Summer Day-cations, Stay-cations and Creative Heat-Busters

by Carmel L. Mooney

Summer is almost here and families are starting to mark their calendars with trips, outings, vacations, and getaways. It’s time again to buy a new bathing suit and get the sunblock and visor ready. Sacramento is a great place from which to take many day-cations, and one-tank getaways, and with all that goes on right in the Sacramento area, there’s plenty to do here. With a little planning and ingenuity, you might just feel like you skipped town for the day, even if you stay in the Metro area.

Spending a day skiing in Tahoe is a great daytime getawayBut should you want to skip town for a day-cation, SuperShuttle’s Gateway Express Shuttle has just launched a terrific new way to travel from Sacramento to Napa or Tahoe. This excellent stress-free mode of transportation offers daily scheduled service between Sacramento International Airport and locations throughout Napa and South Lake Tahoe.

With Napa’s new waterfront and fantastic dining and shopping options, it’s a no-brainer. Both routes are served by a 22-passenger bus.

No place is more beautiful for a day trip or a few nights away than Lake Tahoe. With the SuperShuttle, families can go for the day to escape the heat and play at the beach. Or mom and dad can enjoy the luxurious appeal of not driving and the whole clan can get away to Tahoe on the shuttle for a few nights of lake fun, golfing, kayaking, casino fun for mom and dad, and take in the many festivals and events this summer in Tahoe. Conveniently the shuttle stops at Lakeside Inn and Casino and MontBleu Resort and Casino & Spa which both are excellent family-friendly properties.

Lakeside Inn has a 1-mile scenic hike to beach access, a small-property feel, and family-friendly dining.

MontBleu boasts world-class dining, an award-winning steak house, a full-service spa and salon, nightclubs, a lagoon-style pool, and much more.

Also, a wonderful program in Tahoe called Parents’ Night Out allows visitors to have a night out without the kids for only $10. With all of Tahoe’s award-winning dining, this is a winning combination for parents to get that much-needed date night alone at an amazingly low cost.

Parents’ Night Out is a child program designed to allow parents to have a night out without the kids. Activities include movies, games, Bible stories, songs, crafts, and a snack. All children ages birth-12 are welcome! The cost of PNO is $10 per child for the evening with a maximum of $20 per family. Check their website for dates and more details.

American River photo courtesy CA dept. of fish and wildlifeCloser to home is the timeless favorite of rafting the American River. For over 30 years, Sacramento area residents have enjoyed American River Rafting and no company does it better than American River Raft Rentals. Just a few miles east of downtown Sacramento this self-guided company offers the best in self-guided Class II rafting. When the temperature approaches triple digits, stay cool on the river. Just remember to pack a cooler with a picnic and water-squirting toys. It’s a cheap, easy way to enjoy the beautiful river that meanders through our capital city area.

Be sure to visit the California Railroad Museum and soak in the amazing history of the railroad! Railroads played a key role in our state’s history and at the museum, you can explore some of the older locomotives and rail cars as well as possibly catch a ride on a historic train.

Another fun and the educational option is The Sacramento History Museum. Recently renovated with some exciting and spectacular new changes, it’s a “must visit” this summer with its hands-on exhibits and activities and impressive new additions.

The Historic Old Sacramento Foundation (HOSF) has unveiled guided tours of Old Sacramento’s underground and hollow sidewalks. Check the website or call 916-808-7059 for times, pricing, and other important information regarding tours. The tours will be high-quality presentations utilizing extensive original historic research.

Visitors to the Old Sacramento Underground will have new eyes with which to see the district and understand the city’s history after they view the disappearing windows and doors, dipping alleyways, exposed retaining walls, and walk into underground hollow sidewalks, and tour under historic structures.

Most important of all, they will learn about Sacramento’s unique historical identity as the only city in California to raise its streets, and one of only a handful to do so in the entire nation.

Sacramento's IMax theatreAnother “must plan” for the summer calendar and a great idea for summer fun and staying cool is to take in a show at the Esquire IMAX theater.

Fountains Free Summer Entertainment Series in Roseville at the Fountains offers concerts on Saturdays from June through September.

Also, don’t forget the State Fair. to find out time dates and visit nearby attractions, check out the official state fair site.

One great way to escape the heat and escape into another world for a couple of hours is to see a play at the Sutter Street Theater in the heart of historic Folsom’s downtown district. All of this theater’s productions are top-notch, excellent, and entertaining and the theater has earned countless top awards. They are refreshingly dedicated to families and children, so check out their acting workshops and instruction too. Robin Hood is coming in June and they have a terrific lineup of shows throughout summer and fall, in the works.

Before or after the show, stop by the Folsom Zoo and take the train. And if you’re adventurous, stop by Folsom Lake for a picnic or outing as well.

There is so much in our backyard in the Sacramento area, or just a gas tank away, so get out the red pen and the calendar and start plotting your summer course of fun today.

Back to Travel Discounts

Carmel L. Mooney is a 4th generation Californian who loves to travel with her family. You can hear her talk about travel, dining, and entertainment on KJAY 1430 AM in Sacramento on Sunday afternoons.

Folsom Zoo entrance photo by UncleVinny