Things To Do In Sacramento
As the capital of California, Sacramento stands proud as one of the finest and most important cities in all of North America. Nicknamed the City of Trees thanks to hosting the largest canopy of green space in the country, there’s plenty to see and do throughout the area.
Farm to Fork Capital of America
Sacramento is referred to as the farm-to-fork capital of America, so a great many of the attractions and tours revolve around filling your belly - which is great news for foodies.
Downtown Historical Tour
This culinary culture stems all the way back to the city's rich history, as the Downtown Historical Tour will explain.
Lasting around three hours on foot, this tour will guide visitors through the main streets of Sacramento, with regular stops to sample a selection of fine foods and wines.
Sutter District Tour
The Sutter District Tour offers a very similar experience, albeit a little further away from the tourist hotspots of Sacramento, or if you prefer to embrace cultural craft in addition to cravings, you can head to Midtown for the Arts Tour.
Image credit: James Campbell
As the spiritual home of the city's vibrant arts scene you'll find no shortage of murals here, but being Sacramento, a delicious lunch will also be tossed into the tour.
Scavenger Hunt Adventure Tour
Another option would be to partake in the famous Sacramento Scavenger Hunt Adventure Tour, which is a great way of seeing the entire city in a whistle-stop fashion!
This city is all about the food and drink.
Sacramento is a real melting pot of different cultures, ensuring that you'll find no shortage of varying world cuisines on offer, and being dubbed the Hipster Capital of California (seriously, this place has almost as many nicknames as New York) ensures that Sacramento has plenty of quirky and unique pop-ups and independent eateries that allow you to tick in both inside and out in the open air.
Hawks, based in Sutter, is arguably the trendiest restaurant in the zip code, offering lunch and dinner.
As a great many farms operate ‘farm to table’ locally, carnivores will be in paradise when it comes to farm-fresh roast dinners, and Mulvaney's B&L is one of the finest community-focused bistros that provide such produce on an ever-changing menu.
Image Credit: Prayltno
Alternatively, head to the charming and historic Old Town, which is bursting with burger and BBQ restaurants and vintage wine bars that serve the finest Californian grapes.
Image Credit: Yasuo Kida
Anybody thirsting for some local java can investigate one of the many branches of Temple Coffee, who brew their beans within the Sacramento city limits.
If you're looking for something stronger after the lights go out, however, head downtown for more conventional clubbing settings, or Old Town for a quirkier experience; think of this area as California’s Brooklyn, with the young and hip making the area their own.
Breakfast at Bacon and Butter
In the morning set an alarm to get up early, as you'll want to be in Broadway for a reviving breakfast at Bacon and Butter.
This cafe serves amazing breakfast food, but it's first come-first served and the building fills up pretty sharpish, so get there early to avoid disappointment.
5,000 Acres of Parks and Recreation Areas
If you're looking for some fresh air, you'll find plenty of it in Sacramento with over 5,000 acres of parks and public recreation areas.
Capitol Park is a must for lovers of architecture and tranquility, with old buildings set around lush green spaces that will allow anybody to enjoy a little quiet reflection away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets.
California State Museum
Culture vultures will love Sacramento with its vibrant day and night opportunities to sample the good life.
The ‘Downtown Grid’ are the hub for outdoor events, offering art walks and other cultural events, held frequently every month and give you the opportunity to join in ‘what’s hot’ in Sacramento.
Check in with their website at https://sacramento.downtowngrid.com/events
If museums are really your thing however, the best website to use is the Sacramento Association of Museums at http://sacmuseums.org/ where you can check out all local events for when you travel.
William Land Park
William Land Park, meanwhile, is something of a jewel in the crown of Sacramento.
Image Credit: Anthony Dunn
This glorious green space offers something for everybody, including jogging and cycling tracks, a golf course, a small amusement park named Funderland and the enchanting Fairytale Town for young children, and even the Sacramento Zoo, a 14-acre site that is currently hosting an excess of 500 animals.
Image credit: Janice Marle Foote
The nearby McKinley Park is a more tranquil affair, albeit considerably smaller – though it does boast a fine playground, making it an ideal destination for anybody traveling with little ones.
There will also be no shortage of opportunities to bask in the California sun whilst staying active in Sacramento.
The city boasts plenty of running routes, many of which are picturesque, and the flat landscape and plethora of cycle paths makes it a fantastic location for keen pedal pushers.
Outside of William Land Park there are dozens of public and private golf courses throughout the city, while the combination of wilderness and coastal paths will also delight hikers.
Golden 1 Center
Image Credit: Rudy Garcia
However, if you prefer to spectate rather than partake in sports, you could head to the Golden 1 Center, home to the NBA team the Sacramento Kings, or the Raley Field for Minor League Baseball games featuring the Sacramento River Cats (the closest MLB team are the San Francisco Giants, and NFL fans will have to travel to check out the Oakland Raiders or world-famous San Francisco 49ers).
Image Credit: Jerry Huddleston
Of course Sacramento can also get swelteringly hot during the summer months, so it pays to be aware of the reservoirs that will allow you to cool off.
Head to Gold River when the thermometer tips the scales and you'll be able to enjoy a range of watersports at the CSUS Aquatic Center, including kayaking, canoeing and rafting, while Lake Camanche and Lake Folsom allow jet skiing.
Image Credit: Eric Sonstroem
Alternatively, hire a boat and sail your way around Rollins Lake, or pack your swimsuit and go for a dip in Sly Park Lake.
Sacramento as a city offer frequent weather warnings for excessive heat and even operate ‘cooling centres’ in order to protect both residents and tourists.
If you're a lover of the arts, you'll find plenty to delight you in Sacramento.
Downtown has it’s own theater district which plays host to a number of Broadway favorites at the Sacramento Convention Center as well as local, independent productions, while Midtown offers more highbrow fare typically written and performed by locals.
The city also boasts its own opera troupe and orchestra, who frequently play at the aforementioned Convention Center.
The achingly hip surroundings of Old Town also showcase countless musical acts, making this the perfect nightspot for anybody looking for some local flavor from the finest tunesmiths in the state.
You won't struggle to find a museum on a rare rainy day in Sacramento, many of which celebrate the city's rich history, or you could get some serious shopping done; either at the Sunrise or Arden Fair Malls, or the outdoor settings of the Westfield Roseville Galleria or Pavilions.
These latter destinations, in particular, are packed with luxury brand stores sure to cater to even the most exclusive tastes.
Alternatively, Sacramento is a veritable treasure trove of antique dealers and shops – but ‘sshhh’, keep it quiet or you may find someone beats you to that bargain you have always wanted.
You can discover everything from the modern and eclectic, through to period pieces that sit hidden at the back of many of the antique shops that prevail downtown.
Dealers are knowledgeable, so you won’t be buying any ‘duds’ but you will be picking up some great deals to take home.
Many householders and hotels in Lake Tahoe are frequent travelers to Sacramento to pick up bargains.
As you will see, there is plenty to occupy your time while visiting Sacramento – especially if you are keen to eat your way around California, with the city priding itself on its relationship with food and local wine.
While you may have to drift a little further afield for a trip to the beach, there is no denying that this is a fascinating and historic locale that anybody should add to their travel itinerary if the opportunity arises.
Whatever your desire you will find it in this glorious city – just watch out for the weather to be able to fully enjoy your trip.