Sacramento Trip 8/07

Jan 25th, 2007, 07:47 AM
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Sacramento Trip 8/07

Hello, my DH and I are planning to fly from Long Beach to Sacramento around 8/25/07 to attend the State Fair, see the Capitol, the Railroad Museum, and other Sac. sites. Since we plan on renting a car and being gone for a week, I have a few questions.

We will probably use Priceline for a Sac. hotel, but would appreciate some suggestions about the different areas, like downtown Sac., Capitol area, etc.

We would also like to extend our trip, after a few days in Sac., and are more the historical and gold country types, with a slight interest in wines. We had originally planned to take day trips from Sac., but, as I read about the area, it seems that it might be a good idea to book a few nights away, which is fine with us; we could even fly back home from somewhere else, if Jet Blue goes there.

Oh, I should mention that I am especially interested in tours of caves and caverns, and I understand this is a rich area for such things.

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated...thanks in advance!
GGAfrica is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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If you like caves, check out There are several caverns fairly close together headed south towards Fresno on Hwy 49 and just outside of Fresno is Boyden Cavern.

Looking at their website, the only airport options you have are Oakland, San Jose and SF - not a huge difference in distance as Sac is.

If you wanted to see Boyden Cavern, you're probably better off flying in Sac (one-way) and then driving back to Long Beach. If you stick with the caverns further north, then flying in and out of Sac is probably the best.

P.S. At Moaning Cavern, you can actually rapel down into the cavern - it's pretty cool. They have some spelunking opportunities too (with some tight spots).
toedtoes is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 10:03 AM
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There are lots of caves/cavern a lot closer to Sacramento than Fresno

Amador, Calaveras and the other foothill counties w/ wineries, caverns, Columbia State park, gold rush towns and so on are basically doable as day trips from Sacramento. But staying a night or two in the foothils would be a good option as well.

As for PL zones in sacramento - For Cal Expo you'd only want to bid Business 80/Arden, Downtowm or University. Allof the hortels in Business 80/Arden are w/i a mile or 2 of Cal Expo. That would be my choice unless you wanted a 4star place - then I'd bid Downtown.

And definitely be prepared for HOT weather. Last Aug was unusual and it was very pleasant for most of the run of the fair. But normally it is REALLY hot.

Do some googling of Amador, Calaveras, and Tuolumne counties and you will find a enormous amount of info. Also El Dorado/Placer Counties for more wineries, foothill towns, Coloma historic park etc.

I would fly in/out of SMF and not plan on going as far south as Fresno, etc.
janisj is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 10:47 AM
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Hi GGAfrica,
I have been to California Caverns outside Angels Camp. Pretty cool. It is about two hours south of Sacramento down Hwy 49.

Another place you might want to visit is Murphy's. Very cute gold rush town. Ironstone Winery is there. Beautiful winery with gardens, very old organ (pipe I think), and a small store/museum that houses one of the largest gold nuggets found in the area. It is kept in a walk-in vault.

I live outside Sacramento in the foothills. When people visit, I always take them down Hwy 49. Along the way is a gold mine tour (outside Sutter Creek I think), the Indian Grinding Rock State Historical Park (near Pine Grove outside Jackson) and the small town of Sutter Creek.

Another neat place is Empire Mine State Historical Park near Grass Valley (north of Auburn on Hwy 49). The park was a working gold mine. It has restored buildings including the cottage of it's owner, William Bourn, of Filoli Estate fame.

Oh, don't forget to visit Sutter Fort, the old govenor's mansion and the Crocker Art Museum (housed in Judge E. Crocker's beautiful old house)while in downtown Sacramento.

Have a wonderful time visiting.
BarbAnn is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 11:10 AM
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Janisj - we're actually thinking of the same caves. Except for Boyden, they are located around the Angels Camp/Murphys area. I mentioned Boyden and heading towards Fresno because Boyden is the biggest of them all and the OP may want to add it in if she is really into caves. (no pun intended ).
toedtoes is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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Many thanks to each of you. All these suggestions are a huge help! The Grass Valley info ties in with a possible visit to friends there (forgot to mention that).

Thanks, again, and feel free to add your two cents!
GGAfrica is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 02:13 PM
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BarbAnn- how far is Murphys from Sac?
It looks like a very fun place to visit.
Might have to try that on one of my jaunts down there.
sunbum1944 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 03:09 PM
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Another recommendation for Empire Mine - really interesting place to visit, and Grass Valley and Nevada City are nice towns.
J_Correa is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 08:43 PM
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Yes, the Empire Mine State Park in Grass Valley is fascinating - high reommendation. Highway 49 is full of a lot of interesting historical sights. Keep in mind that it is generally slow driving, especially heading south. Moaning Cave is really good, too. You don't have to rappel down. There is a guided tour down spiral steps.
elnap29 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 09:38 PM
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Sunbum1944, Murphy's is about a 2 hour drive from Sac. I live in El Dorado Hills and it takes me about 1 1/2 hours. If you visit in the spring, they have hundreds of tulips and daffodils near the entrance to the tasting room and museum/shop. They give winery tours also. There are a few other wineries around town along with shops and restaurants. Makes for a very pleasant day.
BarbAnn is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 06:42 PM
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Another vote for visiting Empire Mine in Grass Valley. Downtown Nevada City and Grass Valley have some neat shops and there is some wine tasting now in NC also. A few miles from Empire Mine is the Pelton Wheel Museum.

If you like wines, there are a lot of great wineries in Amador County around Plymouth. Some of our must go tos: Young's, Charles Spinetta, and Bray.
disnygrl21 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Hi, Again...well, as the time draws near, I want to thank everyone who input their thoughts on our trip. We have morphed the vacation, and now we are flying from Long Beach to Sacramento on Sun. 8/26, and returning home from Sac. on Sat. 9/1. We are renting a car and planning to stay in Sac. until Wed. 8/29, to see the Fair, and sights of Sac...and after that is where I need some help, and with some inexpensive restaurants in Sac. Don't know where we're staying, but it will probably be Downtown. We plan to see the Capital and train museum area for sure, and have to eat along the way!

We were originally thinking we would go to the Lake Tahoe area, but I think it will be too crowded, so we need some suggestions, keeping in mind that we only have two days, because we are spending the last night, Fri., 8/31 with friends in Grass Valley, so we need to build the extra days in that direction, as opposed to the areas south of Sac.

Any ideas? My DH isn't really interested in spending much time wine tasting, although a stop or two would be fine, just not an intense two days. We are not hiking people, we enjoy seeing sights, and were thinking of gold country, but are open to suggestions........thanks!

GGAfrica is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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We had a fantastic lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant called Lemongrass. They serve dinner too. This was several years ago, and they were located in an area away from the center of Sac. Don't know if they are still around but it was a MEMORABLE meal and not that pricey. It was written up in Gourmet Mag. I think.
kleroux is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 02:13 PM
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Mid town Sac has lots of good restaurants- with out door eating areas if its not too hot.

We go to Zocalas (Mexican) when there - which I like - I am not sure of the names of others - but clustered around the Midtown area

sunbum1944 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 02:50 PM
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There are sooooooo many great restaurants in downtown and mid-town Sacramento. What is your budget?

Lemon Grass mentioned above is a wonderful place (not cheap though) - but it is in a suburban location that can be difficult to get to due to heavy traffic and there are MANY places closer to downtown where you will be visiting the RR museum and Capitol.
janisj is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 04:47 PM
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Dear GG:

Lake Tahoe will be perfect and not crowded on a week days. You could head up on Wed, stay over to Fri. to explore. I recommend the North or West shores of Tahoe. It will be easy for you to get to Grass Valley from N. Tahoe on I-80.

In the past, State Fair was closed on Mondays. I am not sure if they are doing that this year, so check.

Try to get the Embassy Suites in Old Sac. It is right on the river and you can walk to Old Sac and, if its not too hot, the Capitol. Too many good restaurants.

Good luck and have fun.

MichelleY is offline  

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