Map of Sacramento California Area
When it comes to places to visit, they say California begins here. Here is your ultimate guide to everything you need to know about Sacramento: its location, culture, and all the things you can do in the City of Trees.
Where is Sacramento?
Sacramento is a city in the north-central part of the U.S. state of California. The city is situated at the convergence of the American River and the Sacramento River in Northern California’s Sacramento Valley.
The capital city of California, it is one of the largest on America’s east coast. The city can be found some 90 miles northeast of San Francisco and 100 miles southwest of Lake Tahoe, making it the perfect hub for wider visits to all the wonders North California has to offer.
How big is Sacramento?
Sacramento city covers just shy of one hundred square miles and is home to almost half a million residents. The surrounding Sacramento County, world-renowned for its greenery and vast agricultural industry, is almost one thousand square miles in size.
But Sacramento city also lies at the center of a four-county metropolitan area which includes Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, and El Dorado Counties. Known as the great Sacramento region, this area houses more than two million residents, making it the fourth-largest in California.
What is Sacramento known for?
Sacramento is known to some as ‘the City of Trees’, a nickname owing to its overwhelming abundance of trees; the only city in the world with more in Paris, France.
Sacramento is also America’s “Farm-to-Fork” capital, because of its rich agricultural industry. The city is home to the Blue Diamond headquarters, which makes sense considering California state produces 80% of the world’s almonds. These agricultural credentials inspired some residents to nickname the city the ‘Big Tomato’, thanks to its many tomato canneries.
Sacramento is a historically significant city. It was home to the original Pony Express which began operation in 1860, an expansive historical mail delivery service that stretched from Sacramento to Missouri. Today, the engine can be found in the California State Railroad Museum in the city, which displays 21 restored locomotives in the Old Sacramento area.
The Old Sacramento area is a waterfront region of the city, home to buildings dating back to the 1850s and 60s and several archaic tourist attractions. A collection of restored buildings, cafes, restaurants, museums, and novelty shops bring the Sacramento waterfront to life and draw tourists from all over the U.S.
Sacramento is critical to California’s political landscape. It is the seat of both the California Legislature and the Governor of California, and as a result, the city is also home to various lobbying groups, think tanks, and media outlets.
Things to do in Sacramento
Spanning one hundred square miles, Sacramento is rich in history, culture, and tourist attractions. Needless to say, you won’t run out of things to do when you visit:
There are 28 established museums in the city. From the California State Railroad Museum and Aerospace Museum of California to the California Agriculture Museum and California State Capitol Museum, there are experts and exhibitions to cover every aspect of the city’s rich culture and history.
First opening its doors in 1927, the Sacramento Zoo is one of the most famous in America. Open to visitors all year round, the zoo attracts guests from around the world. Here you can see nearly 500 animals, including 120 species of carnivores, reptiles, birds, and primates.
Sacramento’s ‘Certified Farmers Market’ is the largest in the state. Here, the Big Tomato’s many farmers come together to deliver quality, fresh and in season directly to customers, bypassing traditional food distribution systems.
Sacramento is also home to several notable annual events that gather crowds from all over the United States year-round:
- The Camellia Festival in March is the oldest and largest event of its kind and sees thousands of camellias out on display in Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium.
- The California State Fair in July is a 17-day event showcasing the best Sacramento has to offer.
- The Gold Rush Days in October celebrates Dahlonega’s 1828 discovery of gold over a weekend that gathers crowds of over 200,000 visitors a year.
Is Sacramento a good place to live?
Sacramento has been long celebrated as a wonderful place to visit and a great place to settle down. In 2004, the City of Trees was crowned one of the five “most liveable” regions in America. Not only that, in 2002 Sacramento was crowned America’s Most Diverse City by the Harvard University Civil Rights Project.
Sacramento enjoys a Mediterranean climate. This means that the weather is generally good all year round: it’s marked by cool, damp winters and long, hot summers, with the occasional heatwave thrown in for good measure.
There is always something to do in Sacramento, but if you decide to step outside the boundaries of Sacramento city you will not be disappointed. Its relative proximity to both the metropolitan San Francisco and Lake Tahoe means that it’s the perfect part of the state to get the best of both worlds.
Where are the best areas to live in Sacramento?
Located largely to the North East of the city limits are various Suburbs, each with its draws, populations, location, and range of public amenities:
- Davis is a ‘college town’ in Yolo County to the west of Sacramento city. With a population of over 70,000, Davis is home to the ‘Public Ivy’ University of California, Davis. It is the most populous city in Yolo County.
- Folsom is a city in Sacramento County. Famous for housing the infamous Folsom Prison (of ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ fame), the city isn’t quite so grim: with a population of almost 80,000, Folsom offers a dense suburban feel with lots of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.
- Gold River is a suburb of Sacramento, located in Sacramento County, California. It has a population of just 8000 but is often considered one of the best places to live in all of California, given its picturesque surroundings and idyllic neighborhoods.