Downtown Tours

Walking Tours

These unique tours through Downtown Sacramento introduce visitors and residents to people, places and events that shaped California history. From John Sutter to Cesar Chavez, the tours cover more than 150 years of state and local history with topics that range from art and architecture to cultural, religious and urban history.

Call 916-442-8575 or email dsp(at)downtownsac.org to make a reservation. Each of these guided walking tours last approximately one to two hours.

FEATURED TOURS:

Old Sacramento Speakeasy Tour | Rich History & Dirty Little Secrets

DSP tour guide and history buff, Shawn Peter, takes you on a guided tour through Old Sacramento’s underground watering holes. The tour begins at the River City Saloon, an Old Town bar decorated in prohibition-era style. Your group will head to several other speakeasy spots including the famed Delta King Riverboat, which at the time served as a ‘floating’ hotspot for illegal drinking, jazz bands, gambling and fine dining.

Along the way, you’ll learn fascinating tidbits about the people and events that shaped the city’s early history as one of the ‘wettest cities in the union’ during this pivotal era in American history. Order a prohibition-era themed cocktail (or simply your favorite drink) available for purchase at participating tour stops. This tour lasts approximately 2 hours. This is a seasonal tour that will pick up again in spring of 2014.

  • WHEN: May 17, June 21, July 19, August 16, September 20 (tickets available soon)
  • TIME:  5:30 pm – 8 pm
  • STARTING POINT: River City Saloon, 916 2nd Street in Old Sacramento
  • COST: $10 per person for Speakeasy

Tour participants must be 21 years of age or older. Tickets for this tour must be pre-purchased, please, no walk ups.

Downtown Haunted Tour

Downtown Sacramento’s history is full of tales of haunting and ghoulish behavior. From the discovery of an ancient Indian burial ground under the new City Hall, to Victoria era ghosts and Gold Rush ghouls, there are plenty of spooky stories surrounding the macabre side of Sacramento’s past.

We’re dying to help you get ready for Halloween with our new Haunted Tour through Downtown. Starting at Cesar Chavez Plaza at 9th and J street, you’ll be lead through the dead center of Downtown by DSP Guide and paranormal enthusiast Shawn Peter.  As you pass the old City Hall, library, and St. Rose of Lima Park Shawn will give you the scoop. Whispers, sightings, noises, and apparitions have been widely reported in the heart of Sacramento, attributed to legendary murders, vigilante justice, heroic rescue attempts, and tragic accidents.

The tour wraps up right in front of Sacramento’s most haunted landmarks, The Crest Theatre. After the tour, participants can enjoy a cold brew at in a much more lively location for spiritsKBAR, Dive Bar, and Pizza Rock are all nearby so you can grab a beer to ease your fears. After all, the stuff that Sacramento’s legends are made of just might be the same things that you hear go bump in the night.

 

  • WHEN: October | 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
  • STARTING POINT: Cesar Chavez Park at 9th and J streets
  • COST: $10 per person

Art is All Around Us | A tour of Sacramento’s collection of art in public places

Starting at 4th and K Street, this walking tour will showcase Sacramento’s beautiful public art while our tour guides explains the who, how, and why behind the art. Discover each art piece, each with their own unique perspective, and learn about the artists and the history behind the creation. You will see Sacramento’s impressive collection of permanent works of art that has been integrated into Downtown Sacramento’s urban environment. See works by both notable, and national artists. This tour was developed in partnership with the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission’s Art in Public Places Program.

WHEN:  By appointment: 916-442-2200

STARTING POINT: Indo Arch outside of Downtown Plaza at 4th & K streets

COST: $10 per person

 

Tales of the Central City | An overview of early Sacramento history

Starting in Caesar Chavez Memorial Park, and ending at Downtown Sacramento’s last original house, you’ll learn about Sacramento’s Downtown, from our earliest residents, to present day.  On this tour you’ll learn about the State Capitol,  psychedelic murals, our last posting hitch, Nirvana performing at The Crest Theater, Leland Stanford Jr. haunting The Stanford Mansion, a chandelier The Pope himself gave to the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral , and who built Sacramento’s early land marks and why. This 60-90 min. walking tour will leave you with fun facts and a deep understanding of Sacramento history.

WHEN:  By appointment: 916-442-2200

STARTING POINT: Cesar Chavez Plaza at 9th & J streets

COST: $10 per person

 

Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow | K Street commerce, growth and redevelopment

Starting in Old Sacramento and ending at our Tower Bridge, learn about Sacramento’s rich history of development. From the early days of John Sutter landing establishing Sacramento as New Helvetia, to the Gold Rush boomtown history, and how Sacramento evolved into the modern city with small town charm we see today.  See Sacramento’s original west-end, new additions to our sky line, and K street. Learn about the Rail Yards, China Town, historic hotels, the Crocker Art Museum.  Sacramento’s dark past just might surprise you on this 60-90 minute walking tour, and by the end you’ll see why we are excited about Sacramento’s future.

WHEN:  By appointment: 916-442-2200

STARTING POINT: Delta King docks at Front & K streets

COST: $10 per person

SEASONAL TOURS

The Art of Terra Cotta | An architecture tour featuring local clay artisans Gladding McBean

This tour will discuss the history of terra cotta as an architectural art form and will highlight downtown’s best examples of this turn-of-the-century technique. This tour emphasizes the contribution of the Gladding McBean studio, one of the region’s best cultural and artistic assets, which has provided terra cotta tiles, pipes and sculpture for customers worldwide. Based in Lincoln, California, this studio has been in continual operation since 1874. As you’ll see on the tour, many downtown buildings still showcase the studio’s early works. This tour will highlight these structures as well as discuss the evolution of this notable clay studio, the process of working with this unique type of clay, and the studio’s legacy on the art of terra cotta. Mike Munson leads this tour.


NOTE: This tour is currently by prior reservation only. We are happy to offer it for your group. Call 916-442-2200

Contact the DSF

Downtown Sacramento Partnership
980 9th Street, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95814
P: (916) 442-8575
F (916) 442-2053
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