Sacramento Quick Facts
|Area||100.105 sq miles|
|Population||472,178 (2012 estimate)|
|Time Zone||PST (UTC−8)|
|Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC−7)|
About Sacramento City
Sacramento is the administrative seat of Sacramento County and the capital city of the state of California. The charter city is located on the Central Valley at the convergence of the Sacramento River and the American River.
The Sacramento Valley was discovered by Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga but Sacramento as a city owes its origins to Swiss pioneer John Sutter, his son John Sutter Jr. and James W Marshall. The city was incorporated on February 27, 1850 and in 1879, it became the capital of California, superseding San Jose which was the original choice.
The city witnessed a gold rush in 1849 when gold was discovered in the Sutter‘s Mill at Coloma and within a short period of time its population increased significantly. Today, it is the sixth largest city in California in terms of population. Sacramento was devastated by a series of fires, floods, and epidemic throughout the 1850's and early 1860's, but the resilient city withstood the test of time. After becoming the capital of California, it utilized its new found position and strategic location to prosper and became a major hub of the railway industry. It emerged a major agricultural, distribution and transportation center, thanks to the developed water transport system and railways. Transportation continues to be a major contributor to the economy today. Other important industries in this "River City" are information technology, business services, construction, hospitality, professional and higher education, health services and research.
Sacramento is known for its multiracial makeup. In 2002, the Time Magazine recognized this city as the most diverse and integrated city in the United States. The city also known for is vibrant culture, historic landmarks, and sports. It is home to the famous Sacramento Kings of NBA fame and to Olympians like Mark Spitz, Debbie Meyer, and Billy Mills.
When to visit Sacramento
Spring and fall are the best seasons to plan a trip to Sacramento. Summer is rather hot and winter gets chilly due to rainfall. Airports & Public Transport in SacramentoThe Sacramento International Airport is the main airport of Sacramento. The railway service is provided by Amtrak while Sacramento Regional Transit District provides light rail and bus service. The locals like cycling and walking. A 2011 survey ranked the Californian capital as the 24th most walkable major city in the country.
Accommodation Options in Sacramento
Looking for a budget hotel in Sacramento? Some of the best options are Red Roof Inn Sacramento - Elk Grove, Super 8 Sacramento / Airport Area, Homestead Studio Suites - Sacramento - South Natomas, La Quinta Inn Sacramento Downtown, Extended Stay America - Sacramento - Arden Way and Good Nite Inn Sacramento. If you want to put up in a luxury hotel, some of the well-known ones are The Citizen Hotel, Hyatt Regency Sacramento, Le Rivage Hotel, Homewood Suites by Hilton Sacramento Airport – Natomas, Courtyard by Marriott Sacramento, Cal Expo, and Delta King.
Things to do in Sacramento
Visit historical landmarks
Sacramento has some well-preserved historical landmarks. The most famous among these is the Sutter's Fort, a building which is closely associated with the foundation of the city, the Gold Rush, and the Donner Party. The Old Sacramento neighborhood with its cobbled streets and quaint buildings is an important link in the city's past. The Big Four Building in Old Sacramento which was the birthplace of the Central Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Railroad is now a National Historic Landmark. Another survivor from the past is the B.F. Hastings building which was once the home to the California Supreme Court and office of Theodore Judah. The California Capitol, Governor's Mansion, the Old City Cemetery, and Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park are some other sites of historical interest in the city.
Visit museums and art galleries Learn all about how railways played an important role in Sacramento's prosperity at the California State Railroad Museum, the largest railroad museum in North America. Visit the California Museum, California State Indian Museum (dedicated to Native Americans), and Sacramento City Museum to know about the city's history. If you love cars, then the California Automobile Museum is a museum that you must visit. Art lovers would love their visit to the Crocker Art Museum, one of the first art museums in US, La Raza Galeria Posada and the Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento. The California State Capitol and Museum and Discovery Museum Science & Space Center are also museums of great significance.
Enjoy a green Sacramento
Sacramento has more trees than any other city in the world and hence the sobriquet ‘The City of Trees". Spend some time amidst the natural beauty of the city and picnic in some popular green spaces of this city. The American River Parkway, Capitol Park, William Land Park, McKinley Park, Discovery Park and Cesar Chavez Park are popular spaces.
Want to catch a glimpse of the city at sunrise? At an elevation of 828 feet Carpenter Hill is the lowest high point in California, but it certainly is high enough to give an expansive view of the beautiful city. You can also spend a day at the Sacramento zoo which delights kids and adults alike.
Entertainment Sacramento is a city known for its vibrant theatre scene. The city has a number of professional theater companies and some well-maintained theater venues. Spend a beautiful evening watching a play at the Community Center Theatre or Memorial Auditorium. The Community Center Theatre also hosts the Sacramento Ballet, Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sacramento Opera .Another important venue is the Wells Fargo Pavilion which houses the California Musical Theatre and Music Circus.
The music scene in the city is as pulsating as its population. If you want to listen to some local bands, some popular live music venues are Javalounge, Ace of Spades, Old Ironsides and Crest Theatre. Sacramento is considered the hub of Dixieland jazz .Do attend the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee that is hosted by the city on every Memorial Day weekend.
If you love hiking, you will fall in love with Sacramento. The city has a number of good hiking trails like Steven Trails and Codfish Creek Trail. Take the well-known American River Bicycle Trail and enjoy a wonderful day cycling with your friends. You can also tee off at the Wildhawk Golf Club, Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course or Teal Bend Golf Club. Hit the Alpine Valley Bowl or Mardi Gras lanes if you want to go bowling.
Restaurants in Sacramento
Sacramento's food culture is legendary. Some well-known restaurants in this city are The Kitchen, Magpie Caterers Market & Caf, The Firehouse, Ella Dining Room & Bar (American food); Nopalitos, Tequila Museo Mayahuel, Zocalo (for mouthwatering Mexican dishes); Hot Italian, Paesanos, Sapataro, Michaelangelo's Restaurant (for Italian Cuisine); Squeeze Inn and Caf Rolle ( French cuisine); Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar, Lemon grass, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Ma Jong's, Far East Caf, Red Rabbit Kitchen ( for Asian flavors) and Opa!Opa!, Petra Greek, Greek Village Inn and caf Europa( for exotic Greek Cuisine). Indulge your sweet tooth in some of the famous bakeries of Sacramento -: Freeport Bakery, Rick's Dessert Diner, II Fornaio and Cinnabon.
Shopping in Sacramento
Have a wonderful shopping experience in the well-known malls of Sacramento-Westfield Downtown Plaza, Sunrise Mall, Country Club Plaza Mall and Arden Fair Mall. If you want to buy some designer wear, visit the high end Pavilions s Shopping Plaza. Looking for some vintage stuff? Go to the Antiques Plaza where you will find a number of shops dealing in antiques. If you want to know something about historic Sacramento while shopping, then Old Sacramento, spotted with old buildings and quaint streets is the perfect place for you.
Educational Institutions in Sacramento
Sacramento has two public universities - California State University Sacramento, and the UC Davis Campus of University of California. The world renowned research institute, the UC Davis Medical Center is located here. Notable private universities include the National University Sacramento, University of Sacramento and branches of the University of San Francisco, the University of Southern California, and the Alliant International University. The Art Institute of California – Sacramento and University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law are other important institutes of higher education. The city also has a number of community colleges such as the Folsom Lake College, American River College and Sacramento City College.