Date Night on the Delta King

A quick night away can be restorative. A way to break up the monotony of work and everyday life. And while taking that quick night away in your own backyard may seem strange at first, it could be just what the doctor ordered.

I have lived in Sacramento for almost seven years. During that time I’ve gone to Old Sacramento, our historic district, a dozen or so times. It’s a go-to for first time visitors, who want to experience the gold-rush city from the 1800s. From horse-drawn carriages to riverboats, Old Sacramento is something to behold.

There are a couple of attractions that anchor Old Sac: The Railroad Museum and the Delta King.

The Delta King is my personal favorite. I’ve seen various plays in their playhouse (before the theater company moved to a more permanent location on J Street), and even celebrated a birthday at the Suspects Murder Mystery Dinner Theater.

The boat remains a working hotel, complete with its own restaurant and bar. For years I have thought about booking a stateroom, but it always seemed so indulgent spending money on a hotel room just a handful of miles from where I lived. However, I changed my mind on this earlier this year as I struggled to figure out something special I could do for my partner to celebrate his 30th birthday.

It was finally time to indulge, to let myself be OK with spending the money on what would certainly be a memorable experience. The key to making his birthday truly special was to do it on the actual day, not to just put it off to the weekend. His birthday fell on a Thursday, so he picked me up after work and drove me a mile down the road. It was so ridiculously close, we should have just ubered there and saved the $20 parking garage fee, but it worked out nonetheless.

We checked in and got the key to the room, which as you might imagine, was pretty small. The bed faced towards the entryway, which looked towards Old Sacramento (as oppose to the river view). The stateroom held a bed, a small desk and bathroom. Simple and to the point.

In fact, that was the goal for the overall evening. Keep it simple. If you are looking for a quick night away in Sacramento, whether you are a resident or just driving through, here are my tips for a romantic date night on the Delta King:

Enjoy the in-house restaurant  

There are a whole lot of restaurant options in Old Sacramento that might tempt you away, but the point of a date on the Delta King is to fully embrace everything the ship has to offer, starting with their own restaurant. For a more formal experience, venture inside for to the Pilothouse restaurant. For a more casual experience, with the same good food, make your way upstairs to the Delta Bar and Grill. We grabbed a table there, wanting to sit outside and take in our surroundings. It was August, so we still had plenty of daylight to burn. The food is tasty, and the views even better. The uniqueness of Old Sacramento makes it feel truly removed from the city, even if you can still see your office building in the distance.

Walk around

Walk around like any other tourist, navigating the wood planks and avoiding the cars. But this time, you are able to drink and you don’t have to drive. Pop into another bar and grab a drink, or do what we did and get some frozen yogurt. Swing by Evangeline’s for unusual gifts or take in a comedy show. There are lots of options at your disposal.

Bust out the wine

I came prepared with a bottle of wine and a bottle opener for our trip. The gorgeous evening begged for us to be outside, but we wanted to stick close to the room. Fortunately, there are small little cafe tables on either ends of the Delta King. We busted open the wine, and drank it as the sun set and the Tower Bridge lit up. It was stunning and relaxing just sitting near the water, drinking some nice red wine. The perfect end to a simple, romantic evening.