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"Woodland Ca; Dont Miss This City if in Sac. Area" Woodland by TooTallFinn24

Woodland Travel Guide: 16 reviews and 21 photos

if you are visiting Sacramento, or on your way to Lake Tahoe and San Francisco and looking for the quintessential beautiful Central Valley town then Woodland is the answer. The City has managed to preserve many outstanding homes and businesses that are well over 100 years old. Woodland is a joy to walk through and get a glimpse of the past. There are also some great restaurants, some interesting public buildings and a weird site that you just have to see.


Prior to European settlement the area was occupied by the Poo-e-win Indians, who are related to the Patwins. In 1853 a small store was established among a grove of oak trees. Other stores soon followed and a local merchant by the named Major Freeman soon offered free lots to those who would clear the land. Thus started the town of Yolo City which later became Woodland which incorporated in 1878. While many of Woodland's historic buildings have been destroyed by fire or town down, the City still has an extremely large number of historic buildings from the late 19th and early 20th century particularly along Main Street.

According to Shipley Waters who chronicles the history of Woodland the town grew because of its rich soil, good transportation systems, and its function as the seat of Yolo County government.

At the turn of the 20th century one source indicated that the City of Woodland had more millionaires than any other town in California!

One hundred and fifty years later the City of Woodland is now a town of over 55,000 people and also is the seat of Yolo County.

The above picture is of the Gable Mansion, perhaps the most famous historic home in Woodland. The house located on 659 First Street was built for Amos and Harry Gable in 1894. It is an outstanding example of Italianate and Stick Venacular architecture. It also is a California State Historical Landmark, a very unique honor in the state.

Well Preserved Historic Public Buildings

Woodland, is unique, in that the City through great efforts has preserved and restored a large number of fabulous buildings and homes.

The Opera House shown below, which is located on Main Street, was constructed in 1892. It was closed in 1913 and was kept unused until it was purchased by the Yolo County Historical Society. It is now part of the California State Park System.

Well Preserved Homes

This outstanding Queen Anne home is located on College Street just a few blocks off of Main Street. Note the sweeping veranda and the tower turrets.

Every year, usually on the second weekend in September, the Woodland Historical Society and other local groups have a "Stroll Through History," which consists of a series of walking tours and home tours of Woodland's historic homes.

As a guide to Woodland's historic homes, the City of Woodland in conjunction with their Historic Resources Commission has produced, "Exploring Historic Woodland," a great 260 page guide of the homes and buildings of Woodland. Ron Pinegar of the Woodland Community Development Department was the project manager.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Outstanding Preserved Homes and Buildings, Walkable
  • Cons:Somewhat Isolated, 25 miles from Sacramento
  • In a nutshell:Take a walk and relive the early 1900's
  • Last visit to Woodland: Oct 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (8)

Comments (7)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Oct 25, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    Could it be that the upper floor of the opera house is just a facade? Anyway, it's great that the building was preserved even though it stood empty for a long time.

    • TooTallFinn24's Profile Photo
      Oct 28, 2016 at 4:23 PM

      Somewhat sadly the Woodland Opera House nearly entirely holds family concerts and plays but never a opera it seems. I wish they would attempt to be a little more diverse but perhaps the events they are holding is where the demand is.

  • Dec 21, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    Nice page! Those old homes I would love to see for real!

  • AngMimi's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    Wow..such beautiful houses here and a must visit to Reiff's Front Lawn Gas Station in Woodland. Nice, I Like :-))

  • tropicrd's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    What a lovely page about Woodland..the homes are beautiful thanks for sharing.

  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo
    Oct 23, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    I have to visit Reiff's Gas Station next time I am in Woodland. I went to the Court house years ago when I was working but never actually took the time to see the historic mansions. Great page on a town that is "off the beaten path".

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Oct 21, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    What a beautiful place! The houses are marvellous and Reiff's Front Lawn Gas Station is just adorable! As is the interior of Ludy's restaurant!

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Oct 21, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    what a beautiful city tour. brautiful buildings! that restaurant looks cosy. i built a similar page on my Mississauga two weeks ago. i enjoyed the walking tour :-)


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