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Why is the knowledge of state capitals a big deal? Why is that something we memorize or study at all? Maybe it has to do something with the seat of the state government, but in most cases, our dealings with state governments other than our own are limited. So why?
In some cases, it happens to be the largest city in the state, so it makes quite a bit of sense to associate that city with that state. This list includes Atlanta, Boston, and Phoenix. In other cases, it’s a metropolitan area over a million people like this week’s subject of destination curiosity, Sacramento or places like St. Paul, Indianapolis and Austin. However, coming from Missouri with its capital of Jefferson City, I don’t see it as being that special. (Pop quiz – which are the only state capitals not on the interstate highway system? Jefferson City, Missouri and Juneau, Alaska. Why do I know that? Capitals! Trivia! Argh.)
Ok, I just wanted to get that off of my chest. Now, I can focus on five cool things to do in Sacramento, not including going to visit or look at the state capitol building.
Visit the California State Railroad Museum
I don’t know what it is about kids, but they seem to really love trains, probably because of a certain engine named Thomas. Being around them creates a kind of train infection. So, I think that explains my interest in the California State Railroad Museum, although the railroads importance in settling the West does have a real appeal to my inner history buff.
Drink Wine at the Old Sugar Mill
Speaking of history, that’s what I’m going to make glasses of wine become (segue!) when I visit the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg, about 15 miles south of Sacramento. I just missed the Wine and Mushroom experience, but they also have a Port and Chocolate and a Wine Cheese and Bread Faire both of which sound delicious.
Hike around Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
On the less appetizing side of things there’s Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park in midtown Sacramento. What makes a fort less appetizing? It’s where aid to the Donner Party originated, and when I think of the Donner Party, I can’t help but let cannibalism seep into my mind.
Eat at Grange Restaurant and Bar
I saw two things on the lunch menu at the Grange Restaurant and Bar and I was hooked. Knife and Fork Meatloaf Sandwich and Fried Amish Chicken with sweet potato and pecan waffle. My mouth is just salivating right now so don’t make me laugh. (For dessert I’d love to go to the Freeport Bakery and have a piece of Boston Cream Torte.)
Tour the California Automobile Museum
In opposition to kids feeding that excitement for trains, it’s my adult self that creates excitement for cars. The California Automobile Museum has cars from 1904 all the way to 2007 on display. I just wish I could drive one while I visit.
Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.