Recently we visited Old Sacramento. Old Sacramento? What is that? Well, back in the 60’s after the Interstate 5 freeway was built there was an area of about six square blocks that were cut off from the rest of the city. Back in those days this area was overrun with street drunks and other undesirable characters. Somebody came up with an idea. “Hey, why don’t we clean that area up and restore it to look like it did during the gold rush days back in the 1800’s?” Fortunately most of the original buildings were still there and now we can see the results. Old Sacramento is now a part of the California State Parks system.
This is 2nd Street. When entering from the north side this is the first view you will have of Old Sacramento. You can see all the old style buildings lining the street.
This is a view of Front Street. As you can see the streets have been restored to cobblestones to give it that authentic feel. Actually when you drive your car over them the “feel” is too bouncy. 😦
Front Street looking in the other direction.
Horse drawn carriages for hire. You can ride around old town here, go outside around Crocker Park or go all away around the Capitol Building. That fellow is so happy to have his foto taken that he is waving! That’s right guy, you’re on the internet now. You’re famous! 🙂
The California State Railroad Museum. Quite an extensive collection inside of restored engines, cabooses and pullman cars. For now we’ll save that for a later visit.
Entrance to the California State Railroad Musuem.
More buildings. These buildings are not really two stories tall. They’re actually three stories tall! Back in the day, before the levees were raised, this area used to flood quite a bit. To counteract that the city brought in tons of dirt and raised all the street levels one story. As a result, all these buildings have basements that are really the old first story. When you enter one of them you’re entering in what was originally the second floor.
Dogs must be on a leash. This is Property of the State of California.
Nice green lawn for the children to run around and play on. There’s also a couple of picnic tables.
Another shady area with a couple more picnic tables.
The old railroad station.
Across the river a modern office building is taking shape.
The railroad tracks. Where’s the train?
Nice little area to view the river. This is the Sacramento River and it runs right along Old Sacramento.
The river walk path.
Mrs. Goyo waiting for Mr. Goyo to take her foto. Posing, posing. 🙂
On the other side of the river is West Sacramento. They have a very nice green river walk.
The I Street Bridge. An old railroad bridge that is still in operation. Unlike a typical drawbridge this is a swing type.
People enjoying the water on the other side.
Many small watercraft can be seen here on the weekends.
More water lovers.
A red boat.
Now this is my style! 🙂
Covered area with benches. You can sit here and watch the boaters.
A bigger boat.
This one is called the “Spirit of Sacramento”. There is at least one other large boat called the “Matthew McKinley”. These two boats offer dinner and dancing cruises along the river. They actually can and do sail from Sacramento all the way down to San Francisco. You can purchase tickets at an office here in Old Sacramento.
As the Spirit of Sacrameno approaches, the old railroad bridge starts to swing open.
The bridge, now fully open, allowing the boat to pass by safely.
There’s the train. It’s just arriving, full with passengers. The train runs a roundtrip route along the river from here.
A closer look.
Once the passengers detrain, the cars fill up with new passengers and now they’re off on another trip.
Bye bye train. See you when you get back.
The Tower Bridge. The traditional gateway to the City of Sacramento.
The Delta King. It is now permanently moored here and no longer sets sail.
As you can see it has been turned into a Hotel, Restaurant, Theatre and more. It’s quite a romantic place to stay overnight with that special someone. The restaurant is well known around town also as one of the better ones. We’ve eaten there several times. Last time I had an excellent seared tuna salad. It was great! Everybody that knows Goyo knows that he likes to eat. 🙂
The entrance to the Delta King.
Old sign reminds of the day when this area was alive with business. Back during the gold rush, the miners in the nearby foothills always needed provisions and tools. Most were shipped up the Sacramento River from San Francisco and offloaded right here for sale and delivery to the miners.
Right passed this sign is where you will find Laszlo’s Smoked Fish. Beautifully smoked fish that tastes wonderful. It’s not a restaurant, just a counter inside where you purchase what you like. The owner is very nice and hospitable. If you like fish you’ve gotta try this place.
The Rio City Cafe, my personal favorite. The Executive Chef is John Bays, the best chef I’ve run across. John always has an excellent menu that is prepared to perfection. If you are in the area, I heartily recommend you stopping by and enjoying John’s cuisine. Plus they even have an outside deck so you can relax with your meal right along the river. For more info, click here;
One of the shops along K Street.
Mrs. Goyo is heading into another shop. Mrs. Goyo says, “I love to shop!” She is smiling.
More shops. Stop, stop while we still have a little money left! 🙂
The overhead signs advertise the shops.
Aha! Now it’s my turn. Muchie’s Salt Water Taffy Shop!!! Goyo loves real salt water taffy.
Wow! Look at all that taffy. I think I’ll buy a couple of barrels full. LOL I always buy some though.
Statue of the Pony Express rider. The following is from Wikipedia;
The Pony Express was a fast mail service crossing the North American continent from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California from April 1860 to October 1861. Messages were carried by horseback riders relay across the prairies, plains, deserts, and mountains of the Western United States. It briefly reduced the time for mail to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to around ten days. By traveling an easier shorter route and using mounted riders rather than stagecoaches, the founders of the Pony Express hoped to establish their service as a faster and more reliable conduit for the mail and win away the exclusive government mail contract.
The Pony Express demonstrated that a unified transcontinental system could be built and operated continuously the year around — something not seen since the times of the Romans in Europe. Since its replacement by the First Transcontinental Telegraph, the Pony Express became part of the romance of the American West. Its reliance on the ability and endurance of the individual riders and horses over technological innovation is part of “American rugged individualism”.
Another view of the statue. The riders were ususally young and very brave. Riding alone across the country in those days was perilous as they were subject to robbers and attacks by the Native Americans (often called Indians).
The dedication marker.
As we walk out of Old Sacramento we find the shuttle bus waiting to make it’s next run.
The signs on top lists all the stops it makes. From Old Sacramento all the way down to the Convention Center.
They are built to resemble the classic “Cable Cars” in San Francisco. So, while not authentic, the price to ride them is certainly reasonable. It’s free! 🙂
We bid “Adios” to Old Sacramento for today. If you’re in the area it’s a great place to spend a day or two. Visit the railroad museum, take a ride on a train, take a riverboat cruise, or just hang around and watch all the fun. And don’t forget to dine in one (or more) of the many fine restaurants here.