Checklist: Sacramento, California

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Checklist: Sacramento, California

While many have already driven the Pacific Coast Highway along the California coastline, strolled up the steep streets of San Francisco or stargazed down Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, your next trip to the West Coast should include a visit to Sacramento. This upbeat and youthful city is perfectly situated in Northern California only a two-hour train ride from San Francisco, a short drive from wine country and close to Yosemite National Park, so you have no excuse. Oh, and it’s the capital of California, so it’s kind of a big deal.

From history to arts to food, here are just some of the reasons why the capital city of California deserves some of the spotlight.

Caleigh Alleyne is a travel and lifestyle writer and editor of The Creators Commune.

1. The California State Capitol Museum

A trip to Sacramento isn't complete without a visit to The California State Capitol Museum and Capitol Park. First opened to visitors in 1969, the Capitol offers free admission and daily tours to those looking for a glimpse into the living history of the state. The 40-acres of surrounding gardens are home to memorials and the World Peace Rose Garden.
Photo courtesy of Visit California/Carol Highsmith

2. Local Farmers Markets

Join the locals every Sunday to pick up some of the freshest produce and other goods from the region at the farmers market under the freeway. Located at eighth and W streets, this market attracts vendors who line up to sell an array of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, eggs and flowers grown and raised by generations of local farmers from the Sacramento area. While the weekend markets are open all year long, daily markets are open in select months around the city to help promote a sustainable food community within Sacramento.
Photo courtesy of Visit California/Chris Leschinsky

3. American River Parkway

Get outdoors and explore the 23 miles of paved biked trails along the American River Parkway in and around Sacramento. This trail runs along the American River through Sacramento County and is comprised of a number of boating areas and smaller parks such as the Discovery Park, Ancil Hoffman Park and River Bend Park. There are also fishing, boating and rafting opportunities if you want to see this area by water and revel in the unique wildlife native to this region.
Photo courtesy of Visit California/Carol Highsmith

4. The Crocker Art Museum

The Crocker Art Museum is the longest running art museum in the West. It is internationally renowned for housing an extensive collection of Californian art dating all the way back to the Gold Rush collected by Judge E.B. and Margaret Crocker in the early 1870s. Their permanent collection also includes international master drawings and ceramics as well as European, Asian, African and Oceanic art.
Photo Courtesy of Visit Sacramento

5. Sacramento Craft Beer

As the California Craft Beer scene continues to expand, Sacramento remains on the forefront, as the home of some of the best breweries in the state. This city is filled with experimental and inventive craft breweries that are creating unique beers. Beers in Sac has compiled a handy Sacramento Craft Beer map to help you plan your visit to such notable breweries as Fieldwork Brewing Company, New Helvetia, Ruhstaller and Track 7. Continuing the celebration of Northern California craft beer, The Federalist Public House has a flavorful menu of Neapolitan pizzas and other local grub served alongside beer that is locally produced at nearby micro and craft breweries. The Federalist also hosts monthly "Brewers Talks" inviting members of the community to sit down with local brewers to learn more about how their beer is made and where the ingredients come from while indulging in an elevated beer pairing.
Photo courtesy of Visit California/Max Whittaker

6. Golden 1 Center

Take a behind the scenes tour, see a concert or catch the Sacramento Kings in action at the recently opened Golden 1 Center. The venue is one of the most technologically advanced arenas in the country with the first 4K ultra high-definition scoreboard in the NBA; one million square feet of Wi-Fi and cell coverage; over 1,000 internet access points, one for every 17 guests; and a mobile app that lets you order food from your seat. It is also environmentally friendly, being the first indoor sports venue to earn LEED platinum designation, and their farm-to-fork dining program sources 90 percent of its food locally.
Photo Courtesy of Sacramento Kings

7. Dive Bar

A local favorite, Dive Bar takes you under the sea along the bustling K Street nightlife strip. While playing popular top 40 remixes, guests are entertained and intrigued by real life "mermaids" who swim above the bar in a 7500-gallon aquarium.
Photo Courtesy of Dive Bar