Sutter's Fort#6 in Best Things To Do in Sacramento
In the mid-1840s, Swiss immigrant John Sutter built his fortress to protect himself and his harvested crops on 150,000 acres of his own land, located a mile away from what is now Capitol Park. The fort was a popular home for immigrants who came to the West and helped harvest the wheat, cotton and bean crops within the fort. Sutter's empire extended into the fur trade and ranching business.
Less than a decade later, Sutter commissioned James Marshall to build a sawmill 50 miles east of the fort along the American River. Shortly after, Marshall found the first recorded golden nugget, starting the California Gold Rush.
By 1850, most of Sutter's workforce dropped everything in search of their own fortunes and left the fort and its farms devastated. Now restored to resemble its 1846 heyday, the fort is operated by the California State Park Service.
You can visit Sutter's Fort for $5 for adults and $3 for children 17 and younger, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The park also offers Hands on History events as well as private dinners for large groups are offered for an additional fee. For more information, check out its website.
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#1 Capitol Park
Capitol Park has been home to the California state government since 1869. In addition to being the state's seat of government, the neoclassical Capitol building also houses a museum with state artifacts and the Capitol Art Program that holds a collection of artistic depictions of California, plus antiques, murals and governors' portraits.
After you've explored the Capitol building and museum, take a stroll through the rest of the park that's home to memorials marking significant events in state history, including the Civil War Memorial Grove, the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the California Veterans Memorial and a life-size statue of Junípero Serra, who colonized the state.
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