Things to Do in Sacramento: Sacramento is a city that is rich with history, culture, and countless things to impress you! Vacation on a strict budget is never ideal. However, there are plenty of free things to do in the area that don’t cost a dime.
The famous saying from Sacramento is that “California begins here” and after spending a little bit of time here you will understand why. It is a city that has never forgotten its past and one that continues to remember the Gold Rush.
Sacramento is located at the confluence of the Sacramento and is best known as the home of the prestigious University of California Davis and Sacramento State University.
The B Street Theatre has become something of an institution in Sacramento. The critics keep coming back for more great shows. The mission of the theater is to promote both education and literacy, they do this by creating shows that are of the highest quality.
The theater has been going strong for nearly 30 years and in that time the traveling part of the theater has performed in front of approximately 3.6 million students from California.
The Sacramento News has awarded this place the ‘Best Live Theatre’ 14 years in a row.
Second Saturday Art Walk
Every second Saturday of the month, Sacramento art galleries stay open late and invite guests to view their pieces for free. Live music fills the air and local talent comes out to show off their best work in this Sacramento tradition.
This is an especially nice choice during summer evenings, but it does get crowded. Food & drinks are for sale at each Second Saturday. The galleries span all throughout the region but focus on the downtown/midtown grid.
Sacramento is a home to some of the most diverse array of recreational activities. Folsom Lake is actually part of a state recreation area that sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills.
With around 75 miles of shoreline, the lake welcomes swimmers, fishermen, boaters and campers. Hikers, cyclists and nature enthusiasts of many other types are on the trails daily. Folsom Lake is free to visit.
As with any tourist destination, check their official website for updated hours and to confirm a visit is in fact free. Some places will sometimes request a small donation to maintain facilities or to benefit a non-profit.
However, at the time of publication, these are just a few of the great spots in Sacramento that are free to enjoy.
The California State Capitol Museum
Sitting right in the heart of Sacramento is the California State Capitol Museum, here you can see the best of California’s history as well as its current active government buildings.
You can get a guided tour around the museum as part of a group or you can walk around unaided, whichever suits you better.
In fact, the whole building is stated as a museum but it is the basement and first floor where you will see the most interesting things.
R Street Block Party
It’s no secret we think the R Street Corridor is one of the hottest new neighborhoods in the Sacramento region. See for yourself what all the fuss is about during this bustling street party in the district.
Watch painters create street art and take little ones to the kids’ zone, where they can put on temporary tattoos. They also flex their creative muscles by learning how to make things like marbled paintings on paper. June 24. 3-8 p.m. 11th and R streets.
Free Museum Day
Sacramento Museum Day happens each year and permits guests to roam the rooms of local museums for absolutely free.
They include smaller establishments like the California Military Museum and California State Indian Museum; as well as some larger destinations like the Crocker Art Museum and Sutter’s Fort. For the kids, Fairytale Town and the Sacramento Zoo are also included in the free day.
The only downside to Sacramento Museum Day is the crowds – go early and plan on staying at only one or two destinations. The free day is traditionally the first Saturday in February but varies by year.
This Is Midtown
Midtown’s 20th Street in front of the MARRS building closes to traffic every second Saturday this summer for a block party that features bands and DJs playing into the night.
Between musical acts, you can watch interactive sketches from the Sacramento Comedy Spot, as well as skateboarding exhibitions from local shop PLA Skateboarding. Off-stage attractions include games like ping pong and cornhole.
The Resolute Circles Group, a local hula hoop troupe, will also be performing and giving pointers to would-be hoop enthusiasts. Every second Saturday until Sept. 16. 4:30-9 p.m. 20th and K streets.
Meet The Animals At Sacramento Zoo
The history of the Sacramento Zoo is fascinating as it shows how the zoo went from being “the little zoo in the park” to the large, impressive zoo that you will get to experience today. Initially the zoo was very small and always housing about 40 animals that were collected from local parks.
Now the zoo has 400 animals from all corners of the globe and focuses its energy on education, recreation and conservation. There is so much to see and experience here and the children especially, will thoroughly enjoy meeting all the animals.
Take A Trip Over Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge connects West Sacramento in Yolo County to the Sacramento County in the East. The bridge itself was built in 1935 and upon its opening 100 homing pigeons were sent across the state to deliver the news to the people.
Throughout the years the bridge has seen many renovations but a lot of the original bridge equipment still exists. The railroad use the bridge up until now to reduce that increased flow of traffic could be handled.
Folsom Historic District
Folsom Historic District preserves the historic heart of Folsom, California, which was originally developed in the 1850s following the California Gold Rush.
Today, the district is home to a wide variety of preserved 19th and early 20th-century buildings, known as the “place where the West came and stayed.” Visitors can take in the downtown district’s beautiful architecture as part of self-guided walking tours or explore several museums.
Art galleries, boutiques, and nightclubs abound, along with restaurants serving up traditional coastal California cuisine alongside a variety of international options.
The district also serves as a terminus for the American River Bike Trail Path, which begins in downtown Sacramento’s Old Sacramento State Historic Park.
Sacramento’s Historic City Cemetery
The Old City Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Sacramento, established in 1849 it has become the final resting place for many a great Californian over the decades.
Buried in these grounds are previous Sacramento mayors, Californian governors and also victims of the cholera epidemic of 1850.
The cemetery is set out as a beautiful Victorian garden and you can take a lantern led tour of the graves to experience and learn about the rich history of the people here.
Volunteers are there to watch over the the grounds now. The volunteers adopt a plot and look after the gardening duties that would have previously been completed by relatives.
Fairytale Town is a 2.5 acre play area and children’s museum in Sacramento. The museum is design to bring all of your favorite nursery rhymes and fairytale’s to life.
There are more than 25 different areas to play in, each reflecting a children’s story that can be brought to life with a little imagination.
Meanwhile, there are also various animals dotted throughout the park such as Peter Rabbit. Fairytale Town is a great place to go back and reminisce over your childhood whatever age you may be.
The Dive Bar
If you want something completely extraordinary then you should stop off for a pint at The Dive Bar. Above the bar is a tank that holds 7,500 gallons of water. In the tank are mermaids and mermen swimming around for your pleasure.
The bar is available for private parties as well as the casual drinker who just wants to chill out for a while. The bar is truly unique and a great place to see a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Feel Inspired At Crocker Art Museum
Originally this fine establishment was known as the E.B Crocker Art Gallery. Although it has since changed its name and is the longest continuously operating art museum in the west of America. There are a lot of works of art in the museum, dating from the Gold Rush to today.
The museum opened its doors in 1871 and houses one of the largest collections of international ceramics in the U.S. There is much to see and experience here and you easily spend an entire day wandering around the beautiful pieces.
Sacramento has a plethora of fun, free things to do and see for visitors on a budget. There are rich history and geography to explore, from architecture to museums to the local waterways. Lots of nature to enjoy, plus scenic drives. Public art and summer concerts you should watch out for.
Was this article useful? If Yes! Please leave your comment. For more related articles, subscribe to our blog.