Want to explore Sacramento? Here are seven fun outings you can enjoy on SacRT

June 6, 2023 General, SacRT Blog

The good weather is here! If you’re itching to get out and about, the Sacramento Regional Transit District’s (SacRT) extensive bus and light rail system is a great option when spending a fun day exploring the Sacramento region.  

To give you a taste of the possibilities, here are several outings you might enjoy. Try one this week. Then try another soon!

First, some quick transit tips:  

Take the train to bike or hike at the American River 

The American River Parkway and its Jedediah Smith recreation trail are a recreational gem, frankly one of the region’s greatest health and lifestyle assets. 

Getting there on SacRT: The Gold Line light rail parallels the parkway. Bring your bike aboard. Here are four good access sites: 

  • At University/65th Street Station: Head through Hornet Tunnel, then across the Sacramento State campus and the Guy West Bridge to the trail. (Tip: stop for great pastries and coffee at Moonbelly Bakery or The Mill Cafe on the way.) 
  • At Mather Field/Mills Station: Head briefly west on Folsom Boulevard, then right on Rod Beaudry Drive into the parkway. 
  • At Iron Point Station: Cross Folsom Boulevard, and head directly onto the trail on the south side of Lake Natoma. 
  • Historic Folsom Station: There’s a trail entrance across Leidesdorff Street, as well as an entry just over the very picturesque historic truss bridge next to the Rainbow Bridge. (Tip: Stop by Karen’s Bakery or any of the restaurants in Historic Folsom to get refueled.) 

Art, history and politics tour of downtown Sacramento 

Downtown is rich in culture, history and art. A host of cultural institutions, all within walking distance, just a bus or train ride away. 

Getting there on SacRT: The Blue, Gold and Green light rail lines all serve downtown. Bus routes downtown include the 11, 30, 33, 38, 51, 62, 86 and 88, and SmaRT Ride microtransit service. 

  • Historic Amtrak Station: (Sacramento Valley Station) If you’re on the Gold Line or bus route 30 or 38 buses, stop here so you can walk through the stunning vaulted main hall with its historic wall mural. 
  • State Capitol: Free tours are available on weekdays. Capitol Park boasts trees from around the world and a rose garden. 
  • California Museum: Visit California’s Hall of Fame honorees at 10th and O streets, including Ishi, Peggy Fleming, John Muir, Cesar Chavez, Amy Tan, and Walt Disney. 
  • Crocker Art Museum: The 2nd and O street museum’s art display doubles as a California history tour. 
  • California State Railroad Museum: Learn about Sacramento's key role in rail history here in Old Sacramento at 125 I street. 
  • SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity: The new MOSAC, at 400 Jibboom Street, a half-mile north of Old Sacramento, has planetarium shows. 

Enjoy ‘urban village’ farmers markets in midtown Sacramento

Every Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., a five-block area around 20th and K streets comes alive with the Midtown Farmers Market. 

Ambience: At both, you’ll feel you’re in a bustling and convivial village square. Each features regional farm produce as well non-food items. In midtown, there is a Kids’ Club space with games for children. 

Getting there on SacRT: Numerous bus routes will bring you to midtown. The closest drop-offs are from the 30, 38 and 62 lines.

Other farmer’s markets: For some other markets, check out the website https://marketlocations.com 

Family fun at the Zoo and Fairytale Town 

William Land Park offers a trio of treasures for families with young children: the Sacramento Zoo, Fairytale Town and Funderland. (And, your kids might even find riding the bus or light rail is pretty fun too.)  

Getting there on SacRT: Take light rail to the Sacramento City College Station, then hop on bus route 11 for a one-mile ride where it drops you off in front of the zoo.  

Bonus: If you’re at the City College Station, take the kids up on the bridge there that rises over the rail lines for a cool aerial view of the neighborhood. 

Kids ride free!: All school-age youth in Sacramento County can ride free on SacRT any day of the year. Here is info about the program and where to get the free pass: rydefreert.com.  

International cuisine on Stockton Boulevard 

For another great shopping and eating experience, head to 65th Street and Stockton Boulevard, home to dozens of Asian markets, stores, bakeries, restaurants and other businesses in the area called Little Saigon. 

Getting there on SacRT: The area is served by some of our more popular bus routes, the 51, 61, 68 and 81.  

Why the bus?: You can relax and look out the window at a fast-evolving area of Sacramento, and avoid car parking hassles at this popular shopping area. 

Variety: Giò Chả Đức Hương Sandwiches is famous for its Bánh mì sandwiches and its French bread. Hao Bao Dumpling is another popular establishment, as is 85C Bakery Cafe. 

Historic Folsom, where Gold Rush meets modern times 

Sacramento history is on view in Old Sacramento. But it’s also vividly present in Historic Folsom, an area where the architecture and streetscapes take you back to the 1800s. 

Getting there on SacRT: Take the Gold Line light rail to the Historic Folsom Station, across from the historic railroad turntable.  

  • To do: Stroll, shop, dine and soak in history on Sutter Street in a relaxed atmosphere.  
  • River view: Head to the historic pedestrian truss bridge over the American River for photo-worthy views of boulder-lined river gorge, as well as the nearby 104-year-old Rainbow Bridge. 
  • Bike on Johnny Cash Trail: For more adventure, bring your bike and ride the trail past the prison to a Folsom Dam overlook. 

Enjoy an international food shopping experience in Rancho Cordova 

Shopping at the popular KP International Market at Rancho Cordova’s town center is a fun outing for gourmets and food adventurers. 

Details: KP International Market offers you foods and ingredients from 40 cuisines across the globe.  

Getting there on SacRT: The Gold Line light rail drops you a few feet from KP’s front door. Take the Gold Line to the Cordova Town Center Station.  

Tips: Arrive hungry. KP has an Asian-influenced food court and offers desserts from around the world.