Old Sacramento Waterfront District

1014 2nd St #200, Sacramento, CA 95814, United States


Old Sacramento State Historic Park occupies about one third of the property in the Old Sacramento Historic District of Sacramento , California. The Historic District of Old Sacramento is a U.S. The National Historic District of Landmark. The Historic District is sometimes abbreviated as Old Sacramento, or Old Sac, and has been restored and developed as a major tourist attraction since the 1960s.


John Sutter arrived on American River shore near its confluence with the Sacramento River in 1839. Sutter and his landing party built Sutter’s Fort, with the promise of a Mexican land grant. As the settlement grew and became permanent, it attracted other entrepreneurs seeking opportunities. Sutter and the people he attracted created a trading center in the area but the City of Sacramento was founded by the Gold Rush in 1848.


Once James Marshall found gold in the nearby foothills, local businessman Sam Brannan rushed to open a store along the Sacramento River to take advantage of the convenient waterfront location. It then became recognized as the City of Sacramento and was then called Sutter’s Embarcadero. The city rapidly grew into a trading center for the gold fields equipped by miners themselves.


The waterfront site of Early Sacramento was ideal location for commercial activity but was prone to extreme flooding. The city also fell victim to frequent fires that engulfed its hastily constructed buildings made mainly of wood and canvas. The new city experienced its first devastating flood in 1850 and the town was wiped out again by high water in 1852. It was obvious that for it to be saved, drastic measures would have to be taken.


A monumental scheme to lift the town above flood level was proposed in 1853. The ambitious and costly proposal was not fully accepted until 1862 another devastating flood swept through town. Thousands of cubic yards of earth were brought in on wagons within a few years, and the ambitious scheme to lift the level of the streets began. The original level of the street can be seen under the boardwalks and in the basements in Old Sacramento.


The commercial district’s core slowly shifted east, and the original section of the town on Sutter’s Embarcadero became known as Chicago’s worst skid row west. Reformers, officials, leaders and others in this part of the city spoke out against the circumstances, but nothing was done to improve the basic conditions.


Old Sacramento is home to the California State Railroad Museum, the California State Military Museum, the Sacramento History Museum, the Wells Fargo History Museum and the Old Sacramento Interpretive Centre.


Other attractions available to visitors include horse-drawn carriage rides, historic trains from the former Central Pacific Railway Passenger Station, and cruises on historic riverboats. The historic riverboat, the Delta King, is moored in the river and serves as a hotel , restaurant and theatre. Riverfront Park, located north of J Street, gives access to the water’s edge.


The Old Sacramento Waterfront is located along the east bank of the Sacramento River, between the Tower Bridge and I Street Bridge, and is easily accessible from Interstate 5. It is within walking distance of the California State Capitol, the Raley Field in West Sacramento (Home of the Triple-A River Cats), the Crocker Art Museum and the American River Parkway in Discovery Park.


Whether you’re moving east and west from the Pacific Ocean to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, or north and south from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest, the Old Sacramento Waterfront is a convenient stopover for a few hours or longer stays.

This amazing landmark is located in Sacramento, California and is only a short distance away from these other amazing attractions:


  • California State Railroad Museum
  • California State Capitol Museum
  • Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
  • Crocker Art Museum
  • Sacramento Zoo
  • Fairytale Town
  • Sacramento History Museum 
  • California Automobile Museum


After visiting these amazing places make sure to stop by Remote Fill Systems on Murphy Parkway in Lodi and say “Hi!”.

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