Summer fun at the beach

Top Summer places to visit near Sacramento suburbs

With the weather getting hotter and more humid, it is now the perfect time to plan for summer vacation. Fortunately for anyone who lives in Sacramento and its surrounding suburbs, there is no need to travel long distances just to enjoy water sports and recreational activities.


Here are the top four places to visit that are perfect for summer vacation for anyone living in Sacramento’s suburb.


Folsom Lake

Located at the base of the Sierra foothills, Folsom Lake is an 18,000-acre recreational park perfect for water sports, camping, picnic, hiking, biking, boating, and horseback riding.


The park includes three compacted aggregate trails (about 3.5 feet width) that are generally accessible, with occasional slopes and uneven surfaces (between 5% and 10%), making them ideal for bikers and hikers alike. In addition, each one has a restroom and an accessible parking space.


Meanwhile, Folsom Lake has beach access for visitors, including those using a wheelchair who can go to an accessible-friendly platform in which the railings can be lowered for people who want to fish from a seated position.


Adjacent to the fishing platform are six picnic tables, wheelchair-accessible restrooms, and paths connecting all these facilities designed for easy accessibility.


Aside from fishing, you can also do other recreational water activities since the park also rents kayaks, canoes, boats, and other non-motorized watercraft.


The park is also perfect for camping enthusiasts with its four accessible tent campsites and two RV campsites, both featuring wheelchair-accessible restrooms and showers.


Location: 7755 Folsom Auburn Rd, Folsom, CA 95630

Driving directions: The visitor centers and accessible parking are located at the base of Folsom Dam between Dam Road and Folsom-Auburn Road, making it accessible via Highway 50 or I-80.

Contact: (916) 988-0205


Lake Natoma

Lake Natoma is actually located in Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, near the mouth of Folsom Lake. It includes one group campground, around 11 miles of paved bike trails and 6 miles of multi-use trails, and watercraft rentals. (Note: While motorized boating is allowed, visitors should follow the 5 mph speed limit.)


Thanks to the abundance of cold and warm freshwater fish such as black bass, brown trout, rainbow trout, bluegill, and crappie, this manmade lake has become a popular destination for anglers.


The recreational park also houses three bridges, including the Lake Natoma Cross that offers a magnificent view of the lake itself, the American River, and the Historic Folsom, a stretch of sidewalk where you can find antique shops and other stores. Another must-see bridge is the Truss Bridge that offers access to multiple walking and bike trails.


Location: 7806 Folsom Auburn Rd, Folsom, CA 95630

Driving Directions: It is located around 15 miles northeast of Sacramento via Highway US 50.

Contact: (916) 988-0205 / (916) 985-4843


Nimbus Flat State Recreation Area

This recreation area offers paved and unpaved trails for hikers, equestrians, bikers, and joggers, most of which offer a magnificent view of the 14-mile long riparian ecosystem surrounding the lake.


It also has a fishing area and pier with an accessibility design for visitors who use wheelchairs. While the 500-acres lake is a popular destination for anglers, most of them only practice “catch and release” due to the high concentration of mercury found in the freshwater fish.


Location: 1901 Hazel Ave., Gold River, CA 95670

Driving directions: Situated near Lake Natoma and the Sacramento State Aquatic Center on the American River, you can reach this recreation area via Highway 50 East to Hazel Ave.

Contact: (916) 988-0205

Sacramento State Aquatic Center

The facility offers classes and lessons such as paddling, sailing, windsurfing, boating, jet skiing, wakeboarding, water skiing, and rowing. You don’t need to have your own boat or kayak to enjoy a group or one-on-one lesson because they also have equipment rentals.


The aquatic center has a beach area perfect for youth camps, team building activities, family gatherings, and other special events thanks to its large open space that includes a shady grass area, picnic tables, power outlets, volleyball courts, and shade tents.


Location: 1901 Hazel Avenue, Gold River, CA 95670

Driving directions: You can reach the aquatic center via Highway 80 or Highway 50. (Note: Despite its name, it is not actually located on the Sacramento State Campus.)

Contact: (916) 278-2842 / Fax (916) 278-1105


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