Road trips from Southern California: Northern California
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( California State Railroad Museum )
Distance: 384 miles one-way
More than a dozen museums, historic parks and memorials dot the city. They include Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, with a reconstruction of John Sutter's 1839 adobe; the incomparable California State Railroad Museum, housing 20 locomotives dating as far back as the 1860s; the eclectic Crocker Art Museum; the old Governor's Mansion; and the new California Hall of Fame.
Fans of vintage riverboats shouldn't miss the Delta King, a restored 1920s stern wheeler that has been converted into a hotel, lounge and restaurant. The King, a twin to the Delta Queen, which recently suspended overnight excursions, is moored along the Sacramento River.
For more info: Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, (800) 292-2334, www.discovergold.org.
-- Jane Engle
Pictured: California State Railroad Museum