Comfort Suites Downtown Sacramento
226 Jibboom St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 446-9400
Fax: (916) 442-1100
California State Railroad Museum is the largest train museum in the country. Dedicated to accuracy and detail, the California State Railroad Museum, located in historic Old Sacramento, recreates the golden days of American railroading circa 1849. Adults and kids alike can wander for hours among restored locomotives, cars, bridges and railroad equipment. Indoor and outdoor displays bring to life rail travel during the Gold Rush Era.
A block north of Downtown Plaza and within walking distance of several hotels, this is an excellent location from which to begin a Sacramento visit. Within the expansive interior with chandeliers branching widely under the high ceilings and solid wooden benches lining marble floors, paintings depicting the building of the trans-continental railroad are pleasant to admire while waiting for a train. Sacramento was the western terminus of the heroically constructed first railroad to connect the east and west coasts, making this station truly historic.
Starting at the fountains and grove of dwarf palms outside the Convention Center at 13th and K Streets, the mall extends six blocks west to the Downtown Plaza. Along the way there are two specialty movie theaters (Esquire IMAX and The Crest, a renovated repertory theater), diverse shops, bars, sidewalk cafes and restaurants. Through the years, artists have graced some of the old buildings with murals. A Regional Transit train periodically interrupts the life of the mall to pick up and drop off commuters and shoppers.
A block from City Hall and Cesar Chavez Park, this building was renovated in 1992. This five story tall space complete with “Prismatic Coronas” a series of glass sculptures suspended from the ceiling and balconies is the centerpiece of a series of meeting spaces. The Sacramento Public Library also houses a vast fiction collection, non-fiction, magazines and a comprehensive Business Reference department. There is free Internet access at computers scattered throughout the four story main building.
The J. Neely Johnson House is a beautiful home that exemplifies Greek Revival and Neoclassical styles. This house dates back to the 1850s era, and is now available for vacation rentals. Included in the National Register of Historic Places, it makes for a comfortable and pleasant stay.
The seats in Raley Field offer a nice view of the Sacramento skyline. The park has more than 11,000 seats and is a popular venue for concerts, festivals and other events. It is also home to the Sacramento River Cats, a baseball team who holds the 2007 Pacific League Champions title. There are concession stands offering the usual ballpark fare, as well as Mexican cuisine, pizza, barbecue and grilled veggie sandwiches. Beverages include soft drinks and a variety of micro brews on tap.
The native plant landscaping would make the park's namesake, the United Farm Worker union founder, proud: a green oasis amid the concrete jungle of downtown Sacramento. This small open space has tall old palm trees, flowers and grass and is a great place to relax during the day. Many times during the year, various musicians play on temporary stages set up on the small northern meadow.
Founded in the 1870s, Crocker Art Museum is known as the first art museum in the West. The historical building with hand-carved doors, ornate walls and parquet floors, creates a gorgeous backdrop as impressive as the art. The art includes the Gold Rush, Victorian and European masters and contemporary works. The museum hosts art talks, classical concerts, jazz concerts, and tours (afternoons and weekends). A gift shop is also available.
Built in the 1940s from the remnants of a closed movie theater, The Crest's beautiful gilt interior swoops and soars in an Art Deco style. Now subdivided into three theaters and equipped with modern technology, the features are anything but mainstream. You can see Hitchcock, animation festivals, 50s science fiction, and almost any movie made in the last century. The Crest also hosts a wide array of comedy acts, concerts, and political events, and it can be rented for private parties. The long and colorful history of this venue is shown in the collection of theater memorabilia and artifacts on display in the lobby.
Across K Street Mall from the Regional Transit (RT) Cathedral Square train stop, is an edifice sculpted in the classic architectural mode. Patisian cathedrals such as Notre Dame inspired its theme, as evidenced by its ascending niched pillars directing worshipers' eyes upward to twin, asymmetrical bell towers. At the front entrance, a mountainous flight of stairs ascends to tall wooden doors. The interior has various saintly sculptures carved in wood, and well-worn wooden pews. A large circular, stained-glass window, crafted in Italy, illuminates the central altar.
Surrounding the California State Capitol Museum, Capitol Park is a quite retreat away from the city. Featuring lush landscaping and trees from around the world and various memorials, this park is great to an afternoon history lesson or a moment in the sunshine. The Civil War Memorial Grove was planted in 1897 with saplings from famous battlegrounds and honors those who served. Also located within the park is the life size statue of Father Junipero Serra and the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Operating continuously since the day the doors opened in 1869, California State Capitol Museum is where the State of California's legislature met. By the late 1970s, the building was declared seismically unsafe and had become an eyesore. The Legislature decided to stay in its traditional home and authorized a massive restoration. Today, from the intricate tile work on the front lobby floor to the lovingly etched filigreed detail in alcoves under the rotunda, the craftsmanship of a bygone era is evident. Docent guided tours are free.