Old Sacramento is a definate tourist trap. Sure, the river and ferry boats are nice to see, they have alot of entertainment for tourists as well...but to me it's all gift shops and restaurants. It's nice to pick up a few souvenirs, etc. but coming to Sacramento I wouldn't say that it's a "must-see" cause all you see is dirt roads, gift shops and a horse buggy going up and down the road.
Unique Suggestions: Overall, for the most part people enjoy it. It is nice to see the boats and the river, and good foods. If you are in Sacramento it won't hurt to check it out.
In Old Sac a train ride is offered down the Sacramento River. The cost is approximately $8. but don't be fooled. There is nothing noteworthy to see on this ride. The tracks are between the river and Interstate 5. The view of the river is nothing but water with no pretty buildings, houses or wildlife. All the nice things you might want to see can be seen by taking a walk along the "River Walk". Beyond that it is ugly....sorry to say as a Sacramento native.
Do not be afraid to get sucked into this tourist trap. Old Town Sacramento is fun for everyone!
There are great restaurants, bars, specialty shops and museums.
Indulge your guilty pleasures as a tourist here in this great location. And while you are in Sacramento, visit our State Capitol. Just 10 blocks from Old Town.
Visit their website at http://www.oldsacramento.com/home.html
Old Sacramento. Just as much as I love the place and I feel it a necessary stop for any traveler, it's still a tourist trap. That's why I recommend spending one day there at most, and preferably during the off season (late fall to mid-spring). Unless you're really a die hard jazz fan, or can stomach huge throngs of people in a really small enviornment, I don't recommend Old Sac on Memorial Day Weekend. It's psycho.
Depending on what you consider a tourist trap, you might want to beware of Old Sacramento. It can be an interesting place - original 'old west' buildings, wooden sidewalks, cobblestone streets. And the California State Railroad Museum is definitely worth a visit. But most of the businesses are aimed at tourists. I've never seen so many tacky souvenirs and candy shops in such a small area. So come for the atmosphere, see the trains, stroll along the waterfront, but be prepared for shops full of 'I Sacramento' T-shirts and shops where you can buy overpriced candy by the barrel.