If you’re interested in checking off one more state capitol building from your list, here’s some good news. On the way from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, you’ll pass through Sacramento, and the California State Capitol building is just off the highway.
Here’s the best way to locate the Capitol Building in Sacramento: get off I-80, and take US 50. Exit onto 16th Street, then turn on L Street.
I was visiting too late in the day to go inside the impressive domed building. So I had to enjoy it from the outside.
The grounds around the Capitol Building are filled with blooming flowers and shrubs, like rhododendron.
At the far end of the Capitol Mall, you’ll find one of Sacramento’s other widely-recognized landmark, the Tower Bridge, which crosses the Sacramento River.
Fans of Rush Limbaugh might want to swing through the town of Rio Linda, just north of Sacramento. If you listen to the show, you’ve probably heard Rush refer (somewhat unkindly) to the town, something he’s done ever since he was a local talk show host in Sacramento, back in the 1980’s. Rush admits the town is better now than it was then, saying “now most of the homes only have one car on concrete blocks in the front yard.”
Day 4 ends at Stateline, Nevada, at the southern end of Lake Tahoe. From Sacramento, take US 50. The flat farmland will turn to mountains around Placerville. After that, you’re in for a long, winding road into the Sierra Nevada.
You’ll find great deals in the Lake Tahoe area, especially if you arrive mid-week. Also, you don’t need to limit yourself to the big casino/hotels in Stateline–there are plenty of decent chain- and independently-owned motels in South Lake Tahoe (on the California side).
Note: This trip was first published in 2007.