There’s so much to see on a trip to California, but one way to get a unique perspective on the state is by visiting the state fair. All in one place, you can see the different kinds of food, wine, livestock, crafts, and other things that make California a one-of-a-kind place to live. There are cooking demonstrations, as well as demonstrations of California crafts, fine arts, photography, and more. It’s no wonder almost a million people head to Sacramento to take in the fair each year.
Along with cooking and craft demonstrations, you can see wares entered in the many competitions that take place during the fair - everything from olive oil, to the state’s renowned wines, to exhibits on various counties throughout the state, to livestock and craft competitions. You can also watch (or participate in!) a pie or corn dog eating contest, or watch the state cornhole championships. You can bet on some horse racing, go on the midway rides, and play carnival games. Be sure to stick around for the fireworks as well!
California State Fair admission is $14 for general admission, $12 for seniors, $10 for children ages 5-12, and free for children age 4 and below. You can also purchase ticket packages and season passes that offer perks like daily admission, unlimited rides on the monorail, entry to nearby water park Raging Waters, and more. They are available for purchase prior to the fair.
As you might imagine, running a fair on that large of a scale means there are lots of amenities available! There are several areas with lockers, as well as restrooms throughout the fairgrounds. Because Sacramento can be hot in summer, there are several air conditioned buildings to enter when you need a break from the sun. The Cool Zone and the Coca-Cola Promenade also have shade, seating, and misters to help guests keep cool. Outside food and drinks are allowed in (no alcohol), but coolers will be searched. There is also a Mommy Lounge area with comfortable seating and air conditioning for nursing mothers. You can find more information on the amenities offered by the fair on their FAQ page.
1600 Exposition Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95815
Finally, be sure to check out the bands that will be playing throughout the fair! Concerts are free, although you can pay extra to be assured of a seat closer to the stage. Check back for more details!
There is RV camping available on-site at the Cal Expo RV Park. You can spend a full day at the fair and then return to the comfort of your own space in an RV nearby. If you rent an RV with RVshare, you can enjoy a stress-free vacation and the serenity of a home away from home near where you’re spending your day. The Cal Expo RV Park features free WiFi, full hook-ups at each site, 30 and 50-amp service, pull-through sites, laundry, 24-hour security, and a dog park. Campsites cost $45 a day, or $275 a week.
There are other places to camp in Sacramento as well, including:
Whether you bring your own RV or use a rental from RVshare, RVing is the way to visit the fair! You’ll be able to come back and relax in your own space and cook the food you want in your own kitchen. Plus a private bathroom doesn’t hurt either!
There are plenty of hotels around California’s capital city. Here are several hotels that are near the fairgrounds. You’ll also be able to find major chains as well as locally operated motels in the city, and you can find everything from high-end hotels to inexpensive places to stay while you’re there. If you have a favorite chain or loyalty program, check with their website, otherwise travel sites like AAA or Travelocity have plenty of suggestions.
From the south: Take either I-5 or Highway 99. From I-5, take the Capital City Freeway East exit from downtown Sacramento and follow the signs to Reno. The Cal Expo exit is just northeast of the American River. Highway 99 becomes the Capital City Freeway just north of the 12th Ave exit. Continue over the river to Cal Expo.
From the north: Take either I-5, Highway 99, or Highway 70. Highways 99 and 70 join I-5 just north of Sacramento. From I-5, take the I-80/Reno exit east and continue to the Capital City Freeway exit just past Watt Ave. Continue toward downtown Sacramento until you reach the Cal Expo exit.
From the west: Take I-80 to Sacramento, taking the Capital City Freeway exit in West Sacramento and following signs to Lake Tahoe. Continue on the Capital City Freeway, through downtown Sacramento and make the turnoff to Reno. The Cal Expo exit is just northeast of the American River.
From the east: Take I-80 or Highway 50 to Sacramento. From I-80, take the Capital City Freeway exit to downtown Sacramento just beyond Madison Ave. Continue to the Cal Expo exit. From Highway 50, take the Reno turnoff just past Stockton Blvd. to the Cal Expo exit northeast of the river.
Parking for the California State Fair is $15. Only cash is accepted for parking payments. Accessible parking is available in each of the lots, closest to each admission gate. All parking lots are patrolled by California State Fair Police 24 hours a day.
Advanced tickets can be purchased online here. Discounted, one-day ticket prices are $8 for children, $12 for adults, and $10 for seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the fair for $10 for children, $14 for adults, and $12 for seniors.
Here at RVshare, we’re passionate about helping people explore new areas and regions and to learn all about what goes on there. Whether this is your first trip to California, or you’re a native, attending the state fair is a great way to learn more about the diverse state and the people who live there. Visiting the fair in an RV is a great way to experience the event stress-free, with your own shower and bed close at hand, and with the ability to make and bring food with you on your adventures for the day. Whether you visit the fair in an RV rental from us or use other accommodations, we’d love to see pictures of your adventures! Be sure to share photos with us at [email protected], and tag us on social media as well. Your trip could be featured on our blog or social media!
Check out @CAStateFair on Twitter and Instagram, and @CaliforniaStateFair on Facebook for event updates!