History

ESTABLISHED AS A RESULT OF THE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH IN THE MID-1800S, THE TOWN OF RANCHO CORDOVA HAS A RICH HISTORY TIED TO THE WESTERN EXPANSION OF THE UNITED STATES.

Situated in the heart of the Northern California gold country and a pivotal stop along the early transcontinental railroad, Rancho Cordova is rich in history and culture. Whether you are hoping to walk the historic neighborhoods, stroll the area's parks, tour one of the many museums, or experience Gold Country first-hand, Rancho Cordova has an abundance of things to do for history buffs of all types.

Historical Districts

Folsom’s Historic District – Above the placid waters of Lake Natoma resides one of the region’s hidden historical gems. Stroll along Sutter Street where unique shops and restaurants await.

Placerville – Infamously known as “Hangtown,” Placerville offers a throwback experience with a stroll-able historic district featuring bars, restaurants and boutique shops. Don’t miss the El Dorado County Historical Museum for a real glimpse of history.

Parks & Museums

Old Sacramento – Step back in time for riverside fun in the original Sacramento. Shops, restaurants, boat rides, train rides, and the California State Railroad Museum make this a perfect place for all ages. Follow Visit Rancho Cordova on social media to learn all the things to do in Old Sacramento and more!

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park- Explore Sacramento’s earliest settlement, and first non-native settlement in California’s Central Valley. The fort is named for Swiss immigrant, John Sutter.

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park – Take a step back in time to California’s famous Gold Rush era. Located in Coloma, the nearby river is a great place to cool off during summer.

Railroads

California State Railroad Museum – Interactive exhibits with big trains, little trains and the history that goes along with it. Ideal for kids of all ages.

Gold History

We like to think of Gold Country as the heart of California, where the discovery of gold ignited a mass migration toward the west. In Rancho Cordova, you can travel and explore the treasures of Gold Country just off of historic Highway 49. Next time you travel to Rancho Cordova for business, pleasure or with the family, we suggest trying this California Gold Rush Tours itinerary for an adventure that we promise you won't regret! Some of our favorite pieces of Gold Country history are just outside of Rancho Cordova, and we recommend starting with Historic Folsom, as it's just minutes down the freeway.

HISTORIC FOLSOM

Stop at the Folsom Historic District and learn about the California gold discovery at the Folsom History Museum, and receive a first hand experience with blacksmiths and gold panning at Pioneer Village. After, make sure you explore the many taverns, wine bars and restaurants to make your tour of historic Folsom complete.

MARSHALL GOLD DISCOVERY PARK

Experience the history of the California Gold Rush in Coloma with a visit to the Marshall Gold Discovery Park, where James W. Marshall first discovered gold, and marked one of the most significant historical land marks in the United States. Explore the landmark's gold discovery tours, youth programs, living history days, hiking and picnic areas with the whole family.

PLACERVILLE'S HANGTOWN'S GOLD BUG PARK AND MINE

Create memories at the Hangtown's Gold Bug Park and Mine in Placerville, and explore deep inside the mountain to discover hidden treasures of the California Gold Rush. Spend the whole day at the park and visit the blacksmith's shop, stamp mill, museum, gift shop and more!