We all know about San Francisco and Los Angeles being the big California destinations, but don't discount Sacramento. When it comes to the scenery and food options, Sacramento can hold it's own to any major city. Read on to see why Sacramento is having a moment, and why you want to be a part of it.
Vintage Train Rides - There's something so nostalgic to riding the rails in an old train car. None of us has ever experienced the 1800's but it's comforting knowing that we can have just as much fun doing it today as folks did back then. On a sunny Saturday in August, The Sacramento River Train invited us to take a ride on their Excursion Train. We arrived at 11:30am and for the next 3 hours enjoyed a scenic and relaxing ride along the river and through the West Sacramento countryside. A light lunch of sandwiches and snacks was served in the dining train (which has AC which was awesome!). The train pulled into a park which was setup to give you the experience of an old mining town. The kiddos have fun doing an activity mining for precious gems. I especially loved that the experience provided tech and screen free entrainment and learning for everyone. Disconnecting for our devices is so important!
Epic Food Scene - Sacramento is known as America's Food-to-Fork Capital, and it's a badge we wear proudly. Fresh food made from local ingredients, what more could a foodie ask for?! Sacramento chefs are making a name for themselves with inventive menus served in restaurants adorned with modern decor and cool atmosphere. See my complete Sacramento Modern Foodie Guide, or if brunching is more your speed I've got the Sacramento Brunch Guide.
More for Your $$$ - Unlike San Francisco, here in Sacramento you don't have to be a millionaire to enjoy the good life. The quality of the food and services is on par with any big city, but you'll pay a fraction of the cost. I remember my friends came to visit from San Francisco and they were shocked at the low prices of parking, restaurants and even boutique shopping.
Public Art on a Whole New Level - Driving through the city streets of Sacramento you'll notice all the bright and bold pops of colors on the sides of buildings. Wide Open Walls is Sacramento's own Mural Festival featuring the works local as well as international mural artists. The aesthetics and artistic styles on each wall vary greatly but they all have one thing is common, it's completely open and free for the public to enjoy. My Instagram is full of these walls, you can see a few of my faves here, here and here.
True Seasons - I grew up on the coast of the bay area and the weather was pretty much foggy all the time with a few scattered days of sunshine. This is not at all the case in Sacramento, we have true seasons with a winter, spring, summer and autumn.
One of the first things I noticed when we moved to Sacramento in autumn was the plethora of trees with colorful foliage scattered all over the city. California is mostly known as an "evergreen" state with year-round green leaves, but Sacramento is an exception. We have bold and colorful leaves in autumn with saturated shades of reds and orange.
Springtime is beautiful with green grass and tree blossoms blooming everywhere, especially the almond trees with tiny white flowers. Summer is HOT and locals love to head to the rivers and float away the heat. With Lake Tahoe being so close to Sacramento, you can easily enjoy a weekend of snow in the winter.
Lady Bird Vibes - First thing, if you haven't see the movie Lady Bird you NEED to watch it. I'll admit, I was hesitant at first because it didn't seem like my type of movie. But let me tell you, it didn't break the Rotten Tomatoes record for best score for nothing. In case you've been out of the loop, the film won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture and was nominated for a slew of Oscars. The cinematography is so smooth and enjoyable to watch and almost the entire film takes place in Sacramento. It has been dubbed "a love letter to the city." See my guide to all the Lady Bird film locations in Sacramento.
A Slower Pace - There's an element of Sacramento that reminds me of the South. It has a small-town feel with with rustic historical buildings and tree-lined streets. The people have that "southern hospitality" way about them and there's a strong sense of community. Compared to San Francisco there's less hustle and bustle, which ultimately means less hassle. But we still get all the perks of living in a big city, win-win! A friend of mine came to visit and she made the same observations, tell me your experiences when visiting Sacramento!
A big thank you to Sacramento River Train for sponsoring this blog post.
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