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Sacramento & Gold Country

Incorporated as the oldest city in California just a year after the Gold Rush to the Sierra Nevada began in 1849 with the largest human migration in the Western Hemisphere. Sacramento became the permanent state capital in 1854 and was also the western terminus of the Pony Express. The elegant city is alive with history, boasting 25 museums and celebrating its rich heritage with living history programmes at Old Sacramento and Sutter’s Fort. It also has a growing reputation for arts, with dozens of galleries in its mid-town area.

Activities in the area range from Gold Rush-orientated pursuits such as gold panning and stagecoach rides to white-water river rafting, mountain biking, caving and zip-lining. Highway 49 links some of the region’s oldest towns, several with surviving Gold Rush-era buildings.

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Why should I visit Sacramento & Gold Country?

Capitol Building  The majestic Capitol Building replaced the County Courthouse as the seat of California’s State Legislature in 1869. Still the seat of government, it is also a museum.

Old Sacramento  This 28-acre riverfront historic park features historic attractions, underground tours, restaurants, shops and museums including the California State Railroad Museum, where you can take a vintage train ride.

Crocker Art Museum  Charting the history of California through art, this recently-expanded museum also has European, Asian and Oceanic collections.


TIP  Stop off at the Sacramento Visitor Centre for interpretive displays of life in Old Sacramento from the Gold Rush and Pony Express times to the present day.

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Coloma  Where it all started, the discovery site is protected along with several original buildings in a state park named after the man who first found gold. You can try panning for gold yourself.


Sutter Gold Mine  Take a tour deep into the gold mine at Sutter Creek to see what miners had to endure 150 years ago.


Columbia  Pan for gold and ride a 100-year-old stagecoach in this preserved Gold Rush town, a state historic park.



TIP  California’s official ghost town, and its best-preserved, Bodie was once a thriving gold mining town on the Nevada border with 10,000 residents and 65 saloons.  Today, there are 150 buildings, preserved in a state of arrested decay.

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