The city of Sacramento, from Gold Rush-era wealth-generator to contemporary “farm-to-fork” hotspot, is one of the underrated jewels of Northern California.
As one of the most historic cities in California, Sacramento boasts an impressive array of great neighborhoods, landmarks, parks and other must-see points of interest you’ll want to explore. Whether you travel on the city’s light rail system, use transit or tour the city on foot, there’s much to discover everywhere you look.
How to Participate in the Photo Challenge:
- Take a selfie photo at each location as you check them off.
- Tag us on Instagram, @belocal_sacramento, with your selfie using the hashtag #belocalsacramentophotochallenge.
- Send us an email after you’re completed the challenge.
California State Capitol Museum
10th Street and L Street, Sacramento
Begun in 1860 to be reminiscent of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., the Classical Revival-style California State Capitol was completed in 1874. In 1861, the legislative session was moved to the Merchants Exchange Building in San Francisco for one session because of massive flooding in Sacramento. The legislative chambers were first occupied in 1869 while construction continued. From 1862 to 1868, part of the Leland Stanford Mansion was used for the governor's offices during Stanford's tenure as the governor, and the legislature met in the Sacramento County Courthouse. While the California State Capitol Museum rooms are closed and no tours are being offered at this time, an enjoyable walk around the capitol grounds and a photo taken on its steps will qualify.
1000 Front St., Sacramento
Docked at the Old Sacramento Waterfront is a 285-foot paddle steamboat turned restaurant and hotel. Delta King, christened in 1927, traveled between San Francisco and Sacramento while sibling ship Delta Queen worked the Mississippi. In World War II, both were drafted into the U.S. Navy. Bought by a family in Old Sacramento and renovated, the King is a photo-worthy attraction — and serves a fine seafood linguini. Take a selfie outside or inside or perhaps as you enjoy a delicious seafood dinner!
DOCO and Golden 1 Center
405 K St. and 500 David J Stern Walk, Sacramento
Explore the Golden 1 Center, which sits proudly in the heart of Downtown Sacramento, and DOCO, an entertainment and lifestyle district in Sacramento’s dynamic downtown. It's steps away from the State Capitol and Old Town Waterfront. Enjoy shopping, dining and entertainment. DOCO is centrally located and easily accessible from the four major Sacramento freeways, as well as public transportation. DOCO is the place to go! Take a selfie in front of one of the DOCO signs. Can you find each of them?
Governor's Mansion State Historic Park
1526 H St., Sacramento
Tour the Historic Governor's Mansion of California, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the only governor’s mansion in the U.S. not currently being used by a sitting governor. The Mansion is unusual among museums in that it is not a replica nor a restoration. "Walk through history" and see the furnishings and personal items left by each family, including Governor Pardee's 1902 Steinway piano, the plum velvet sofa and chairs purchased by Mrs. Hiram Johnson in 1911 and hand-tied Persian carpets acquired by Mrs. Earl Warren in 1943. You will also see marble fireplaces from Italy and gold framed mirrors from France, all of which are reminders of the Victorian era. It is also possible to look around the mansion grounds and enjoy the flowers, shrubs and trees, some of which date back to 1877! Snap a photo of your favorite spot! Photographer’s choice!
Gunther’s Ice Cream
2801 Franklin Blvd., Sacramento
With over 40 flavors of ice cream, fruit freezes, sandwiches and novelty frozen treats, Gunther’s has been serving quality ice cream to the Sacramento area since 1940. Local resident Lorenzo, from Sac Food & Booze, claims this to be the best spot for ice cream in all of Sacramento and suggests the 50/50 fruit freeze that comes with your choice of ice cream in the middle. Treat yourself and snap a photo as you enjoy a frozen treat! Bonus points if you catch the Gunther’s sign lit up.
Historic Crest Theatre
1013 K St., Sacramento
This historic theater opened more than a century ago as the Empress Theatre. Down the line, it was rechristened as the Crest Theatre and remodeled along art-deco lines. Shut in the 1980s, it had new life breathed into it a decade and a half later as a venue for niche films, live performances and concerts, and lectures. A photo of yourself in front of their brilliant, neon marquee is suggested!
McKinley Rose Garden
3255 H St., Sacramento
As the name makes clear, everything’s coming up roses within the garden of the spectacular 30-acre (12-hectare) McKinley Park in East Sacramento, a celebrated backdrop for wedding photos and fashion shoots. The growing season, April to November, is a whirl of volunteers pruning, deadheading and fertilizing the 1,200 specimens. In 2012, a major renovation brought new irrigation systems and roses. There’s also a Butterfly Habitat Garden, while butterfly-friendly blooms keep the place aflutter with colorful visitors. Head to the center of the Rose Garden to read about its history, then surprise us with your best shot!
Various locations (www.wideopenwalls.com)
You’ll find remarkable, one-of-a-kind art throughout the city, with colorful murals often adorning unlikely expanses throughout the city. Find them either by searching #sacstreetart or #streetsac on Instagram or by visiting the Wide Open Walls website to coordinate a self-guided tour of your favorite murals. In August 2017, Sacramento held a Wide Open Walls mural festival, bringing together more than 40 local, national and international artists, all of whom left some of the most astounding art in the region. Take a mural tour and snap a photo of yourself in front of your favorite mural!
Old Sacramento Waterfront Historic District
1002 Second St., Sacramento
Plan your perfect day and explore over 125 shopping, dining, events and attractions located in the beautiful Old Sacramento. From riverboats to railroad excursions, to horse-drawn carriages and riverside bike treks, Old Sacramento Waterfront is history on the move. As you walk through Historic Old Town Sacramento, remember the excitement of new arrivals eager to strike it rich in the California gold fields. Surprise us with a photo of you by your favorite spot in Old Town.
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
2701 L St., Sacramento
Explore where the California Gold Rush began. Visitors to Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park are welcome to explore the historic structures and living history museum at their own pace. The Museum Store located inside Sutter’s Fort is operated by Friends of Sutter’s Fort. Check www.suttersfort.org/visit/ for hours and admission prices. Take a photo next to the sign by the entrance.
100 Capitol Mall, Sacramento
Construction of the Tower Bridge, which connects Sacramento and West Sacramento, began on July 20, 1934. It was opened for use on Dec. 15, 1935, after the then-governor, Frank Merriam, dedicated the bridge and led the inaugural parade across it. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful vertical lift bridges in operation today. The pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic bridge, on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of the most photographed historical landmarks in the city. At night, it has a golden glow, which automatically draws your eyes to it. Walk across the Tower Bridge and you’ll find out why, taking a keepsake photo along the way.
2508 Land Park Drive, Sacramento
Featuring an exterior reminiscent of a typical 1950s movie theatre, this historic Sacramento cinema treasure features a showcase of movie memorabilia inside. Enjoy a movie on one of its three screens and walk next door to the Tower Café for lunch or a late-night snack. Voted Sacramento’s best brunch spot for several years, Tower Café is for those with pure food indulgence in mind. Surround yourself with trees, flowers and a flowing water fountain as you relax and dine on their lush outdoor patio. Lights, camera, action. A can’t-miss photo could be the iconic neon theater sign taken at night.