Folsom, CA is home to an unlimited number of fun things to do. From great shopping to outdoor activities to antiquing in the Historic District, there is something for everyone. But if you’re unfamiliar with the area, here is a great list of the top 10 fun things to do in Folsom to get you started.
1. Folsom Lake
Folsom Lake is one of the most popular attractions in the city. This man-made reservoir covers over 11,000 acres and is formed by the Folsom Dam. The lake is home to tons of activities such as boating, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, camping, hiking, picnicking, fishing, horseback riding and more! For a list of boat launch areas, parks, rentals and other access spots, click here.
2. Lake Natoma
Lake Natoma is the smaller of Folsom’s two lakes. With a 5mph speed limit, Lake Natoma is more popular for activities such as kyaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and swimming. It is a popular spot for college level rowing competitions and is home to Sacramento State University’s Aquatic Center where crew tournaments are often held. Picnic and BBQ spots are also located along Lake Natoma at spots such as Negro Bar and Willow Creek access points. For more info on boat and kayak rentals, click here.
3. American River
The American River starts at the headwaters of the Sierras and passes through Folsom before merging with the Sacramento River and eventually on to the San Francisco Bay. The American Rive has a long history in California including playing a role in sparking the Gold Rush when gold was discovered along its banks in 1848. Today, the river is a huge attraction for various water activities, hiking and observing nature. In Folsom, there are numerous access points and miles of trails along the river to enjoy. Click here for more info.
4. Folsom Zoo
The Folsom City Zoo is a sanctuary facility where many Norther CA animals that have been rescued and rehabilitated now call home.Operating since 1963, the zoo has been the home to hundreds of animals from squirrels and deer to tigers and bears. the zoo is the perfect attraction for families with close to 100 animals and adjacent to Lions Park (featuring tables, BBQ’s and children’s play areas) and the Folsom Valley (mini-scale) Railway, not to mention City Hall, Dan Russell Arena, and the Folsom City Library. For more information about the zoo and hours of operation, click here.
5. Folsom Historic District
The Historic District in Folsom is one of the busiest places in town. There is so much to do! From farmers markets, to festivals to antique shops, there is always something to do. The popular Sutter Street is located in the heart of the Historic District and offers a wide range of shops and restaurants. Also in located in the Historic District is the Folsom Powerhouse, Powerhouse Park, Railroad Museum, outdoor amphitheater, Rainbow Bridge and a number of walking trails down along the river. If this is your first time visiting Folsom, be sure to plan a day around the Historic District. Click here for more info and a calendar of events.
6. Folsom Prison Museum
Folsom Prison is quite possibly the most well known landmark in Folsom. Made famous by Johnny Cash and his song Folsom Prison Blues, visitors to the Prison Museum can get an in-depth look into prison life and the history of this notorious correctional facility. For more information and admission, click here.
7. Folsom Aquatic Center
This year-round facility is the place to go for all things aquatic, providing everything from recreation swim to swimming lessons and scuba and water aerobics classes. The Aquatic Center’s Olympic-sized pool is outfitted with four diving boards, a water slide, an interactive play structure that includes water cannons and manually-operated spray features. It also includes a warm-water instructional pool. For hours, directions and more information, click here.
8. Bike and Walking Trails
More than 95 miles of trails and paths wind around Folsom, offering captivating views of the lakes and river. The abundance of trails offer opportunities for hiking, biking and horseback riding adventures.
The American River Hike & Bike Trail, Darrington Trail, Oaks Nature Trail and the Western States/Pioneer Express Trail are just a few of the trails available near Folsom. Click here for a map of the trails.
You can shop til you drop in Folsom! There are tons of great options to get a dose of retail therapy including the new Palladio Outdoor Mall, the Folsom Premium Outlets, Folsom Historic District, Broadstone Marketplace, Broadstone Plaza, Folsom Gateway Center and Folsom Square just to name a few.
10. Three Stages Theater at the Harris Center
Built in 2011, the Harris Center for the Arts offers a great place for a night out! Three stages offers year-round productions, concerts, and other events. This award winning facility is part of the Folsom Lake Colleges’ Performing Arts Program and not only offers nighttime entertainment for locals, it is a facility to instruct, develop, and guide talented students to become actors, musicians, dancers, visual artists, and behind-the-curtain technicians. For upcoming events and tickets, click here.