WELCOME TO SACRAMENTO!
“The real voyage of discovery
consists not in seeking new
landscapes but in having new eyes.”
― Marcel Proust
Sacramento has long suffered from an identity crisis. Unsatisfied with its past reputation as a cow town, it dreams of being the next big
American city. However, Sacramento slowly is
realizing that you do not become great by being jealous
of another’s greatness.
Visiting Sacramento twenty years ago was a
different experience than coming here today. Now the
city has a better sense of who it is: a little bit of
everything. Sacramento, as the above quote from Walt
Whitman announces, is large and contains multitudes.
Its traditions and its youth, its black and white history
and its vibrant murals, its grand Capitol building and its
tent shelters for the unhoused—these are not
contradictions. This is the city.
Most who are born in Sacramento long to leave it for
San Francisco, Los Angeles, or the East Coast.
Sacramento is a place you must learn to love. Only over
time do you come to cherish its diversity, respect its
history, and treasure all it has to offer. I hope to speed
that process up and give you fifty simple tips on how to
get the most out of your visit to Sacramento.
Where you choose to stay in Sacramento and when
you choose to visit will impact the experience you have.
The further you stay away from the downtown area, the
more time you will spend driving to get to where you
want to be. Vacations should be for experiencing not
commuting, so keep that in mind as you plan. Also, if
you come here in the summertime, know that the heat is
often around 100°F and may impact your enjoyment of
the town. You can counter the warm weather with
water, something to block out the sun, and positive
vibes, but you should also plan on taking breaks and
1. WHAT TO BRING
If coming to Sacramento between May and
September, expect heat. Sacramento’s heat is a dry one
but often flirts with triple-digit temperatures. As a
result, you are going to want to make sure to have a hat
and sunblock. The weather never gets too cold, but if
you are arriving in the late fall or wintertime, a solid
rain jacket goes a long way. The downtown area of
Sacramento is walkable, so bring comfortable shoes. If
you plan on visiting any of our parks, pack a picnic
blanket. Very few businesses are cash only, so a credit
card should suit you just about everywhere you go. You
can also download Sacramento’s parking app ahead of
time to handle your parking needs.
Sacramento is a sprawling city comprised of distinct
neighborhoods. Most traveling to the city for the first
time will find themselves primarily in the downtown or
midtown areas. Elsewhere, East Sacramento is a well-
to-do sector of the city known for its expensive real
estate. Times are tougher in South Sacramento, but you
may want to sample its great ethnic cuisine options.
West Sacramento is just across the Sacramento River,
which acts as a border between the west area of town
and what is generally referred to as downtown. Most of
what you are going to want to see in West Sac is only a
couple miles on the other side of the river boundary.
The northern part of the city is primarily residential
and, admittedly, will not entice even the most curious
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Derek is a father, husband, and Sacramento-based
writer. He has lived and worked throughout the city his
whole life. He and his wife are currently raising their
two kids to appreciate and understand Sacramento the
way they do.