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The best of Sacramento
As California’s capital, Sacramento earned its status as a place of importance (ranking up there with Los Angeles and San Francisco) a long time ago. But now, with quirky revitalized districts, a growing art community, stunning hotels and a bona fide restaurant and bar scene, the city has come into its own as a true travel destination. Surrounded by some of the state’s most productive agricultural regions, Sacramento is officially a must-visit—so here are the best things to do in Sacramento right now. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. You can also learn more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.
You can't get more farm-to-fork than dining at the best restraurants in Sacramento. Much of the country’s produce comes from Central California, and Sacramento is the region’s crowning city. Stop by a Sacrameto farmers market and you'll likely see chefs in white coats shopping the nation's freshest produce, which then gets transformed into a wide variety of ethnic cuisines once the chefs are back in the kitchen. So if you're looking for things to do in Sacramento, don't forget about the vibrant restaurant scene. From Mexican to Vietnamese, our favorite restaurants in Sacramento offer fresh and funky food you won't soon forget. Eaten something you love on this list? Share it under the hashtag #TimeOutEatList to show your appreciation.
Until recently, Sacramentans shied away from calling their city ‘destination-worthy.’ California’s capital rose to the forefront of the popular consciousness in 2017 with the Oscar-nominated film Lady Bird, backed by a highlight reel of the city’s most charming corners and canopied boulevards. Even then, the protagonist told New Yorkers she was from San Francisco. Over the past decade, the place of policy wonks has been adding adventurous culinary diversions and the sleek Golden 1 Center for Kings basketball and big-ticket concerts, all while clinging onto its jankiness in the form of a lively arts scene and underground local music. The hotel industry is following suit, offering Vegasy, slick luxury hotels as well as charming B&Bs for a city that’s finally ready to say, without irony, ‘Come visit.’
San Francisco and Sacramento share a common history: the Gold Rush rocketed both cities into booming metropolitans. Today, they're more commonly linked by the bustling 88-mile thruway that hosts commuters and travelers seeking the wealth of business and attractions in each city. Plus, when Sac temps heat up, residents of the California state capital can find relief in San Francisco’s famously cooling marine layer. The same can be said of chilly SF residents who flock to Sacramento’s sunshine and pools. Whether your trip is business or pleasure, here are all the ways to travel from Sacramento to San Francisco and back again. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in San Francisco
Sitting at the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers, Sacramento was a commercial hub during the Gold Rush, and became the Golden State’s capital in 1854. Today, the Downtown Sacramento neighborhood is a delightfully walkable, cultural center filled with a lush tree canopy—Sacramento has more trees per capita than any city in the U.S.—scores of museums, and some of the city’s most notable restaurants. Sacramento earned the title of America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, and you’ll discover why at hotspots such as Ella and Mulvaney’s. Plus, the arrival of the Golden 1 Center infused the area with a thriving nightlife including a fun barcade and fashionable rooftop lounge. Here’s your itinerary for exploring downtown Sacramento. If you're looking for old-timey Sac, don't forget to check out the Old Sacramento Waterfront, too. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Sacramento
Minutes from Sacramento’s sleek, modern Golden 1 arena, you can stroll a riverfront Old West town lined with wooden sidewalks and 19th century brick buildings. California's state capital is home to the largest concentration of Gold Rush-era buildings in the nation, most of which are set along the eastern banks of the Sacramento River in the Old Sacramento Waterfront neighborhood. This atmospheric area immerses visitors in a time when Sacramento was a Gold Rush commercial hub and served as the West Coast endpoint for the Pony Express and Transcontinental Railroad. Today, its historic 19th century buildings house contemporary shops, bars, and restaurants with nods to SacTown’s rollicking past. Heres’ what to see and do in Old Sacramento. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Sacramento
Escape rooms are popular across California, and Sacramento is no exception. You and a group of friends (or strangers) can enter one of the best escape rooms in Sacramento, where you’re trapped until you solve a series of puzzles and challenges. The clock is ticking and the stakes are high, though, so you’d better play smart. Whether you’re looking for something in downtown Sacramento to do on your next birthday party, or a novel date night idea in Old Sacramento, here are nine escape rooms in Sacramento that will thrill and delight … as long as you make it out alive, that is. When it's all over, celebrate your victorty at one of the best restaurants in Sacramento. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Sacramento
Sacramento didn’t become America’s farm-to-fork capital by accident. The city is surrounded by 1.5 million acres of farmland, and numerous farmers and purveyors hold almost rockstar-like status in the region. While you’ll find regional ingredients on menus all over town, the best place to enjoy Sac’s bounty is at the best Sacramento farmers markets that enliven parks and blacktops throughout the city. Thanks to nearly year-round balmy weather, farmers markets are on the list of the best things to do in Sacramento in every season. You’ll discover varied markets where tote-wearing caulilini hunters shop alongside local chefs, sip their morning latte, and nosh on take-away plates from buzzworthy food vendors. Here’s where to shop the best farmers markets in Sacramento. RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in Sacramento
As California’s state capital and first incorporated city, Sacramento teems with history and culture, and you’ll find much of it on display within the best museums in Sacramento. Sacramento was a booming commercial center during the Gold Rush, and the city’s Gilded Age tycoons left behind a rich legacy of art and architecture. The city also served as the western terminus for the First Transcontinental Railroad, and today, features the nation’s preeminent train museum. Plus, did you know that entire blocks of Sacramento were raised in the 1870s, creating abandoned underground spaces that you can explore courtesy of the city’s history museum? You’ll find numerous ways to get your culture on in the Golden State’s capital starting with the following enthralling destinations. Afterward, refuel at one of the best restaurants in Sacramento. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Sacramento