This Sacramento site is one of California’s best historic parks, one publication says

A list published Saturday by a Bay Area news outlet points out, correctly, that time machines do not yet exist.

We certainly can't transport ahead into the future. But if we want a glimpse into the past, California has some good spots for that, including one here in Sacramento.

Located in midtown amidst stores, churches and a hospital, Sutter's Fort made Mercury News' recent list of the top five state historic parks that "make time travel real." Set up in 1846 and a California State Park since 1947, the site landed the No. 2 spot. Old Town San Diego was No. 1.

The writeup notes the diverse population at John Sutter's settlement nearly two centuries ago, and the costumed docents who entertain and inform present-day guests. In fact, a weekend exhibition last April turned back the clock for visitors of the fort, which has been called "California's First Mall."

Given its age, the site necessitates repairs and restorations from time to time.

Mercury News' full list of must-see historic parks:

  1. Old Town San Diego
  2. Sutter's Fort
  3. Fort Point in San Francisco
  4. Columbia State Historic Park
  5. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, in Coloma

Of note: all but Old Town San Diego are in Northern California, and those four all have significant ties to the Gold Rush era.

Another Mercury News piece, also published Saturday, speaks fondly of Sutter's Fort. Bay Area News Group writer Angela Hill describes the landmark as "a time capsule of early California life," and speculates: "Anyone who grew up in Northern California has probably been to Sutter’s Fort on a school field trip."

If they didn't, they still can pay the fort a visit. Sutter's Fort is open to the public daily (minus Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day).

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Adults: $5, ages 5 to 17: $3, children under 5: free

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