Sacramento (CA)

December 27, 2014

The best thing about Sacramento, the capital city of the state of California is that you are only a few hours away from so much: Napa, San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Tahoe, Yosemite, etc.

But due to time constraints my visit was limited to the California State Railroad Museum and Old Sacramento State Historic Park

Central Pacific Railroad No. 1 Gov. Stanford

The museum features 21 restored locomotives and railroad cars, some dating back to 1862.  

The "Sierra Scene"

The "Sierra Scene" shows a large scale mockup of a construction scene high in the Sierra Nevada representing Donner Pass circa 1867, featuring the locomotive Gov. Stanford.

Central Pacific Railroad No. 1 Gov. Stanford

Other exhibits show how the influence of railroads changed American society, influencing travel, commerce and daily life, as well as the lives of railroaders and the diversity of people who work on railroads

Chinese labor was integral to the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad

This is a very well stocked, roomy railroad museum, with an awesome permanent collection of engines, dining & sleeping cars, including the mammoth Southern Pacific Cab Forward No. 4294.

Most engines and coaches are open and well accessible. There's also a 20 min movie which can be skipped if you are short on time.

One really neat display is the Pullman car. When you walk in the car it will sway and rock just like you are going down the tracks.

The 347C, a 1.500 HP Diesel-electric locomotive produced betwen 1949 and 1953

On the same area is the Old Sacramento State Historic Park which has been restored and developed as a significant tourist attraction.

Other attractions are rides in horse-drawn carriages, historic trains from the former Central Pacific Railroad passenger station, and cruises on historic riverboats.

Columnar jointed basalt

Virtually all the buildings in this area date from the 19th century, and show a reasonable approximation to their original appearance.

Before Sacramento's extensive levee system was in place, the area flooded quite regularly. Because of this, the city's streets were raised a level.

Sacramento History Museum

Most of the sidewalks and storefronts have been filled in, however many tunnels still remain throughout Old Sacramento and the downtown area.

Original level, quite messy when it was flooded

During the holidays, many of the buildings are lit up and are synced to holiday music while the story of the night before Christmas is told. This also includes actors and a fair amount of decorations.

Christmas Show

Don't forget to check the Delta King, a 285-foot-long paddlewheel steamboat (87 m) now permanently moored and home to a 44-room hotel and restaurant.

Inside the Delta King showing a scale model of his sister, the Delta Queen

The Tower Bridge is a vertical lift bridge opened in 1935. The bridge style represents a rare use of Streamline Moderne architectural styling in a lift bridge, making it an outstanding expression of the social and architectural climate of the period of construction.

Tower Bridge

The California State Capitol is home to the government of California. The Neoclassical structure was completed between 1861 and 1874 and is based on the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C.

California State Capitol