18 Best Things to Do in Sacramento County, CA

Sacramento County, CA
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Sacramento County is one of the best counties to see in California because of its rich historical significance.

Brimming with cities and communities that each played roles in the formation of the United States, you’ll find tons of historical attractions here.

Sacramento City alone is one of the best cities on the West Coast, as it’s full of so many museums, parks, and amusement centers.

Beyond that, the smaller communities such as Carmichael and Herald have underrated nature preserves that diversify your itinerary.

There’s a lot to see—get started by checking this list of the 18 best things to do in Sacramento County, California.

See the Wetlands of Cosumnes River Preserve

A boardwalk at Cosumnes River Preserve
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Cosumnes River Preserve is one of the best places in Sacramento County to experience its rich wetlands, located in the city of Galt.

Brimming with tons of wildlife and plant life, there’s a lot for the curious adventurer to see at Cosumnes River Preserve.

Kayaking is one of the most highly recommended things to do here, as it will let you experience the preserve the fastest.

Scenic view of Cosumnes River Preserve
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It also lets you see the various wildlife up close; some of the common ones you’ll find here are water fowl, geese, and various reptiles and amphibians.

One of the best nature spots in the county, don’t miss out on Cosumnes River Preserve.

A heron at Cosumnes River Preserve
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Spend a Whole Day at William Land Regional Park

Sacramento is a bustling city in California, but William Land Regional Park will let you experience the city’s quiet and serene side.

Situated along the Sacramento River, William Land Regional Park has a ton of things for families and couples; some examples are fishing, picnics, and playing sports.

The place is huge—-there are dick ponds, baseball fields, rock gardens, and even a golf course.

If you don’t want some peace and quiet, the opposite end of the park also has a ton of fun.

The park is famous for housing two of the most famous amusement centers in the county: Fairytale Town and Funderland Amusement Park.

With so many things to do, you can spend a whole day just exploring William Land Regional Park.

Tour the California State Capitol Park

Trail lined with shrubs at California State Capitol Park
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Very few places can be called as a must-visit not just in Sacramento County, but also in California—-one such example is the California State Capitol Park.

A huge capitol in Sacramento, this attraction has it all in store for you.

Whether you’re looking to appreciate art, history, architecture, or you just want photo opportunities, the capitol has you covered.

The grounds of California State Capitol Park
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What’s best is that it won’t cost any admission fees to experience California State Capitol Park.

There are a lot of mini attractions inside, such as the Firefighters Memorial and World Peace Rose Garden—don’t miss out on this awesome attraction!

An old tree at California State Capitol Park
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Interact with Marine Life at SeaQuest Folsom

While Sacramento County is mostly known for Sacramento City, other cities like Folsom have a lot of tourist attractions as well—one of their best is SeaQuest Folsom.

While not unique to the county, SeaQuest Folsom is a great addition to your itinerary if you haven’t been to one.

The sheer amount of marine life here makes it a haven for children—you’ll see animals such as sharks, stingrays, and hundreds of different fish.

Feeding a variety of animals is one of the highlights of SeaQuest Folsom.

It’s not just marine life here, as there are other unique animals like capybaras, sloths, armadillos, and toucans.

Visit Sacramento Zoo

A red panda at Sacramento Zoo
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If trekking the rugged terrains of Effie Yeaw Nature Center isn’t your flavor, then Sacramento Zoo is the best place for you.

Located in Sacramento, the zoo is one of the most-visited attractions in the county, brimming with animals from across the globe.

While full of animals, the best thing about this place is its creativity..

A giraffe at Sacramento Zoo
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From train rides, exhibits, to dinosaur pop ups, Sacramento Zoo feels like a full-fledged amusement center combined with a zoo.

Don’t be afraid to eat here as well, as the food is amazing which makes it all the more convenient.

Wallaby at Sacramento Zoo
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Do Wildlife Observation at Effie Yeaw Nature Center

Effie Yeaw Nature Center is another great outdoor spot in the county, located in the community of Carmichael.

Situated by the American River, this nature center is packed with tons of wildlife that makes it a must-see for all animal lovers.

Ranging from coyotes to wild turkeys, you’ll need  a great pair of binoculars and a powerful camera to capture these amazing memories.

Plant life is also abundant here, and the walking trails are easy to navigate on a clear day.

Effie Yeaw Nature Center is a great place to see the rich ecology of Sacramento County—don’t miss out on it!

See the Nuclear Reactors at Rancho Seco Park

Daytime view of Rancho Seco Park
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Located in the community of Herald, Rancho Seco Park isn’t your average city park because of its history.

Formerly a nuclear power plant, Rancho Seco Park still has remnants of its past; you can see two inactive nuclear reactors by checking this place.

There’s nothing to worry about safety-wise, as Rancho Seco Park doesn’t have any radiation that’s dangerous!

Besides seeing the nuclear reactors up close, the park is famous for boating, picnics, and other recreational activities.

So if you haven’t seen nuclear reactors, try adding this cool spot in your itinerary.

Do Urban Exploration at Old Sacramento Historic Waterfront District

If you’re visiting Sacramento County, the Old Sacramento Historic Waterfront District is a can’t-miss destination.

Acting as the central tourist hub of Sacramento, this place offers a mix of over 100 shops, restaurants, and museums.

The little shops here that each have their own niche is what makes this place so nice to explore; it’s a perfect way to get a souvenir.

The architecture of Old Sacramento Historic Waterfront District is something to marvel at as well, brimming with different styles.

A fantastic sightseeing spot for photo opportunities, this historic district should be atop your priority.

Visit California State Railroad Museum

Exterior of the California State Railroad Museum
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One of the most prominent museums found in the Old Sacramento Historic District is the California State Railroad Museum.

If you have a strong passion for trains, this is for you; otherwise, it’s still an iconic museum to add to your itinerary.

A steam locomotive displayed in California State Railroad Museum
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The California State Railroad Museum is huge—you could easily put this at the end of your itinerary after exploring the historic district.

Kids will particularly love this as well, as the exhibits really come to life.

To top it all off, there are even train rides here which are perfect for the family.

Interior of California State Railroad Museum
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Explore Deer Creek Hills Nature Preserve

If you want a break from all the touristy areas in Sacramento County, venturing far into the community of Sloughhouse is a great way to start.

Housing Deer Creek Hills Nature Preserve, Sloughhouse is a great day trip for those looking for an offroading and nature adventure.

The place is magical to say the least—not a common attraction, the preserve almost feels like it’s untouched by civilization.

Hiking here is a must, as you’ll see various terrains and ecosystems along the way.

Deer Creek Hills Nature Preserve feels like you’re venturing into the unknown—give it a try!

Go Biking at Discovery Park

Welcome sign of Discovery Park
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Another treasure in Sacramento City is Discovery Park—located in between the American River and Sacramento River.

Because of this, the activities to do here are endless—you can go fishing, do picnics, or simply stroll at the huge park.

However, biking is one of the best here; there is a 32 mile-long bike trail here that lets you see the full beauty of the place.

Discovery Park is also a great boat launch if you have a kayak with you.

With so many things to do, this is one of the best parks in Sacramento.

Bridge trail along Discovery Park
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Learn Animal Rescue at the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary

If Sacramento Zoo isn’t enough to satisfy your wildlife appreciation, Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary is another great place to visit.

This is one of the prides of Folsom City, as the zoo doubles as an organization dedicated to wildlife rescue.

It’s a great place to immerse kids in animal rescue and environmental preservation while having fun.

Some of their highlights here are their majestic mountain lions, peacocks, and bears.

On top of their fun train rides, Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary also has a cool library for you to check out.

See the Marina of Sacramento State Aquatic Center

Aerial view of Sacramento State Aquatic Center
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Located in the census-designated place of Gold River, Sacramento State Aquatic Center is a gorgeous place for photography.

It’s brimming with beautiful boats as it’s a marina, allowing you to do lots of scenic photography.

There’s a nice pier here where you can also cast your line, along with plenty of walking trails.

Paddle-boarding at Sacramento State Aquatic Center
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If you’re feeling adventurous, this is also a great place to rent kayaks, paddle boards, or even chartered fishing trips.

Overall, Sacramento State Aquatic Center is a scenic place of respite with a ton of additional fun.

Kayaking at Sacramento State Aquatic Center
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Have a Blast at Scandia Fun Center

Another fun attraction in Sacramento is Scandia Fun Center.

Renowned for its fun and diverse facilities, you can play all sorts of games here such as mini golf, go kart racing, and bumper boats.

There are also batting cages here, an indoor arcade, and even a haunted house.

Adrenaline seekers can also find a lot of fun rides here, highlighted by their roller coaster.

Best for large groups or couples, Scandia Fun Center is a great way to spice up your adventure in Sacramento County.

Go Back in Time at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

The grounds of Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
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Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is a unique experience in Sacramento City.

It’s the oldest fort in the United States, and has been an integral symbol of the heritage of Sacramento.

You’ll see loads of artifacts in their exhibit—the overall aesthetic and atmosphere here is also vintage, giving you vibes from the 19th Century.

Interior of a house at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
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Besides these, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is a haven for historical information about Sacramento County.

Be sure to talk to the museum’s docents to gather invaluable knowledge during your visit.

A covered wagon at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
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Take a Stroll along Jensen Botanical Garden

If you have a passion for plant life, Jensen Botanical Garden is a must-see.

Located in Carmichael, this botanical garden is an easy place to visit as it’s close to Sacramento City.

Brimming with various species of trees, shrubs, and other plant life, this place is one of the most serene in the county.

Lots of benches and picnic tables are found here, so it’s great for families or for couples.

With so many flowers here, Jensen Botanical Garden is a haven for photo opportunities as well.

Appreciate Art at Crocker Art Museum

Exterior of Crocker Art Museum
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Art enthusiasts can’t afford to miss out on Crocker Art Museum during their stay in Sacramento City.

It’s one of the most iconic art museums in California and even in the country as a whole; a big reason for its success is its huge permanent collection.

The building is also a sight to behold—it combines modern and Victorian elegance that’s perfect for a photo opportunity.

Framed art pieces in Crocker Art Museum
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Despite being a tourist staple, Crocker Art Museum doesn’t feel crowded to explore because of its spacious layout.

If you need a break, the museum has an excellent restaurant that serves scrumptious meals and wine as well.

Interior of Crocker Art Museum
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Play Sports at Garcia Bend Park

Garcia Bend Park is another gorgeous city park in Sacramento.

It’s a great place to wick off some sweat, as the park has several tennis courts, bike trails, and soccer fields.

Situated by the Sacramento River, this is also a family-friendly park for picnics and relaxation.

Garcia Bend Park is also quite far from the main attractions in Sacramento, giving it a relaxing atmosphere.

Overall, it’s a nice way to spend your downtimes while visiting the city.

Final Thoughts

While Sacramento County doesn’t have as many cities as other neighboring counties like Alameda, it makes up for it by its sheer number of attractions.

Sacramento City alone can take several weeks, and then you have Folsom City with its underrated attractions as well.

To top it all off, the county has tons of nature preserves that’s a haven for outdoor exploration.

Easily one of the most exciting counties on the West Coast, start your adventure through this list of the best things to do in Sacramento County, California.

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