Staying in Ann Arbor, Michigan for close to two years, we moved to Sacramento, California in the December of 1999. Had we heard of Sacramento, not really. The most popular destinations in California are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and how can one miss Napa (This will be another blog sometime soon) but Sacramento, no one really heard it or knows much about it. Sacramento is the capital city of California and is located in the confluence of Sacramento river and American River and is the state’s political center. I have been a resident of California from the past 20 years and love the city. If I were to compare it to an Indian city, it reminds me of Pune City that I grew up in. It has a big town, small town feel. You will see lines for many things like shopping, bus and light rails but not the crazy madness that you would notice in the bay area, that being said, I will cover bay area in a blog later on.
As a visitor some places that one must visit within Sacramento are the State Capitol which has a beautiful park with paid parking around it, Crocker Museum of Art, Sutter fort historic park, Old Sacramento waterfront and midtown. If you have kids some good places are Sacramento Zoo, Fairytale town and for kids who love anything on wheels California State Railroad Museum is the place to be. In Old Sacramento waterfront you will enjoy the stone paved walk and the red bricked architecture along the river and it has quite a few restaurants and the Delta King docked boat which is a landmark in it’s own way. You can head down and walk along the river. Some of the landmarks in Sacramento are Tower Bridge which is very close to Old Sacramento and the gateway between Sacramento and West Sacramento, McKinley Park Rose Garden, Tower Theater, Golden 1 Center for sports lovers.
If you love to bike, either you can bike your own or rent at quite a few places American River Bike Trail is one of the places you can enjoy biking. If you love to walk, Sacramento has lots of trails in and around parks, neighborhoods and along the river. Sacramento is very bike friendly so you will be able to find many biking trails in and around Sacramento. Sacramento is pretty dog friendly so you will be happy to walk your dog around trails and parks.
I always loved Sacramento due to the proximity of multiple towns and cities like Napa, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Reno, Yosemite National Park, Bay Area, Calistoga, Amador, Auburn, Sonoma, Angel Island, Bodega Bay, Point Reyes lighthouse at Stinson Beach (favorite of mine). If you want to travel a teeny bit there is a Jelly Belly factory at Fairfield that has tours and kids usually love the free samples.
If you are a foodie like me there are a lot of food options like Mexican, Indian, Italian, Chinese, Pizza and Sandwich places around. For desserts you will find many ice-creams spots and coffee shops and cake connoisseurs. Recently a lot of pubs and new restaurants have opened in Sacramento downtown and it’s a happening place. I remember one of my colleagues saying that they have friends from Bay Area come to Sacramento for the bar scene. You will surely find some local craft beer. Almonds, how can I forget them. They are the best and that’s the reason Sacramento is also known as the Almond Capital of the world, so do buy Almonds from Sacramento to take some home. It’s also known as America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital since the restaurants believe in supporting local farmers and making fresh food from the farm onto the table. You will find trucks loaded with fresh tomatoes and so it is knows for it along with City of Trees.
I love taking pictures and Sacramento downtown is the perfect place. It has lots of old and new architectural buildings. You will find many structures with red brinks in old Sacramento. Sacramento has lots of paid parking so make sure you search them before you plan a visit. Shop around because there are some reasonable parking spots in and around downtown where you can park by the hour or the whole day.
There are quite a few thrift stores in Sacramento and if you looking for some antiques you might get lucky and find something to take back home.
Since we are situated in a valley the weather can be pretty cool in the winters and hot in the summers so plan your trip accordingly. Light cotton clothes in summers and warmer jackets in winters are good.
I love this city so much that I am proud to say I am a Sacramentan!