Ever wondered what it would be like to be a pioneer back in the 1800s? If you’ve ever fantasized about riding on a covered wagon or screaming “Eureka!” when you finally strike gold, you should definitely plan a dream weekend in Sacramento, California. The city offers many opportunities to learn the history of the place, as well as experience what life was actually like as a hardscrabble pioneer woman or tough-as-nails gold miner.

Those brave adventurers never took the boring path, and neither should you! As a BUCKiTDREAMER, you’re used to paving your own way, so you should always skip the boring tourist traps. Instead, experience Sacramento like those original pathfinders, and follow these tips for a truly original adventure! 

Making History Get the complete pioneer experience by starting out at the Sacramento History Museum. They offer exhibits on everything from gold mining and Native American culture to farming and printing processes (you can even make your own Wanted poster!), so you can start your weekend with a comprehensive history lesson that will have you itching for more pioneer adventures. 

Relive the Gold Rush Nightlife It goes without saying that there was lots of murder and mayhem during the Gold Rush days. To learn about all of the scandals, take part in the Underground After Hours Tour(21 years and older: no minors, only adult miners!). The half-mile historic walking tour lets you in on all the gossip of the day and points out the city’s many secret locations, including saloons and gambling spots that were kept on the downlow.

Get On Track In 1869, the Pacific Railroad was completed. Imagine what the journey would have looked like back in that time by hopping on board the Excursion Train Ride. This 45-minute scenic route along the Sacramento River is organized by the California State Railroad Museum and offers an authentic train experience. But don’t worry about traveling like a dirty, dusty pioneer – this train is air-conditioned with three first-class car options!


Mining For Gold Feel yourself transported right back to the Gold Rush days with a trip to Sutter’s Fort, where you can experience what the fort would have looked like back in the 1840s. Explore the different areas of the fort, like the gunsmith, bakery, and trade store areas to get a unique feel for this historic landmark.

Rollin’ Down the River If you need a place to stay in Sacramento, why not do it the ol’ fashioned way? Spend your nights on the Delta King, a fully refurbished and restored riverboat that offers a variety of stateroom options. There are also plenty of modern conveniences (including a full breakfast, free WiFi, and both casual and fine dining selections!). 

Food For Thought If you’re in need of a hearty meal that reflects what the pioneers ate, check out Jamie’s Broadway Grille. The meat-centric menu features a lot of items that would have been scarfed down back during the Gold Rush, including in-house smoked meats and their award-winning clam chowder.



Gold Rush Rich Maybe you think you’d be more wealthy during the Gold Rush days as opposed to someone who always struck out while mining. To experience how the rich half lived, head to the Leland Stanford Mansion(named after the one time governor of California and the founder of Stanford University), which was built back in 1857. You can take tours of the residence to discover what the home would have looked like way back when.

Now that you’ve survived living like a true pioneer, you can share your dream on BUCKiTDREAM