Top 10 Hidden Gems in Sacramento

A well-known city with many not so well-known attractions, Sacramento is the perfect place to visit for those interested in unique, off the beaten path travel. Amazing landscapes and attraction opportunities abound, you certainly won't get bored trekking around Sacramento!

  • Old Sacramento
    One of the most unique spots in town that you may not have considered as a destination stop during your trip is Old Sacramento, the historic district that allows guests to eat, shop, play, and learn. Take a riverboat ride or railroad trek, or perhaps opt-in for a horse-drawn carriage ride or bike journey along the river bank.

    ©2007, California State Parks
    Photo by John Palmer

  • California State Railroad Museum
    The California State Railroad Museum is a true Sacramento gem, though perhaps not too secret to locals. Within this museum, you can explore railroad history via locomotives, exhibits, and rides.
  • Vedanta Society of Sacramento’s Garden
    Possibly the most hidden attraction on our list, the ‘Secret Garden’ of Sacramento is a good spot to find some peace and quiet and enjoy a gorgeous botanical display. The Vedanta Society is a spiritual group, and if you weren’t spiritual before you will be after sitting amongst the lotuses, lilies, and saintly statues.
  • State Capitol Museum
    The state capital is certainly not a hidden attraction, but the lower level museum and guided tours of the grounds probably are for most visitors and even some locals. A visit to the museum will give you insight on current going on's within the legislative branch as well as fill you in on the state’s governmental history.

    California State Capitol Pixabay Public Domain

  • Paradise Beach
    Head to Paradise Beach for a fun day of swimming, fishing, and picnicking, this spot fairly unknown to guests but loved by locals. Setting on an oxbow bend with a spacious cove, this is the perfect spot for riverside recreation, plus it is extremely pet-friendly!
  • Little Saigon
    Hidden amongst Stockton Boulevard you will find this unique cultural community area that offers excellent eateries, specialty shops, and community services reflecting southeastern Asian heritage and diversity. This spot is considered to be the ‘Pho Capital of Sacramento’, so be sure to pick some up before you go!
  • Vampire Penguin
    Vampire Penguin offers a dessert option just as unique as its name: Shaved Snow. This dessert shop serves up ‘snow’ in such flavors as strawberry cheesecake, green tea, and Mexican candy. You can also try a Penguin Puff, a funnel cake-like delight with a chocolate sauce drizzle.
  • River Cats Game
    Maybe not necessarily a hidden gem for sports lovers, a Sacramento River Cats game is an entertaining option during your visit that you probably wouldn’t have considered before. Head to Raley Field for a classic minor league baseball game, ballpark foods, and a generally exciting atmosphere.
  • Monkey Puzzle Tree
    An attraction as puzzling as it sounds, this unique botanical addition to the Sacramento Zoo is described as a ‘living fossil’ evergreen (Araucaria araucana). This tree is said to be named such due to the French phrase ‘despair des singes’, meaning ‘monkey’s despair’, as it would be puzzling to the point of despair for a monkey to climb it.
  • Dragon House
    This hidden gem is actually a private residence, a house located near Curtis Park. This ‘eccentric home’ holds an eye-catching mosaic piece, topiaries, and kinetic sculpture. The landscape and ornate tile work hold a far east feel, the entire home a site worth seeing during a Sacramento roadside cruise.

Must Mention: 2nd Saturday Art Walk
We have to mention a fairly unknown monthly event that you can catch during your visit to Sacramento, the 2nd Saturday Art Walk. This event brings local businesses, galleries, and artists together for a fair-like viewing, the entire experience filled with fun local foods and live music. As the name suggests, the art walk happens every second Saturday of the month.

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