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Roseville, California, the largest city in Placer County, is located in northern California, where Route 65 and Interstate 80 intersect. Part of the larger Sacramento metropolitan area, Roseville is only 18 miles northeast of the California State Capitol building.
Recently, Roseville has been named 21st in the best places to live in the United States. Its charming houses meld with a vibrant downtown containing trendy one-of-a-kind boutique shops that sell everything from free trade coffee to acoustical instruments. Roseville also has lively bars and a rapidly growing art and food scene, making it a great place to visit or live.
And you won’t be disappointed when it comes to things to do in Roseville, either. Mini-golf courses, art galleries, colossal shopping plazas, and several entertainment complexes adorn Roseville’s Old Town – providing a population of nearly 150,000 people with countless things to do.
So, is Roseville, California, worth visiting? The answer is a resounding yes! This growing town enjoys sunny weather most of the year, giving residents and visitors ample time to explore over 42 hiking trails covering 301 miles throughout the area.
The Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues Trail is a famous trail near Roseville. This path is a 7-mile out-and-back asphalt trail that skirts the Folsom State Prison. Cash made the area famous in 1955 when he released his landmark song, “Folsom Prison Blues.”
And whether you want a quiet sunny day to look for rare and vintage antiques or a weekend of outdoor fun, these are some of the best things to do in Roseville, California.
- Most significant landmark – Old Fellow Building
- Best park – Olympus Pointe Sculpture Park
- Best free activity – Denio’s Farmers Market and Swap Meet
- Best activity for kids – Children’s Art Center at Royer Park
- Best activity for adults – Blue Line Arts Gallery
- Best food – Goose Port Public House
- Best nightlife – Tower Theater
Best & Fun Things to Do in Roseville, California
1. Walk the Historic Downtown & Old Town
Address: 311 Vernon Street, Roseville, Ca 95678
Downtown Roseville is a local shopping and dining mecca. These bustling blocks house several storefronts near the working railroad track.
Grab a cup of free trade coffee at Shady Tea and Coffee shop, and people watch. Or tour the city’s non-profit art gallery, Blue Line Arts, along the main thoroughfare – Vernon Street.
Downtown Roseville is always busy with festivals and celebrations. Head to Vernon Street Town Square for a Concert on the Square, Friday Flicks, or Saturday Movie Night Sing-Alongs. Vernon Square is also known as a gathering place for its Food Truck Mania – a great sign of Roseville’s growing food scene.
Across the railroad tracks, historic Old Town offers a different perspective of Roseville, with its own unique flavor and flair. The fabled McRae Block comprises only a few blocks but has a diverse selection of historic buildings. And thriving restaurants and local retailers anchor this vibrant district.
One of the best restaurants in the area is The Monk’s Cellar. This energetic public house provides downtown Roseville with a little taste of Belgium. The community-focused brewery serves craft beers, cocktails, and creative, locally-sourced seasonal fare.
Another Roseville landmark is also a great after-hours spot. Just wander a few blocks from downtown to the two-story Opera House Saloon. This 1908 bar and concert hall is a lively place with a storied past. The Opera House Saloon offers live music and line dancing on its large dance floor.
2. Explore Culture at the Maidu Museum & Historic Site
Address: 1970 Johnson Ranch Dr, Roseville, CA 95661
The Maidu Museum & Historic Site is an excellent place to learn about the region’s cultural and historical legacy.
Predating the California Gold Rush, the Nisenan and the Maidu tribes inhabited the area for thousands of years. The Maidu were a semi-nomadic people hunting in the summer and living in temporary shelters known as wigwams or wickiups.
In the wintertime, the Maidu lived in semi-subterranean pit houses or earth lodges. The museum includes indoor exhibits with artifacts such as acorn flour-grinding stones and intricately woven baskets.
The outside exhibits offer an immersive historical walk that navigates the museum’s property, stopping by several cultural artifacts along the way. Graced by oak trees and bordered on the south by the Strap Ravine, the nature area offers a loop that takes you past ancient petroglyphs and hundreds of bedrock mortars for grinding acorn flour.
There is also relic evidence of Nisenan and Southern Maidu’s occupation. The outdoor information path celebrates the legacy, cultural practices, and beliefs of both tribes – the Nisenan and the Maidu.
Maidu Regional Park is adjacent to the museum. Most Maidu people still live in northern California on rancherias, parcels of land in the state of California that are similar to reservations.
The Maidu Museum and Historic Site is kid-friendly and provides a great indoor and outdoor experience.
Related Resources: Northern California vs Southern California
3. Hike Miner’s Ravine Trail Loop
Address: 316 Vernon Street, Roseville, CA 95678
The Miner’s Ravine Trail is an 8-mile out-and-back path through Roseville, offering a bicycle-friendly way to get around town. This asphalt route follows Miner’s Ravine and Dry Creek. It offers beautiful oak trees that line a corridor of biking trails connecting downtown Roseville with the rest of the city.
While the trail begins at Sierra College in downtown Roseville, several access points line the path.
Saugstad Park offers an ample parking lot for those driving to the trailhead and conveniently sits half a mile from Exit 103 on Douglas Boulevard for those driving up from Sacramento.
The popular Olympus Pointe Sculpture Park is another access point near the center of the walking trail. Located off of N. Sunrise Ave, the park houses the larger-than-life “Cosmos” metal sculptures.
Farther east, this popular biking trail meets the False Ravine Trail, leading to False Ravine Park – a green stretch with goats and easy access via Sierra College Boulevard. If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure, take a side trip and book the iFLY Sacramento First Time Flyer Experience.
4. Drive to and Experience Folsom Lake
Address: Douglas Blvd, Roseville, CA 95746
Less than 10 miles from downtown Roseville sits Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. This artificial reservoir was created when the American River was dammed for flood control.
Popular for boating and swimming, the largemouth bass is the main quarry for many anglers who come to Folsom Lake. Other types of fish in the lake include Sacramento pikeminnow, rainbow trout, and sockeye salmon.
The Folsom Lake State Recreation Area maintains over 90 miles of mountain biking, hiking, and horse-riding trails. Three sites offer tents and RV pads for those wishing to camp overnight.
The 20,000 acres of Folsom Lake offer an endless supply of beautiful vistas. And the numerous facilities of the western shore’s Beals Point and Granite Bay explain why these areas are the most popular places on the lake’s western side.
The city of Folsom has a historical past and is worth exploring. Downtown Sutter Street is quaint with trendy boutiques and is closed to traffic every Friday through Sunday on the 700 block between the Folsom Hotel and Snook’s Chocolates.
If you want to go on a side trip, you can visit San Francisco. Book a San Francisco Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Open Top Tour for a tour on wheels.
5. Answer a Call at the Roseville Telephone Museum
Address: 106 Vernon Street, Roseville, CA 95678
On March 7, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for a method of transmitting speech by telegraphy – the telephone. And the rest was quite literally history.
Who would have thought that Roseville would be home to one of the most extensive collections of antique telephones and one of the top attractions in the city? Housed in a 4,500-square-foot museum, the Roseville Telephone Museum details the history of the Roseville telephone company.
The museum is home to an antique trove that spans over a hundred years of communications technology. Many of the museum’s guides have extensive field experience and are incredibly knowledgeable. Separate exhibits focus on mid-century phones, cell phones, and even novelty phones.
This small museum also has an extensive array of switchboards, collectible insulators, transformers, and other communication memorabilia. The museum’s hours are limited, but there is always free admission.
6. Roseville Historical Society’s Carnegie Museum
Address: 557 Lincoln St, Roseville, CA 95678
Local historical society museums are terrific places to learn about an area’s history and culture.
The Roseville Historical Society’s Carnegie Museum is located in historic Old Town on Lincoln Street in a beautiful library that dates back to 1912. The Carnegie Library Historical Museum features an impressive collection of memorabilia relating to Roseville and the history of Placer County.
Roseville was built around the railroad, and within the museum, a large model railroad takes center stage. Working displays and self-tour exhibits describe the iron horse’s early influence on the city.
If Roseville’s railroad history sparks an interest, the California State Railroad Museum is about 30 miles west, near the Sacramento Zoo. This larger historical site is a great day trip from Roseville.
Other facets of the town’s history include unique vignettes of Roseville’s founding families and a more extensive history of the various buildings that line America City Blvd. While some of Roseville’s history still stands, one of the city’s most prized landmarks is gone – Hotel Belvedere.
The Roseville Historical Society’s Carnegie Museum takes about an hour to tour. While free to the public, donations are accepted. And the museum’s small gift shop has a variety of keepsake maps and photographs available for sale.
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7. Visit the Denio’s Farmers Market and Swap Meet
Address: 1551 Vineyard Road, Roseville, CA 95678
The Denio’s Farmers Market and Swap Meet is an iconic tradition that dates back more than 70 years. It is one of the best things to do in Roseville, California, with kids or as a solo traveler. Denio’s is located on Vineyard Road in Roseville and is a fun, family-friendly activity that draws thousands of visitors each weekend looking for one-of-a-kind and affordable things.
This particular market dates back to the 1940s and today is the largest of the Roseville, California, tourist attractions. Its humble beginnings started with a handful of vendors selling produce. Over the years, it has expanded into one of the region’s largest swap meets.
As you wander the expansive stalls and tables at the Denio’s Swap Meet, expect some amazing things. Local artisans and vendors combine to sell locally-grown fruits and vegetables.
The market also attracts vendors selling kitchen appliances, garden furniture, salvage décor, tools, and various discounted items. You may even find a few historical musical instruments or guitars if you look hard enough.
The market is also home to a handful of food trucks and vendors offering street tacos, sandwiches, and wood-fired pizza. The Market & Swap Meet occurs on Saturdays and Sundays, with a smaller market on Fridays. Looking for more food to take in?
8. Wander through the Blue Line Arts Gallery
Address: 405 Vernon Street #100, Roseville, Ca 95678
No afternoon is complete without wandering through the Blue Line Gallery. This vibrant and dynamic gallery showcases local and regional artists. Housed in a non-profit space in downtown Roseville, Blue Line Arts has served as a community art gallery for over 50 years.
The exhibits at Blue Line Arts constantly rotate and highlight various mediums from local artists and community art projects. Donations are appreciated, but general admission to the gallery is free.
Look for reception parties for all new exhibitions and community events such as family activity days.
Blue Line Arts is a hosting location for Vernon Street’s 3rd Saturday Art Walks during the summer. And in the wintertime, the gallery is home to a holiday Arts Bazaar.
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9. Engage in some Retail Therapy
Address: 1151 Galleria Blvd, Roseville, CA 95678
Roseville is a mecca for master-planned upscale shopping centers that draw thousands of visitors to Roseville daily. Most retail centers like the Westfield Galleria and Fountains are on the north side of town, near Route 65 and Interstate 80.
Over 150 stores provide a unique shopping experience with numerous anchor retailers that complement trendy local boutiques. Westfield Galleria at Roseville is a 1.3-million-square-foot indoor shopping mall. It’s also home to over 30 eateries, from snacks to upscale American fare.
Across the Roseville Parkway from Westfield Galleria, Fountains at Roseville offers a smaller but similar outdoor shopping experience with approximately 40 stores, a peaceful courtyard, and Roseville fountains. Whether you’re looking for a new wardrobe or just window shopping, walking this impressive retail center is one of the best free things to do in Roseville.
10. Play at Golfland Sunsplash
Address: 1893 Taylor Road, Roseville, CA 95678
Golfland Sunsplash is a compact dual-purpose amusement park in Roseville, best known for its water park and miniature golf course. One of the fun places in the region, Golfland Sunsplash offers laser tag, bumper cars, and an extensive arcade.
Massive waterslides are the focus of Sunsplash water park, consisting of giant bowls, G-force turns, and a seven-story drop named, “Double Dare.”
Both of Golfland’s miniature golf courses are professionally designed. Classic windmills, western storefronts, and California missions add a touch of area history to these challenging holes. Additional impediments such as rotating doors and water hazards make Golfland Sunsplash one of the best places to visit in Roseville, California.
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11. Relax in Royer Park
Address: 190 Park Dr, Roseville, CA 95678
Royer Park is an easily accessed peaceful green space to sit and relax. Near Dry Creek, it connects to downtown via a simple pedestrian bridge with gorgeous riparian views.
Within the park, you’ll find a collection of playgrounds and sports amenities – the perfect place for outdoor activity enthusiasts. Royer Park is home to the Children’s Art Center. It also has a full basketball court, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and even bocce ball courts.
The park is a fun place for picnickers and accommodates dining al fresco with individual tables and a reservable picnic shelter. Large green fields are perfect for intramural sports or an impromptu soccer game.
12. Zoom at the All-American Speedway
Address: 800 Event Center Dr, Roseville, CA 95678
One of the best things to do in Roseville with kids is to see a NASCAR race at the All-American Speedway. This 1/3-mile paved oval racetrack is located just outside of Roseville. First opened in 1954, the track was lengthened and renovated in 2008. The track is known for its 180-degree turn.
Car races run throughout the season. Interesting, right? But, don’t forget that to always be secure in your travel and have travel insurance with you all the time. If you don’t have one yet, get World Nomads travel insurance.
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13. Twirl at the Skatetown Ice Arena
Address: 1009 Orlando Ave., Roseville, CA 95661
Located in Roseville, Skatetown Ice Arena is a state-of-the-art skating rink. Perfectly groomed ice provides a perfect atmosphere for birthday parties, lessons, and league play. Watch a game or learn to play broomball.
Skatetown Ice Arena is open year-round and is a great thing to do in Roseville, California, with kids.
Getting Around Roseville, California
Roseville is about 18 miles north – a half-hour’s drive – from the State Capital, Sacramento. Getting to Roseville The drive from San Francisco to Roseville is about 105 miles and takes around 2 hours.
However, Roseville Amtrak and Greyhound Bus Lines stop in Roseville for affordable travel options from most destinations.
Sacramento International Airport (SMF) is located 20 miles from Roseville. It houses all major rental car companies. And various Sacramento airport shuttles and private limousine companies serve the surrounding areas.
Once there, getting around Roseville, California, is relatively easy. If you are driving, the downtown streets are laid out on an easy-to-read grid, and everything is identified.
There are also extensive designated walking and biking lanes throughout the 44-square-mile town. Many of these lanes also connect with the town’s hiking and biking trails for more scenic pathways.
If you prefer mass transit, Roseville Transit, the local bus service, crisscrosses the city daily. Their handy phone app allows riders to plan their trips.
What is Roseville known for?
Roseville is considered an area retail mecca. And if you have to pick one place, Westfield Galleria at Roseville is the city’s main shopping center and northern California’s second-largest shopping mall.
What is the best thing to do with kids in Roseville?
One of the best things in Roseville for kids is the new Rockin’ Jump 25,000-square-foot trampoline park. This new trampoline park has six attractions, including a 28-foot-high climbing Rock Wall, a Dodgeball Court, a 32-foot-wide air-filled Stunt Bag, a Jousting Beam, and a huge open jumping trampoline area.
What are some lesser-known fun things to do in Roseville?
Roseville’s bowling alley is a great way to pass the time. Steve Cook’s Fireside Lanes provides everything needed, including lane and shoe rental. This perfect indoor activity also has a bar and grill for snacks, a big screen TV, and an arcade.
What are some things to do in Roseville when it is raining?
There are lots of things to do in Roseville, California in the rain. And while shopping is always a great choice, the small town has several museums.
And for a great learning experience, try the Roseville Utility Exploration Center. It is one of several small museums that are great for a rainy day.
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