More than 4 million people travel to Sacramento for tourism each year, providing a substantial amount of revenue for the state and city economy. Planning out a trip can help you decide what the cost If you are planning a trip to the city and trying to stay within a budget, there are plenty of things to add to your itinerary. Here is a list of free things to do in Sacramento.
Free Things To Do in Sacramento
Anyone considering a trip to California’s Capitol should look for some budget-friendly activities to include in their plans. Add some of these stops to your list.
The California State Capitol Museum
You can explore the state Capitol building for free of charge. It is home to both the executive and legislative branches of government in the state and has been standing there since 1874. While there, be sure to soak up some of the beautiful architecture and public exhibits. You can also watch a documentary about the state’s history there for free.
The Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum
Another great free thing to do is to visit the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum. Although it is a replica of a one-room schoolhouse, it still provides a lot of history about the old schools in the area. There are costumed guides on-site who will give more information about artifacts present in the exhibits.
Historic City Cemetery
If you are looking for more free things to do in Sacramento and like more spooky things, visit the historic city cemetery. The grounds were established in 1849 and mimic a Victorian-era garden. There are several notable politicians and leaders buried there, including Jerome C. Davis.
Sacramento Wells Fargo Museum
The Wells Fargo Museum is something else to behold while you’re visiting Sacramento. During your tour, you will be able to operate a telegraph machine. You will also be able to watch an old silent movie called The Shrinking World. There is also a collection of old historic clothing to dress in for photos.
The American River Bike Trail
If you are an outdoor enthusiast adding the American River Bike Trail to your itinerary is a good idea. It is a 32-mile pathway that follows the American River. The trail welcomes cyclists, walkers, and skaters. There are also restroom facilities and drinking fountains along the paths as well.
Jelly Belly Factory Tour
Another must-see in Sacramento is the Jelly Belly Factory. You can get a tour of the candy factory for free from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. every day of the week. While you are there you can learn about the 50+ variations of Jelly Bellys, visit the Jelly Belly art gallery, or stop in at the cafe.
Saturday Art Walks
The second Saturday of the month offers another one of the best free things to do in Sacramento. Visitors can walk through local galleries and open houses to view artwork from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. in the Midtown area. Many of the galleries also offer free live music and refreshments as well.
Self-Guided Walking Tours
Any day of the year you can take a self-guided tour through Sacramento. You can download an app on your phone and it will walk you through historic sites, must-see neighborhoods, and other landmarks. By downloading the app, you’ll get access to several other tours free of charge as well.
Cheap Stuff To Do in California’s Capitol
Of course, you can’t only do free activities while you are on vacation. Here are a few cheap things to include in your plans as well…
Visit One of the Area’s Many Museums
Sacramento is home to a number of museums, including the Leland Standford Mansion, the Crocker Art Museum, the Railroad Museum, and the Automobile Museum. Although these museums have free days here and there, unless you plan your trip around those days you’ll still need to come prepared to pay the admission fee. Thankfully, the museums are still a cheap activity.
Folsom Historic District
Another cheap thing you can add to your trip itinerary is visiting the Folsom Historic District. The area was developed in the 1850s following the peak of the Gold Rush. While it doesn’t cost anything to visit the district, per se, you will want to bring money for the galleries, cafes, and boutiques in the area.
Certified Farmer’s Market
Tuesday through Thursday you will be able to find a farmer’s market open in Sacramento. It is a great thing to do if you want to see local produce and entrepreneurs. Not only can you pick up locally-produced foods, but you can also grab flowers and homemade items as well.
Wide Open Walls
Wide Open Walls is a street and art mural festival that is held once a year in August. It takes place over the span of 10 days and transforms local buildings into murals. Over 40 top artists from the area are chosen to participate each year. Visitors to the festival can observe much of the art being made. There is also quite a bit of art for sale. While the event itself is free, other things will cost money, like purchasing artwork, etc.
Old Sacramento State Park
There are also plenty of parks in the area that can be included in the free things to do in Sacramento list. However, Old Sacramento State Historic Park is one you cannot miss. It takes up about eight city blocks of space and is home to several landmarks in the area, such as the Big Four House, the B.F. Hastings building, the Sacramento History Museum, the California Automobile Museum, and the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum. Some of these attractions have free admission on certain days. You can also take rides in the historic train or riverboat for an additional fee.
Gold Rush Days
Once a year in the Old Historic Park, the city is home to Gold Rush Days. While the event itself is free, many of the activities, food, and souvenirs will cost some cash. It is a four-day celebration that showcases live entertainment, reenactments, and exhibits about the Gold Rush days. There are plenty of things to do including a beer crawl, outdoor film showing, and dance events. It is typically held Labor Day weekend every year.
Readers, have you ever visited Sacramento? Did you do any of these things?