It's no surprise Sacramento is California's capitol. It's loaded with history and is home to several historic landmarks like the Sacramento State Capitol Building, and the Governor's Mansion. " It offers a great historic perspective for children and adults that are interested in learning a little bit about California", said Governor's Mansion Guide-2 supervisor Eva Forney. The impressive 30 room, 3 story mansion demands respect from all its admirers. Built in 1877 and purchased by the state in 1903 the elegant victorian mansion was once home to 13 former California Governors, including George Pardee and Ronald Reagan. "It has a little bit of something from all of the governors that did live here up until 1967, so it's a myriad of time eras", explained Forney.
It boasts 7 impressive marble fireplaces from Italy and is full of stunning furniture including this 1903 steinway piano and this original dinning set where President Kennedy once ate breakfast with Governor Pat Brown. "It just takes you a step back in time and great memories plus it's a history lesson while you're here", said Forney.
A visit to the California State Railroad Museum should be your next stop. " When you come here you learn about the history of the railroad, how it came to America and how it impacted us as a nation and as a state", said state park guide-1 Becky Malboeuf.
Established in 1981, and widely regarded as North America's most popular railroad museum, it's a true tribute to the iron horse. It features more than 20 lavishly restored locomotives and cars dating all the way back to 1862 and this Governor Stanford Locomotive, which once ran the trans continental railroad. " The refrigerator car actually brought in more revenue to California than the gold rush itself ", explained Malboeuf.
The museum is also home to a massive model train collection worth more than a million dollars and offers authentic steam train rides which run from April through September, giving passengers a genuine old time feel. Both the Governor's Mansion and California State Railroad Museum allow visitors to step back in time and are a must see when in Sacramento, but if a piece of history isn't what you're looking for, how about a trip to the zoo?
Sitting on 14 acres, the Sacramento Zoo may not be the biggest zoo you've ever been to, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in variety and fun. " It's a small zoo when you compare it to other zoos around the nation, but it's a great family zoo, it's a great community zoo", said Sacramento Zoo education specialist Brooke Coe.
And it houses more than 400 animals and more than 150 different species, including the White Handed Gibbon, Sumatran Tigers and giraffes, which enjoy hand fed treats. " It's a nice place to come and spend a few hours and see animals that you wouldn't naturally be able to see", said Coe.