Right at the junction of the Sacramento and American Rivers lies the city of Sacramento, the capital city of California State.
In 1808, a Spanish cavalryman named the river in honor of the Blessed Sacrament, and a few decades later, the first fort was built in the river’s valley.
By 1850, Sacramento was founded and began to grow as one of the major cities in California.
So, what is Sacramento known for? Here are 10 famous things that you should know about this city!
Sacramento might not be your typical tourist destination, but there’s a lot that you can learn about it if you’re coming for a trip or planning a longer visit. Here are 10 things you need to know about Sacramento.
Los Angeles and San Francisco are among the most popular cities in California and the US as a whole. Yet, surprisingly, none of them is the capital city of California, a title that Sacramento won in 1854.
Starting from the 1870s, Sacramento began growing as an industrial and economic hub that attracted more residents. About a century later, Sacramento expanded by adding adjacent areas to its counties, almost tripling the size of the original city.
Related Article: 10 Famous Things Fresno is Known For
The City of Trees is probably the most common nickname for Sacramento, but it’s not the only one. Sacramento was first called the City of Trees in 1855, and you can see most of these trees in Land Park, where the locals started planting eucalyptus trees to dry out swampy areas in the 19th century.
However, over the years, Sacramento has gained several nicknames. The city is also called the Big Tomato because it was once home to lots of tomato canneries.
Some people call it Camellia City, after the name of the city’s official flower. As for the locals, they usually refer to their beloved city as Sactown or simply Sac or Sacto.
Related Article: 10 Famous Things Minneapolis is Known For
3. Its Mermaids
In Downtown Sacramento, you’re invited to enjoy a drink and watch real mermaids and their amazing underwater performances in Dive Bar.
A 7,500-gallon saltwater aquarium with 15 species of tropical fish hangs over the bar, and hosts amazing mermaid shows every night. Guests can enjoy their favorite drinks while watching the mermaid waitresses, and private events and parties are held periodically.
The bar operates from 3 pm to 2 am, and it can get pretty crowded as the mermaids perform their shows for a couple of hours only every night. However, on Fridays and Saturdays, the performances last four hours, and there’s an opportunity for a standing room.
Related Article: 10 Famous Things Omaha is Known For
In 1839, John Sutter built Sutter’s Fort, the first non-indigenous building in Sacramento and a must-visit if you’re in the city. It was first called New Helvetia or New Switzerland, and it attracted businessmen who were looking for a trading opportunity.
Natives, Spanish, and Mexican inhabitants of Alta California used to meet at the fort for decades, making Sacramento one of the best-integrated communities. However, after gold was discovered in Coloma, the fort lost its status and was abandoned.
With players like Jason Williams and Chris Webber, a game by the Kings was once called “the greatest show on court.” Yet, the Sacramento Kings weren’t always in Sacramento. The team originally came from New York, where it was founded in 1923, under the name of Rochester Seagrams.
Over the years, the team has changed its name to the Rochester Royals, Cincinnati Royals, and Kansas City-Omaha Kings, relocating several times before finally settling in Sacramento in 1985 under the new name, the Sacramento Kings.
Since then, the team has been experiencing several losses, which can be a little painful to every basketball fan. Still, the whole city stands behind the Kings, and in 2013, the fans set the Guinness World Record for Loudest Crowd Roar.
If you’re a history lover, then you shouldn’t miss the Old Sacramento State Historic Park. The park contains several vintage structures, and some of these buildings survived multiple fires and floods but are still well-preserved.
You can take a walk in the streets to admire the Spanish-style architecture on every corner. There are several restaurants where you can grab a bite, and you can buy a lot of souvenirs, too.
There are more than 223 parks that you can visit in Sacramento. Among these parks is the William Land Park, where you can find the Sacramento Zoo.
The zoo is a terrific destination for all animal and nature lovers and will be an excellent choice if you’re visiting Sacramento with your kids. Stretching over 14 acres, more than 400 animals live in different habitats in the zoo.
A lot of zoo keepers will be able to tell you about the animals and their habitats. You can also see the capybara, the world’s largest rodent and one of the latest additions to the zoo.
The temperature can get as hot as 95 degrees Fahrenheit in Sacramento, so visiting Tiscornia Park will be an excellent decision in the summer if you want to cool off. The park is a popular destination for the locals and tourists because there are a lot of things you can do.
You can grab a book or your favorite drink and just sit by the water. You can also go for a swim, take a boat ride, or bring your angling equipment for a fun fishing experience. The park opens from 6 am, and you can stay there to watch the beautiful sunset.
The Crocker Art Museum is one of the oldest running museums in California and the US. The museum opens all week, except on Mondays, and is home to more than 15,000 special artwork pieces from all over the globe.
Originally built to display the private collection of the Crocker family, the museum grew to contain pieces from Asia, Africa, and Oceania, in addition to the traditional artwork from the gold rush era. You can also see some of the artistic creations of the modern and contemporary artists of the US.
10. Its Two Rivers
Sacramento is your heaven on Earth if you’re a water sports fan. The city is home to two big rivers that host a number of amazing activities.
The American River is a popular spot for adventure enthusiasts, with special spots for kayaking and rafting. The Sacramento River is popular for boating trips and quiet afternoons where you can chill and relax by the water. It’s also a great spot to take some landscape photos.
Sacramento might not be your typical tourist destination, but there are a lot of cool and fun things you can do during your visit to the city. Make sure you plan in advance, as some spots are always in high demand.
Jason Dempsey is the CEO and Co-Founder of Home City Living. After abandoning the corporate world in order to indulge his wanderlust, Jason founded Home City Living with his partner Rose to create the premier source of travel information and inside local knowledge on the web to help other would-be global explorers and seekers learn to spread their wings and fly.