15 Best Things To Do In Folsom, California

things to do in folsom california

In Sacramento County, California, United States lies the beautiful city of Folsom, which offers a lot of good places to visit and allows you to experience one-of-a-kind activities. Most commonly known as Folsom Prison, this city is situated just in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada – a mountain range in the western United States, where the greater part of the range can be found in California.

The city’s climate can be described as cool, rainy winters but long, hot, dry summers, which is perfect weather for visitors who seek adventure. There are approximately 95 miles (152.8 km) of trails around Folsom that give you a spectacular view of the lakes and rivers in the area. Because of the abundance of attractions, activities such as hiking, horseback riding, biking, and a lot more could be enjoyed when you pay a visit to the city. Here’s a list of things to do in Folsom, California. With its many options, you have to make sure you bring a lot of energy with you!

1. Have drinks at Dolan's Bar and Grill

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Dolan's Bar & Grill on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

A list of things to do in Folsom, California, or any other place for that matter is never complete without adding a karaoke night to the list. This easygoing watering hole - Dolan’s Bar and Grill in Folsom - has everything you’d need for a night or day of absolute fun. It could be live music, tasty pub grubs, pool tables, poker leagues, and karaoke nights - you’ll get it all here. Along with this, the bar hosts regular, weekly league play games and more. So, come by for any birthday celebration, anniversary, game night, or just about anything, and create memorable experiences.

Dolan's Bar and Grill

Address: 4140 Carothers Pkwy #2, Franklin, TN 37067

Website: Dolan’s Bar and Grill

Opening hours: 11am - 3am (daily)

2. Ride the train at Folsom Valley Railway

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Folsom Valley Railway on Monday, March 12, 2012

Folsom Valley Railway has been in operation since 1970. The miniature steam train goes through a 12-inch (30 cm) gauge railroad that is only one of the few remaining in the country. Because of the current pandemic, the seating in the train has been reduced to follow the rules of social distancing, and you should wear your masks at all times: when you’re waiting in line and when you’re riding the train. The round trip in the open-car train lasts for about 10 minutes in total.

Folsom Valley Railway

Address: 50 Natoma St, Folsom, CA 95630

Website: Folsom Valley Railway

Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 11am - 4pm (closed from Mon - Thu)

3. Explore the Placerville Sacramento Valley Railroad

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Renowned as a portion of California’s first train line, Placerville Sacramento Valley Railroad in Folsom, California, was once used to transport forest products. It operated until the 1980s. Although the western line here is still unscathed, the railway line isn’t connected to a part of the rail network. Technically, it isn’t abandoned, but the present rail line is used by the private owners of the Placerville and Sacramento Valley Railroad.

Placerville Sacramento Valley Railroad

Address: 155 Placerville Rd, Folsom, CA 95630

Website: Placerville Sacramento Valley Railroad

4. Marvel at Folsom Dam

Folsom Dam Gates
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user The Oaked Ridge used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Situated on the American River of Northern California, Folsom Dam is a concrete gravity dam of about a height of 340 feet (103 meters) and 1400 feet (426 meters) long. Established in 1955, this dam has a total length of 9 miles (14 km), and the lake here has about 75 miles (120 km) of shoreline. It’s flanked by an earth wing dam and has an elevation of about 366 feet (111 meters) during summers, while in winter, it goes down to 426 feet (142 meters).

Folsom Dam

Address: 7794 Folsom Dam Rd, Folsom, CA 95630

Website: Folsom Dam

Opening hours: Mon - Wed & Fri - Sat: 9am - 5pm (closed on Thu & Sun)

5. Bring your children to Folsom Kids Play Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

A children’s park featuring a vast playground with several escapades and fun adventures in Folsom, California, Folsom Kids Play Park is the best way to spend a nice evening with your family. The park comprises climbing equipment, picnic tables, and swings. This castle-themed playground also comes with several other challenges, such as the wobbling rubber bridge and rope ladders, to name a few.

Folsom Kids Play Park (Castle Park)

Address: 201 Prewett Dr, Folsom, CA 95630

6. Enjoy a family outing at SeaQuest Folsom

Caption this! ?

Posted by SeaQuest Folsom on Sunday, January 17, 2021

If you want to have a fun-filled day with your family, bring them to the petting zoo aquarium at Folsom, California called SeaQuest. This 20,000-square-foot (1858-square-meter) aquarium features thousands of aquatic species. Your kids and yourself can have a fun day interacting, touching, and feeding the sharks, stingrays, and other species, along with exotic birds, and reptiles from all over the globe. This is the best way to connect with beautiful animals from around the world.

SeaQuest Folsom

Address: 430 Palladio Pkwy #1801, Folsom, CA 95630

Website: SeaQuest Folsom

7. Stroll through Hinkle Creek Nature Area

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

A 36-acre (14-hectare) lot in Lew Howard Park, Hinkle Creek Nature Area comprises several beautiful trails that take you through pastures and huge trees, along with the Hinkle Creek. This destination is perfect for all those leisurely strolls, running, and even horseback riding. If you want to be a part of the educational program organized by the Hinkle Creek Nature Area, drop by the centre for more information.

Hinkle Creek Nature Area

Address: 7000 Baldwin Dam Rd, Folsom, CA 95630

Website: Hinkle Creek Nature Area

Opening hours: 7am - 7:30pm (daily)

8. Visit Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary

Folsom Zoo May 16 2010 001
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user michaelh2001 used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

In search of a great adventure with the kids? This zoo might be the one you are looking for. This attraction might be small, but it is enough for the young ones and young at heart to enjoy. It is actually not a zoo, but more like a sanctuary where animals are gently taken care of. You can donate or volunteer to clean animal cages or just a general clean-up of the facilities. Not only have you helped the zoo, but also the animals living there.

Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary

Address: 403 Stafford St, Folsom, CA 95630, USA

Website: Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary

9. Watch a performance at the Harris Center

Harris Theater full stage
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Yan da used under CC BY 2.0

This center is known for having 3 stages where different acts take place. It is a famous performing arts venue in the city of Folsom, showcasing theatre, music, dance, and a lot more. The Harris Center for the arts was established in order to provide venues and great opportunities to see and experience artistic work, celebrate cultural traditions, and participate in the creative process. A ticket bought here is surely worth it!

Harris Center

Address: 10 College Pkwy, Folsom, CA 95630, USA

Website: Harris Center

10. Stop by Folsom Prison Museum

Source: Photo by user Vidor used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

I know this is a very unusual place to visit but hey, this is one of the interesting ones. Also known as Folsom State Prison, it is the second oldest prison in California. This museum will show you confiscated items from inmates, weapons, things they’ve made, and Johnny Cash memorabilia. Wait, what? Yes, Johnny Cash. He performed a concert twice in Folsom Prison singing his song “Folsom Prison Blues.” There is also a gift shop for things to bring home. Make sure not to wear blue jeans when you visit, because that is what the inmates wear in the prison!

Folsom Prison Museum

Address: 300 Prison Rd, Represa, CA 95671, USA

Website: Folsom Prison Museum

11. Explore Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

FL SRA trail view
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Qaa619 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

This recreation area is managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Its location is near the city of Folsom, surrounding Folsom Lake in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Many activities can be done at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, such as water activities, because of its big lake. It also has trails good for hiking, horseback riding, or just walking. This place is family-friendly, so we suggest it if you are looking for a place that the entire family could enjoy. You could have a picnic or grill while the kids are enjoying swimming, or just relax and admire the view. This is a great place to visit any day of the year!

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

Address: E Natoma St, Folsom, CA 95630, USA

Website: Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

12. Hike through the Humbug-Willow Creek Trail

Humbug Creek Railroad Trellis - panoramio (1)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user UncleVinny used under CC BY 3.0

One can say that this trail offers the most beautiful trail system in town. It showcases all the different sides of the city from all kinds of creeks, ponds, wetlands, wooded areas, and forest creatures for a taste of the wild side of Folsom. This asphalt trail is easily accessible and visitors have the choice to walk, jog, bike, skate, or ride a horse. The trail endpoints are in Mormon Island Wetlands State Park and Lake Forest Industrial Park. On this trail, you can find spots for good photo opportunities as it showcases spectacular views in every corner. This is definitely one of the most popular trails – you shouldn’t miss out!

Humbug-Willow Creek Trail

Address: Humbug Willow Creek Trail, Folsom, CA 95630, USA

Website: Humbug-Willow Creek Trail

13. Check out The Folsom Rail Trail

Abandoned railroad and bike trail briefly meet - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Eric Phelps used under CC BY 3.0

Another popular trail in the city is the Folsom Rail Trail, which is located just along Folsom Boulevard. Just a little trivia: did you know that this trail is one of the 1,600 rail-trails supported by Rail-to-Trails Conservancy – a nonprofit organization that works to create a nationwide network of trails with its former rail lines to its connecting corridors. A little disclaimer though: as I have said that the location of this trail runs along Folsom Boulevard, expect traffic noise while in the area; this is really not the place if you want to find peace and tranquillity throughout your adventure. Don’t worry, because if you want to change your mind, Folsom Premium Outlets is just around the corner. The good news is that this trail is also a great place to walk your dog!

Folsom Rail Trail

Address: Folsom Blvd Folsom, CA 95630

Website: Folsom Rail Trail

14. Tour around Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park

Folsom Powerhouse (3095520269)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Nick Ares used under CC BY-SA 2.0

From the name itself, you’ll understand that this is a historical site that preserves an 1895 alternating current (AC) hydroelectric power station, which by the way, was one of the first in the United States. This historic park played a big part in the history of California. For you to be more knowledgeable about it, guided tours are available that explain the history the park. So, if you want to be electrified, better visit this place!

Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park

Address: 9980 Greenback Ln, Folsom, CA 95630, USA

Website: Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park

15. See Folsom Historical Museum

Folsom Historical Museum
Source: Photo by Flickr user Eugene Kim used under CC BY 2.0

Calling all history buffs out there! If you think that the Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park is not yet enough, why don’t you put this on your list too? Folsom Historical Museum displays a variety of historical artifacts such as the discovery of gold in California and formation of mining camps, Folsom’s native people, railroads, the prison, and a whole lot more. There are plenty of things to see and new knowledge to bring home!

Folsom Historical Museum

Address: 823 Sutter St. Folsom,CA 95630

Website: Folsom Historical Museum

A fantastic city

Folsom offers many interesting and unique attractions. It will make your visit worthwhile and worth the time and money you spend here. We hope you can visit the city of Folsom, California soon!

Where to stay in Folsom, California

Folsom is home to various attractions for all types of travelers. It does not only offer nature-rich parks, trails, and sanctuaries, it also promotes its culture and history through its museums and performing arts venues. If you’re going to visit this city with your partner, family, or friends, you’ll never run out of options on where to stay. The city has a handful of unique and gorgeous accommodations just for you. There are hotel rooms that come with state-of-the-art facilities and superb services. If you are coming with your extended family, there are gorgeous houses that have enough space to sleep a large group and are also in prime locations. If you’re in for a more private and personal tour of Folsom, you can opt to stay in smaller places right where the action is.

Here are our top recommendations on where to stay:
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Just a small town girl living in an ecstatic world. Loves to travel be it a hatch or spontaneous. For me, life is full of surprises if you just open your eyes and explore things unknown. I always...Read more

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