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Old Sacramento

Old Sacramento State Historic Park occupies around one-third of the property in Sacramento, California‘s Sacramento Historic District. The Old Sacramento Historic District is a U.S. National Historic Landmark District. The Historic District is sometimes abbreviated as Old Sacramento or Old Sac, and since the 1960s, has been restored and developed as a significant tourist attraction.


The city of Sacramento grew up in the mid-nineteenth century as a development from Sutter’s Fort. However, the Fort was some distance from the Sacramento River, the main means of transport to the coast of California, and the area that would become the modern city developed along the waterfront.

Before Sacramento’s extensive levee system, the area flooded quite regularly. Because of this, the city’s streets were raised to a level. As a result, most sidewalks and storefronts have been filled in; however, many tunnels remain throughout Old Sacramento and the downtown area.

By the 1960s, the area had fallen into disrepair and disrepute. A significant effort was made to secure the area’s future as an outdoor living history center similar to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Several historically significant buildings were moved or reconstructed. Those that were beyond repair were demolished. EZ Sacramento Junk Removal

Today, the Old Sacramento Historic District covers the area between the river frontage and Interstate 5, between I Street and the Capitol Mall. The State Historical Park comprises about a third of the total acreage of the district, including half of the waterfront, a large grassy area, and railroad features. Virtually all the buildings in this area date from the 19th century, the most notable dating back to the period immediately after the disastrous fire of 1852, and show a reasonable approximation of their original appearance. However, they have required varying degrees of reconstruction to restore that state. However, only some, if any, still serve their original purpose; most now house restaurants, gift shops, or other businesses catering to tourists.

Current Attractions

Old Sacramento, CA is the site of the California State Railroad Museum, the California State Military Museum, the Sacramento History Museum, the Wells Fargo History Museum, and the Old Sacramento Interpretive Center. Other tourist attractions include rides in horse-drawn carriages, historic trains from the former Central Pacific Railroad passenger station, and cruises on historic riverboats. A historic sternwheel riverboat, the Delta King, is moored in the river and serves as a hotel, restaurant, and theater. Riverfront Park north of J Street allows access to the water’s edge.  The Sacramento Valley Rail Station is just a short walk away.

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