The best Day Trips from Sacramento

Sacramento is wonderfully located for day trips. From the ocean to the mountains and up and down the valley in between, the opportunities for adventure and discovery abound.

Heading West on Highway 80, the San Francisco bound day tripper can cross the Bay Bridge and be on Fisherman’s Wharf in about 2 1/2 hours. From Fisherman’s Wharf, the Blue And Gold Fleet offers a beautiful Bay cruise to Sausalito, and a few hours of exploration through the quaint shops and restaurants which overlook the bay. For the landlubbers, there is the Aquarium of the Bay which features 20,000 marine animals that can be viewed through a 300 foot long tube. Pier 39 offers over 100 shops, 13 restaurants, and crazy bits of street entertainment. The history buff can take an Alcatraz cruise and tour and find out what life was like on the “Rock”.

If San Francisco is too far, the fabulous Napa Valley, with scores of spas, vineyards and world famous wineries is worth the trip. The Napa Valley Wine Train is a favorite getaway for Sacramentans. There are three restaurant cars: The Silverado, Vista Dome and Gourmet Express. Each car offers a different gourmet menu of unique and fresh ingredients and exquisite cooking, while the beautiful views keep everyone in awe.

For a dive into the history of California’s chaotic Gold Rush Era, the day trip begins by heading East on Highway 80. By taking Highway 49 to the North, a wonderful day can be spent in Nevada City, where the arts, shopping, and pine scented history abound. For the naturist and walker, the nearby Tahoe National Forest has fine interpretive trails that start out in Nevada City.

From Sacramento, travelling East on Highway 50 will lead day trippers to Old Folsom, which offers water activites on Folsom Lake, walking and hiking, and the oldest and largest collection of antiques stores in the West. Not into antiques? There are artisans and galleries galore. Old Folsom boasts other specialty shops and restarants to fill out the day!

Driving farther East on Highway 50, day trippers will discover a Fall treat: Apple Hill! Apple Hill features over 50 growers who have the finest produce, centering on apples and late season pears. There are wineries, restaurants, markets which sell incredible baked apple goodies or sell apples and pears by the crate! There are also craft fairs, hayrides, and more than enough to fill up a day and then some!

Other day trips from Sacramento could take up two or three articles. Included in the day trip arsenal: The Sacramento delta, with its quaint towns and the famous Delta King Hotel. Marysville, one of the oldest cities in the valley, offers wonderful Gold Rush flavor. The Dried Plum, Peach, and other Summer festivals are not to be missed. The annual Bok Kai festival in Marysville is hosted by the oldest Chinese temple around the West.