Best events in Sacramento this spring, from a Gold Rush escape room to an authentic steam train ride

Museum News

Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times 
Mar. 16, 2018

The Gold Rush is on, again. Sacramento’s historic tours and train rides — as well as some new events — will open for the season in a few weeks. Check out these five things to do in the state capital.

Vintage train ride

Take an old-school train ride along the Sacramento River pulled by a vintage diesel or steam locomotive aboard the historic Sacramento Southern Railroad. The onetime transporter of Bartlett pears and beets as well as passengers now provides an authentic rail experience, courtesy of the California State Railroad Museum. Rides take 45 minutes and cost $12 in a closed car with coach seats or open-air gondola with bench seats, and $24 for first-class cars. Offered weekends starting April 7.

Info: California State Railroad Museum, 916-323-9280

Underground city tours

Flood-weary residents of Sacramento pulled off an impressive civic feat in the late 19th century: raising a few miles of the city about 9 feet.

It took 15 years and a lot of manpower to cut houses and buildings off their foundations and hoist them aloft. You can see original city streets and artifacts circa 1860 on an hourlong Old Sacramento Underground Tour, which features living history guides.

Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for kids 6 to 17. (March 26-30 and then starting April 7). There’s an adults-only version of this tour that costs $20 beginning May 3.

Info: Sacramento History Museum, (916) 808-7059

Tour of California

The Tour of California, the state’s premier bicycle race, will finish in Sacramento — and spectators are welcome to watch. The men’s route starts May 13 in Long Beach and ends 645 miles later with three loops around the Capitol circuit in downtown Sacramento on May 19. Expect sprinters to be giving it their all on the flat finale. The same day, female cyclists will finish a 187-mile course with six turns on a 2.2-mile course downtown.

Info: 2018 Tour of California

Gold Rush escape room

Try this escape room with a time travel vibe that will open March 22. This adventure is set in an old-time underground hotel-saloon-gambling parlor meant to evoke the 1850s. You’re locked in, and only your wits will set you free (don’t worry, there are docents on hand to help). The game can be played by two to 10 people and requires teamwork to solve riddles and puzzles with a Gold Rush theme. It costs $28 per person for ages 8 to adult.

Info: Escape the Sacramento Gold Rush

Photography Month

Sacramento’s first Photography Month is to feature more than 30 art walks, field trips, exhibits, lectures, workshops and photographer events throughout April. Visitors can learn how early photos called daguerreotypes were made at “A Focus on Early Sacramento” opening April 6 at the Sacramento History Museum.

On April 3, the California Museum will open “The Newest Americans,” which features photo portraits by Sam Comen and stories by Michael Estrin of 28 newly sworn-in citizens.

Info: Photography Month Sacramento

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