Things to do in Folsom

About Folsom

Visitors should not miss the Folsom Prison Museum, the Historic Folsom District, and the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. These sites offer a peek into the city's rich history and exquisite natural landscapes.
Engaging activities for children in Folsom include visiting the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, enjoying the interactive displays at the Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park, and the playful environment of the Folsom Aquatic Center.
The best outdoor activities include exploring the trails at the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, cycling or walking the Johnny Cash Trail, and paddleboarding on Lake Natoma.
For indoor entertainment, visitors can explore the Folsom Prison Museum, discover local art at the Gallery at 48 Natoma, or catch a performance at the Harris Center for the Arts.
The best Folsom tours encompass the Historic Folsom District audio tour, the Folsom Prison Museum walkthrough, and self-guided excursions around Lake Natoma.
The Folsom Prison Museum and the Folsom History Museum are the most visited, offering a deep look into the city's unique past and development.
For rainy days, indoor tours like the Folsom Prison Museum and Folsom History Museum tours are excellent options to stay dry while still exploring the city.
Short tours in Folsom optimal for visitors with limited time include quick strolls through the Historic Folsom District and expedited visits to the Folsom Prison Museum.

Best Things to Do In Folsom

Discover the rich tapestry of history and recreation as Folsom presents a wealth of captivating attractions.

Folsom: Sutter Street Theatre

What is it?
An intimate venue offering a diverse range of live theatrical performances.
Why you should go?
The Sutter Street Theatre brings the magic of live performance to the heart of Folsom's Historic District. With its lineup of plays, musicals, improv, and even children's theater, it encapsulates the vibrancy of Folsom's arts scene. Visitors looking for an evening of entertainment will find this theater's engaging productions and cozy atmosphere to be one of the most memorable things to do in Folsom, enriching their cultural travels with local flair.

Folsom: Johnny Cash Trail

What is it?
A biking and walking trail honoring the legendary musician Johnny Cash.
Why you should go?
The Johnny Cash Trail pays homage to the singer's connection to Folsom, linking historical landmarks and art installations inspired by his music. This unique trail offers both recreational and educational Folsom activities, inviting visitors to explore the surroundings where Cash's legacy continues to resonate. For fans and outdoor enthusiasts alike, experiencing this trail is a quintessential part of Folsom tours, offering scenic views steeped in musical history.

Folsom: Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park

What is it?
A landmark featuring one of America’s oldest hydroelectric facilities.
Why you should go?
The Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park stands as a testament to human ingenuity and the dawn of electricity in California. Visitors can explore the powerhouse and learn about the transformative impact it had on the Sacramento region. History and technology enthusiasts considering what to see in Folsom will find this attraction both informative and intriguing, shedding light on an era of remarkable industrial progress.

Folsom: Rainbow Bridge

What is it?
An iconic arch bridge offering panoramic views of the American River.
Why you should go?
Rising gracefully over the American River, the Rainbow Bridge stands as an important historical and aesthetic landmark. Since 1917, it has offered both a picturesque passage and a spot for breathtaking views. For those looking for what to do in Folsom that combines natural beauty with historical significance, a visit to the Rainbow Bridge shouldn't be missed.

Folsom: Folsom Valley Railway

What is it?
A miniature scale, steam-powered train offering rides through Folsom City Park.
Why you should go?
The Folsom Valley Railway takes visitors on a nostalgic journey through picturesque parkland aboard a whimsical miniature locomotive. It's a charming experience for all ages and a delightful extension of the city's historic transportation systems. Ideal for families searching for fun things to do in Folsom, this attraction sparks imagination and a love for classic American rail travel.

Folsom: Folsom Prison Museum

What is it?
A museum dedicated to the history of the notorious Folsom State Prison.
Why you should go?
Delve into the depths of correctional history at the Folsom Prison Museum. Located just steps from the actual Folsom State Prison, the museum houses artifacts from the prison's infamous past, including items made by notorious inmates and memorabilia linked to the Johnny Cash concerts. It offers a sobering yet fascinating look at the intersection of crime, punishment, and pop culture. Ideal for history buffs, this destination stands out among things to do in Folsom for its unique narrative.

Folsom: Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary

What is it?
A zoo and sanctuary for rescued wild animals.
Why you should go?
A visit to the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary is more than just an opportunity to see animals; it's a chance to learn about wildlife rescue and conservation. This sanctuary emphasizes the care and rehabilitation of its residents, providing a haven for animals that cannot be released into the wild. A walking tour here is a heartwarming experience, perfect for families seeking insightful and fun things to do in Folsom.

Folsom: Historic Folsom District

What is it?
An area ripe with buildings and landmarks from Folsom's early days.
Why you should go?
The Historic Folsom District is a vibrant hub with a rich Gold Rush era heritage. It's a captivating blend of the old and the new, with preserved architecture, unique boutiques, and lively eateries. This district's distinct charm makes it one of the top places to visit in Folsom for a step back in time while indulging in modern-day amenities. Whether it's a casual stroll or a deep dive into local history, the district offers an enriching experience.

Folsom: Lake Natoma

What is it?
A freshwater lake offering a multitude of recreational activities.
Why you should go?
Nestled within the Sierra Nevada foothills, Lake Natoma's serenity makes it a paradise for water enthusiasts and nature lovers. From kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding to peaceful picnics on its banks, the lake provides a picturesque setting for anyone seeking tranquility or adventure. Activities by the lake comprise some of the best things to do in Folsom, coupled with scenic trails for hiking and cycling that encircle its waters.

Folsom: Harris Center for the Arts

What is it?
A contemporary center for performing arts featuring diverse shows and events.
Why you should go?
The Harris Center for the Arts stages an eclectic array of performances that span from ballet to Broadway and symphonies to jazz. It’s a cultural centerpiece in Folsom that attracts patrons of the arts from all over. By providing a platform for both local and international talents, the center is an ideal locale for those pondering what to do in Folsom, hoping to enrich their travel with a touch of artistic splendor.

TOP-5 tours in Folsom for first time visitors

  • Uncover the legacy of the Gold Rush and the storied Folsom Prison with an engaging audio tour that highlights the unique history embedded in the area's development, offering insights into the remarkable things to see in Folsom.
  • Embark on a picturesque journey through Folsom's lush landscapes and scenic beauty, exploring outdoor Folsom activities while delving into its natural wonders with a narrated guide that perfectly blends education with leisure.
  • Stroll through Folsom's charming Historic District, where the past comes to life. This tour brings together the best things to do in Folsom for culture enthusiasts eager to witness historical architecture and local artisan shops.
  • Experience the vibrant art scene with a Folsom excursion that showcases public murals and art installations, offering a glimpse into the creative spirit and fun things to do in Folsom for any art lover.
  • Explore the serene trails of Folsom's vast park system with an audio guide focusing on the flora and fauna, making for an enjoyable day out and counting as one of the best Folsom tours available for nature buffs.

Fun things to do in Folsom with kids

Abounding with family-friendly attractions, Folsom is a treasure trove for visitors with kids in tow. First on the list is the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, where education and conservation go hand-in-hand. Children delight in meeting the wide variety of animals, from majestic bears to chatty parrots, all residing in a safe, caring environment. This refuge offers an up-close look at wildlife, serving as both an enjoyable and educational experience. For a fanciful ride through verdant landscapes, the Folsom Valley Railway ignites the excitement of both young and the young-at-heart. The miniature steam trains are not just rides, but a journey back in time, chugging along amidst the backdrop of the scenic Folsom City Park. No adventure in Folsom is complete without a splash, and the Folsom Aquatic Center provides just that. With its array of pools, slides, and play areas, it's a refreshing retreat on sunny days. Folsom artfully blends recreation with learning experiences, making it an ideal spot for family fun.

Things to do in Folsom with family

When visiting Folsom with family, the city is a playground of historical, educational, and recreational attractions sure to engage visitors of every age. Begin an adventure at the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, a local favorite that goes beyond the traditional zoo experience by providing a sanctuary for rescued animals. Through interactive experiences, families gain insight into wildlife management and rehabilitation. For a combination of learning and fun, take a jaunt through the Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park. This landmark pulls back the curtain on the powerful history of electric power in a hands-on way that captivates curious minds and history aficionados alike. And no family visit to Folsom is complete without enjoying the splashes and laughter at the Folsom Aquatic Center. With options ranging from a leisure pool with a waterslide to the competitive pool for more serious swimmers, it caters to all levels of water enthusiasts, making it a refreshing stop on your Folsom excursions.

Free things to do in Folsom

For those seeking to enjoy Folsom without spending a dime, the city offers several free attractions that promise delight and discovery. First, immerse in local history and traverse the scenic Johnny Cash Trail, a tribute to the legendary singer's impact on the city. This multi-use trail is perfect for a family bike ride or a reflective walk, featuring art installations and breathtaking views. For a dose of nature, explore the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area where hiking, picnicking, and bird-watching don't cost a thing. Its diverse landscapes, ranging from lakeside shores to oak woodlands, provide a serene escape from the hustle and bustle. Lastly, the Historic Folsom District opens up a window to the past with its well-preserved buildings and charismatic public spaces. Stroll along Sutter Street, window shop at the unique boutiques, or enjoy the street performers that bring this vibrant area to life. These places to visit in Folsom not only save your pennies but enrich your travel experience with enduring memories.

Cheap things to do in Folsom

Delving into Folsom's offerings need not break the bank, with several cost-effective attractions available for enjoyment. Indulge in the arts at the Gallery at 48 Natoma, where visitors can admire art exhibits without an entry fee. Occasional small donations for special events make it an affordable cultural gem in Folsom. Next up, engage with history at the Folsom History Museum. With a nominal entrance fee, this museum provides a rich narrative of the city's past, from Gold Rush days to the establishment of the iconic Folsom Prison, making it a meaningful stop for those looking at places to visit in Folsom. Round out your affordable journey with a visit to Folsom's Pioneer Village. Admission prices are typically low for this charming outdoor museum, where historical buildings and artifacts paint a vivid picture of life in 19th-century California. These attractions provide a diverse glimpse into the facets of Folsom, making them perfect for travelers seeking enriching experiences while managing their budget.

Things to do in Folsom for couples

Couples will find Folsom a haven of romantic and memorable activities with a charming blend of adventure and relaxation. Begin with a tranquil outing to the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, where serenity reigns supreme. Here, partners can share a picnic on the shores, hike the picturesque trails, or simply relish the sunset views. For a vibrant arts experience, the Harris Center for the Arts presents a spectacular array of performances. From concerts to theater, it caters to a variety of tastes, setting the stage for a sophisticated date night that is among the best things to do in Folsom. Wine aficionados will revel in a visit to one of the local vineyards, where tasting rooms offer the perfect setting for toasting to love. The vineyards surrounding Folsom not only provide exceptional wines but also picturesque vistas to serve as a backdrop for an idyllic, romantic day out, completing an itinerary filled with tasteful Folsom activities for couples.

Things to do in Folsom at night

As the sun sets, Folsom's nightlife scene offers a selection of experiences for night owls and entertainment seekers. Savor the local vibe with a visit to the Historic Folsom District, where bars, restaurants, and live music venues come alive. Couples and groups can enjoy a delightful meal followed by leisurely strolls along the charming, illuminated streets. At the Harris Center for the Arts, evening performances range from dramatic plays to musical concerts, providing a touch of sophistication to Folsom's night scene. This cultural hub is a staple when considering what to do in Folsom at night, especially for those seeking an artistic immersion. For a casual and fun night out, engage in some friendly competition at one of the local bowling alleys or catch the latest movie releases at the cinema. These venues offer a laid-back and enjoyable atmosphere for socializing and relaxation, rounding out the diverse options of fun things to do in Folsom after dark.