Sacramento General Information
Sacramento, with a metro-area population of nearly 1.7 million, is one of the
state's fastest-growing areas. In addition to being the state capital, it is a
thriving shipping and processing center for the fruit, vegetables, rice, wheat,
and dairy goods produced in the Central Valley. In the past decade, it's also
become an area of high-tech spillover from Silicon Valley, and more recently, a
suburb for Bay Area workers seeking affordable homes.
||The quantity and quality of downtown
restaurants -- such as the Esquire Grill and The Waterboy -- have improved
as well. This prosperous and politically charged city has broad, tree-shaded
streets lined with some impressive Victorians and well-crafted bungalows. At
its heart sits the capitol -- Sacramento's most visible attraction -- in a
large park replete with flower gardens, memorial statuary, and curious
The gateway to the Gold Country, the seat of state government, and an
agricultural hub, the city of Sacramento plays many important contemporary
roles. The continuing influx of newcomers seeking opportunity, sunshine, and
lower housing costs than in coastal California has made it one of the
nation's fastest-growing regions. The central "midtown" area contains most
of the city's culture and much of its charm, though pedestrians-only K
Street Mall is not quite as clean and vibrant as city planners would have
hoped when the downtown-revitalization project was conceived. Ten miles west
is the college town of Davis, which like nearby Woodland is beginning to
feel more suburban than agricultural because many Sacramento workers are
Sacramento is far from a tourist town, but it does have its share of
touristy activities. Visitors and locals alike enjoy spending the day
walking through Old Sacramento, floating down the American River, or biking
the shady paths along the Sacramento and American rivers. Locals fondly
refer to their water-bordered town as "River City." And did I mention that
in summer the weather is seriously hot? So much so that San Franciscans
drive to Sacramento just to thaw out.
Visiting Old Sacramento's museums is a good way to steep yourself in history,
but the Gold Country's heart lies along Highway 49, which winds the 325-mi
north-south length of the historic mining area. The highway, often a twisting,
hilly two-lane road, begs for a convertible with the top down. You can come to
Nevada City, Auburn, Coloma, Sutter Creek, and Columbia not only to relive the
past but also to explore art galleries and to stay at inns full of character.
Spring brings wildflowers, and in fall the hills are colored by bright red
berries and changing leaves. Because it offers a mix of indoor and outdoor
activities, the Gold Country is a great place to take the kids.
Sacramento is far from a tourist town, but it does have its share of touristy
activities. Visitors and locals alike enjoy spending the day walking through Old
Sacramento, floating down the American River, or biking the shady paths along
the Sacramento and American rivers. Locals fondly refer to their water-bordered
town as "River City." And did I mention that in summer the weather is seriously
hot? So much so that San Franciscans drive to Sacramento just to thaw out.
Sacramento contains more than 2,000 acres of natural and developed parkland.
Grand old evergreens, deciduous and fruit-bearing trees (some streets are
littered with oranges in springtime), and even giant palms give it a shady, lush
quality. Genteel Victorian edifices sit side by side with art deco and
Wooden sidewalks and horse-drawn carriages on cobblestone streets lend a
19th-century feel to Old Sacramento, a 28-acre district along the Sacramento
River waterfront. The museums at the north end hold artifacts of state and
national significance. Historic buildings house shops and restaurants. River
cruises and train rides bring gold-rush history to life.
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