Home Things to do Cool Things To Do In Folsom, CA-

Cool Things To Do In Folsom, CA-

by Pankaj Upreti
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Things To Do In Folsom

Folsom is a city in Sacramento county of California state in the United States. It is the city after which Johnny Cash penned one of his signature songs, “Folsom Prison Blues”. Situated just at the foothills of Sierra Nevada mountains, Folsom is a great place to experience California’s evergreen lifestyle. 

From adventure seekers, history and culture enthusiasts, nature and art lovers to recreation and shopping fanatics provides attention to all types of visitors. 

Before planning any of your trips here, check Sacramento County, California’s covid 19 updates and guidelines here.

Is Folsom A Nice Place To Live?

Because of having lots of families and kids friendly neighborhoods, Folsom is one of the nicest places to live in Sacramento County, CA. It is one of the most sought after places to live in the region.

The residents of this city get to enjoy a sub-urban feel at the foothills of Sierra Nevada with plenty of good services, amenities and facilities. It also has a list of restaurants, cafes, shops and parks for outdoor activities here. The public schools of the city also have high ratings. 

Folsom in California also has easy access to the capital of California, Sacramento, via Historic Folsom Light Rail.

Real estate properties here cover all the budget ranges. So, if you get the opportunity of becoming a resident of Folsom, CA, you should totally go for it.

What Is Folsom Known For?

Folsom, California is known for being a place that offers a lot of sports and recreation opportunities.
Sunrise At Folsom | Photo Credit – FolsomNatural

Folsom, California is known for being a place that offers a lot of sports and recreation opportunities. The city has a peculiar combination of history, arts, culture and hiking trails. It is also known for being home of Folsom Prison, Folsom Lake and historic Downtown. 

Is Folsom Safe?

This city is one of the safest cities in Sacramento county and even in California state, according to an annual Safewise survey report. Folsom ranked number 8 in the survey. Hence, it is the safest place to make trips to with family.

What Is There To Do In Old Folsom, CA?

This place in Folsom, CA is where you can still find the glimmers from the Gold Rush era of the state in various things.
Old Folsom Shops | Photo Credit – Lucas Gilbert

Old Folsom is regarded as “the place where the west came and stayed.” and the “heart of Folsom, California”. It is the place where you can still find the glimmers from the Gold Rush era of the state in various things.

Situated on the historic Sutter Street, the area provides the charm of the old town. Various modern things have made their place in this part of Gold Rush history of California in Sacramento county like restaurants, theater, shops and business.

It has attractions and things to see like Folsom History Museum, Powerhouse State Park etc. Other special things like fairs, festivals, shows, Saturday farmer’s market etc keep happening at Sutter Street. At Historic Folsom Amphitheater, people can enjoy things like Folsom Lake Symphony, Twilight Thursday Concert series, Movie nights etc.

Follow us while we cover more of these top things to do and things to see in Folsom, California later in the article.

Things To Do In Folsom-


This is a place in Folsom,CA where you can enjoy watching animals in their natural habitat with most safety.
FOLSOM CITY ZOO SANCTUARY | Photo Credit – Rex Boggs

Located on 403 Stafford Street, Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary is both a zoo and a sanctuary. This zoo was built in 1963 but it doesn’t involve in breeding, selling or trading of its residents. Since its foundation, Folsom city zoo sanctuary has been looking after animals that can’t be released in the wild.

This is a place where you can enjoy watching animals in their natural habitat with most safety. Although the Folsom city zoo sanctuary is not large, it has enough to keep families with kids entertained. 

It is home to mostly animals native to North America. Visitors will be able to see animals like mountain lions, tigers, wolves, sheeps, bobcats, bears, eagles etc. here. Smaller animals like macacau, prairie dogs, squirrel monkeys etc. can also be seen here.

Visitors can volunteer in the cleaning of cages. Or they can also take part in various classes, programs, and tours like Zookeeper camps here. 

Folsom city zoo sanctuary has other facilities like a gift shop and a bistro. Fisher’s Beastro offers easy snacks at the zoo. The zoo is part of Folsom City Lions Park and is managed by the Friends of Folsom Zoo.


There are many other attractions around Folsom lake state recreation area.
Folsom lake | Photo Credit – FolsomNatural

The Folsom lake state recreation area surrounds 20,000 acres of area around the Folsom lake at the foothills of Sierra Nevada. It is a popular outdoor spot where visitors can spend time in outdoor activities like picnicking, hiking, biking, horse riding, and camping.

Folsom lake state recreation area has 95 miles of multi use tracks including Western States Trail and Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail. 

Folsom lake state recreation area is a family friendly area that also has ample of opportunities for water activities like skiing, boating or kayaking etc.

The park has two water reservoirs in the American River- Folsom and Natoma. Opportunities for fishing like yellow perch, trout, bass and catfish are also available here. 

Birdwatching is another popular activity of visitors at the Folsom lake state recreation area. Birds like Great Blue Heron, Great Egrets and other migratory birds can be easily spotted here. The park has an abundance of ancient oak trees and other American flora.

There are many other attractions around Folsom lake state recreation area.


The visitors get to experience the performances like theater, musical drama, dance etc in Folsom,CA.
HARRIS CENTER | Photo Credit – FolsomNatural

Originally an instruction center for students of Folsom lake College, Harris Center is a regional performing arts center. The visitors get to experience the performances like theater, musical drama, dance etc.

This 80,000 sq. feet center was established in 2011 and has been popular among the community for its productions that are suitable for all the ages. 

Situated at 10 College Parkway, Harris center has three stages and a magnificent mezzanine. It hosts around 400 events all over the year including concerts, theater, talks etc.

You can enjoy the artistic works of Kahulanui, Folsom Lake Community Concert Association, Music beyond Borders etc. here at the Harris Center. 


This museum is operated by the Folsom Historical Society and is situated in the historic downtown of the city.
Museum | Photo Credit – Ken Lund

Among the popular historical places to visit, this is a place for you. Folsom Historical Museum has a collection of exhibits and artifacts. These depict various aspects of the history of development and settlement of this city, starting from the Gold Rush Era.

There’s an exhibit for the discovery of gold in California, formation of mining camps, railroads, the prison, and even Folsom’s native people.

This museum is operated by the Folsom Historical Society and is situated in the historic downtown of the city. 

The museum also hosts a range of events, activities and programs all year around. These things include Antique Evaluation Day, 100 Years of Fashion Accessories etc.


Known for being the second oldest prison in California, Folsom State Prison’s Folsom prison museum is among the most popular things in most visitors’ itinerary. It was founded in 1975.

The National Big House Museum, also known as the Folsom Prison Museum is situated in the same complex as the active Folsom Prison. The museum features items that have been confiscated from inmates of the prison as artifacts.

It also exhibits weapons, things that the inmates have made during their time here. These artifacts include a 8 ft high Ferris wheel of 250,000 toothpicks made by an inmate.

The Folsom prison museum is famous for its Johnny Cash memorabilia as he performed twice here. You can explore the gray granite architecture and  map of the prison. Artifacts, photographs, newspaper articles and other memorabilia can be explored during a guided tour of the museum.

These things account the experiences of numerous correctional officers and stories of inmates.

The Folsom prison museum has its own gift shop from where you can buy souvenirs.

The ticket fare here is $2 per visitor. You can easily spend a few hours here. 


Guided tours are available here at the Folsom powerhouse state historic park for more informed visit.

The Folsom powerhouse state historic park is an historic site that preserves a power station that was built in 1895. Situated at 9980 Greenback Lane, this was one of the first AC hydroelectric power plants in the United States.

Guided tours are available here at the Folsom powerhouse state historic park for more informed visit. This powerplant was an initiative of the Sacramento Electric Power & Light Company, CA.

Visitors will not only be able to see the city’s history but also the history of Sacramento here. It features one of the first large electric transformers that have been preserved since 1952. 

Folsom powerhouse state historic park is a great place for mechanical engineering enthusiasts at the bank of American river.


LAKE NATOMA | Photo Credit – Janice Marie Foote

It is among other popular attractions of the Folsom lake state recreation park that needs a section of its own. Lake Natoma is a 500 acres of water reservoir of the Nimbus Dam at the American River in Sacramento County, CA.

It is popular among locals and visitors for hosting several family friendly outdoor activities like picnicking etc. Water activities like swimming, kayaking, skiing, fishing, canoeing, rowing and boating are also possible here. There are also rental boats, kayaks, etc are available here. 

The Jedediah Memorial Trail is parallel to the lake. Various classes, programs and workshops regarding boating safety and skills are provided here.

Lake Natoma also hosts several water sports competitions like the West Coast College Rowing Championship all over the year. 

Among other popular attractions here is the historic Negro Bar from the Gold Rush Era.


Folsom valley railway is a unique place here in California where you can see authentic miniature steam powered replica railroads. It is one of the seven places in the United States with such a facility. You can enjoy an almost 50 years old 10 minutes, 5 miles long ride here. 

The Wild Night & Holiday lights and Renaissance Pleasure Faire are two very popular events hosted here. 

Check their website for more information about the rides, fares, events and guidelines here.


JOHNNY CASH TRAIL BRIDGE | Photo Credit – FolsomNatural

Situated in Johnny Cash Legacy Park, Johnny Cash Trail is one of the most popular attraction. The trail is a walking and biking trail that passes through Folsom Historic District at Sutter Street and Folsom Lake. It is dedicated to the singer, Johnny Cash and the history of this city. 

The trail is 2.5 miles long. It winds through Prison and lends an access to it. It also features two scenic bridges and installations.

The Johnny Cash Trail is famous for having several art installations dedicated to him including 2 seven foot tall bronze guitars being played by Cash’s silhouette. There’s also a chapel at the trail where the letters to him by the inmates who attended his concert at the prison are displayed.


WHITE GRANITE | Photo Credit – Wonderlane

Granite bay beach is one of the most popular attractions to enjoy the beauty of Folsom lake. It features a public boat ramp.

Travelers and locals both enjoy their day and weather here by sun bathing, playing volleyball, and doing other water activities. Rafting, swimming, kayaking, boating, paddle boarding, motorboating are few attractions of Granite bay.

Granite bay beach also serves as a base for various other outdoor activities like barbecue, picking etc. There is also a snack bar which also rents various beach equipment at the Granite bay. It has life guards appointed during the swimming hours.


Restaurants | Photo Credit – Jim G

Premium Outlets is a central shopping district here, California. It is an outdoor shopping center with almost 80 stores. It is one of the popular attractions of shopping fanatics in California.

This center has a store for things ranging from clothing, footwear, skincare, house ware to jewelry and sports goods. There’s also availability of a range of diverse brands here. Even residents of Sacramento, California come here to shop.  

If you want to have a snack break in between your shopping spree, try numerous food-drink outlets, cafes and restaurants at Premium Outlets.


The Aquatic Center is one of the popular places to visit among water enthusiasts. It is one of the safe, friendly places for all age groups. It has attractions such as water playground, slides, pools, diving boards, gardens etc. Various attractions for kids include water cannons, tumble buckets etc. 

One of the more adventurous slides here include a 165 foot tall spiral slide. It is also known as Steve Miklos Aquatic Center.


Among the popular things to do with families, Seaquest secures a spot as a few unique places to visit in here, California. Sequest provide trips to the aquatic life of the oceans. 

The present exhibits of Seaquest include sharks, sting rays, otters, sloths, frogs etc. It also has attractions like feeding stations.

It is also a popular spot for hosting kids’ birthday parties here.


A guide to a city is incomplete without listing the food-drink places of that city. In that sense, this city in California has a lot of things to offer. 

Historic Sutter Street Steakhouse is a popular dining spot among the people at the Sutter Street in Downtown. Karen’s Bakery in old city is another popular dining joint that offers baked goodness to its guests. Land Ocean New American Grill has some of the top barbecue options. 

There is also a Japanese sake brewery in this city of California called Gekkeikan Sake. This brewery offers things like guided tours, tasting sessions, snacks, and has a koi pond, a Japanese garden and gift shop.

Red Bus Brewing Company here is the only place where craft beers are brewed here and has a popular fanbase in the city.

Please also read about things to do in East Tennessee.

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