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Need ONE REASON to visit Sacramento--driving through...

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Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
34 posts
7 reviews
Need ONE REASON to visit Sacramento--driving through...

We're from FLORIDA driving through Sacramento on our way to Lake Tahoe. If there was one thing we HAD TO SEE in Sacramento, what would you recommend?

No water parks, no white water rafting, no hiking--we're doing that stuff elsewhere.

Should we just drive thru and keep going to Lake Tahoe or is there this one or two things that are a "MUST SEE" in your town?

Thanks for your guidance!

16 replies to this topic
Concord, California
Destination Expert
for Sacramento, Puerto Vallarta
Level Contributor
11,231 posts
134 reviews
11. Re: Need ONE REASON to visit Sacramento--driving through...

Speak for yourself, puter (teasing you, of course). ;=))

Fascinating stuff. Being a 5th-generation Sacramentan (ancestors lived at Sutter's Fort after coming across the plains), I always think I'm boring people when mentioning things like that, but even visitors might find some of the history intriguing.

As a native with long Sacramento lineage, it's hard to come up with just ONE reason to visit as Herb Caen (who grew up in Sacramento) said some rather disparaging things about our town when he wrote for the SF Chron. We grew a "bad self-image" as being the place which was just a "stop" on the way from San Francisco to Tahoe. Well, there's all that "government-stuff" also that can get in the way (as above).

To me, anything having to do with *The Western Migration* (which the California State Railroad Museum covers) is fascinating in Sacramento. Part of the heritage and immigrant history for everyone interested in the history of the US is right that. Not everyone is a history-buff; but, if they are, it's a do not miss. Not everyone is an art-buff either but the Crocker covers that finely.

My ancestors worked in one of those buildings that was raised, due to the floods. If you send me a PM, I'll send you a story that will curl your hair. It made the front pages of the Sacramento papers for days in the early 1900's. Can't put it on the forum as it's too much drama (with someone trying to murder both my grandparents, and them meeting each other and falling in love, because of that incident).

With that in mind, I can assure anyone that Sacramento history is fascinating ---- if people are history-buffs. A drivethrough will miss it. For the OP, do make sure to stop and see something that piques your interest. There is plenty.

Have a good trip.

Concord, California
Destination Expert
for Sacramento, Puerto Vallarta
Level Contributor
11,231 posts
134 reviews
12. Re: Need ONE REASON to visit Sacramento--driving through...

Replying to my own post here but since not much else is going on, on this forum, wanted to mention that I spent the entire day at the Sacramento Historical Museum today, including the Underground Tour, and it was overwhelmingly fascinating.

The tour guide (Michael Kearney from County Clare in Ireland) was captivating beyond description. There was a group of about 20 of us, and a good percentage were kids on vacation. He grabbed all of us, with entertaining stories and interactive activities and his incredible Irish gift for gab. The kids really got into it.

The content of the tour was fascinating. It's not "underground" by the way. It's just through the space between where the sidewalks used to be, and the original level of Sacramento prior to the massive floods of 1861-62.

Also, his imitation of Hal Holbrook doing Mark Twain was worthy of a standing ovation. I've had a ton of great historical tours in my long life, but this one was a doozy.

Sometimes I think I'm the only person captivated by this stuff, with ancestors who came to Sac for the Gold Rush in 1849 and mom's ancestors living at Sutter's Fort for 2 years in the 1850's, but there were plenty of other people fasincated also. Met a couple from Amarillo, Texas who are huge history buffs. Fun to talk to them, about Sacramento history (which they are enjoying) and other US sites.

I'll write a review, but since this thread was semi-recent, wanted to mention it. The Underground Tour is only 5 years old, so that's why people may not be aware. $15.00 and worth every cent.

Aside: It's very clear during the tour how much work/effort the whole project took, over many years, to raise the level of the City to keep it from flooding. Makes me admire my ancestors even more. As our guide pointed out, the hard-working Sacramentans got some consulting advice from Chicago-ans, who had done the same thing. Seatlle did it also, later.

It was an amazing feat of architectural brilliance AND devotion to the place all the new residents (the ones who didn't flee, with all the river floods) called home.

A+++ (a TOP reason to visit Sacramento, even for people who live close-by, including me --- a 5th-gen Sacramentan on both sides). Always something to learn.

Edited: 1:05 am, August 06, 2014
Level Contributor
102 posts
24 reviews
13. Re: Need ONE REASON to visit Sacramento--driving through...

There really isn't a reason. Sacramento is boring.

"Drive through" and make sure you see Emerald Bay. Things in Tahoe are much better than Sacramento tourist junk. As Kevin Johnson would say, "is there really a reason to visit here?" Build me a stadium! Oh, help them.

La Habra, California
Level Contributor
694 posts
15 reviews
14. Re: Need ONE REASON to visit Sacramento--driving through...

Hi MarlySF,

I enjoyed reading your post (#13) and while I don't have the family history in the state that you do, I'm a lifelong Californian who definitely appreciates and enjoys learning about our state's history. That's why I love visiting Sacramento and the Gold Country area. I haven't been to the Sacramento Historical Museum yet, but when I next visit Sacramento, that museum and tour will be on the top of my itinerary! Thank you for such an informative, well-written and detailed post.

Edited: 2:18 pm, October 09, 2014
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4 posts
6 reviews
15. Re: Need ONE REASON to visit Sacramento--driving through...

Definitely the State Capitol and if you have some extra time check out the Governor's Mansion http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=498 pretty cool

Concord, California
Destination Expert
for Sacramento, Puerto Vallarta
Level Contributor
11,231 posts
134 reviews
16. Re: Need ONE REASON to visit Sacramento--driving through...

Kind67 --- Thanks for the thanks. Sorry I missed your note when it first popped up (I was in Europe for almost 3 weeks with no online access and am still catching up).

I'm derelict in not writing a review of the Sacramento History Museum and the Underground Tour but I plan to go back again soon (the benefits of membership in the Museum!) so will do that next time.

Do enjoy the Museum and the Tour when you go. It is such a fine reminder of our legendary history.. The River. The Gold. The Western Migration. Our ancestors --- those pioneers that came out here undaunted. Something to be proud of.

Please report back when you go.

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