Weekend Getaway in Folsom, California

Last weekend, Steve and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. After two years of COVID interruption, we were able to go back to our tradition of dropping Trevor off with his grandparents and staying in a nearby city we don't know well and exploring it together. This year we chose Folsom and stayed at the Lake Natoma Inn.  

The Inn is located along the Lake Natoma section of the American River in Folsom's historic district. It is the perfect home base for exploring the many attractions the city has to offer. Almost everything we did is within (hilly) walking distance of the Inn. 

You can easily spend an entire day exploring just four blocks in the historic district. We started at the Folsom History Museum. It's smallish, but the two rooms of exhibits kept us informed and entertained for well over an hour. One room focuses on the history of Folsom...


... while the other has an awesome exhibit about the history of toys. The perimeter of the room has displays about the most popular toys for each decade, then the center of the room has places where you can play with some of those toys. 

We went sign-by-sign together and shared which toys we each had, which our siblings had, and which we played with at our grandparents' houses (because they were toys our parents or grandparents had had as kids). It was really fun to learn something new about Steve. 

Check out the 1870's vs the 1970's. 


The Folsom History Museum is located on Sutter Street, which is a destination in itself. On the weekends, they close the street to traffic and open it up for pedestrians to enjoy. It's packed with interesting things to see and do. It also has some incredible restaurants, but I'll get to that later. 

Folsom was the westernmost point on the Pony Express for 2/3 of its history. 

We loved The Game Getaway. Every inch of this store is filled with games to buy or to play. For $5, you can spend the entire day playing anything on their Wall of Games. They had pretty much everything. 

There's so much history in Folsom. 

We absolutely loved our time at the Pioneer Village. This outdoor museum has gold panning, blacksmiths at work, a miner's cabin, a caboose, and so much more to see and do. 

On our second day in Folsom, we tried to visit the Folsom Prison Museum...

... but it is run by volunteers and the person who was supposed to work that day didn't show up. Very disappointing. At least we could look at the outdoors exhibits. We could also look at the prison itself. I didn't expect it to be so close to the museum. This is as close as we were allowed to get.  

We walked across the beautiful Rainbow Bridge. It was part of the historic Lincoln Highway, the first coast-to-coast route in the US. When it opened in 1919, it was the fourth largest concrete arch span in the world. 

We crossed at walking speed without any livestock, so we didn't have to pay. 

The American River. 

We walked along a portion of the Johnny Cash Trail

I'd hoped some of the art would be in place, but not yet. We'll be back. 

We did find this themed geocache near the location where a giant guitar will eventually stand. 

We really enjoyed the Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park. The museum is interesting and has some neat hands-on exhibits. 

Then we toured the Powerhouse itself, the brick building over my right shoulder.

Not only did we visit some really neat places in Folsom, we ate a lot of outstanding food. I highly recommend Plank, specifically their grilled caprese, which is one of the best sandwiches I've ever had. We thoroughly enjoyed the food at Out of BoundsSeasons 916, and Reset Cafe, We wanted to try the chimney cones at Sweet Dozen Cones, but they were sold out when we went and had to settle on ordinary waffle cones for our ice cream. When we return to see the Folsom Prison Museum eventually, we'll be getting chimney cones for sure. We got donuts and cinnamon rolls one morning from BJ Cinnamon. I haven't had any other donuts or cinnamon rolls in Folsom, but I can confidently say these are the best in town even without trying the others. 

One restaurant, however, was more than just food. It was an experience we'll be talking about for years. I'd give Fourk Kitchen at least 5 stars out of 4. 

Fourk serves a formal, prix fixe, four-course meal, but in a casual, intimate environment. There is a single seating each evening with 36 guests. Simple ingredients keep the price quite reasonable. We arrived early for Happy Hour, which included popcorn and a glass of wine.

The first course was a salad with green apple, pickled fennel, walnuts, and goat cheese with a champagne vinaigrette.

Course 2 was a creamy tomato and chicken tortellini soup. It was sooooo good.

The main course was deconstructed Beef Wellington. Everything about it was perfect.

We finished the evening with strawberry shortcake. Yum.

The menu at Fourk changes monthly and there is no doubt that we will make a special trip up there at some point in the future. We loved everything about it. 

As it turns out, Trevor and his grandparents had their own adventure in Folsom! They saw a show at the Sutter Street Theatre and ate at Pizzeria Classico. I can't recommend them personally, but Trevor enjoyed both enough to convince me to include them here as great places to go in Folsom. 

Folsom wasn't on my radar as a vacation destination, but now that I've experienced it, I'd definitely recommend you go! 

1 comment:

  1. Glad you two could resume your tradition of exploring a new place together. Happy anniversary and cheers to more good years!


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