Yesterday afternoon was pure pleasure for me, with the sun shining, smiling visitors walking the streets, and new adventures around each corner, I was in Old Sacramento, California. Being in Northern California a couple days before attending this years ZAP event in San Francisco I decided to visit this historic destination, and seek out things I could use for upcoming travel articles.
In 1839 John Sutter received a land grant from Mexico and established Sutters Fort on the banks of the Sacramento River. It was the Gold Rush that segwayed this settlement into a merchant heaven, with construction flourishing and business booming. However, fires and flooding created disaster after disaster. In the late 1800’s, the major undertaking of the city to raise the level of the city was undertaken. Although the commercial zones moved east of the settlement, Old Sacramento continued to exist, however dove to depths unknown becoming a “sister city” to Chicago at that time in crime.
In mid 1960’s Old Sacramento became the first historic district in the West. As I walked the over 50 historic buildings on raised boardwalks, I could feel the past surround me. Beneath my feet, there were places where you can actually see the original streets, and in fact there are tours taking you down to see them available.
Old Sacramento is your kind of place if you like old cobblestone streets, horse drawn carriages, Wells Fargo Pony Express Stop, an Old Paddlewheel Riverboat, an old Train Station along with working old trains, and almost every corner, a candy store.
Then there are the names that will forever be in your memory, the old brawling Saloons. With names like Fanny Ann’s, River City Lounge, Back Door Lounge and Fat City Bar & Cafe. As I continued to roam the old streets, my camera coming alive with a mind of itself, mesmerized with the history, I suddenly realized that I was warm and tired. As I walked by Fanny Ann’s where the door was open and inside looked so very interesting, I decided to stop in for some “refreshments”.
Walking into Fanny’s is an experience in itself, with a long old style wooden bar, and memorability everywhere you look. Old pictures, antique children’s toys and dolls, and as I sat on my stool at the bar and looked up, an old antique fire wagon hanging above the bar. A very social crew in this establishment, and some very cold and professionally tapped Guinness with the signature shamrock design in the head. Simply divine.
So if you find yourself in Sacramento on business or pleasure, give your feet something to do, and take a walk in time.