Old Sacramento is the original historic 1850s business district during
the Gold Rush Period. Old Sacramento, often referred to as "Old Town
Sacramento" has been designated as a California Historical Landmark
known as "Old Sacramento State Historic Park". This piece of America
West history includes over 50 buildings of significance including the
1849 Eagle Theater and the 1853 B.F. Hastings Building which at one
time housed the California Supreme Court.
Old Sacramento sets along the edges of modern downtown at the
riverfront of the Sacramento River. Its historical significance boasts
of being the original river transport center to the San Francisco Bay
area. It also claims the distinction of being the western terminus of
the Pony Express as well as having the first transcontinental railroad
and first transcontinental telegraph.
A Walk Back Into History Awaits You
Over 28 acres of Gold Rush era history beckons you to the streets of
Old Sacramento where you will discover more historical buildings
than any other area of similar size in the west. Many of these buildings
are now occupied by modern businesses and museums. You’ll enjoy
shops, restaurants, train depots, riverboats, stage coaches and maybe
even a few ghosts as you wander through this taste of years gone by.
Old Sacramento is clearly the largest attraction in the area. Not only
is it officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s also
a charming, riverfront town with Gold Rush era architecture, rustic
cobblestone streets and wooden sidewalks. Over 5 million visitors
come here each year and it is also a favorite with Sacramento locals.
Old Sacramento bustles with activities and events year round.
Things To Do and See
Be sure to take a walking tour of the area. Costumed docents from the
Old Sacramento Living History Program lead tours from March through
September on a regular basis. You can call the Old Sacramento Living
History Program any time of the year to arrange a private walking tour
at 916-445-3101. If a self-guided tour is more your style, purchase a
self-guided walking tour map at the visitor center.
Check out the museums, most of which are inexpensive and some are
even free, walk the streets, browse the shops and enjoy a meal at one
of the many fine restaurants in or near Old Sacramento, California. The
California State Railroad Museum is located here along with the
California Military Museum, the Discovery Museum History Center,
Old Sacramento Interpretive Center, Old Sacramento School House
Museum and the Wells Fargo History Museum. See our list of popular
Some of the must see annual events include the spooky Ghost Tours each
Halloween season. For three weekends in October, you can walk the
streets of Old Sacramento with a docent from the Old Sacramento Living
History Program and learn about the ghosts who are believed to inhabit
the original buildings found here.
The Sacramento Jazz Jubilee is held each May for four days and attracts
over 100,000 visitors each year with over 125 bands playing non-stop.
With the stunning background of Old Sacramento, fantastic music, an
opening day parade, wonderful shops and mouth-watering food, you
can’t go wrong by heading out to the Jubilee.
You’ll often see re-enactment groups on the streets portraying the people and events from the 1848s to 1870s.
Getting around Old Sacramento offers as many choices as there are styles.
You can walk, you can ride a horse drawn carriage, you can cruise the river
on a riverboat, ride a steam locomotive or take a tour. No matter how you
choose to get around, we’re sure you’ll agree, Old Sacramento is a great
place to explore.
Location and Parking: Old Sacramento State Historic Park is located in
downtown Sacramento and is convenient to reach by all freeways. Coming
from any direction in the state, take Interstate 5 to the ”J Street” exit and
follow the signs into park. Abundant covered parking is available at the
main parking structure located at 3rd and J Streets. There are a limited
number of metered, 90-minute on-street parking spaces throughout the
park. See the Old Sacramento Map that identifies all buildings, stores,
shops, parking lots and restaurants.