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11 of Sacramento’s Best Outdoor Activities to Enjoy

11 of Sacramento’s Best Outdoor Activities to Enjoy

Check out the best outdoor activities to enjoy in Sacramento while you are visiting the capital of California.


5 min read

August 16, 2022

Rico Rivera is a passionate and trustworthy realtor helping clients move to Sacramento. He is also a member of the Recommended Businesses Program.

Disclaimer: does not receive any kind of compensation for reviewing any of the products or services mentioned in this article.

Sacramento is known to be one of the most naturally beautiful cities in the Golden State; did you know that it enjoys almost 250 days of sunshine every year? That, to a nature-lover, is a clear call to enjoy as many outdoor activities as the city allows. From some of the most breathtaking rivers in all of California to parks as green as jades, the city is heaven to every outdoorsy person. The best part about the city is that many of its outdoor activities are child-friendly, giving you the opportunity to plan fun outings with the family, and at the same time, grow the love of nature in your kids. If you’re not sure what the most exciting outdoor things to do in Sacramento are, read on!

Go with the flow of the Sacramento River and you’ll see the beauty of Sacramento in ways never experienced before.

1. Kayak Through the Sacramento River

Being in the Capital City means you are in the presence of California’s largest river, the Sacramento River. It is true that the river is a stunner, and you can spend hours admiring it from afar. It is also true that you can admire its grandness better by paddling through its waters. Not only is kayaking through the Sacramento River one of the best activities in Sacramento, but it’s also one of the best ways to sightsee the beautiful city. Walking through some Sacramento neighborhoods guarantees magnificent views of the river, too, if you’d rather not kayak.

2. Hike the Trails of Discovery Park

Sacramento is blessed with beautiful nature, and to enjoy the best of it, you should hike some of its most beautiful trails. The 275-acre Discovery Park is the jewel of the Sacramento Parks and Recreation Department. Located at the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers, it offers the best wildflower hikes near Sacramento, in addition to many other riverside activities. Once you’re done hiking the park’s trails, go fishing at the nearby rivers, or simply sit down and have a fun picnic with your family. 

As you feed them, the gigantic giraffes at Sacramento Zoo bow down to accept your offerings.

3. Visit the Animals at Sacramento Zoo

Are you ready to experience one of the best zoos in California? Head straight to the Sacramento Zoo, where you’ll encounter more than 120 unique animals, many of which are endangered. A trip to the zoo will be the best way to teach your little ones the value of wildlife. It will also make them more environmentally conscious. Check out the endangered thick-billed parrot, feed the giraffes, and ride the carousel on a fun family day out in Sacramento.

4. Go On a Whitewater Rafting Adventure On The American River

One of the reasons why you should visit Sacramento is that you get to experience the gorgeous American River, up close and personal. Whether you’re on a solo trip to the city, having fun with your friends, or spending quality time with your family, going on a whitewater rafting adventure on the American River will add tons of fun to your Sacramento experience. American Whitewater Expeditions offers individuals and groups of all levels an unforgettable paddling experience across the river and some wildlife views to die for.

You can hop in a horse-driven carriage to view Old Town Sacramento, or you can simply bike through its charming streets.

5. Bike Around Sacramento

Hiking in Sacramento is an awesome way to explore the city, and so is biking on its swoon-worthy trails. Whether you’re looking for a riverside trail, one with city views, or one that takes you on a historic tour, you’ll always find a trail suitable for your liking. Bike the Sacramento River Parkway Trail for 9.3-miles worth of views of the famous river, or the American River Trail for an up-close look of Old Town Sacramento. Whichever of these top California biking trails you choose to take, know that the city will captivate you with its charm, and the calories you gained while dining at the best Sactown restaurants will be history.

6. Join Your Kids for a Fun Outing at Funderland

Did you know that Sacramento has one of the can’t-miss amusement parks in California? If not, it’s about time you gather the kids in the car, and head for a fun afternoon out at Funderland. Nine exciting rides await you at the park, which has been entertaining kids and their parents since 1946. Ride the Flying Dragon, roll around inside one of the crazy cups, or drive one of the backroad buggies — anything that will put a smile on your kids' faces. And, if you wish to give your little ones an unforgettable birthday party, Funderland is the place to choose. 

Nobody can resist the incredible atmosphere at Sutter Health Park or not.

7. Cheer For The River Cats

When in Sactown, you cheer for the River Cats. On game nights, thousands of loyal fans gather at Sutter Health Park to cheer for the five-time Pacific Coast League (PCL) titleholders. Just when you thought you experienced all the awesome things to do outdoors, Capital City brings you the River Cats. Join the passionate crowds in their baseball stadium and cheer for the team that has been making the city proud for years and years now.

8. Experience the Sacramento Community at Drake’s

Weekends in Sacramento are different, thanks to Drake’s. The two-acre gathering spot is where the Sacramento community heads on chill afternoons and evenings, to enjoy food, beverages, and entertainment. Sitting along the river in the West Sacramento Bridge District, this is the place where fun and community meet, creating unforgettable memories. Enjoy a yummy bite as you sway to the incredible live music available at Drake’s. Don’t forget to take a beautiful photo or two of this beautiful architectural masterpiece.

9. Scream Your Lungs Out at Scandia

You’ll never run out of exciting things to do outdoors in Sacramento. That’s a given. Another given is that the best fun you’ll have with your kids will be at Scandia. If you’re a family of thrill-seekers, you’ve probably already heard of the greatness that is Scandia. Once you’ve screamed your lungs out on the Crazy Dane Coaster and the Sky Screamer, head to the mini-golf courses for a fun family challenge, or enjoy some classic arcade games. You won’t even wait for your kids to ask you to take them back to Scandia the next time around. 

You will probably enjoy the Raging Waters Sacramento waterpark as much as your kids will.

10. Ride the Exciting Water Slides at the Raging Waters Sacramento

As soon as the summer heat starts rising, all we can think about is how to beat the heat. If you’re in Sacramento, the first thing you probably think of is taking the family to Raging Waters Sacramento. The awesome waterpark has been entertaining its guests (of all ages) for over 30 years now. 20 water slides, a wave pool, and an 800-foot lazy river can be found in the waterpark, for the sole purpose of your entertainment. So, put on your swimming suits and get ready for all the excitement.

11. Enjoy 2-Hours of Climbing and Ziplining With Tree Top Sac

You might’ve walked or hiked through a heritage oak grove, but have you ever explored one from above? If not, then it’s climbing and ziplining time here in Sacramento. Tree Top Sac brings you the adventure of a lifetime with the opportunity to experience the forest from heights that range from three to 25 feet. Each of the courses comes with a set of challenges, which include, hanging bridges, ladders, ropes, and many more. Tree Top Sac is where you enjoy the best outdoor activities in Sacramento, challenge your fears, and feel one with nature. Despite the constant urge to admire the beauty below you, don’t forget to look up every once in a while, especially if you love bird watching, because you don’t want to miss all the birds that pass through the oak grove.

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