Sacramento is a vibrant city with a variety of distinct communities that suit a wide range of lifestyles. Those who are fans of local businesses and restaurants will love downtown and midtown. On the other hand, there are several communities that are perfect for families, such as East Sacramento and Natomas.
Below is a complete guide to this incredible city, from activities and restaurants to enjoy on the weekend to a complete list of parks and neighborhoods!
Sacramento is full of activities with distinct neighborhoods, quality homes, and plenty of local businesses to enjoy. In addition to these valuable amenities, locals also enjoy access to the river, hiking and biking trails close by, shopping centers, plenty of parks, and so much more.
One of the best perks of living in Sacramento is its access. Located along I-80, you’re just a short drive away from shopping, hiking, and road trip destinations. If you’re in the mood for the city or want to take a trip to the snow, Sacramento is only a couple of hours away from Tahoe or San Francisco from its convenient location. You truly get the best of both worlds living in Sacramento. You will find a lovely city with tight-knit communities and easy access to the city, nature, and everything in between in Sacramento.
Weather in Sacramento
Sacramento residents enjoy the mild weather that California is known for throughout most of the year, although the summers are very dry and hot. Temperatures generally average 39°F in the winter and can go from 94°F to 102°F in the summer.
Neighborhoods in Sacramento
- Downtown/Midtown: Sacramento has a thriving downtown and midtown area. This is the place to be if you love restaurants, bars, attractions, parks, and performing arts. Although close together, downtown is more of a bustling metropolitan area while midtown is full of culture and trendy shops, restaurants, and bars.
- Land Park: One of the most family-friendly areas of Sacramento, Land Park is home to the gorgeous Land Park, the Sacramento Zoo, and Fairytale Town. If you’re looking for quiet streets and lovely homes, consider buying a home in this area.
- East Sacramento: This area is full of tree-lined streets and plenty of charm. Home to some of the most luxurious homes in Sacramento, known as the Fabulous Forties, this is a great area for those in the market for luxury homes. In addition, residents can enjoy McKinley Park, Sacramento State University, plenty of biking trails, and cute coffee shops and boutiques.
- Arden/Arcade: If you want to be near sporting events and shopping, Arden Arcade is a great area for you. Notable features in this area include the Cal Expo Fairgrounds, which is home to Papa Murphy’s Park and the Sacramento Republic FB soccer club, and the Arden Fair Mall.
- Oak Park: With a rich history and excellent food, arts, and cultural events, Oak Park is a neighborhood with farmers markets, coffee bars, public art, and restaurants.
- South Sacramento: Wine enthusiasts will appreciate South Sacramento, which is home to Frasinetti Winery — Sacramento’s oldest family-owned and -operated winery. This community also includes the Bing Maloney Golf Course, a variety of restaurants, and international supermarkets.
- North Sacramento: North Sacramento is a popular area for golfers, you can find a variety of courses throughout the community. In addition, residents can find an art scene along Del Paso Boulevard and the sprawling Gibson Ranch Park.
- Natomas: This relatively new community is family-friendly and easily accessible off of I-5. You will find plenty of shopping areas, nice outdoor spaces, access to the American River, and a variety of community events.
- West Sacramento: Although West Sacramento is a part of Yolo County, residents enjoy gorgeous views of Old Sacramento and the skyline downtown. In addition, there are restaurants, bars, breweries, and shopping centers in this area.
Top Restaurants in Sacramento
- Cafeteria 15L: This eclectic urban restaurant is known for its American comfort food, gorgeous decor, and two spacious outdoor patios.
- Alaro Craft Brewery: With a strong love for handcrafted beer and a seasonal local menu, Alaro Craft Brewery is an inspiring place to hang out with friends and enjoy their unique dining space.
- Kru: If you’re on the hunt for the best sushi restaurant in Sacramento, Kru will quickly satisfy your search. Their contemporary Japanese cuisine looks like a work of art when served and is backed by warm and welcoming service staff and chef.
- Selland’s Market Cafe: If you’re in the mood for delicious food that tastes homemade, we recommend Selland’s Market Cafe. They are open for lunch and dinner, offer a variety of dishes that you order before finding your table and have a gorgeous outdoor patio with twinkling lights.
- Blue House Korean BBQ: If you like the idea of being involved in the cooking of your dining experience, check out Blue House Korean BBQ. This restaurant perfectly balances authentic Korean cuisine with a modern approach.
- Tower Cafe: Tower Cafe is a special piece of history in Sacramento. Next to the historic Tower Theater, the cafe was opened in 1990 and is a thriving restaurant that serves one of the best brunches in the area. Be prepared to wait in line on the weekends at this popular local spot!
- Ella Dining Room & Bar: This nice restaurant is committed to promoting local and sustainable dining and creates dishes for its menu that are fresh, honest, and innovative. You will enjoy high-quality food that is seasonal and regionally sourced at Ella Dining Room & Bar.
- Iron Horse Tavern: Iron Horse Tavern is the perfect place to take family or friends out for a casual meal with a fun and upbeat atmosphere. Their menu features a host of delicious options, from salads to burgers to pizzas to delicious desserts.
- Temple Coffee: At Temple Coffee, you will find a quality-focused coffee shop that specializes in hospitality. They have a number of locations, but all of them have friendly baristas, delicious pastries, and unbelievable coffee.
- Bacon & Butter: Some days, you just need to enjoy a really good breakfast. When that day comes, check out Bacon & Butter near East Sacramento. They are open for breakfast, brunch, and lunch, Wednesday through Sunday.
Top Activities in Sacramento
- Visit the Capitol: As the capital of California, many visitors are drawn to the city to visit the grand Capitol building. Surrounded by gorgeous gardens and open to the public for touring, this is a great activity to do when you first move to the area.
- The Sacramento Zoo: An ideal activity for young families and animal lovers alike is to visit the small Sacramento Zoo! The perfect size for an afternoon outing, it is also right across from Fairytale Town, a small theme park for kids featuring a fairytale theme.
- Local Restaurants: Although we provide a nice list of dining options above, it is worth mentioning that Sacramento is full of local and unique restaurants to try. We recommend making a list based on your food preferences and making your way down the list!
- Old Sacramento: Step back in time in Old Sacramento, the riverfront historic district with Gold Rush-era buildings, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages. A variety of waterfront restaurants and activities make this a popular spot as well!
- Visit the Theatre: Broadway lovers will find an abundance of theatre choices in Sacramento. One of them is Broadway at Music Circus which features a stage in the center of the room with the seats surrounding it in a circle.
- Golfing: One way to enjoy the lovely weather in Sacramento for the majority of the year is to take advantage of golf courses. You will find several options in the city itself, as well as a host of top-rated courses in the great Sacramento area.
- Shopping: Sacramento has so many nice shopping centers for residents to enjoy. Some of the most popular ones include DOCO, the Arden Fair Mall, The Ice Blocks, and more.
- Hiking, Biking, and Camping: There are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Sacramento and the surrounding areas. Check out the various walking and biking trails throughout the city itself, or take a quick drive to Folsom or Auburn for some gorgeous hiking options. If you’re in the mood for adventure, Tahoe is only 2 hours away, where your outdoor adventure choices are endless.
- Explore Gold Country: Take advantage of living within Gold Country and plan out a time for sightseeing! Some Gold Country-specific spots we recommend are Old Sacramento and the railroad museum, bike the Johnny Cash Trail, and Placerville’s historic Main Street.
- Visit A Museum: You will not run out of museum options in Sacramento! Some of the most popular ones to visit are the Crocker Art Museum, the California State Railroad Museum, the California State Capitol Museum, and Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park.
Parks in Sacramento
If you’re a fan of parks, Sacramento is the place for you. The city of Sacramento has over 200 parks! Below is a list of the top 15 parks to get started:
- The American River Parkway: Although not a traditional park, this bike trail is a great place to unwind, enjoy some nature, and get your exercise in!
- Capitol Park: Directly surrounding the Capitol building, this popular park is beautiful, has plenty of lawn areas for hanging out and is full of lush gardens. The World Peace Rose Garden is especially beautiful!
- Sac State Arboretum: This living collection of trees and plants is located in Sacramento State, but is open to the public. Check it out when you want a relaxing activity to do on the weekend.
- William Land Regional Park: One of the most charming parks in Sacramento is William Land Regional Park. This sprawling park has plenty of space and includes several duck ponds, a golf course, a baseball field, walking trails, and is filled with gorgeous trees.
- William McKinley Park: This small park located in between Midtown and East Sacramento features a large pond with a walking trail around it. Other features include a playground, a small rose garden, and a huge field that many people enjoy in the warmer months.
- Fremont Park: A smaller park in the middle of midtown, Fremont Park is often home to outdoor events and festivals. It’s also a great picnic spot and is near a host of delicious restaurants and coffee shops to enjoy.
- East Portal Park: This lovely park has large redwood trees and has sprawling grassy fields for hanging out. It also includes bocce ball courts, a small clubhouse, picnic and play areas, and a softball field.
- Granite Regional Park: If you’re looking for a park with a wide variety of activities, this is the park for you. You will find several large picnic areas that are great for outdoor parties, a dog park, a skate park, a horseshoe pit, soccer fields, and a wetlands area.
- Curtis Park: This large park is located in an up-and-coming neighborhood in Sacramento and features an adventure play area, a walking/jogging trail, and several different areas for sports such as basketball, soccer, baseball, and tennis.
- Discovery Park: Take a walk, run, or bike ride along the American River and take a break at Discovery Park, which features ball fields, picnic spots, and fishing and boat launches.
- Tahoe Park: This 17-acre park has a soccer field, softball field, swimming pool, horseshoes, a variety of picnic areas, and more!
- Gibson Ranch: Gibson Ranch is not your average park. It is a whopping 355 acres and has an equestrian center, is available as a venue for weddings and events, fishing, walking and biking trails, a dog park, playgrounds, and open spaces for enjoying nature.
- Sacramento River Parkway: Another park alongside the river is the Sacramento River Parkway. It’s a great option to get in some exercise while enjoying the view!
- North Natomas Community Park: This family-friendly park is located in Natomas and features children’s playgrounds, a variety of sports fields, picnic areas, and bicycle trails.
- South Natomas Community Park: Another large park in Natomas, the South Natomas Community Park features a library, recreation center, playground, several sports fields, an orchard, and a picnic area.