This 196-room boutique hotel wears the government-city badge with pride. Political cartoons from the Sacramento Bee’s archives adorn the walls, and pompous quotes greet you at the elevator: ‘It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong,’ quoth Voltaire. Inside The Citizen, decor is stately and classic, while the small rooms are cozy, with a truly boutique vibe and views of Cesar Chavez Plaza. The Grange beside the lobby is among the top fine-dining restaurants in the city, with daring mise en place and flavor combinations.
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. And even then, the protagonist told New Yorkers she was from San Francisco.
Over the past decade, California’s policy wonk capital has been trying to reinvent itself as a proper destination. Despite new adventurous culinary diversions and the sleek Golden 1 Center for Kings basketball to big-ticket concerts, Sacramento still clings onto its jankiness in the form of a lively arts scene and underground local music. The hotel industry is following suit, offering Vegas-like, slick luxury hotels as well as charming B&Bs for a city that’s finally ready to say, without irony, ‘Come visit.’
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