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The 5 Best Free Things to Do in Sacramento

BY: Dan Delagrange | Jul 9, 2015
The 5 Best Free Things to Do in Sacramento

You don’t have to spend a lot, or anything, on Sacramento activities to explore and get to know the city. Without dropping a penny, you can walk back in time to the Gold Rush era, learn about California’s history, or see how one of America’s most iconic sweets is made. Here are five of the best free things to do in Sacramento.

1. Old Sacramento

  • Why Visit: Occupying 28 acres of land on the east bank of the Sacramento River, this historic district was the site of the Transcontinental Railroad’s founding and the terminus point for the Pony Express. The large, wood-planked sidewalks and Gold Rush–era architecture make walking through this district feel like a stroll through America’s Old West. 
  • Where to Find It: 101 I St., Sacramento, CA 95814

2. State Capitol Museum

  • Why Visit: Take a walk through California’s past on a tour through its gleaming capitol building. Along with marveling at the building’s golden-hued rotunda interior, visitors can view murals, statues, and collections of flags used by Californian units in the Civil, Spanish-American, and First World Wars. 
  • Where to Find It: 1315 10th St., Sacramento, CA 95814

3. Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail (aka American River Bike Trail)

  • Why Visit: If you want to see as much of Sacramento as possible in a day, biking this trail is the way to do it. The completely paved trail winds over 32 miles, letting cyclists, runners, and pedestrians take in sights such as Old Sacramento, the California State Fair, downtown, and several scenic parks. 
  • Where to Find It: The trail begins in Discovery Park and ends at Beal’s Point at Folsom Lake in Folsom, CA.

4. Old City Cemetery

  • Why Visit: This cemetery is packed with lush Victorian-style plantings, towering monuments, and ornate headstones and mausoleums from centuries past. Free walking tours are offered every Saturday at 10 a.m., but visitors can explore on their own any time the cemetery is open. 
  • Where to Find It: 1000 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818

5. Jelly Belly Factory Tour

  • Why Visit: It’s about a 45-minute drive from Sacramento, but it’s worth it. Visitors bask in aromas of cinnamon, pineapple, chocolate, peach, and more as they take the massive factory’s 40-minute walking tour, which gives an up-close look at all that goes into making the company’s famous jelly beans. 
  • Where to Find It: 1 Jelly Belly Ln., Fairfield, CA 94533