Sacramento River: Our most recommended tours and activities

Sacramento: Historic Gold Rush River Cruise

1. Sacramento: Historic Gold Rush River Cruise

Spend the afternoon on a one-hour narrated cruise. Learn about the legendary past of California's capital city, from the first days of the Gold Rush to the booming metropolis that is here today. Set in Old Sacramento, California’s capital and the center of the state’s legendary Gold Rush story, cruises here drift down the scenic Sacramento River and provide a peek at historic sites and modern developments alike.

Sacramento: Sights and Sips Cruise

2. Sacramento: Sights and Sips Cruise

Embark on a memorable happy hour cruise on the beautiful Sacramento River. Marvel at the Sacramento city views as you cruise the day away with friends and family. Have an unforgettable afternoon and listen to the local DJ spinning Top 40's hits as you sip on your beverage. Enjoy a full cash bar and munch on small bites (available for purchase) while you soak up the sun. Let the week wash away as you cruise in style.

Sacramento: Alive After Five Cocktail River Cruise

3. Sacramento: Alive After Five Cocktail River Cruise

Take in the fresh river breezes on a cocktail cruise along the Sacramento River. Step onboard and sip on drinks from the bar as you cruise under the Tower Bridge and past the Sacramento city skyline. Have an unforgettable happy hour on the water while a live DJ plays the top hits. Take advantage of a full bar and purchase beverages onboard. Enjoy small bites that are available for purchase.

Sacramento: Rock The Yacht River Cruise

4. Sacramento: Rock The Yacht River Cruise

Try something different for your next night out and set sail from Old Town Sacramento on a 1.5 hour Rock the Yacht cruise. Kick back and relax with friends and meet new ones! Enjoy the fresh breeze of the river and soak up the sights of Sacramento.  Purchase hand-crafted drinks and snacks from the yacht's two fully-stocked bars. Choose from an array of expertly crafted cocktails, beer, or wine, as you relax and take in the river views. Sail from L Street Dock in Old Town and coast under the Tower Bridge. Let your hair down and delight in the friendly atmosphere and feel-good vibes.  Enjoy indoor or outdoor seating and remember to dress according to the weather. Cruises depart every Friday and Saturday, so grab your friends and head down to the only party you can't find on land!

Sacramento: River Valley Train Ride

5. Sacramento: River Valley Train Ride

Hop aboard and wet your whistle on this rolling libation train. Choose your favourite drink and enjoy an exceptional selection as you make your way through the beautiful Yolo Countryside aboard a vintage train car. Start your train ride at the River Fox Train station located on the Sacramento River. Travel along a 10-mile stretch of track through Yolo’s countryside. Embark on a journey among elements of a classic era. Passengers can enjoy events while reveling in nostalgic railroad charm. Locals and visitors alike will relish sightseeing Sacramento from a unique perspective. Admire ivy-covered woodlands, expansive acreage, and glistening riverfront views as scenery diversifies with every traveled mile. Choose from an assortment of refreshing experiences, each crafted to highlight your drink of choice with select drink tokens. Additionally, a variety of light snacks and alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages are available for purchase in our Concessions Car.

Courtland: California Delta Tour

6. Courtland: California Delta Tour

Spend a half day discovering the hidden gems of the historic Delta with a professional guide. Known as the ‘heart’ of California, the Delta is a network of intricate waterways, canals and sloughs, charming small towns steeped in lore, over 50 islands, national historic landmarks, nature reserves and agricultural abundance tucked away just a stone’s throw from the Bay Area and Sacramento. The day begins at family owned Hemly Cider in Courtland, hidden away among pear orchards and fields of corn. After a tour of their historic pear packing shed head over to Hemly’s outdoor, picturesque tasting room built from an old airplane hangar. After a guided tasting of their seasonal ciders and a food pairing, you will move on with a pint and a tour of the cidery to learn how this popular beverage is made. Next up, a short, scenic drive up the road to historic Husick's Taphouse for a lunch of house-smoked tri-tip sliders (veg/vegan options available), slaw and their famous maple bacon cornbread pudding accompanied by a drink pairing of local cider, beer or wine. Then head to another hidden treasure, family owned Silt Winery in Clarksburg. There you will learn about the terroir of The Delta wine region and enjoy a private guided wine tasting with pairings of cheeses, jams and chocolate, in their converted barn turned tasting room. The area is home to legacy towns that were established along the Sacramento River along with the steamboat trade. The famous ‘Delta breeze’ cools the land in the evening on even the hottest days, and its rich soil make it the perfect home to farms and wineries. The Delta is rich and mysterious, a labyrinth of draw bridges, legendary watering holes and even a haunted mansion.

Sacramento: Downtown Mural and Art Guided Walking Tour

7. Sacramento: Downtown Mural and Art Guided Walking Tour

See and learn about Sacramento’s world class murals and art on this family friendly guided walking tour in Downtown Sacramento. You will learn about our famous murals, street art and sculptures created by artists from all over the world. We share a special sweet treat with you at the end of this fun excursion. Sacramento is committed to celebrating public art and bringing it into people’s everyday lives. Public art has the power to spark conversation, engage the community, support artists and beautify a city. There is no better way to take in these works of art than on foot, so that you can get up close, linger and take photos. Through a renowned mural project, Wide Open Walls, the city has gained notoriety around the world for its murals by local and international artists. On this tour we share with you murals and other art created by artists from all over the world, including local Sacramento artists.

Sacramento: Historical Old Town and Food Walking Tour

8. Sacramento: Historical Old Town and Food Walking Tour

Stroll along the very cobble stoned streets of historic figures such as General Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant and John Sutter while hearing about the harrowing history of the state Capital and the Gold Rush. From fires to floods, you’ll learn about the challenging beginnings of this historic district. And the best part is, you get to eat all along the way. We take you to some of the best spots to tantalize your taste buds. This tour takes place in the Old Sacramento Waterfront district, right on the Sacramento River, featuring Gold Rush-era buildings, cobble stone streets and horse drawn carriages. The state Railroad Museum and the Sacramento History Museum are located in this area, as well as numerous shops including souvenir shops, antique stores, boutiques and old time candy shops. There are also numerous eateries and bars. There is ample parking in nearby parking garages.

Delta's History and Wine: A Self-Guided Driving Tour

9. Delta's History and Wine: A Self-Guided Driving Tour

The California Delta’s numerous wineries, laid back atmosphere and rural charm draw plenty of visitors every year. But there is also a remoteness to Sacramento County’s quaint riverside towns, which have barely changed since the Gold Rush era. On this driving tour through the Delta’s wine country, passing the historical towns of Hood, Locke, Walnut Grove, Ryde and Clarksburg, I’ll share the stories that most travelers miss. This two-hour tour hugs the Sacramento River between Freeport and Isleton, once known as the Paris of the Delta. As you cruise along Highway 160, I’ll tell you about the area’s rich history, its agriculture, and point out the towns, museums, restaurants, and wineries you’ll pass. Your journey will also take you off the main highway to visit the Grand Island Mansion and Clarksburg Wine Country. As you enjoy the spectacular views while you drive, you’ll hear stories about the area’s past, including forgotten hamlets like Paintersville and Vordon.

Old Sacramento: A Self-Guided Audio Tour

10. Old Sacramento: A Self-Guided Audio Tour

Step back in time to the 1850s and 60s when natural disasters, a banking crisis and a cholera outbreak made life in the new city of Sacramento very challenging. On this leisurely walking tour through Old Sacramento’s Historic District and Waterfront, I’ll paint a picture of what it was like for those early pioneers who were drawn to the city during the Gold Rush era. Named a California Historical Landmark in 1965, the suburb features over 50 restored historical buildings dating to the second half of the 1850s. Our tour starts at Tower Bridge. As you stroll along the cobblestone streets and wooden boardwalks, I’ll share stories about the buildings you pass, including the Firehouse Restaurant, Orleans Hotel, and What Cheer House, a former hotel and historical landmark. You’ll also hear about California’s early history, and how it took 25 days via steamboat to get mail from the East Coast to California on the West Coast before the Pony Express was established in 1860. On this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to: • Stroll down Front Street and sample the menu at any one of the charming bars or restaurants along the Old Sacramento Waterfront • Learn how Sacramento was finally saved from yearly floods by raising the town 22 feet in the 1860s • Visit the California State Railroad Museum and Sacramento History Museum • Hear about Chinese migrants’ courage during the building of the Central Pacific Railroad • Stop by the Delta King paddlewheeler and learn its fascinating history • Learn how Old Town Sacramento went from rundown rows of flophouses in the 1960s to a fully restored State Park • Take in Pioneer Square, the Pony Express Statue and the monument to Theodore Judah, the Central Pacific Railroad’s first Chief Engineer If you don’t stop to eat, do any shopping, or visit a museum, this walking tour will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. However, if time is not an issue, feel free to stop along the way. The museums charge admission, which is not included in the price of this tour.

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What people are saying about Sacramento River

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 96 reviews

Very interesting trip. "Captain Jack" was great, even with his pirate jokes. Very informative. Took my 13 year old grandson who is not easily impressed and he had a great time.

Great way to spend an hour !! I highly recommend it! get there early & get a seat along the rail on the 2nd floor. !!

Great music, dancing and cruising! I took my best friend and she loved the experience!

It's about my 3rd time taking this cruise, but still no lees enjoyable.

Your captain was both informative and funny we loved it.