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12 Top-Rated Things to Do in Roseville, CA

Written by Brad Lane
Jan 13, 2022

Roseville is the largest city in Placer County of Northern California. It's part of the larger Sacramento metropolitan area and is only 20 miles northeast of the State Capitol building. Day trips back and forth are made easy by this proximity, making Roseville a viable place to stay when visiting Sacramento.

And Roseville doesn't disappoint with things to do. It has a small-town charm despite a population of nearly 150,000 people. This neighborly feel is most apparent in Roseville's downtown and Old Town districts. Here, the town's railroad history still rings from the streets alongside an array of local shops and restaurants.

Interstate 80 and State Route 65 run through Roseville, lending to many roadside tourist attractions. From professional mini-golf courses to dazzling outdoor shopping plazas, several of these in-town amusements pair well with the city's usually sunny forecast.

Enjoy your next visit to Northern California with our list of top things to do in Roseville.

1. Head to Downtown & Old Town

Historic Old Town Roseville
Historic Old Town Roseville | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Downtown Roseville is the place to go for local shopping and dining, as well as people watching. These bustling few blocks near the railroad tracks have several storefronts catering to a wide range of tastes, including fashion, art, and places to nosh.

Vernon Street is the main thoroughfare for downtown ambling. Here, check out places like 105 Noshery and Fig Tree Coffee for trendy settings and delicious food. Tower Theater and Blue Line Arts – the city's non-profit art gallery – also have Vernon Street mailboxes.

Downtown Roseville
Downtown Roseville | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Downtown events occur throughout the year in Roseville. Head to Vernon Street Town Square every third Saturday of the month between June and September for live Concerts On the Square. Other events to mark a calendar for include Friday Flicks and Saturday Movie Night Sing-Alongs.

Across the railroad tracks from Vernon Street, historic Old Town offers another taste of culture. The area comprises only a few blocks but has a diverse selection of restaurants and local retailers. The historic McRae Block building anchors this charming shopping and dining district.

2. Explore Culture at Maidu Museum & Historic Site

Maidu Museum & Historic Site
Maidu Museum & Historic Site | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

For cultural insight into the region, head to the Maidu Museum & Historic Site. Here, indoor exhibits and outdoor trails highlight the ongoing legacy of the Nisenan Maidu, who've inhabited the region for thousands of years.

The museum showcases ways of living that predate the California Gold Rush by millennia. Detailed panels throughout the space offer easy-to-read information about the cultural practices and beliefs of the Nisenan Maidu. Artifacts include instruments for acorn processing and beautiful woven baskets.

The outside grounds offer a more immersive walk through history. A trail navigates the property, stopping by relics like bedrock mortars and petroglyphs. The area is also blooming with native plants and the skitter of wildlife.

Maidu Regional Park
Maidu Regional Park | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Maidu Regional Park is next to the museum and historic site. Plan a playdate or lunch outside in this popular public park after visiting the museum. Several playgrounds and walking trails offer outlets for any extra energy to burn.

3. Make the Short Drive to Folsom Lake

Beal’s Point, Folsom Lake
Beal's Point, Folsom Lake | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Folsom Lake is a massive reservoir less than a 10-mile drive from Roseville. It's the result of the Folsom Dam blocking the American River and has long since been a source of flood control and recreation. Folsom Lake State Recreation Area encompasses the entire body of water, offering public access points on almost all sides.

Everyday activities at Folsom Lake include boating, fishing, and swimming at public beaches. The state recreation area also maintains over 90 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and horse-riding trails. And for overnight adventures, three campgrounds cater to tent or RV camping.

The entire State Recreation Area encompasses nearly 20,000 acres, split into different sections. On the lake's western shore, Beal's Point and Granite Bay are the closest access points to Roseville. These are also two of the most popular places to visit on the lake, thanks to their beautiful views and abundant day-use facilities.

Sutter Street, Folsom
Sutter Street, Folsom | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Take some time to visit the city of Folsom when checking out Folsom Lake. The historic Sutter Street downtown is an excellent place to start exploring, with several modern purveyors occupying old storefronts. Other notable things to do in Folsom include visiting the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary and the Johnny Cash Trail.

4. Venture on the Miners Ravine Trail Loop

Miners Ravine Trail
Miners Ravine Trail | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

The Miners Ravine Trail spans eight miles through Roseville, offering a bicycle-friendly way to get around town. This paved route follows Miners Ravine and Dry Creek and connects different parts of the city, including downtown. It also offers a touch of nature as it travels through a beautiful riparian corridor.

Several access points line the trail. At the trail's western terminus, Saugstad Park offers ample parking for those driving to the trailhead. This park is a popular starting point for those coming from Sacramento via Interstate-80 North. The park is less than a half-mile from Exit 103 on Douglas Boulevard.

The Olympus Pointe Sculpture Park is another popular parking area near the trail's center. Here, visitors can see the massive "Cosmos" sculpture before hitting the trail. And farther east, the trail forks with one terminus at False Ravine Park and another on Sierra College Boulevard.

Expect other trail users along the Miners Ravine Trail on any sunny day. Signs ask that bicyclists stay to the right and walkers to the left. The trail offers a fun way to arrive downtown, where parking is often scarce.

5. Peruse the Gallery at Blue Line Arts

Blue Line Arts
Blue Line Arts | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Blue Line Arts is a downtown non-profit space that showcases local and regional artists. The organization behind this community art gallery has served Roseville for over 50 years. It changed its name from the Roseville Arts Center in 2008, after moving to the current 5,000-square-foot downtown location.

The exhibits regularly change at Blue Line Arts. Typically, the main exhibition comprising the front of the gallery rotates every two to three months. The rest of the space showcases a variety of mediums from local artists and community art projects. Admission to the gallery space is free, though donations are appreciated, and many of the prints on the walls are for sale.

A few community events at Blue Line Arts include family activity days, open studio time, and a holiday Artists Bazaar. The reception parties for new exhibitions also tend to be quite festive. And Blue Line Arts is an anchoring location for Vernon Street's Third Saturday celebrations during the summer.

Address: 405 Vernon Street #100, Roseville, California

Official site: https://www.bluelinearts.org/

6. Shop at Denio's Market & Swap Meet

Denio's Market & Swap Meet is a homegrown attraction that draws a big crowd in Roseville on the weekends. This multi-generational market dates back to the 1940s and today attracts thousands to the city each year. The Market & Swap Meet occur on Saturdays and Sundays, rain or shine. A smaller outdoor market also takes place on Fridays.

Expect a mix of everything when visiting Denio's. Fresh produce lines several stalls, and handmade goods and crafts are also on prominent display. The market also attracts vendors selling household goods, decorations, tools, clothing, and garage sale items.

The market is also home to a handful of food vendors, offering fare like tacos, wood-fired pizza, and freshly made mini-donuts. The value found at Denio's also contributes to its popularity, and it's simply a lively and fun place to walk around.

Address: 1551 Vineyard Road, Roseville, California

Official site: http://deniosmarket.com/

7. Burn Off Extra Energy at Golfland Sunsplash

Golfland Sunsplash
Golfland Sunsplash | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Golfland Sunsplash is a compact amusement park in Roseville, best known for its water park and miniature golfing. It also features several attractions like bumper cars, laser tag, and an arcade.

Sunsplash water park is open between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. The park caters to those looking for massive waterslides. A few signature rides at the water park include giant bowls; G-force turns; and the "Double Dare" waterslide, a seven-story drop.

The two miniature golf courses at Golfland are of professional grade. Classic windmills draw the eye, alongside other large construction like western storefronts and California missions. Additional obstacles like rotating doors, elevated greens, and water crossings make for a fun round of 18.

Address: 1893 Taylor Road, Roseville, California

Official site: https://www.golfland.com/roseville/

8. Retail Shopping in Roseville

Fountains at Roseville
Fountains at Roseville | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Roseville is a central hub for upscale shopping malls with landscaped plazas. Several shopping centers are on the northside of town, near Highway 65 and Interstate 80. Here, places like Westfield Galleria and Fountains at Roseville draw thousands of visitors a day.

Westfield Galleria at Roseville is a 1.3-million-square-foot indoor shopping mall with over 150 stores. It's also home to over 30 dining opportunities, from hot pretzels to sit-down restaurants with long menus. Several major retailers have storefronts in the mall, accompanied by local fashion boutiques, toy shops, and home furnishing stores.

Across the Roseville Parkway from Westfield Galleria, Fountains at Roseville offers a smaller but similar shopping experience. The approximately 40 stores at this outdoor shopping mall surround a lovely courtyard complete with a fountain. Here, stroll along the storefronts and enjoy the California forecast.

9. Visit the Carnegie Library Museum

Carnegie Library Museum
Carnegie Library Museum | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

The Carnegie Library Museum is a central repository for the Roseville Historical Society, located in historic Old Town. And the beautiful library building housing the museum is a piece of history itself, dating back to 1912.

A large model railroad immediately catches the eye upon entering the century-old museum building. Adjacent exhibits and information panels talk about the Iron Horse's early imprint on the city. Other facets of history include the first families of the current-day Roseville and the once-standing Hotel Belvedere.

The museum is free to tour, and donations are appreciated. The museum also has a small gift shop with keepsakes and photo books. Check out the official website for current operating hours.

Address: 557 Lincoln St, Roseville, California

Official site: https://www.rosevillehistorical.org/

10. Take a Break in the Day at Royer Park

Royer Park
Royer Park | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Royer Park is a lovely place to visit for an afternoon playdate or spare moment in the day. It's across Dry Creek from downtown and connected via a scenic pedestrian bridge with gorgeous riparian views. Within the park, open green lawns and a collection of playgrounds offer space to burn off some energy.

Sports amenities at the park include a full basketball court, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and bocce ball courts. Intramural field sports sometimes take over the open green space. And the park is a common picnic spot, with several individual tables and a reservable picnic shelter.

11. Answer the Call at the Roseville Telephone Museum

Roseville Telephone Museum
Roseville Telephone Museum | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

This unique museum in Roseville houses one of the nation's largest collections of antique telephones. The collection spans over a hundred years of phone technology, including such popular exhibits as mid-century phones and novelty phones. The museum also has several pieces of memorabilia, like switchboards and collectible insulators.

The museum's hours are limited. In the past, it was only open on the second Saturday of each month, always with free admission. Consult the official website for current operating hours.

Address: 106 Vernon Street, Roseville, California

12. Day Trip to Sacramento

California State Railroad Museum
California State Railroad Museum | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

It's less than a 20-mile drive from Roseville to Sacramento. This proximity makes Roseville a viable spot to spend the night when visiting California's state capital. It also means that a vacation to Roseville includes many of the sights and attractions of the capital city.

Sacramento delivers with parklands, museums, and cultural districts. The California State Railroad Museum is a must-see for railroad buffs, with over 20 railcars set among immersive displays. And this massive educational space is just one of Sacramento's best museums.

Sidewalk café enthusiasts will want to head to Midtown for a taste of the city's lifestyle. And when the weather is nice, which tends to be often, head to one of Sacramento's best parks, including the popular William Land Park, home to the Sacramento Zoo.

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