Attractions in Sacramento: Learn about the California Gold Rush at Sacramento History Museum, California

Hello and welcome to the next part of my post on Sacramento. We’re still exploring the Old part of town. After a heavy lunch, E & I walked off the calories at the Sacramento History Museum, a museum dedicated to the California Gold Rush and the city’s history. It was nearly closing time and we only had an hour, so we breezed through many of the exhibits.

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The Sacramento Bee was founded in 1857 and is still running today as one of the city’s major newspapers. Inside the museum, visitors will get a glimpse of the old printing presses and machinery. Before the advent of ink and modern printers, newspapers were printed with a heavy metal mold.

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The museum houses a variety of collections, including everyday items used by gold miners during the gold rush…

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….To actual gold nuggets and jewelry. The displays are equipped with alarms and cameras to prevent thieves.

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Fur pelts from animals, which were used to keep warm.

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Other everyday items used in the 19th century, such as makeup, mirrors and clothing.

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Horse-drawn carriage replicas.

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Black and white photos and children’s toys. I always find old toys to be super creepy .___.

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Remedies used during that era, sold at apothecaries (ie modern day pharmacies)

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Food processing is a major industry in Sacramento, so there was a section dedicated to explaining its history.

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It was an educational visit, even though the exhibits were mostly static. There is also an underground tour, which we were unfortunately not able to join.

SACRAMENTO HISTORY MUSEUM

01 I St, Sacramento, CA 95814, United States
Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Ticket price: A reasonable 6$

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Time to go home! We drove past the California State Capitol building, which looks just like the one in Washington but much smaller.

Fun tidbit: Sacramento is California’s capital city! And I always thought somewhere bigger like LA or San Fran would be its administrative capital.

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It was a really fun day trip to Sacramento. I rather like the city – it’s not as hectic or fast paced as LA or San Fran, but still modern enough for a city girl like me. Maybe I’ll move there someday?

Food Review: Joe’s Crab Shack, Old Sacramento California

We allocated a day to explore Sacramento Old Town  good call, seeing that there are plenty of things to see and do here. Apart from museums and buildings with interesting architecture and history, there are also loads of shops selling everything from traditional Native American crafts aand costumes to souvenirs and even joke items.

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Sacramento Bridge.

It was a hot, sunny afternoon and it was high time for lunch, so we popped into Joe’s Crab Shack for some food. It’s a popular seafood chain with a waterfront concept and they have branches all over the States.

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Cosy and colourful, with wooden decor made to resemble a fishing shack and fish floating from the ceiling. Neon signs adorn the walls, like the type you usually find at beach bars. The place was quite empty because it was a weekday.

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You know how you tend to order way too much food when you’re starving? In Chinese, we have a proverb for that : “Big eyes, small stomach” – meaning that when you’re hungry, your brain tends to tell you that the food isn’t enough when you can only fit so much into your stomach. 😀

For starters, we had a Classic Sampler: nachos, creamy crab dip, hush puppies and fried calamari.

You know, I’ve been in the States for a couple of weeks and I still can’t get over how big the meal portions are. This was massive and would have been enough for two as a main meal.

The food was tasty enough. The crab dip was creamy and a tad too salty, but the nachos evened it out. The calamari was well flavoured, fresh and springy. It was my first time seeing a ‘hush puppy’. The ones here are made from seafood, stuffed with jalapenos and cream cheese before they were coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. Sounds like an artery clogging nightmare, but it was goodddd.

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Garlicky Mussels – served in garlic butter sauce and a side of garlic bread. This was a hit and miss – too salty and too oily, even though the mussels were sizable.

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Fish and chips. I prefer ranch > mayo, so fattening. The fish was okay, soft and juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside.

Extremely stuffed and with a lot left over, we got a doggie bag to go for dinner.

JOE’S CRAB SHACK 

210 Front St, Sacramento, CA 95814, United States
Sat – Sun : 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Mon – Fri: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Candy Heaven, Old Sacramento – The Sweetest Place on Earth

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A place where you can eat candy and chocolate to your heart’s content – sounds like every child’s (and even some adults!) dream. And Candy Heaven in Old Sacramento, California is exactly that.

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Sweets and candy of every shade and flavor imaginable line the colorful walls, which are painted over with rainbows and flying wizards…..

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….Along with some not-so-friendly deco that might give children nightmares. An evil looking clown sits on the second floor, overseeing patrons. The set looks like it might have been thought up by someone on LSD, with the giant tie-dye tapestries. 

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The best part about American candy stores?  You get to try stuff before buying them. As much as you want. (PS: You can’t do this in Malaysian candy stores.) You can even eat inside the store and then leave after you’ve had your fill, but why would you do that when you’re faced with an armada of lovely, sweet treats to bring home?

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Americans love their taffy. Which is not very big in Malaysia. Some flavors are fine, but others taste quite odd. It was an interesting experience walking around the candy store and just fishing sweets out and eating them on the spot. I thought E was pulling my leg at first when he said I could unwrap them lol.

Ended up buying some chocolates to munch on, and some more to take home.

CANDY HEAVEN 

1201 Front St, Sacramento, CA 95814, United States

Attractions in Old Sacramento, California

Growing up as a child in Malaysia, I often watched westerns on TV, with rugged, gun-toting cowboys, rowdy salon bars, and horse-drawn carriages. After two weeks in the US, I got my first taste of the American West on a one-day trip to the city of Sacramento.

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Okay, so there were no gunfights in the middle of a dusty street, nor were there bar brawls. Instead, we learnt about the Californian Gold Rush and the rich legacy it left behind.

Old Sacramento, or Old Sac as the locals call it, is a historic part of town that looks like it came straight out of a movie set. Founded in the 19th century, it sits next to the River Sacramento. It was a bustling town during its heyday, with a railroad service running through it, courier service, post office, hotels, printing press, theatre, school and various businesses.

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The architecture reflects Sacramento’s diverse roots; from its early Spanish and Mexican settlers and which brought about building characteristics similar to those found in Puerto Rico, Cuba and Spain. Expect uniform, close-fitted windows, wide arched doors and short balconies.

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Since it was developed into an attraction in the 1960s, many restaurants, souvenir shops and  other bric-a-brac outlets have opened to cater to tourists. Most have adopted large wooden signage with old font to suit the American West theme.   SAM_9280-tile SAM_9281-tile

Old Sacramento isn’t very big, but its not small either. Visitors can opt to drive here where there’s ample parking space. The only annoyance is that there is a set limit of two hours, so we had to constantly re-park the vehicle somewhere else. There are carriage rides available for a fee, if you’re into the tourist thing. If you hate walking, bike rentals are also available.

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There is a Wells Fargo museum with a recreated 19th century office. Aside from being an important part of the city’s trade, they also catered to the Pony Express service. Riders would spend days galloping across the route with mail in their saddlebags.

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The main square in town is now a parking lot. The lot is much lower than ground level, but it was actually Old Sacramento’s original height.

The problem with having your city next to a fertile river is the constant flooding, so the residents of Old Sacramento piled earth upon earth, brick by brick, to raise all the buildings to the height we see them today. The power of human resilience and ingenuity never fails to impress me.

SAM_9297-tile  Across the road is the California State Railroad Museum. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to check it out.

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Schoolkids going for an excursion.

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Imagine a time when ladies in fluffy skirts paraded through the streets under their parasols, while carriages trundled down the roads and men went about their daily errands. It was a very different time; a different universe for someone in the modern world. Would have been interesting to time-travel and see how it was back then.

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Old Sacramento’s first and only theatre, the Eagle Theatre is a simple, whitewashed wooden structure. This is where the populace enjoyed entertainment in their free time.

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A small grotto in the middle of two buildings. There were remnants of columns and random bricks and pieces of wood scattered around. The grotto was much lower than the buildings next to it, as this was the original level of Old Sac.

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Next to the river are a dozen eateries and remnants of the railroad which used to run through town. There is an actual (non-functioning) train car as well as a dock for boats.

More of Sacramento to come!

Getting There /details at http://oldsacramento.com/