When I tell people I live in Folsom, the first thing people think of is Johnny Cash’s popular song “Folsom Prison Blues”. What most are surprised by is that life in Folsom does not revolve around the presence of a prison. In fact, Folsom has many fun activities to offer besides a tour of the famous Folsom State Prison. A river, a lake, and a compelling historic district are among Folsom’s most popular amenities.
Folsom was first put on the map due to the discovery of gold along the American River, and has been developing ever since. In the historic district of Folsom, one can do everything from panning for gold (just like the very first Folsomites) to eating a delicious meal at any of the several fine eateries. Tourists can also browse local art, and take a look at the old Folsom Powerhouse — the home of the first ever long distance transmission of electricity! In addition to over 80 businesses, the Folsom Historic District also houses many holiday festivities. Come visit around Independence Day and you’ll be lucky enough to catch the Folsom Pro Rodeo or Cattle Drive, and during Christmastime you can attend the city’s tree lighting ceremony. Every day of the week something new is going on in the Historic District; there is never a shortage of activities!
One of the most prominent Folsom landmarks is the historic Rainbow Bridge. The Rainbow Bridge was constructed to support heavy automobiles in 1919, after the nearby historic truss bridge was deemed insufficient. Today, the Rainbow Bridge is still in full use and is a popular subject of Folsom photography. By standing on this bridge, one has a beautiful view of the American River and the scenery that surrounds it.
What Folsom lacks in size, it makes up for in natural beauty. There are endless bike trails, campsites, and hiking opportunities. For the outdoorsman, Folsom would not disappoint! With its very own lake and river, Folsom provides both summer fun and natural relief to the summer heat waves. Head to the lake at Beal’s Point to paddle board, wakeboard, or tube, and then go down to the river at Negro Bar for some excellent kayaking and canoeing action.
Although Folsom has no signature style of cuisine, it has all the diversity one could ask for. From sandwiches to sushi, there is never a shortage of options! The best sandwiches in town can be found at Vic’s Supermarket, an independent grocery store with a deli to die for. If you’re in the mood for asian cuisine, head down to Sushi Unlimited for a wide selection of traditional Japanese dishes with an American flair. Or, if you’re from out of state, go to In-N-Out Burger for a delicious California exclusive cheeseburger and shake.
A prison is certainly not the only thing Folsom has to offer! As far as vacation destinations go, Folsom could be considered a “hidden gem”. If you’re considering a trip to Northern California, make sure to put Folsom on the map!
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