Thursday, July 7, 2011

US Summer 2011: Mad About Museums in Sacramento,California!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

(California State Capitol)

Date:July 1, 2011

Sacramento is California's capital and the county seat of Sacramento County. As a city attaining global status and cited by Time magazine as " America's most diverse city ", Sacramento has been on my must-visit list while in California. I am excited to sample any of its more than 25 culturally rich and diverse museums!

Last July 1, 2011 I arrived in Sacramento aboard Amtrak from San Francisco. My former colleagues at the Office of General Counsel (OGC), spouses Atty.Fred and Jacque Wright, agreed to host me and pick me up from Amtrak Sacramento Valley Station. So guess where my hosts brought me for a taste of true Sacramento when I arrived at around noon?...
Resto? Nah. But to Old Sacramento, a few blocks away from Amtrak's stop where I alighted.

Old Sacramento is the historic region of Sacramento, California located along the beautiful Sacramento River. Since the 1960s, the place has been restored and designated as a state park which was developed as a significant tourist attraction known as Old Sacramento State Historic Park.

Old Sacramento State Historic Park is a unique 28-acre National Historic Landmark District and State Historic Park which packs a lot of history into just a couple blocks. Within the area is a cluster of noteworthy early Gold Rush Sites including the eagle theater, the B.F.Hastings Building (once home of the California Supreme Court), the western terminus of Pony Express, and the 1855 Big Four Building (now home to the Huntington & Hopkins Hardware Store and California State Railroad Museum Library).

Horse drawn carriages, historic trains from the former Central Pacific Railroad passenger station, and historic riverboats are also available for tourists who want to step into the past and delve into the rich history and culture of the Golden State and its people without sweat.

Old Sacramento State Historic Park (a museum in itself), is home to seven (7) of the more than 27 world-renowned museums of Sacramento set within the time of the California Gold Rush and the Transcontinental Railroad.

I sampled three of the museums namely the California State Railroad Museum, the Sacramento History Museum , and the Wells Fargo History Museum.

Sacramento History Museum
Admission Fee: Free

For a free glimpse of all aspects of life in Sacramento over the past 200 years, we headed out to the Sacramento History Museum formerly the Discovery Museum History Center. The museum tells the stories of Sac's city founders, rivers,the Gold Rush,agriculture, the media, industry,culture and everything that happened in Sacramento.

California Railroad Museum
Admission Fee: $9 Adult

All aboard for the world famous Railroad Museum! A not-to-be-missed experience located at the birthplace of the Transcontinental Railroad,the expansive Railroad Museum showcases how railroads and their work force have shaped the lives, economy and culture of this capital city.

First opened to the public in 1976, the California State Railroad Museum complex is one of Sacramento's largest and most popular visitor destinations.

The complex consists of six buildings which housed 21 meticulously restored locomotives and cars and numerous stimulating exhibits, enthusiastic and knowledgeable docents to illustrate railroad history in California and the West. Included are a Pullman-style sleeping car, a dining car filled with railroad china, and a Railway Post Office that visitors can actually step aboard.

Hobby enthusiast will also enjoy the exhibit Small Wonders: The Magic of Toy Trains which features an impressive collection of over 1,000 vintage toy trains.

Wells Fargo History Museum
Admission Fee: Free

Before we gave in to our tummy's wishes at the Fat City Restaurant, our last stop was at the Wells Fargo History Museum where I was able to view artifacts including gold scales, a treasure box, a working telegraph and a model of Concord stagecoach.

Inside, I also rode the pony express seat and had my picture taken and printed on a newspaper. Cool! But not only that. It allowed me to feel the struggle of rugged fearless pony drivers to make their dreams a reality as employees of the Pony Express service,a revolutionary,lightning-fast ten-day mail delivery between St.Joseph Missouri and Sacramento,California.

At its downtown location, Wells Fargo's history is highlighted with exhibits showcasing its banking history, staging operations and its commercial role in Sacramento's history. A beautifully restored Concord stagecoach is part of the display.

Sacramento indeed abounds in museums! Even the California State Capitol(picture above) offers a glimpse into California's political past while the rest of the building act as a "living museum". What a great way to spend my very first afternoon in this capital city known for its rich history!

(This is part of the 5-week US Summer Vacation series, which took place from June 30, 2011 to August 3,2011 in California, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pemnsylvania, and Indiana)

1.Four Countries In One Day

2. Enjoying Cable Cars in San Francisco

3. Enjoying Union Square and Downtown San Francisco

4. Commuting Easy With Panoramic Views

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  1. This is sooo timely! We're heading to Cali again this year. I absolutely love visiting museums, so I bookmarked this page of yours Ate Mhe-Anne.

  2. Gay dear, I'm so glad my post can be of help to you.As always your comments inspire me to write. For museums, Sacramento is the place to be as there are 27 on varying locations. I am thinking of including the other museums even though I have not been there hehe...have fun in Cali. so many great places reachable by public transport which i know you prefer when i read your great posts...


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