Sacramento City Guide: Neighborhoods & Things to Do
Even if you don’t have political ambitions, the California state capital is a great place to live. Not only are there a ton of urban amenities that help make life easier and more enjoyable but living in Sac means you’re close to just about everything. Within a few hours, you can be in Napa, Yosemite, Tahoe or Monterey. Residents here like that, while it’s a large city (with a population of nearly 600,000), it doesn’t feel like a “big city” such as New York, Chicago or San Francisco. Sacramento, also known as the City of Trees, is also a city that tries to hold onto nature like few do, so you’ll find an abundance of green spaces. And in keeping with the nature-city balance is the multiple restaurants that only serve farm-to-table cuisine. If this sounds like the city for you, be sure to check out our Sacramento city guide to find the apartment of your dreams.
Sacramento city highlights
Living in the capital of California has numerous perks, one of which is being near some of the best attractions and events in the state. Here are a few you’ll get to enjoy when you become a resident of Sacramento.
- Sutter’s Landing Regional Park and Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park: If you’re a fan of history and nature, be sure to visit these two parks in Central Sacramento. Sutter’s Landing Regional Park has areas to work out and for kids to play, as well as plenty of native plants, paved trails and more. Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park was originally an agricultural and trade colony. Now, it’s a great place for kids and adults to learn a little more about the history of Sacramento and California.
- The State Capital: You must visit the State Capital at least once even if you’re not that into politics. The architecture alone makes this a fascinating destination. You’ll also get to see the vast gardens that extend over several city blocks where you’ll see tall palm trees, native plants and a variety of colorful flowers. There’s also a museum if you want to learn more about the history of the building and politics/politicians in California.
- Sacramento Zoo: Covering 14-acres of land, the Sacramento Zoo is home to 200 reptiles and over 500 exotic animals. Many of the animals here are either rare or endangered. The Zoo’s goal is to help educate the community about conservation and get some much-needed support.
- California State Indian Museum State Historic Park: To understand California, you need to go back to the history of the people who first inhabited the land. This museum has numerous exhibits showcasing the lifestyle and beliefs of indigenous peoples. You’ll learn about what was most important to them: Family, Spirit and Nature. The museum showcases ceremonial objects, hunting tools and a beautiful basket collection.
- Run to Feed the Hungry: A Thanksgiving Day tradition, this charity event allows you to do something for a great cause, while also getting a workout and spending time with friends, family and your community. Over 25,000 people attend the event each year. To participate, you’ll walk or run either a 3.1-mile or 6.2-mile course. The event benefits the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.
Sacramento city guide to the best neighborhoods for renters
If you’re not sure which Sacramento neighborhood to move to, you’re not alone. There truly is something for everyone in this great city. To help you find the best apartment, check out our Sacramento city guide where you’ll find the best apartment for your needs in some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods. Here are just a few neighborhoods to consider.
Midtown Sacramento is a diverse area of the city with several gay bars, trendy restaurants, exciting nightclubs and craft breweries. The neighborhood has several vintage shops, music venues and fashionable clothing boutiques as well. The Midtown Neighborhood Association is committed to keeping the community livable and vibrant.
The Downtown neighborhood is made up of a little over 9000 residents. It is set in the hub of all things political and financial, including the State Capitol building and museum. You’ll find an abundance of restaurants serving diners looking for everything from a fine dining experience to a laid-back, farm-to-table experience. There are performing arts theaters and fine art galleries throughout the neighborhood. The Crocker Art Museum also has a massive collection of paintings, sculptures and more from California artists.
This suburban neighborhood is about five miles outside of Downtown Sacramento, making it close enough for an easy commute but far enough away to not be constantly bombarded by the buzz of city energy. Still, being so close to the city makes this suburban area feel a bit more urban with plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities. It has also made the top 10 list of the most ethnically and economically diverse neighborhoods in Sacramento. Greenhaven is an older neighborhood with mature-growth trees lining the streets, giving residents a park-like atmosphere to call home.
North Sacramento is a well-established, historic community. It sits north of the Sacramento River and is made up of several older bungalow-style and craftsman-type homes. The area is well-kept and is a nice place to go on a stroll with the family. Residents say it has a small-town feel with a strong sense of community, as well as all the amenities you could want from a more urban setting. Stores, restaurants and transit are all within walking distance. The commute to Downtown is relatively short and doesn’t require a car. You can take the light rail to work instead.
East Sac is also an older part of town with a lot of mature, leafy trees and plenty of green space in places like McKinley Park. If you want to enjoy nature with a bit of entertainment, you’ll be glad to live near this park as it has a vast rose garden and hosts movie nights, food and food truck events, as well as concerts. Residents in East Sacramento are true foodies. You’ll find everything here from family-friendly burger joints and craft breweries to sophisticated farm-to-table restaurants and artisan coffee shops. This is a great neighborhood for sops, too, many of which sell gifts, crafts and antiques.
Another neighborhood ranked in the top 10 best places to live in Sacramento is North Natomas Town Center. It’s one of the best places to settle down and raise a family. It has a dense suburban feel with over 20,000 people calling it home. The neighborhood is made up of a mix of families and young professionals. While many residents own their own home in this neighborhood, there are still plenty of rental opportunities, many of which are gated which increases the feeling of safety and security in the area.
Another suburban community within five miles of Downtown Sacramento is the neighborhood of Pocket. Nearly 30,000 people call this area home. It has a dense suburban feel to it, which means you get the best of both worlds when you move here. Once you’ve used our Sacramento city guide to find your ideal apartment, you’ll be pleased to find that the neighborhoods are well-kept and quiet. And yet, there are numerous amenities (cafes, shops, restaurants and entertainment) that make life more convenient and fun.
Southwestern Sacramento is a largely residential area just south of Downtown Sacramento. In the center of the neighborhood is William Land Regional Park, perfect for kids and grownups alike. There’s a pond and beautiful pathways through the park where you can go jogging or take a quiet stroll. The Park also has an amphitheater where you can watch plays and concerts. The Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town are here, too, both of which are popular attractions for kids and those who are young at heart. If you’d like to spend more time playing golf, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a nine-hole course in this neighborhood.
Del Paso Heights is a dense suburban neighborhood with lots of parks. Many families live in the area. Most of the people who live in this neighborhood rent, so there are plenty of apartments, condos and rental homes to choose from if you’d rather rent than purchase a home. Most residents say the streets are well-lit and the sidewalks and yards are well-kept. Kids can play safely outside, and you don’t necessarily need a car to run errands, though you may need it for your commute.