What’s Old Is New: Sactown Gold Rush Tours

The history-packed tours contain an interpretative element and a window back to the 1800s.

Sacramento History Museum

ABOVE AND BELOW: Not every city offers a tale-terrific, nook-exploring, past-deep underground tour. Heck, not even every city boasting a robust historic district offer subterranean strolls, which lends a certain pizzazz to those that do (Seattle, Portland, Paris, we're waving in your general direction, as well as the host of burgs that regularly go below). And the history mavens of Old Sacramento like to rustle down under the area's streets and shops, during the warmer months, the better to have a deeper, sometimes dastardly, and always entertaining look at the role Old Sac played back when gold was getting rushed in the region. But as for the above-ground gawk-abouts, those walks that take in the gaslamp'd thoroughfares and wide wooden walks of the district? Those have been a bit fewer, and mainly a summertime-only thing. That's about to change, when a revamped Gold Rush Tour, this one above ground, launches as a complement to the doings beneath visitors' feet. There's a sneak peek of the tour-to-come over Labor Day Weekend, when the full-on Gold Rush Days yeehaw into town. 

"MORE HISTORICAL INTERPRETATION": If you totally dug the Underground Tour -- yep, we said "dug," laugh if you like or smile politely -- then you'll find more wayback knowledge on the new Gold Rush Tour, which shall offer "more historical interpretation" on the legend-lively quarter. The official name is "The Gold Rush Experience" and none other than the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation is behind it. You'll get to know the background of the beautiful buildings of the area, structures that have now stood in three distinct centuries, as well as the tales of the people who frequented the area (so, for sure, you'll hear plenty on miners and prospectors, as well as Pony Express riders, another legendary icon of Sacramento). It's ten bucks to join the tour, for an adult, and kids are less, and combo tickets, with the Underground Tour, will be a limited-time offer. Burnish your Gold Rush knowledge with a fresh stroll through an old city layered with all sorts of stories of fortunes made, lost, recovered, and never found. It should be a TV series, though, on second thought, perhaps not. You can be there in person, no screen or remote control required, if you just walk your pony to Old Sacramento.

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