The Sacramento Valley boasts a veritable goldmine of history and activities just waiting to be explored by visitors. Gold was discovered in the valley in 1848, prompting miners from around the globe to descend on Sacramento with hopes of striking it rich. Today, visitors can experience the thrill of gold panning and the culture of the Gold Rush era through attractions such as the Sacramento Museum of History, Science, Space & Technology. The valley is also home to the Sleep Train Amphitheatre, a massive open-air art and concert facility with a capacity of 18,500. Located roughly 25 mi (40 km) southeast of the city of Sacramento, the Sutter Creek Theatre is a former silent movie house that now offers a variety of live entertainment. The Indian Springs Wildlife Trust in Penn Valley houses more than 175 birds that visitors can enjoy. Other destinations in the region include Chico, Yuba City, and Marysville.
Sacramento is the state capital of California, located on the sunny Pacific coast. Popular tourist destinations in this bustling capital include the California State Railroad Museum, which is one of the largest railroad museums in the United States. The California State Capitol Museum is another popular choice with visitors, featuring the restored historic California legislature and the historic offices of the Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, and others.
Visitors can tour the 40-acre (16-ha) grounds, see exhibits detailing state history and visit various memorials scattered around the area. Seventy-five miles (121 km) north of Sacramento is Lake Oroville State Recreation Area, which has fishing, hiking, and camping areas, including a visitor’s center with interactive exhibits. Befitting a state capital, Sacramento boasts a range of accommodation for the budget-minded traveler and those looking for top-notch amenities. Restaurants are also varied and reflect the dynamic mix of cultures in the city.
The California city of Chico lies at the northeast edge of the Sacramento Valley and just west of the scenic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Officially founded in 1860 by General John Bidwell, Chico has a rich history and was an important center for gold mining, ranching and railroad construction in the early 1800s. By the time it was incorporated in 1872, the city had grown into a charming Victorian community. Today, Chico is a modern and vibrant city that continues to honor its colorful history.
Visitors can take a glimpse into the city’s past at the Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park or by visiting Glenwood Mansion at the historic Patrick Ranch Museum. The Chico Museum also offers permanent and changing exhibits highlighting the city’s distinct heritage. Home to many artists, art galleries and theater companies, Chico is also a city of culture, as well as home to a large college crowd attending California State University Chico. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of recreational activities to enjoy at Bidwell Park or they can spend an afternoon playing a round of golf at one of the city’s several golf courses.
Sights & Attractions in the Sacramento Valley
Bidwell Park was donated to the city of Chico by Annie Bidwell and established in 1905. The park is divided by Manzanita Avenue and sections are referred to as Lower Park and, Middle and Upper Park. The Lower Park is flat and level with a thick canopy of trees, while the Middle and Upper Park is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains featuring steep terrain and has many rock formations. The park offers many recreational activities such as swimming, golf, mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking.
Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park
Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park is a three-story, 26-room Victorian mansion that was owned by John Bidwell who was well known for being a statesman, politician, and philanthropist. Tours available. Address: 525 Esplanade | Chico, CA
Located in downtown Chico, the Chico Museum is housed in the former Carnegie Library building. Established in 1986, the museum celebrates the distinct heritage of Chico. The museum houses permanent and changing exhibits. Address: 141 Salem St | Chico, CA
Gateway Science Museum
The Gateway Science Museum is located on the California State University campus. Visitors here can browse through exhibits and participate in educational programs. Field trips are also available for groups.
Address: 625 Esplanade | Chico, CA | 95929
Glenwood Mansion is located on the historic Patrick Ranch. The grand home and surrounding land were bequeathed to the Chico Museum from Hester Grimm Patrick in 2001. Visitors can see the home by visiting the Patrick Ranch Museum. Address: 10381 Midway | Chico, CA
Indian Springs Wildlife Trust
The Indian Springs Wildlife Trust is a wildlife and nature preserve located just outside Smartville in California’s Penn Valley. It is home to a variety of exotic birds and is open to the public by appointment only. Address: 18401 Indian Springs Rd | Penn Valley, CA | 95946
National Yo-Yo Museum
Established in 1993, this museum was created to actively collect and interpret the history of the yo-yo. The museum has a comprehensive exhibit facility and is also home to the National Yo-Yo Contest and the National Yo-Yo League. Admission to the museum is free and is open daily. Address: 320 Broadway | Chico, CA | 95928
Patrick Ranch Museum
The Patrick Ranch Museum takes a look back into agricultural history as told through the history of Patrick Ranch and the Glenwood Mansion. Address: 10381 Midway | Chico, CA
Sierra Nevada Mountain Range
Stretching along the eastern side of California, the Sierra Nevada mountain range is 400 mi (643 km) long and includes such landmarks as Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, giant Sequoia forests and, Mount Whitney, the tallest peak in the United States outside of Alaska.
Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology
The Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology is located at California State University Chico. Visitors will find the museum located in the Meriam Library complex. The museum is a not-for-profit organization committed to the collection, protection, and interpretation of ethnographic material culture. The museum is wheelchair accessible. Address: 400 W First St | Chico, CA | 95929
5 Things to See at Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is considered to be the best destination for visitors looking for adventure and willing to enjoy a memorable vacation. The breathtaking views that you can admire here will surely conquer visitors on the spot. Below you can read more about five of the most interesting things to do and see at the Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite Falls is considered to be one of the most iconic sites in the Yosemite National Park. This is a must-see attraction all year round. The falls are believed to be the largest in the world, having no less than 2,425 feet.
A panoramic view can be admired over the Yosemite Valley. In fact, from this point, visitors can enjoy overlooking the whole valley. Naturally, this view is spectacular. The Tunnel View is located below the Wawona Tunnel, on the Wawona Road. If you plan on visiting this location in Yosemite National Park, make sure you have your camera with you.
The Glacier Point is commonly described as the best way to get to know the true beauty of Yosemite Park. Hiking here will be one of a kind experience. It overlooks the entire Yosemite Valley. The Glacier Point is located at about one hour drive from Yosemite Valley via Glacier Point Rd off Hwy 41.
Yosemite Village is the perfect destination for tourists who are traveling with children. Here, they can enjoy activities such as biking, horseback riding, as well as relaxation in beautiful natural venues. Visitors interested in finding out more about the history of the area should be pleased to discover the museum.
Ansel Adams Photo Gallery
It is commonly said that it is impossible to take a bad picture at the Yosemite National Park. In every corner of this location, for several miles, unique beauties can be admired. Wonderful views of majestic trees, mountains, and waterfall create the perfect environment to take an amazing photograph. In the Yosemite National Park visitors will also find the Ansel Adams Gallery dedicated to the photography of the famous artist.
The Mariposa Grove, the Mirror Lake and the Tuolumne Meadows are other beautiful venues you can further visite at the Yosemite National Park. What do you say about exploring this unique tourist attraction?