Sacramento is the capital of California. Sitting at the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers, it is the Golden State's seventh largest city.
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Sophisticated, yet unpretentious
Sacramento is the seat of government for the world’s fifth-largest economy – California – and the workplace of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The city stands on the Sacramento River about 100km east of San Francisco, nestled between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Pacific Ocean in the heart of northern California.
Around 500,000 people live in the city itself, whereas the wider metropolitan area has a population of about 2.1 million. In the mid-nineteenth century, Sacramento became a Gold Rush boomtown and was transformed into the West Coast’s commercial epicentre. It became the seat of government for California around the same time, as testified by its many grand neo-classical buildings, and remains a town of politicians and lobbyists. Yet, it is free of airs and graces as well as a beautiful and pleasant city to visit. The public transport system is among the best in the US, the cultural scene is vibrant and the restaurants, scenery and climate are second to none.
Mountains, vineyards, museums and… politics
One of Sacramento’s key attractions is the excellent California State Railroad Museum, the largest museum in the US devoted to railroad history.
The State Capitol is a nineteenth-century neo-classical building patterned after the national Capitol in Washington, DC. It serves as both a working seat of government and a museum. Also to be recommended is the Crocker Art Museum, which boasts an excellent collection of early California art and old master drawings, including pieces by Rembrandt, Dürer and François Boucher. Old Sacramento is a historic area on the river bank, with cobbled streets, museums, galleries, fun shops and restaurants. Other attractions there include rides in horse drawn carriages, historic trains and cruises on historic riverboats.
From Sacramento you can also explore the vineyard regions of Napa Valley or visit San Francisco. To the east, the Sierra Nevada Mountains rise out of the rolling foothills. And nobody should miss out on an opportunity to see the scenic wonders of Yosemite National Park.
Gut zu wissen
Airport: Sacramento International Airport is 20km northwest of the city centre. At the airport you can rent a car or take a taxi or bus (Yolobus).
Dining: Sacramento has all the major fast-food and restaurant chains in the US. Other eateries include Moxie,The Firehouse, Leatherby’s Family Creamery, Ettore’s and Blue Cue.
Shopping The city’s shopping hotspots include the Arden Fair Mall, the Downtown Plaza Shopping Center, Fulton Point, Taylor, Lyon Village and Old Sacramento Merchants.