Sacramento is the State Capital and the seat of Sacramento County. It lies northeast of San Francisco along Interstate 80, on the banks of the Sacramento River.
Early Spanish explorers gave the river its name, which means "the Sacraments"; the town took its name from the river. John A. Sutter built a fort here around 1839. In 1848 James Wilson Marshall, Sutter's lumber business partner, discovered gold at their mill northeast in Coloma. Sacramento grew during the ensuing California Gold Rush. The city, in 1854, became the state capital.
Today Sacramento, population 1,797,000, is a leading governmental, commercial and transportation center of the West. The city is noted for its public art. In addition, the Crocker Art Museum holds a definitive collection of 1900s-era California paintings. Sacramento is home to the campus of California State University. Popular William Land Park includes the Sacramento Zoo.
Sacramento is part of the Sacramento, California metro area.