" for the capitol city of California! So get out there and get your crown on! It will bring you miles of smiles! Tricia