The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Downtown Sacramento

Photo of Sierra Brown
9 February 2017

Downtown Sacramento is the central business district of the city of Sacramento. Downtown is one of the busiest and liveliest areas in the city, crowded with both locals and visitors. Needless to say, this area of the city is full of tourist points of interest from museums, parks and restaurants to bars and shopping malls. Check out our guide to the best things to do and see in the area so that you can make the most of your trip.

Crocker Art Museum | Courtesy of Bruce Damonte and Crocker Art Museum

The Crocker Art Museum

The Crocker Art Museum is the first public art museum, established in 1885, and now it’s one of the leading art venues in California. The museum serves as the primary resource for the study and appreciation of fine arts in the city. It offers a diverse spectrum of exhibitions and events and it features collections of Californian art, European art, international ceramics, photography, Asian art, and African and Oceanic art. The Crocker Art Museum is the only museum in Sacramento accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Price: Budget

Opening hours: 10am – 5pm (Tue – Wed), 10am – 9pm (Thu), 10am – 5pm (Fri – Sun)

Watch out for: the museum store

Address and telephone number: 216 O St, Sacramento, CA, USA +1 916-808-7000

Arden Fair Mall

Arden Fair Mall was originally built in 1957 as a single-level outdoor mall with Sears as the original anchor. Now Arden Fair is a two-level shopping mall. It consists of over 165 stores including Apple, Godiva, Michael Kors, and Teavana. It also houses a great selection of restaurants such as BJ’s Brewhouse and Restaurant, Nordstrom Café, and The Cheesecake Factory. The mall encompasses over 1,100,000 square feet of retail space. On your visit to Sacramento grab your friends and family and spend the day at Arden Fair Mall to do some shopping and go out for a meal.

Price: Mid-range

Opening hours: 10am – 9pm (Mon – Sat), 11am – 7pm (Sun)

Watch out for: the local events, entertainment, and tourist information

Address and telephone number: 1689 Arden Way #1167, Sacramento, CA, USA +1 916-920-1167

big pano with sign copy | Courtesy of Kent Lacin 2015
big pano with sign copy | Courtesy of Kent Lacin 2015

California Automobile Museum

Map View
Mustangs | © Marcin Wichary/Flickr
California Automobile Museum is a unique museum unlike any other in the area. The place is home to multiple exhibits and collections. They attract visitors with their expansive collection of over 150 vehicles on display. Walking through the exhibits, visitors can observe old cars from 1885 all the way through to 2011. The museum essentially provides a walk through the history of cars and Californian automobile culture. The museum’s collection is known for being representative of what was actually on the roads over the years, from affordable Model T cars to luxurious Lamborghinis. Price: Budget Opening hours: 10am – 6pm (Mon- Sun) Watch out for: third Thursdays open until 9pm Address and telephone number: 2200 Front Street, Sacramento, CA, USA

William Land Park

William Land Park is a beautiful green area adored by Sacramento locals and tourists. This is a good place to visit alone or accompanied by friends and family. The park’s 166.5 acres have much to offer including a basketball court, a golf course, a jogging path, lakes, large and small picnic areas, soccer fields, and a wading pool. The park also offers some attractions: Fairytale Town, Funderland, and the Sacramento Zoo. William Land Park is a great place to go and relax even if you don’t intend to utilize all of its amenities. You can go for a stroll, clear your head, and just enjoy the pleasant environment.

Price: Budget

Watch out for: the amphitheater

Address and telephone number: 3800 W Land Park Dr, Sacramento, CA, USA +1 916-808-6060

Paint Nite

Visit Paint Nite and enjoy a new kind of night out. Paint Nite was created by Dan Herman and Sean McGrail in 2012 after attending a friend’s party where beer and wine was served in a painting studio.The place allows you to create art while sipping your favorite cocktail. The event is guided by a professional artist and party host. This is the perfect place to take your friends and spend time drinking, laughing, and allowing your creative juices to flow. Experience isn’t necessary and they’ll provide the supplies, so you just have to come and have a great time.

Price: Budget

Watch out for: the special events

Address and telephone number: 11th Street, Sacramento, CA, USA +1 855-767-4270

Paint Nite | Courtesy of Paint Nite
Paint Nite | Courtesy of Paint Nite

The Underground Tasting Room

This winery tasting room is focused on providing an educational wine tasting experience and the chance to purchase directly from the wineries. They’ve been described as a trendy wine tasting location in Sacramento. They currently host two award-winning Sierra Foothill wineries and offer a small selection of high quality gourmet foods. There’s also a top designer that creates impressive custom wine gift baskets. The local wineries Twisted Twig Winery, Fenton Herriot Vineyards, and Rendez-vous Winery share the tasting room. The combination of these boutique wineries brings customers a wide range of high quality, award winning, red, white and dessert wines.

Price: Mid-range

Opening hours: 11am – 5pm (Wed – Thu), 11am – 6pm (Fri – Sun)

Watch out for: the gourmet packaged food

Address and telephone number: 900 2nd St, Sacramento, CA, USA +1 916-444-2349


Sacramento Mobile Food features food truck owners serving everything from hot dogs, chicken and tacos to burgers, smoothies, and ice cream. At SactoMoFo small business owners buy local produce such as meat and bread products, they pay local sales taxes, add affordability and diversity to the local food scene, and offer aspiring restaurant owners a chance to live the American Dream. Some of the local food trucks have already gained success and opened local restaurants. To experience the thrill of having a greater diversity of foods than you can imagine all in one place, put this attraction on your to-do list.

Price: Budget

Watch out for: the live music

Address and telephone number: 7654 Sacramento River Bike Trail, Sacramento, CA, USA +1 916-722-6636

Old Sacramento Underground Tours

You haven’t experienced Sacramento until you’ve experienced Old Sacramento Underground Tours and learned about how Sacramento lifted itself out of the flood waters during the 1860s and 1870s. This tour includes hollow sidewalks, sloped alleyways, and the Underground spaces themselves. The half-mile guided walking tour lasts about one hour, is ADA compliant and can accommodate up to 20 people. Be sure to dress for the weather outside as you’ll be outside until you reach the underground spaces. The tours run independently of the weather.

Price: Budget

Opening hours: 10am – 5pm (Mon – Sun)

Watch out for: the historical exhibits

Address and telephone number: Sacramento History Museum 101 I Street, Sacramento, CA, USA +1 916-808-7059

Whitewater Adventures

Whitewater Adventures wants you to bring your friends, family, co-workers, or club for an adventure through the wilderness. Guests can enjoy the wildlife during the day and gourmet campfire cuisine served in a tiki torch setting at night. Whitewater Adventures are the oldest originally owned outfitter, with over 30 years of river running experience. They are the only company that uses top of the line self-bailing rafts, with your choice of 2 – 5 man rafts. They ensure you’ll have the most unique and memorable whitewater vacation.

Price: Mid-range

Watch out for: the Friday Night VIP Camping

Address and telephone number: 1955 Railroad Dr, Sacramento, CA, USA +1 800-977-4837

Rio City Café

Rio City Café overlooks some of the most prominent landmarks in the city. The Sacramento River runs by the spacious outdoor patio, with views of the historic Tower Bridge and the Ziggurat building. The restaurant opened its doors in 1994 and has been serving tasty fish, chicken, burgers, and much more ever since. They accommodate large parties and banquets, as well as private parties in their banquet room. Guests can enjoy a cocktail in the outdoor cocktail area or relax near the cozy fireplace during colder seasons.

Price: Budget

Opening hours: 11am – 9pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 9pm (Sat – Sun)

Watch out for: the Rio City Burger

Address and telephone number: 1110 Front St, Sacramento, CA, USA +1 916-442-8226

By Sierra Brown

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