A Local's Guide to Sacramento
Collected by Jenna Francisco , AFAR Local Expert
Things move a little more slowly in Sacramento than in California's other big cities. Local food and wine, an eclectic vibe, beautiful weather, and history as the state capital and center of the Gold Rush make Sacramento a fun yet laid-back place to explore.
1215 18th St, Sacramento, CA 95811, USA
Fringe just oozes character. From the moment I walked past the racks of vintage clothing and battered cowboy boots outside the shop, I knew I had to go inside. The interior is like a hip warehouse of sorts—a large but cozy space full of vintage...
800 N St, Sacramento, CA 95814, USA
While San Francisco and L.A. often steal the limelight from Sacramento, I often remind myself that Sacramento has long been the center of much of California's history. The Leland Stanford Mansion is one place where that history is reflected. The...
1800 L St, Sacramento, CA 95811, USA
Aioli Bodega Española, also known just as Aioli by locals, is a Spanish restaurant located on a trendy block of Midtown Sacramento. Tapas are served here, either inside the elegant restaurant or on the intimate garden patio, which features a...
L St & 18th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811, USA
Zanzibar is a place I enjoy returning to whenever I am in the area. Located on a trendy strip of Midtown Sacramento, next to wine bars and upscale restaurants, this quirky shop sells fair-trade products from around the world. Despite its global...
1820 29th St, Sacramento, CA 95816, USA
Located on the hip corner of 29th and S Streets with Temple Coffee and Revolution Wines, Pushkin's Bakery addresses an increasingly-popular niche--gluten and dairy free food. While all the items are dairy-free, not all are vegan because eggs are...
2924 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95818, USA
It's easy to pass by Taylor's Kitchen and not realize there is a fantastic restaurant inside...I had visited the neighboring shops without noticing the new restaurant, but I knew I had to visit once I heard people raving about the food. Taylor's...
3199 Riverside Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95818, USA
Vic's Ice Cream is a fixture in Sacramento. Opened in 1947, the neighborhood diner has maintained its original look from the black-and-white floor tiles to small booths and black bar stools. The employees have looked the same since I started...
2701 L St, Sacramento, CA 95816, USA
Sutter's Fort State Historic Park is what remains of the first settlement in Sacramento. John Sutter was given a land grant from the Mexican government in 1839 (when California was still part of Mexico). He used this land to develop agriculture...
1801 L St #60, Sacramento, CA 95811, USA
I hear about Ginger Elizabeth all the time—a friend's favorite new flavor of macaron or the chocolate gift box received as a birthday gift. When I finally made it here, I was impressed by the beautiful interior, friendly staff, large selection of...
2405 21st St, Sacramento, CA 95818, USA
It's All Yoga is a special place. It's where teachers embrace their students, both with hugs and with gentle encouragement, kind words, and even poetry. This studio openly encourages people of all backgrounds, experiences, and body types to come...
1518 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818, USA
Tower Cafe, which sits next to the landmark Tower Theater and original Tower Records, is a favorite among locals. The outdoor garden seating makes you want to stay for a long, relaxing meal; the bubbling fountains (with birds stopping for quick...
2730 J St, Sacramento, CA 95816, USA
Centro Cocina Mexicana showcases the regional foods of Mexico with fresh ingredients made in-house every day. Here you are likely to find Mexican dishes you have never heard of, all with bright, vibrant flavors. From Oaxacan mole and fish tacos to...
Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, California, USA
Sacramento has an average of 270 sunny days per year, and local residents love to take advantage of the nice weather on the city's extensive bike trails. One trail runs along the Sacramento River, starting in Old Sacramento and continuing down the...
Land Park, Sacramento, CA, USA
Sacramento has been called "City of Trees" because of the abundance of trees that fill the neighborhoods and many parks. Land Park is a favorite place to enjoy the shade these trees provide. The park features large, open patches of grass flanked...
2711 Riverside Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95818, USA
Masullo Pizza is my idea of the perfect pizza place in the U.S.—the servers are friendly, the interior is stylish, the food honors what is local and seasonal, and the pizza is outstanding. Robert Masullo, the owner, takes pizza seriously, using a...
1526 H St, Sacramento, CA 95814, USA
The Governor's Mansion State Historic Park is a Victorian-style mansion in central Sacramento. The interior's details, including marble fireplaces from Italy and decorations from France, are beautifully maintained and evoke the rich history of...
1515 Q St, Sacramento, CA 95811, USA
Sacramento has declared itself the "Farm-to-Fork Capital" of the U.S. because of its location in California's agricultural valley and its emphasis on products that are seasonal, fresh, and grown near the city. While the busy Sunday farmers' market...
448 La Rue Rd, Davis, CA 95616, USA
When I want to experience nature and get away from the city, I head to Davis, just 20 minutes from Sacramento. Davis is home to University of California at Davis and the university's 100-acre arboretum. I love walking the winding paths of the...
1315 10th St B-27, Sacramento, CA 95814, USA
This Neoclassical building from the mid-19th century stands at one end of a large urban park. The interior of the Capitol is worth a visit—its rotunda and historic rooms reflect the history of lawmaking and governing in this state. The small...
1217 18th St, Sacramento, CA 95811, USA
I remember when 58 Degrees & Holding Co. first opened—I was excited to finally have a wine bar in Sacramento, and it didn't disappoint. The interior is classy yet comfortable, with a long bar and cozy couches and chairs. The servers were friendly,...
2966 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95818, USA
Sacramento locals love Freeport Bakery for its beautiful cakes and yummy treats. Located in the cute Land Park neighborhood, just steps from other fun stops like Taylor's Market and Marie's Donuts, Freeport Bakery is a good place to get coffee,...
3901 Land Park Dr, Sacramento, CA 95822, USA
This is a place where kids can be kids and burn off lots of energy while feeding their imaginations. Fairytale Town is a cute non-profit park across the street from the Sacramento Zoo. Kids love this place (mine included!). Nursery rhymes and...
216 O St, Sacramento, CA 95814, USA
The Crocker Art Museum recently underwent a renovation, and the results are stunning. It feels like a "real" museum, the type you would expect to find in a big, thriving city like Sacramento, the capital of California. The permanent collection of...
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