35 Things To Do in Sacramento

By Janet Benoir – May 17, 2024

Sacramento, California’s lively capital, is full of history, culture, and beautiful landscapes. It’s a place where history meets modern life, offering visitors a rich experience. From its green streets to the scenic riverside, Sacramento welcomes everyone to explore its vibrant spirit.

Let’s dive into the top 35 things to do in Sacramento, each promising an unforgettable experience.

California State Railroad Museum

The California State Railroad Museum takes visitors on a journey back to the days when trains were at the heart of America’s growth. It showcases a remarkable collection of historic trains, each with its tale of adventure across the vast American lands, symbolizing progress and unity. The sounds of steam engines and the sight of carriages evoke a bygone era of travel and exploration.

California State Railroad Museum

As you explore the museum, the immersive exhibits and restored trains paint a vivid picture of the railroad’s golden age. You’re invited into a world where the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad marked a significant achievement, capturing the essence and excitement of rail travel. This museum isn’t just about viewing artifacts; it’s an experiential journey into the time when trains ruled the landscapes and connected dreams across continents.

Old Sacramento Waterfront

The Old Sacramento Waterfront truly brings history to life, transporting visitors back to the bustling days of the Gold Rush. Walking its wooden sidewalks and exploring its historic buildings, you feel as if you’ve stepped into the 19th century. This area, with its carefully preserved architecture, offers a glimpse into the past, complete with carriage rides and shops that echo the stories of days gone by.

Old Sacramento Waterfront

Every nook of the Old Sacramento Waterfront serves as a portal to a different time, inviting you to immerse yourself in its old-world charm. The scents of the river and the old-fashioned candy stores combine to create a unique atmosphere where history is more than just remembered—it’s an experience. As you stroll through, you’re connecting with the stories of those who once sought fortune and a fresh start here.

Sacramento Farmers Market

Sacramento’s farmers’ markets are a vibrant showcase of California’s rich agricultural heritage, offering a bounty of fresh produce straight from the region’s fertile lands. These markets are more than just shopping destinations; they’re vibrant community spaces where visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture, meet the hardworking farmers, and savor the flavors that make the area unique.

Sacramento Farmers Market

These gatherings highlight the city’s strong connection to farming, with each product sharing a story of dedication and abundance. Engaging with the farmers provides insight into the journey from farm to table. Whether you’re on the hunt for the freshest ingredients or eager to enjoy the community atmosphere, the Sacramento Farmers Market stands as a lively celebration of the area’s agricultural wealth and the people who nurture it.

Crocker Art Museum

The Crocker Art Museum stands as a sanctuary for the arts, housing a collection that spans continents and centuries. Here, the vibrant strokes of California’s finest artists share space with the delicate precision of European master drawings, creating a dialogue across cultures and periods. The museum’s walls are alive with stories told through paint and sculpture, inviting visitors to lose themselves in the beauty of artistic expression.

Crocker Art Museum

Walking through the Crocker, you’re taken on a journey that transcends the visual, touching the soul with the genius of creativity. The museum not only showcases art; it inspires it, fostering a deep appreciation for the power of imagination. In this temple of art, each piece, from the grandest painting to the smallest ceramic, is a testament to the endless potential of the human spirit to create and communicate.

California State Fair

The California State Fair is a colorful celebration of the state’s deep agricultural roots, combining thrilling carnival rides, live music, and a showcase of the state’s farming advancements and top-notch livestock. Amidst the inviting smells of freshly prepared local foods, the fair pays homage to California’s agricultural traditions, offering a sensory feast for visitors.

California State Fair

Beyond its agricultural focus, the fair serves as a melting pot where people from various backgrounds come together to enjoy a variety of entertainment—from horse racing and country music to tasting the state’s rich produce. It’s an event that captures the essence of California: a diverse, vibrant community deeply rooted in its land.

Farm-to-Fork Festival 

Sacramento, known as America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, comes alive during its annual festival. Visitors delight in the fresh produce and wines straight from local farms, orchards, and vineyards, all celebrated with live music and cooking demonstrations in the open air of Sacramento. This festival is an immersive experience in the city’s farming culture, offering a chance to connect with the community and savor the essence of Sacramento’s heritage.

Farm-to-Fork Festival

The festival streets buzz with an infectious energy as chefs, farmers, and food enthusiasts come together to share their love for fresh, sustainable food. It’s an event that not only celebrates the farm-to-fork ethos but also strengthens the connection between producers and consumers. Each dish served is a tribute to the area’s fertile lands and the dedication of its farmers.

State Capitol

The California State Capitol is a symbol of Californian history and governance that stands proudly in the heart of Sacramento. Here, the grandeur of the past meets the pulse of the present. Wander through the ornate halls, where history whispers from every corner, telling stories of legislation, triumphs, and the ongoing quest for progress. The Capitol is a place where the vibrancy of California’s political landscape comes to life.

State Capitol

Capitol Park unfurls like a green carpet, inviting you to meander through gardens brimming with roses, memorials, and statues that pay homage to key figures in California’s history. It’s an oasis of tranquility in the bustling city, where you can enjoy a leisurely picnic, snap stunning photos, or simply sit and reflect on the beauty around you.

William Land Park 

William Land Park stands as a lush sanctuary in the heart of Sacramento, offering a peaceful escape with its green spaces, tranquil ponds, and shaded paths. It’s an ideal spot for picnics, leisurely walks, or simply enjoying a quiet moment amidst nature. The park is a welcoming retreat for everyone, providing a sense of vacation right in the city.

William Land Park

The park is also bustling with attractions like the Sacramento Zoo, Fairytale Town, and a golf course. Whether you’re listening to the exotic calls at the zoo, watching children play in imaginative settings, or enjoying a game of golf, William Land Park offers diverse experiences that capture the essence of Sacramento’s lively and natural beauty. It’s a beloved location where the joys of outdoor adventure are alive.

Maidu Museum

Located just a short drive from Sacramento in Roseville, the Maidu Museum showcases the history and culture of the region’s Native American tribes. Its engaging exhibits and precious artifacts celebrate the rich heritage and enduring traditions of the Maidu and other local tribes. More than just an educational center, the museum serves as a vibrant tribute to the spirit of these communities, ensuring their legacy continues to inspire future generations.

Sacramento History Museum

Exploring beyond the museum, visitors can wander through the Historic Site along nature trails that wind past ancient village sites of the Nisenan Maidu. This outdoor journey offers a rare chance to tread the paths once walked by California’s earliest residents. The Maidu Museum not only educates but deeply connects visitors to the intricate relationship between people, their culture, and the environment.

Sacramento Children’s Museum

At the Sacramento Children’s Museum, a world filled with interactive fun and educational experiences awaits eager young visitors. With a wide array of exhibits ranging from playful waterways to colorful art stations, the museum is perfectly crafted to ignite curiosity and foster a love of learning through hands-on play. It’s a magical space where kids can lead their adventures, powered by their boundless imagination and exciting activities at every turn.

Sacramento Children’s Museum

This vibrant museum lays the groundwork for important life skills like problem-solving, teamwork, and creativity. Watching children’s faces light up as they dive into each interactive exhibit brings a special kind of joy to families, creating cherished memories that will stick with them forever. The Sacramento Children’s Museum is more than a place to visit—it’s a valuable resource for developing the bright minds of tomorrow’s innovators and leaders.

Museum of Science and Curiosity

At the Museum of Science and Curiosity, imagination and reality collide in an exciting world where visitors of all ages are drawn into the wonders of the universe through hands-on exhibits. It’s a place where you can explore outer space, dive into the workings of the human mind, and marvel at groundbreaking technological advancements. This museum is a vibrant hub for those eager to uncover the secrets of science.

Museum of Science and Curiosity

Each exhibit is crafted to encourage curiosity, inviting you to delve into the mysteries that span from the microscopic to the cosmic. The Museum of Science and Curiosity serves as a bridge to a deeper understanding of the intricate and fascinating world. Here, curiosity is the key to unlocking a world of knowledge. It’s a journey where every discovery is a step toward grasping the wonders of our universe.

Verge Center for the Arts

The Verge Center for the Arts stands at the heart of Sacramento’s thriving art scene, offering a unique space where contemporary art pushes past traditional boundaries. As a hub for both innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking performances, it attracts a community eager to explore the forefront of artistic expression. This center isn’t just about viewing art; it’s an interactive experience that challenges visitors to think differently and engage with the avant-garde.

Verge Center for the Arts

At the Verge, art isn’t confined to the past; it’s a living, breathing conversation about the future. This vibrant community space invites you to dive into the world of creativity, where every installation and performance offers a new perspective. It’s a place that nurtures the art of tomorrow, encouraging everyone to participate in shaping the direction of contemporary art.

Fairytale Town

Fairytale Town in Sacramento is a magical oasis where children and families can dive into the world of their favorite stories. This enchanting park brings fairy tales to life, offering interactive adventures like climbing Jack’s beanstalk and exploring Cinderella’s castle. It’s a place where imagination knows no bounds, allowing visitors of all ages to dream and play in a setting inspired by classic tales.

Fairytale Town

As visitors wander through Fairytale Town, they discover a world filled with joy, wonder, and endless possibilities. Each visit offers the opportunity to create lasting memories in the storybook settings. Laughter fills the air in this special sanctuary, highlighting the timeless nature of storytelling and its powerful role in bringing people together.

Jelly Belly Visitor Center

Visit the Jelly Belly Visitor Center for a delightful exploration of how the famous Jelly Belly jelly beans are made. This vibrant factory tour offers a glimpse into the complex process behind each bean’s creation and the burst of flavors they’re known for. It’s an immersive experience that blends the art of candy making with the joy of tasting, offering a unique adventure for your senses.

Jelly Belly Visitor Center

The center goes beyond simply showcasing delicious candies; it tells a tale of creativity, hard work, and the happiness that candy can bring. Candy here is a carefully honed craft passed down through the years. From watching the creation of jelly beans to tasting a variety of flavors, a visit here takes you on a trip through the rich history of candy making.

Aerospace Museum of California

The Aerospace Museum of California is a fascinating celebration of flight, showcasing a rich history of aviation from its early days to the advanced technology of the present. With a remarkable collection of aircraft on display, the museum highlights the journey of human achievement in conquering the skies. It’s a place where visitors can connect with the adventurous spirit of those who dared to dream of flying.

Aerospace Museum of California

Guests encounter everything from nimble fighter jets to enormous cargo planes, offering insights into the evolution of flight. Interactive displays and hands-on activities demystify the science behind aviation, while stories of bravery and breakthroughs serve as inspiration. The Aerospace Museum of California is more than a museum; it’s a gateway to the infinite possibilities above us, encouraging all who visit to look up and envision the future of flight.

Discovery Park

Discovery Park, nestled at the meeting point of the Sacramento and American Rivers, serves as a peaceful retreat amid the city’s hustle. It’s a place of harmony, where the sounds of water and wind in the trees provide a tranquil setting for leisure and adventure alike. Here, visitors can enjoy cycling, picnicking, or just relaxing, making it an ideal spot for those looking to unwind or seek excitement.

Discovery Park

With its diverse landscapes, including beaches, meadows, and woodlands, the park is a testament to the area’s natural beauty. Activities like fishing, hiking, or simply enjoying the views are all part of the Discovery Park experience. It embodies the spirit of Sacramento’s outdoor charm, inviting exploration and offering a sense of discovery with each visit.

California Agriculture Museum

The California Agriculture Museum is a captivating showcase of America’s rich agricultural past and the innovative spirit that drives the farm-to-fork movement. From simple hand tools to the grand steam-powered tractors, each exhibit chronicles the technological advancements and hard work that have shaped the nation’s farming industry. It’s a unique space where visitors can explore the intertwined stories of progress in farming technology and the people behind the plow.

California Agriculture Museum

This museum doesn’t just chronicle history; it highlights the deep connection between humans, their tools, and the land. Guests can admire an array of antique farming equipment, learn about the pioneers of agriculture, and gain an appreciation for the effort behind every crop cycle. The California Agriculture Museum stands as a tribute to the ongoing saga of American farming, celebrating the resilience and innovation that feed a country.

World Peace Rose Garden

The World Peace Rose Garden in Sacramento is a serene oasis that brings together the beauty of nature and the dream of global harmony. With its colorful array of roses and the sweet scents they release, the garden offers a moment of peace and a reminder of the shared hope for a world where all people live together in love and understanding.

World Peace Rose Garden

This tranquil garden invites visitors to find a moment of calm and introspection amidst the rush of daily life. It serves as a beacon of hope, encouraging everyone to embrace and spread its peaceful message to the world. The World Peace Rose Garden is not just a place to admire nature’s beauty but a space that inspires reflection on the importance of peace and unity in our lives and communities.

B Street Theatre

Discover the enchanting world of B Street Theatre, Sacramento’s heart of live theater, where each performance takes you on an emotional and creative adventure. This cozy venue stands as a cornerstone of the city’s arts scene, bringing stories to vivid life and forging a special bond between actors and audience members, making every show a memorable experience.

B Street Theatre

B Street Theatre boasts a wide array of productions, from powerful dramas and comedies to magical shows for children, showcasing the incredible talent of its performers and directors. As a hub of artistic expression and storytelling, it leaves every visitor touched by the magic of theater, marking it as a must-visit cultural highlight in Sacramento.

Leland Stanford Mansion

Visit the Leland Stanford Mansion to step back in time to a period of wealth and aspiration. This beautifully restored home, once belonging to a key Californian figure, showcases the state’s fascinating past. Inside, you’ll find rooms filled with luxurious decorations and stories of the Stanford family, presenting a glimpse into historical opulence.

Leland Stanford Mansion

More than just a historical artifact, the Leland Stanford Mansion serves as a captivating educational experience, shedding light on the political, social, and economic influences that have shaped California. Wandering through its elegant spaces, visitors can appreciate the aspirations and achievements that have left a lasting mark on the region. It’s an essential stop for those eager to explore Sacramento’s heritage and witness the care taken to preserve its splendor.

Mondavi Center

The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at the University of California, Davis, offers an unparalleled auditory experience, where the music’s clarity and warmth envelop you. Its exceptional acoustics ensure that whether you’re enjoying a symphony, jazz, or solo piano performance, you’ll have the best auditory experience from any seat. This architectural marvel is more than a venue; it’s a cultural journey that immerses you fully in the performance.

Mondavi Center

Here, music does more than just play; it resonates deeply, allowing you to lose yourself in the melodies and harmonies that fill the space. The Mondavi Center hosts both renowned and emerging artists, providing a platform for powerful performances that can move the audience. It stands as a beacon of the arts’ transformative potential, offering a space for discovery, inspiration, and profound musical connections.

Sacramento Choral Society

Experience the magic of the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra as they bring together a multitude of voices in perfect harmony. Their performances, ranging from timeless classics to modern compositions, showcase the incredible unifying power of music. Each concert is a journey through melodies that connect the performers with their audience, celebrating the shared experience of human emotions and the universal appeal of music.

Sacramento Choral Society

Immerse yourself in the captivating performances held in some of Sacramento’s most esteemed venues. These events go beyond mere musical enjoyment, serving as a reminder of our common bonds and the expressive depth of music. The Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra invite you to partake in these moments of joy, contemplation, and wonder, as they infuse every note with life and emotion.

Sunflower Drive-In

Nestled in Fair Oaks, the Sunflower Drive-In is a haven for lovers of vegan and vegetarian cuisine and a standout in Sacramento’s vibrant food scene. This cherished dining spot has captivated a loyal audience with its menu that blends heart and sustainability, creating dishes that delight both taste buds and hearts. It’s a place where each meal is crafted with care, showcasing the rich and fulfilling flavors of plant-based eating.

Sunflower Drive-In

The menu at Sunflower Drive-In exemplifies the innovative spirit of the vegan lifestyle. This eatery is more than just a place to eat; it’s an invitation to immerse in a dining experience that is both ethical and enjoyable. With its warm atmosphere, the Sunflower Drive-In demonstrates how mindful dining can be utterly satisfying, earning it a spot on the list of essential destinations for all food enthusiasts.

Sacramento History Museum

The Sacramento History Museum, nestled in the vibrant area of Old Sacramento, serves as a portal into the city’s illustrious past. It presents a comprehensive exploration of the pivotal moments and key figures that have contributed to Sacramento’s development. Highlights include the Gold Rush and the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad, with exhibits that vividly depict Sacramento’s evolutionary journey.

Sacramento History Museum

Within the museum, visitors are taken on a journey through time, with each room offering a glimpse into a different period. Interactive exhibits and genuine artifacts captivate visitors, making history accessible to a broad audience. The museum stands as a tribute to Sacramento’s rich history, celebrating the resilience and enduring spirit of its community.

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park offers an immersive journey back to the early days of California, echoing the lives and struggles of its first settlers. Within its historic adobe walls, visitors are transported to a time of both bustling activity and the stark realities of survival. This landmark celebrates the resilience of those seeking new horizons while acknowledging Sacramento’s layered history.

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

As you wander through the fort, restored buildings and informative guides vividly bring history to life. From the blacksmith’s forge to the serene gardens, the park provides a tangible connection to the past. Sutter’s Fort is an essential destination for those wanting to delve into Sacramento’s origins and the broader narrative of California’s early development.

Old Sacramento State Historic Park

Walking through the Old Sacramento State Historic Park feels like traveling back to the Gold Rush days. It’s a place where history envelops you, offering a glimpse into Sacramento’s storied past through its lively atmosphere and well-preserved buildings. Visitors of all ages can dive into the past, experiencing the days of bustling markets and lively saloons through engaging activities and picturesque views along the Sacramento River.

Old Sacramento State Historic Park

Every part of this historic site has a story to tell, offering endless opportunities for exploration and learning. The park is about engaging with history, from live blacksmith demonstrations to sampling treats from a bygone era. Old Sacramento State Historic Park is an immersive journey that connects the past with the present, making it an unforgettable experience for both young explorers and history enthusiasts alike.

California Automobile Museum

The California Automobile Museum takes visitors on an exhilarating journey through the history and future of automobiles, showcasing an impressive collection of classic cars, muscle cars, and innovative models. It’s a celebration of the deep connection between Americans and their vehicles, where each car’s design and technology tell a story of creativity and adventure. This museum is an essential visit for car enthusiasts, offering a vivid exploration of automotive excellence.

California Automobile Museum

Exploring beyond the vehicles’ aesthetic appeal, the museum also examines the significant cultural impact cars have had on our everyday lives and the environment. From the earliest models to the latest in electric innovation, the museum presents a detailed narrative of how automobiles have evolved and influenced society. Interactive exhibits and expert guides enhance the visit, leaving everyone with a greater understanding of cars’ pivotal role in shaping modern life.

State Indian Museum

The State Indian Museum provides an insightful journey into the history, art, and traditions of California’s native peoples. Visitors are welcome to discover the diverse cultural heritage of the state’s original inhabitants through a variety of displays, including artifacts, basket weaving, clothing, and tools. These exhibits not only showcase the creativity and adaptability of these communities but also their profound bond with the natural world.

State Indian Museum

Beyond merely archiving the past, the museum actively honors the living traditions and present-day experiences of Native American tribes. With its educational initiatives, craft demonstrations, and hands-on displays, the museum promotes a greater appreciation and respect for these cultures. The State Indian Museum stands as a dynamic homage to California’s indigenous heritage, encouraging us to acknowledge and celebrate the enduring legacy of its native peoples.

Golden 1 Center

The Golden 1 Center stands as Sacramento’s hub for top-notch entertainment, offering an electrifying mix of NBA basketball games and major concerts. This modern arena, home to the Sacramento Kings, is alive with the energy of fans rooting for their team, creating an electric atmosphere that’s hard to forget. Here, the excitement of sports and the thrill of live performances blend seamlessly, ensuring every visit is packed with unforgettable moments.

Golden 1 Center

Beyond basketball, the Golden 1 Center shines as a leading venue for music’s biggest stars, attracting a diverse array of concerts and events. Its state-of-the-art facilities and focus on environmental sustainability make it more than just an arena—it’s an experience. Whether you’re there for the heart-pounding action of a game or to see your favorite artist perform live, the center promises a night filled with excitement and entertainment for all.

Dinosaur Hunt

At the Sacramento Zoo, the Dinosaur Hunt offers a captivating blend of history and nature, inviting visitors to step into a world where the past comes alive among the modern-day animal exhibits. This unique attraction features life-sized dinosaur replicas set in the zoo’s lush environments. It’s an opportunity for families to embark on an imaginative adventure, discovering the mysteries of prehistoric life alongside the zoo’s vibrant wildlife.

Dinosaur Hunt

The Dinosaur Hunt transcends a simple walk among models to become a deep dive into the history of our planet, sparking curiosity and wonder in visitors of all ages. The Sacramento Zoo transforms into more than just an animal sanctuary; it becomes a gateway to exploring ancient times and distant worlds, enriching the zoo experience with tales of creatures that roamed the Earth millions of years ago.

American River Parkway 

The American River Parkway in Sacramento is a peaceful sanctuary, perfect for nature lovers. Here, you can enjoy kayaking, biking, or jogging by the river, surrounded by stunning scenery that offers a break from city life. This beautiful area flows through Sacramento, showcasing lovely views and serving as an ideal spot for picnics, gatherings, or quiet moments alone.

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

This green haven highlights Sacramento’s dedication to maintaining its natural landscapes and creating areas for people to relax and engage in outdoor activities. Bathed in sunlight that filters through the trees and sparkles on the water, the parkway captures the essence of the city’s beauty, making it much more than just a typical park.

Midtown Sacramento

Midtown Sacramento is alive with a unique vibe, blending the rich aromas of coffee with the deep tones of live jazz. The cafes here serve more than just drinks; they are vibrant cultural centers that showcase the city’s artistic life. As you enjoy a skillfully made coffee, the music from a saxophone or guitar adds to a relaxing yet energizing environment.

Midtown Sacramento

These cafes are meeting spots for the creative souls of the city, from artists to musicians, and anyone who enjoys a mix of good music with their coffee. The experience of coffee and jazz together in Midtown creates a rich tapestry of tastes and tunes, making it an essential stop for anyone looking to experience Sacramento’s true spirit.

Sacramento River 

As the sun sets, the Sacramento River becomes a breathtaking sight. On a peaceful cruise, you get to see this transformation up close, as the river mirrors the stunning pink, orange, and gold of the sky, creating a tranquil and almost magical atmosphere. It’s the ideal way to wrap up a day in Sacramento, providing a chance for quiet contemplation amid the city’s stunning natural beauty.

Sacramento River

The sound of water hitting the side of the boat, combined with the cool evening air and the beautiful mix of dusk’s colors with the city skyline, offers a unique sensory experience. A sunset cruise is an opportunity to pause and appreciate the world’s beauty. This memorable experience serves as a gentle reminder of Sacramento’s natural charm, leaving a lasting impression of peace and beauty.

Sacramento’s speakeasies

Step back in time with a visit to Sacramento’s speakeasies, where the spirit of the roaring twenties is alive and well. Hidden behind unmarked doors and in the city’s historical heart, these bars serve up more than just cocktails; they offer an atmosphere soaked in history and nostalgia. As jazz fills the air and the scent of aged spirits lingers, you’re transported to an era of mystery and elegance.

Sacramento's speakeasies

In these dimly lit corners of Sacramento, every drink is a masterpiece, and every night is an opportunity to make memories. Whether you’re nestled in a plush lounge or a cozy nook, whispering the password opens up a world where the past and present mingle over crafted cocktails. These speakeasies aren’t just about enjoying a drink; they’re about immersing yourself in a bygone era and truly savoring the experience.

Community Observatory

Just outside the city’s glow, the Community Observatory invites you on a peaceful journey to the stars. Here, the night’s quiet replaces the city’s bustle, bringing the universe’s wonders into focus. With the help of powerful telescopes and expert astronomers, you’re guided through the cosmos, exploring everything from the Milky Way’s glow to distant galaxies. This is a deep dive into the universe that stretches your imagination and sparks wonder.

Community Observatory

This experience at the Community Observatory isn’t merely about seeing the stars; it’s about gaining a new perspective on our place in the universe. Whether you’re tracing constellations, watching planets, or wishing on a shooting star, it’s a soulful, mind-enriching experience. It’s the ideal way to wrap up a day in Sacramento, offering a moment of awe and peace under the vast night sky.

Sacramento is a city where history, culture, and nature come together to create a variety of experiences for visitors. From exploring the historic Sutter’s Fort to biking by the American River or enjoying fresh local food, there’s something for everyone. The city warmly welcomes you, offering a mix of old stories and modern-day vibrancy.


The 10 Best Restaurants in Sacramento

Sacramento, California’s vibrant capital, is not just a hub of political hustle and bustle but a sanctuary for foodies, offering an eclectic dining scene that promises to tantalize your taste buds. From farm-to-table innovators to cultural culinary delights, this city is ripe with flavors waiting to be discovered.

Here’s a curated list of 10 unmissable restaurants that will take you on a gastronomic journey through Sacramento’s best offerings.

The Kitchen Restaurant

A beacon of culinary excellence in Sacramento, The Kitchen offers an unparalleled dining experience. As a Michelin-starred restaurant, it showcases the epitome of farm-to-fork dining, inviting guests on a sumptuous journey with a multi-course meal that’s as theatrical as it is delicious. With Executive Chef Kelly McCown at the helm, each dish is a masterpiece, served with a side of storytelling, making your dining experience a memorable saga.

The Kitchen’s ambiance is one of intimate engagement, where the boundary between chef and diner blurs, encouraging curiosity and conversation. Booking a table here is securing a ticket to a gastronomic show that’s bound to linger on your palate and in your heart long after the curtains close.

Canon

Canon, under the guidance of Sacramento native Brad Cecchi, is a testament to creativity and communal dining. This East Sacramento gem has earned a Bib Gourmand rating, thanks to its inventive small plates that are perfect for sharing. The restaurant’s ethos of “creative and shareable fare” is reflected in dishes like the Urfa chile chicken drumsticks, a harmony of zest and smoke that dances on the taste buds.

The restaurant’s vibrant atmosphere, coupled with an extensive selection of beers and wines, makes Canon a bustling spot where laughter and clinking glasses underscore the joy of eating together. It’s a place where each visit promises new flavors and a renewed appreciation for Cecchi’s culinary prowess.

Frank Fat’s

Frank Fat’s is a cornerstone of Sacramento’s food scene, with a history that stretches back over eighty years. Winning the James Beard Foundation’s “American Classics” award, it combines Chinese recipes with American favorites in a setting that feels like stepping back in time. The menu is a treasure trove of delights, from its famous banana cream pie to its brandy-marinated fried chicken, each dish showcasing a deep-rooted culinary tradition.

Visiting Frank Fat’s is like taking a journey through history, where the food tells stories of the past. It’s where you can feel a connection to the city’s heritage with every bite. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, blending past and present to create a dining experience that’s memorable and uniquely Sacramento.

Zócalo

Zócalo brings the essence of Mexico to Sacramento. This celebration of Mexican cuisine is enhanced by an extensive selection of tequila, allowing diners to explore the depth and diversity of Mexico’s favorite spirit. The award of a Michelin Plate speaks to the authenticity and quality of the dining experience at Zócalo, where every dish is a tribute to Mexico’s rich culinary traditions.

The atmosphere at Zócalo is just as inviting as its menu, with a beautifully designed interior and a vibrant outdoor patio that perfectly captures the lively spirit of Mexican dining. It’s a place to immerse yourself in Mexican culture, surrounded by warmth and festivity. Dining here offers a glimpse into the communal and celebratory dining culture of Mexico in the heart of Sacramento.

Pizza Rock Sacramento

Pizza Rock elevates the classic pizza experience with the expert touch of Laura Meyer, an award-winning pizza maker. It’s a culinary adventure that brings together the best pizza styles from around the world with a special touch from California. Whether you’re trying the world-champion pan pizza or one of the unique California-inspired pies, every pizza is a standout hit, showcasing the perfect blend of tradition and innovation.

The lively atmosphere at Pizza Rock, combined with its diverse pizza menu and rock ‘n’ roll vibe, sets it apart as a key dining spot in Sacramento. It’s about enjoying a slice of Sacramento’s vibrant food scene in a fun and dynamic setting. Here, pizza is celebrated as a form of art and a centerpiece of the community, making Pizza Rock a must-visit for anyone.

Bacon & Butter

Bacon & Butter captures the essence of Sacramento’s farm-to-table culture, offering delicious American breakfast and brunch with a twist that’s uniquely Californian. The focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients is clear in every meal, from perfect pancakes to a creative take on chicken and waffles. It’s a spot where the basics are done brilliantly, turning simple meals into something special.

The welcoming atmosphere at Bacon & Butter makes it a favorite morning spot for locals. It’s more than just a place to eat; it celebrates the local farms’ produce, bringing the taste of California’s agricultural heart straight to your table. Here, eating local isn’t just a phrase—it’s a delicious reality, with every dish highlighting the best of what the area has to offer.

The Firehouse Restaurant

Located in Sacramento’s historic district, The Firehouse Restaurant combines luxury dining with the city’s rich history in a beautifully restored old firehouse. It’s a place where the ambiance of old-world elegance meets a menu filled with locally sourced ingredients and sophisticated culinary techniques. The detailed service and refined environment make every visit feel like a special occasion, whether it’s for a romantic dinner or a significant celebration.

From intimate dinners under chandelier light to private celebrations or relaxed brunches in the courtyard, The Firehouse provides a majestic setting for any event. As a key player in Sacramento’s dining scene, this restaurant is not just a place to eat but a celebration of the city’s food culture and historical elegance, promising a memorable experience for all who dine there.

Mulvaney’s Building & Loan

Mulvaney’s Building & Loan perfectly captures the city’s passion for farm-to-fork dining. This place is all about celebrating the rich agricultural lands of Northern California, offering a menu that changes with the seasons to highlight the freshest local ingredients. Here, every dish is a nod to the hardworking farmers and producers in the area. It’s about enjoying meals that tell the story of the region’s bounty.

The restaurant is about supporting local agriculture and fostering connections over shared meals. It’s the perfect spot for anyone looking to dive into Sacramento’s culinary culture, offering a chance to enjoy delicious, thoughtfully prepared dishes while contributing to the local economy. Mulvaney’s isn’t just a place to eat; it’s a place to experience the heart of Sacramento’s food philosophy.

Ella Dining Room & Bar

Ella Dining Room & Bar blends elegance with the rich food culture of Sacramento. Awarded for its outstanding dishes, Ella serves up a dining experience that’s both fancy and friendly. The menu celebrates the best of the region, featuring fresh seafood and hearty meats, all set in a chic yet comfortable space. It’s the kind of place where every detail reflects Sacramento’s diverse and abundant local produce.

Eating at Ella is memorable, offering a taste of what makes Sacramento’s food scene special. Each dish is a tribute to the city’s dedication to farm-to-fork dining, showcasing the best local ingredients. It’s the perfect spot to wrap up a culinary journey through the city, leaving diners with a lasting impression of Sacramento’s unique flavors and a dining experience that feels both luxurious and warmly inviting.

Localis

Chef Chris Barnum-Dann’s Localis transforms the farm-to-fork concept into a symphony of seasonal flavors, making it a beacon of culinary innovation in Sacramento. This cozy, intimate spot in the heart of Midtown is where local ingredients meet global culinary techniques, resulting in a menu that’s both grounded and adventurous. Dishes like the Grilled Octopus a la carte showcase the kitchen’s ability to elevate simple ingredients into gastronomic artwork.

Dining at Localis is akin to a journey through the seasons of Sacramento, with each dish telling a story of the region’s agricultural abundance and the chef’s creative prowess. It’s a must-visit for those who seek not just a meal, but a narrative on their plate, making it a cornerstone of Sacramento’s vibrant dining scene.

Sacramento’s dining scene is a treasure trove of culinary delights, each restaurant a gem with its own story to tell. From the innovative to the traditional, the casual to the refined, these 10 unmissable restaurants offer a taste of what makes Sacramento a must-visit destination for food lovers everywhere.


The 10 Best Tours in Sacramento

Sacramento, California’s pulsing heart, blends history with modern flair, offering a diverse mix of attractions. Known for its Gold Rush origins and as the Farm-to-Fork Capital, the city invites adventurers, food enthusiasts, and history buffs alike.

Dive into Sacramento’s essence with the top 10 tours, showcasing must-visit spots and exciting activities that highlight the city’s allure.

Downtown Historical Food Tour

Venture into the heart of Sacramento with the Downtown Historical Food Tour, where every dish tells the story of the city’s rich culinary heritage. This journey is a feast for the senses, offering a taste of local favorites like heirloom tomato and provolone on ciabatta, amidst the backdrop of historic Main Street. It’s an immersive experience that blends the fresh, farm-to-fork philosophy with the vibrant tales of Sacramento’s past.

Downtown Historical Food Tour

As you wander through Sacramento’s bustling streets, you’ll discover the essence of its food scene, where locally-sourced ingredients are the stars of the show. This tour not only celebrates the city’s agricultural roots but also its culinary creativity, offering a glimpse into the local way of life. It’s a must-do for food lovers and history buffs alike, providing a deliciously insightful exploration of the Farm-to-Fork Capital.

  • Tour Fee: From $98
  • Schedule: 3 hours of gastronomic exploration
  • Inclusions: Multiple food tastings at local eateries

Sacramento Urban Adventure Quest Scavenger Hunt

Dive into the Sacramento Urban Adventure Quest Scavenger Hunt, where you turn Sacramento into an exciting game. Using your smartphone, you’ll find clues and face challenges as you move from the iconic Capitol Building to the lively Old Sacramento. It’s a journey that tests your cleverness while guiding you through the city’s must-see spots.

Sacramento Urban Adventure Quest Scavenger Hunt

This experience is more than just a walk; it’s a thrilling quest that mixes fun, learning, and adventure on the streets of Sacramento. As you solve puzzles and reach new landmarks, you’ll connect with the city’s history and charm, making every discovery a memorable part of your day. It’s a perfect way to explore Sacramento, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a longtime resident looking for a new perspective.

  • Tour Fee: From $45
  • Schedule: Self-paced, approximately 3 hours
  • Inclusions: A digital adventure through Sacramento’s landmarks

Sutter District Tour

Dive into the heart of Sacramento with the Sutter District Tour, where you’ll get a true taste of what makes this area special. This journey is all about celebrating the local, with stops to enjoy artisan meats, cheeses, and the kind of coffee that convinces you to take a moment and savor. Each bite and sip is a nod to Sacramento’s dedication to fresh, locally sourced food.

Sutter District Tour

Wandering through the Sutter District, you’ll stumble upon culinary delights like the perfect croque monsieur or a chocolate crinkle cookie that’s just the right kind of indulgent. It’s more than just eating; it’s about connecting with the culture and community that thrives in this vibrant part of the city. This tour isn’t just about seeing Sacramento—it’s about tasting it, one delightful stop at a time.

  • Tour Fee: From $98
  • Schedule: A leisurely 3-hour walking tour
  • Inclusions: Food tastings at five to six locations

Whitewater Rafting South Fork American River

Embark on a thrilling whitewater rafting adventure down the South Fork of the American River, a journey perfect for both families and beginners. Experience the excitement of navigating through rapids while surrounded by California’s stunning landscapes. The river’s rush and the beauty of nature combine to create unforgettable moments filled with laughter and adrenaline.

Whitewater Rafting South Fork American River

After enjoying the exhilarating rapids, take a break with a riverside buffet to refuel and relax under the sky. Continue your adventure through the Gorge, where the river’s powerful flow offers a continuous thrill. This part of the river, with its scenic surroundings and the invigorating challenge of the rapids, highlights why whitewater rafting here is a top experience in Sacramento.

  • Tour Fee: From $103
  • Schedule: Full day of exhilarating water activity
  • Inclusions: Rafting gear, buffet lunch, and guided adventure

Sacramento Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Dive into the Sacramento Scavenger Hunt Adventure, where the city’s rich history and vibrant scenes turn into an engaging game. As you solve clues and uncover the city’s secrets, iconic sites like the Capitol Building and Old Sacramento become more than just sights; they become stories, making your journey through Sacramento an interactive and enlightening experience.

Sacramento Scavenger Hunt Adventure

This scavenger hunt is more than a simple tour; it’s a chance to explore Sacramento in a fun and inventive way. Whether you’re with family, or friends, or on a solo adventure, you’ll find joy in solving puzzles and discovering new aspects of the city. It’s an unforgettable way to connect with Sacramento’s spirit and its people, offering both entertainment and insight.

  • Tour Fee: From $20
  • Schedule: 2 to 3 hours of exploration
  • Inclusions: A self-guided tour through Sacramento’s most interesting spots

Hot Air Balloon Ride over California’s Gold Country

Take off on a hot air balloon ride over the picturesque Gold Country of California, where you’ll be greeted by the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains, lush vineyards, and historic ranches unfolding below. This peaceful flight at dawn offers a unique perspective of Sacramento’s natural beauty, making for unforgettable moments as the sun rises, illuminating the land in warm hues.

Hot Air Balloon Ride over California's Gold Country

As you touch down, the journey ends with a traditional champagne toast, celebrating the experience with new friends. This isn’t just a ride; it’s an intimate embrace of the landscape’s majesty, offering a serene start to your day in the heart of California, where every glance is a postcard and every moment is a memory in the making.

  • Tour Fee: From $195
  • Schedule: 1 hour of flight, early morning departures
  • Inclusions: Balloon ride, champagne ceremony

Sacramento Historic River Cruise

Set sail on the Sacramento River and travel back in time with the Sacramento Historic River Cruise. As you drift along, you’ll be treated to stories that span from the city’s Gold Rush beginnings to its current bustle. This leisurely cruise isn’t just relaxing—it’s a captivating history lesson set against the backdrop of Sacramento’s evolving skyline and scenic river edges.

Sacramento Historic River Cruise

Every twist in the river brings a new chapter of Sacramento’s story to life, blending the past with the present in an immersive experience. Witness the transition from the early days of pioneers to today’s vibrant city life, all from the unique vantage point of the river. With stunning views of nature and architecture alike, this cruise offers a serene yet enlightening journey through the heart of Sacramento.

  • Tour Fee: From $20
  • Schedule: 1-hour cruise
  • Inclusions: Narrated history tour

Midtown Arts Tour

Explore the vibrant heart of Sacramento with the Midtown Arts Tour. Dive into a world where the city’s creativity is splashed across walls and showcased in galleries, each piece sharing its own unique story. This walking tour takes you on an adventure through Sacramento’s flourishing arts district, blending the joy of discovery with the intimate tales behind the street art.

Midtown Arts Tour

As you wander through Midtown, the tour also treats you to tastes of the local cuisine, making it a perfect outing for both art lovers and food enthusiasts. Experience the rich tapestry of Sacramento’s culture as you enjoy both the visual and culinary arts. This tour is an engaging way to see and taste the city, offering a memorable journey through its artistic lanes.

  • Tour Fee: From $98
  • Schedule: 3 hours of cultural immersion
  • Inclusions: Art tours, food tastings

Alive After Five Cruise

Set sail on the Alive After Five Cruise and see Sacramento light up at dusk. Watch as the setting sun casts a golden glow over Old Town, creating a picturesque view from the deck. This cruise offers more than just sightseeing; it’s a lively celebration of Sacramento, with each wave telling a tale of history and modernity mingling on the riverbanks.

Alive After Five Cruise

As night falls, the atmosphere onboard comes alive with music from a DJ, matching the vibrant energy of Sacramento after dark. This river cruise isn’t just a trip; it’s an experience that captures the lively essence of the city’s nightlife. It’s the perfect way to experience Sacramento’s charm, offering a unique perspective and an unforgettable evening.

  • Tour Fee: From $25
  • Schedule: 1.5 hours of evening entertainment
  • Inclusions: River cruise with DJ entertainment

Rock the Yacht Cocktail Cruise

Embark on the Rock the Yacht Cocktail Cruise along the Sacramento River as evening falls, transforming the city into a backdrop for a night of dancing and enjoyment. Under the glowing Tower Bridge and by the lit riverbanks, you’ll feel the music from a live DJ and enjoy your favorite drinks. This cruise mixes the beauty of Sacramento at night with the fun of a party on the water.

Rock the Yacht Cocktail Cruise

As you cruise, the gentle movements of the yacht and the cool evening air add to the experience. The city lights dance on the water’s surface, providing a captivating scene as you mingle, dance, and unwind. The Rock the Yacht Cocktail Cruise is the ideal way to experience Sacramento’s lively evening atmosphere from a unique perspective, making for a memorable night out.

  • Tour Fee: From $30
  • Schedule: 1.5-hour cruise
  • Inclusions: Live DJ, cash bar

Sacramento beckons with its blend of history, culture, adventure, and culinary delights. Each tour offers a unique vantage point from which to appreciate the city’s charm. Whether you’re cruising down the river, soaring above the landscape, or delving into the culinary scene, Sacramento promises unforgettable experiences that resonate with the spirit of California.