The capital of California is the great city of Sacramento. Settled in 1839 by a German-born Swiss pioneer called John Sutter, Sacramento was initially established as a fort to facilitate trading and military activity. He went on to build other resources, including mills in the nearby foothills and it was in one of these mills where an employee of Sutter discovered gold. With this discovery of gold, the city was quickly incorporated and became the heart of the gold rush.
Sacramento’s Old Town, which was the core hub during the rush in the 1850s, is now a 28-acre national landmark with excellent museums, a restored river boat (the Delta King) and historic walking tours taking you through the chambers and underground passageways. The city is also home to the State Capitol building, built in 1869 and still very much a working office, which provides free tours to learn about the building’s architecture and history. There’s also a light railway system which links popular sites around the city, but those seeking a more active adventure can enjoy miles and miles of wide, designated bike lanes and paved trails along the American and Sacramento Rivers.