Folsom California, the place one would call my “hometown”. I started kindergarden here in what used to be a quaint little historical town with under 15,000 residents. Since then, I graduated, worked and started a business while watching the population rocket, reaching almost 75,000 people! Now a vibrant busy city with much to see, the following post is my week as a “tourist”.
(Most of the pictures seen on this post are from my camera, however a few were snagged from some locals and websites). Thank you!
I had my long time local friends vote for the next handstand picture to represent this adorable place and the the winner by far…
The Rainbow Bridge!
I was stoked and ready for a quick shot of this historical landmark that was built in 1916 and still in full use today. I thought “quick”, that was until we got down there and realized that the best angle was on a flat rock IN the American River.
The fun begins! Shall we take a second to laugh at the fact that I’m in a mini skirt and sandals… Brilliant.
Hmmm, definitely have to get wet if this is going to be a success. Wardrobe change!
Kicked off the sandals, pulled my skirt up to make a shirt and took my shirt off to make it a scarf.
On the trek back, Ian (the amazing personal photographer of the day) caught me staring into the water as if there would be a way around it.
It takes a patient person to “tour” around all day taking photos of things you’ve looked at since childhood (he grew up here as well). Ian, you’re a great friend!
Folsom Prison, yes the one made famous in a song by the legendary Johnny Cash. For all of my friends abroad who have never heard of it, try searching for it on YouTube (Johnny cash – Folsom Prison Blues) it’s a classic! If you live near, in or around this area and were born before 1994 and don’t know this song… please report yourself to the local authorities for breaking some sort of unspoken law.
Some pics of the entrance.
…and a “not so” entrance.
As Folsom expanded, the rainbow bridge was no longer sufficient for all of the growth.
Here is the “new bridge” that has opened up traffic flow to cross the American River.
You’re looking at the massive Folsom Dam that was closed in 2003 for security issues following the September terrorist attacks of 2001. The solid bridge in front of it is the the new crossing that opened in 2009.
Sutter street is the old main road back from the gold rush days in the early 1800’s.
Recently renovated, the main street is now a vibrant attraction for several different reasons. Clothing boutiques and antique shops to bars and cafes, it has something for everyone.
Snooks is a family owned and operated factory providing chocolate, carmel apples, taffy, ice cream and candy in which they make mostly right here!
Warning: do not enter this establishment unless you are fully prepared to be tempted with sweet smells, unique textures and samples of luxurious flavors.
The original Folsom Hotel… now a popular bar with a not so secret kitchen serving up food that I dare not classify as “bar food”. It’s quality is above and beyond. Well done Dan!
This is the Hacienda, a Mexican restaraunt that sits at the corner on the second story over looking a portion of Sutter street.
This pic is standing in the street looking up at the balcony.
Up the stairs…
… To the balcony and views from both sides.
This is a recent picture of me and Janine enjoying the balcony ambiance. This lovely woman has opened her home to me with the upmost hospitality during my travels back to Folsom. Thank you friend for the warm welcome and fun girl chats!
Inside are several tables for families to enjoy the chips and salsa and fancy blended drinks. These photos are on the other side of the restaurant where there’s a large bar with a social setting. I love all of the colors!
Mystery shot!? I just don’t know about that.
Recognize this guy? Ian is the smile that accompanied me in Argentina for the Iguazu Falls!
Folsom has several parks and playgrounds (There are over 40!)
(I did not take most of the city pics to follow)
A water park!
Dirt riding track
There are dog parks for the families with “paw babies”.
This town has grown to a city with 10 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, 3 high schools and a community college. I found this pic on line and due to my lack of a helicopter, I thought I’d use it. This is the high school I graduated from, scene from birds eye view.
Although Folsom doesn’t have your typical city scene night clubs, it certaintly does it’s job of providing a variety of places to enjoy adult beverages, live music and billards. Depending on the evening, you can also find a Dj spinning to a dance floor of people usually involving a group celebrating a birthday, engagement, or simple girls night out (which typically brings the “boys night out”… Funny how that works).
To prevent a bunch of dark photos of the back of people’s heads, I went out during the day and snapped some pics of the local bars.
“The Purp” as some call it, is a restaurant and bar combo providing some of the best Bloody Mary’s around, a menu full of classic dishes and daily entertainment ranging from televised sports to dancing and live music.
This is one of my favorites for the kickstart of the well known “Sunday Funday”.
Locals Definition of “Sunday Funday”: An extension of the party weekend usually beginning early with “the hair of the dog” and followed by some activity in the sun with your peers. Usually ending… sunburnt.
If you arrive here on a Sunday morning, you’ll find some girls in a mini dress with makeup (probably from the events of the previous night) to ladies in jeans and flip flops. Guys in hats ready for the lake sitting next to a table of elderly gentleman dressed from earlier church services. I always get a kick out of the bikers that ride in on their motorcycles in full leather gear.
A shot of the open part of the bar.
Folsom Lake Bowl, otherwise known as FLB.
When I was little, my dad used to take me here every week during his bowling league. I would get my little ball and mess around on a lane while emptying the .10 cent gum ball machine. Now it’s a full bar, casino, bowling alley, with an attached uniquely styled barber shop. This is the central “go to” if you’re looking for people, food, drinks, billiards, music, gambling and/or sports. The indoor and outdoor areas are comfortable for crowds and they have TV screens that are always showing the latest sporting events.
Lucky’s Barber Shop! There’s something to be said about people who can appreciate art… if it be hanging on the walls, tattooed on the skin, or designed in the hair. Good on ya fellas!
Other options to choose from range quite a bit depending on your budget and what you desire for the evening. Quick run down on my favorites:
Streets of London: A British pub serving up authentic dishes and great drinks in a fútbol decorated bar. They also have picnic tables outside with a comfortable, welcoming vibe and fair prices.
Samuel Horne’s: A narrow room with creative seating that specializes in local brews. Their wall of beer changes perodically giving you a variety of tastes with the added lesson of where it came from and it’s distinct flavors. It also has a chef on hand that makes fabulous bites to compliment the cold beers.
…and it happens to provide the stage for a weekly acoustical set by a well known local friend, Scott Graham. You’ve heard of him? Thought so.
The list goes on! Sports Garage, Wine Bar, Manderas, the entire strip on Sutter street including the Hotel, Scarletts, Powerhouse, Sutter club, old Europe, and more!
Instead of me listing the other dozens of fun places, just email me if you want more info. There’s honestly so many that this post will start to take a turn to a “best route to pub crawl in Folsom”.
I grew up in this city, back when it was nicked named “The Cow Town”. A time when everyone knew the owner of each local business and you graduated high school with the same kids you learned your ABC’s with.
Although I’ve packed up and moved out to see more of this beautiful planet, it’s always so nice to come back and be reminded of where I came from.
A sincere thank you to all of my friends that welcomed me with the brightest smiles and cheerful eyes! The love was felt beyond the hugs. If time didn’t allow us to connect, I still absorbed the warmth from the emails, voicemails and even the honking and waving from cars passing!
…cheers till next time Folsom.