Fast facts about Sacramento
Sacramento is California’s Capital City, an urban oasis surrounded by 1.5 million acres of farmland. The region offers a slice of everything that defines California, from farm-fresh cuisine and award-winning wine to countless entertainment options and outdoor adventures to explore.
Sacramento is located 90 miles northeast of San Francisco, 383 miles north of Los Angeles. Elevation: 17 feet.
489,650 in the city and more than 1.5 million in Sacramento County, which includes the cities of Sacramento and neighboring Rancho Cordova, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt and Isleton.
Mediterranean. Sacramento enjoys predominantly mild temperatures. Summers are dry with little humidity and an abundance of sunshine, and winter brings cooler temperatures with occasional rain.
Average Annual Rainfall: 18.5″
Average Temperature in January: 53.5° F
Average Temperature in July: 92° F
8.75% sales tax; 12% hotel tax.
There are approximately 16,000 hotel rooms in the Sacramento region, with more than 2,000 rooms in the downtown core. Full-service hotels, affordable inns, and historic bed & breakfasts create an extensive list of available accommodations. With widespread redevelopment underway throughout the city, more hotel properties are expected to open within the next few years.
CONVENTION & CONFERENCE SPACE:
Flexible, affordable meeting and event space is available at the 384,000-square-foot Sacramento Convention Center, the 350-acre indoor/outdoor facilities of Cal Expo, historic Memorial Auditorium, Golden 1 Center (home of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings), and many full-service hotels.
The Convention Center will be closed for expansion from July 2019 to December 2020.
The city is easily accessible from all directions. Interstate 80 and US Highway 50 run east/west; Interstate 5 and US Highway 99 run north/south.
Sacramento International Airport (SMF) opened its $1 billion expansion in October 2011 and is served by all major airlines with direct flights from Europe and Asia offered by several airlines. Nonstop service from Sacramento to the east coast is available on several carriers.
The city is home to the historic Sacramento Valley train station that is undergoing an extensive and impressive restoration. The downtown station offers convenient Amtrak service to the San Francisco Bay Area and other Western destinations. Uber and Lyft are also available throughout the Sacramento region, including the airport.
AMERICA’S FARM-TO-FORK CAPITAL:
Sacramento was proclaimed ‘America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital’ in 2012, paying tribute to the region’s 1.5 million acres of surrounding farmland and 365-day growing season. While the idea of farm-to-fork may be nothing more than a slogan in some cities, for Sacramento, fresh food is a way of life. Home to more than 40 farmers markets, including one of the largest in the state, Sacramento is rapidly attracting world-class chefs who are eager to work with the region’s bounty of fresh ingredients. The region produces more than 140 commodities ranging from almonds, to sushi rice, to caviar. In Sacramento, your meal is sure to be as fresh as it is delicious.
The city’s history began in 1839 when Johann Augustus Sutter settled at the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers. When the Mexican government and Governor Alvarado granted 48,000 acres of land to Sutter, they did not realize that they had given away a literal goldmine. Gold was discovered in 1848 just 30 miles east of Sacramento. The rest is history! The news of the discovery spread like wildfire around the globe, and fortune hunters came by the thousands from all corners of the world to California—Sacramento to be precise. California became a state in 1850 and Sacramento its capital four years later.
Visitors can explore the city’s past with a trip to Old Sacramento. As you enter the 28-acre town of historic buildings constructed in the mid-1800s, you’ll step back in time to the California Gold Rush era. Wooden sidewalks, horse-drawn carriages, old-fashioned candy shops, and a Mississippi-style riverboat offer a hands-on introduction to early Golden State history.
Sacramento is the capital of California. The city has eight council districts and the county of Sacramento has a board of five supervisors.
FOOD & DRINK:
The region’s food scene is exploding, with exciting restaurant options around every corner. Delicious culinary options abound, from burgers to sushi, fast-casual eateries to elegant bistros.
Once the “beer capital of the West”, Sacramento’s craft beer scene has reemerged with more than 70 regional craft breweries to explore.
For those looking for the next great wine region, Sacramento may be the best-kept secret. The Sacramento region and surrounding counties are home to more than 200 wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms, and most are within an hour’s drive or less from downtown.
Java lovers aren’t left out in Sacramento, either – the region boasts a burgeoning coffee culture, with Sacramento receiving more mentions on Coffee Review’s prestigious ‘Top 30′ list than any other city in 2014 and 2015.
ARTS & MUSIC:
Sacramento’s art scene is experiencing an exciting resurgence, with captivating galleries dotting the city’s midtown and downtown, and some of the city’s most exciting new artists make their home at the new Warehouse Artists’ Lofts in the city’s R Street corridor.
Public art seems to be everywhere you turn in Sacramento – even the sides of buildings. Wide Open Walls, Sacramento’s mural festival, has added works of art to buildings throughout the city over the last three summers. Visitors can tour the murals with a map.
It’s not often that you’d tell a visitor to head under a freeway overpass, but in Sacramento, that’s the place to be. Two area artists recently completed the ‘Bright Underbelly project,’ a 70,000 square-foot mural on the underside of the freeway at 8th and W streets in downtown Sacramento. Why that location? The spot is home to the largest California Certified Farmers Market in the state, and each week chefs and shoppers from Sacramento, the Bay Area and beyond flock there for fresh foods and veggies. It’s a sight to behold…and you can score amazing food while you’re gazing above.
And whether you’re an art aficionado or just looking for a fun place to spend an afternoon, Sacramento’s famed Crocker Art Museum can’t be beat. The second oldest purpose-built museum in North America, The Crocker offers the country’s best collection of California art, as well as a renowned ceramics collection, inspiring traveling exhibits and much more.
Theater fans can take their pick of stages in Sacramento. The Sacramento Music Circus offers national musical productions throughout the year, while B Street Theatre, Capital Stage and other regional playhouses offer shows ranging from original productions to children’s plays.
Visitors looking to explore Sacramento’s music scene can take in all genres of music at venues like Ace of Spades (a House of Blues club) or Harlow’s, or enjoy larger concerts at the famed Memorial Auditorium, Crest Theatre. And for major concert tours and performances, Sacramento’s new Golden 1 Center arena can’t be beat. This state-of-the-art facility opened in October 2016 and has already welcomed Sir Paul McCartney, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande and many more.
Museum buffs can get their fill on subjects ranging from the Golden State’s railroad to space exploration in Sacramento. Step Aerospace Museum of California or checking out the massive ‘garage’ at the California Automobile Museum. If you’ve got a young train-enthusiast in your family, then Sacramento’s California State Railroad Museum should definitely be on your itinerary. The museum is one of the largest train museums in the country, and kids get to climb aboard the trains, listen to re-enactments, learn about how a steam engine works and interact with the incredibly knowledgeable docents. Don’t miss the $1 million toy train collection! And if you’re visiting during the holiday season, be sure to get your tickets to ride Sacramento’s very own Polar Express ride from the museum to the “North Pole.” You’ll also find this kid-friendly style next door at the Sacramento History Museum, where kids are invited to try their luck at panning for gold.
Sacramento’s unbeatable climate and gorgeous scenery provide the ideal spot for outdoor adventure. In a city bound by two rivers, the American and the Sacramento, water recreation tops the list for outdoor activities: river rafting, boating and salmon and steelhead fishing, river rafting can be done on the 1,000 miles of waterways around Sacramento and the Delta. Nearby Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma offer sailing and windsurfing.
Sacramento municipal golf courses provide the surrounding community with 540 acres of quality fairways and greens.
Joggers, cyclists, boaters, wildlife-enthusiasts and general outdoor-lovers will find their paradise along the American River Parkway, a 32-mile, 5,000-acre park that runs through the county. Visitors can explore the parkway on foot or on water, and golf, as well as picnic sites are also available.
Sports fans have reasons to cheer year-round in Sacramento. The Sacramento River Cats, the Triple A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, have been playing to sold-out crowds at Raley Field for more than 15 seasons. Professional soccer came to Sacramento in 2014 when the Sacramento Republic FC began playing at Bonney Field (now Papa Murphy’s Park), winning the USL Pro Championship in its inaugural season and selling out almost every match. And not to be outdone, “the loudest fans in the NBA” are watching the Sacramento Kings take to the court in the new Golden 1 Center arena in the heart of downtown.