I have a confession: I’m a bit of a Gold Rush history nerd. It all started when I dressed up as a 49er in fourth grade and spent a few days in Gold Country (shout out to SF Waldorf school). So I was thrilled when we made the decision to move to Sacramento because of all the Gold Rush history here in our backyard that I could explore.
Last weekend we went to Folsom (of Folsom State Prison fame), which has been on my short list of places to visit around Sacramento long before we even moved here.
Folsom itself is gorgeous, especially in early spring when all the surrounding hills are green and lush. We didn’t make it to Folsom Lake this time, but will definitely be back when the weather is a bit warmer and maybe rent a bike (a major activity in this city I hear) and go around the water.
So without further ado here’s what we saw on our recent visit.
Folsom State Prison
Our first stop was the Folsom State Prison, which is still a functioning facility. We visited on Sunday, along with the families who were visiting loved ones in prison. At first it felt a bit intrusive being on the grounds, but once the guard kindly greeted us and pointed us in the direction of the museum it felt less so. There’s a lot of fascinating history in this prison and the museum itself is worth the stop alone. Also, if there are any Johnny Cash fans out there (hand raised) the museum’s collection of memorabilia from when he performed at the prison is a must.
Historic Folsom District
Afterward, we walked around this historical area, which is full of shops, restaurants, and museums. The Folsom History Museum is a great place to learn more about the history of this city. If museums aren’t really your thing, wandering around the streets just to admire the old buildings feels like a bit of time travel. If you have a sweet tooth, Snooks Chocolate Factory is a must for homemade fudge.
I have to admit this was one of the things I was looking forward to the most during our visit, since I never pass up a chance to sample tacos. Both my carna asada and pollo tacos were delicious, with generous servings of meat on each. The best part though was the complementary salsa bar, with a dizzying array of freshly made salsas and endless refills for tortilla chips. The service was also top notch, and I would definitely come back here again if I’m in the area.