Fun Things to Do in Sacramento

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As the capital of California, Sacramento lies between San Francisco and South Lake Tahoe. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or want to stop by on your way to the mountains, Sacramento has a lot of fun daytime and nighttime activities, from grabbing tasty eats around the capital to dancing the night away in Lavendar Heights. Sacramento is nicknamed the city of trees in recognition of its beautiful canopy that hovers over the rooftops like a green cloud. You can use light rail or the local trolley to hop around the different areas of the city, making your way from the river district to the Fab 40’s.

Enjoy Local Art, History, and Culture

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2nd Saturday Sacramento

Every 2nd Saturday of every month, Sacramento art galleries and local businesses host an open house evening that runs from 5:30pm to 9:00pm. You can visit and enjoy local art exhibits, food and wine, live music, as well as street fairs and special events throughout the city. This is a great way to visit local artists in Sacramento and get a feel for the creative scene that is happening throughout the city. Check out this interactive map to find all the 2nd Saturday Art Walk locations!

Tower Theater

There is no better way of getting a feel for the local culture than checking out the independent theater. Tower Theater is the pinnacle of foreign and independent cinema in Sacramento, celebrating over 75 years of showing movies. It’s art-deco appearance is Instagram-worthy and it’s collection of art house films make it the perfect stop for film buffs looking to get out of the city. On any night, you’ll find film enthusiasts from the greater Sacramento region flocking into town for a night at the Tower Theater.

Old Sacramento

Among the primary attractions for tourist is the beauty you can stumble upon wandering around Old Sacramento, specifically, the stretch where you can walk along the American River until you reach the Railroad Museum. At the museum, you can see the interiors of old trains and learn about how California was dramatically shaped by the expansion of railroads. You can take a ride on the Delta King Riverboat if you want to cruise along the shores of Sacramento and gaze at the well-known Tower Bridge.

Watch a Baseball Game

If sports are your thing, then you should check out the Sacramento River Cats while you’re visiting. Raley Field is the home to a minor league baseball team that brings together people from all across the Sierra Nevada foothills. Located in West Sacramento, Raley field is the perfect place to go if you’re craving fries and a beer, or you’d like to be outside on a sunny Sacramento day. You’ll find that there are games almost every night of the week during the season, but make sure to check out their game schedule before visiting.

Indoor Go-Kart Racing

Located just outside of downtown Sacramento, K1 Speed offers electric indoor go-kart racing. If your passionate about car racing, then you can also check out their collection of authentic racing memorabilia, apparel, full-size race cars, and other collectible artwork. In between racing go-karts, you can grab a bite to eat at the Pit Café or play video games. Open seven days a week, including late hours on Friday and Saturday, it’s the perfect place to go anytime of the day.

 

Eat at Tasty Local Restaurants

Garden-to-Grill

Magpie

One of our favorite restaurants that serves up fresh and local New American cuisine is Magpie. With an impressive menu, including innovative cocktails and craft beers, you won’t run out of options on their drink menu. The standard food menu changes with the seasons, so you’ll get to enjoy the flavors of the surrounding farms. We’re big fans of the trio of dragon mushrooms and vegetable plate at Magpie.

Quickly

Aside from local ingredients, Sacramento also has plenty of places where you can grab food on the go. Quickly features a tasty menu of everything from fried fish balls and tofu rice bowls to a diverse menu of bubble milk tea. Located on 16th Street, which is located between Highway 50 and the State Capital, Quickly is a great place to grab quick local Asian fare.

Naked Coffee & Café

Aside from offering one of the most delicious coffee menus in downtown Sacramento, Naked Coffee also has a fun breakfast and lunch menu. Whether you want a traditional brunch like French toast or a dish that you won’t find on every menu, you’ll find that here. From fun and quirky dishes, like papas loco and zen breakfast, this is a great spot for breakfast or lunch.

The Coconut

The menu at The Coconut features distinctive cuisine, including high-quality Thai flavors at an affordable price. By mixing together Thai dishes and local ingredients, this menu features some of the tastiest Thai eats in Sacramento. Dishes include traditional green, yellow, red, and panang curry as well as spicy basil and Thai fried rice. This restaurant works well for a large lunch or dinner.

 

Grab a Drink and Dance the Night Away

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Pangaea Bier Café

This local bar lives up to their tagline, where friends, family, and community come together. With a wide selection of beer on tap and tasty bar eats, this pub is perfect for a relaxing and casual bar experience. If you’re passionate about trying new beers, from Belgian ales to sours, you won’t want to miss Pangaea Bier Café while visiting Sacramento. With a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, you can start here and see where the night takes you.

The Park Ultra Lounge

This exclusive nightclub is one of the most popular nights in Sacramento. With musical programming that includes some of the best local, national, and global artists, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to dance to your favorite music. With events on Friday and Saturday night, you’ll have plenty of things to do while visiting Sacramento. You’ll love lounging in the artistically designed space and meeting new people at the Park Ultra Lounge.

Chaise Lounge

This Asian fusion restaurant, lounge, and sports bar is not only the perfect place to grab a bite to eat and you can also grab a drink and dance. Located in the heart of downtown Sacramento, listen to your favorite music on Friday and Saturday night at Chaise Lounge. Aside from happy hour specials, on Friday night the restaurant and bar turns into a club with a fun and playful DJ.

Fish Face Poke Bar

Not all of the best poke bars are in San Francisco; in fact, the Fish Face Poke Bar restaurant uses high-quality locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. Aside from featuring a menu with sustainably sourced fish, you’ll also find a variety of craft and micro brews. Their menu features ahi tuna, octopus, ora king salmon, mussels, and much more. Their impressive drink list is perfect for sake and beer drinkers alike.

Badlands Night Club

If you’re visiting Sacramento, then you might as well pay a visit to both Badlands Dance Club and Faces, which are two of Sacramento’s most popular gay bars and nightclubs. From sequin Saturday to 15 bar stations and an open pool, you will definitely have a great time at Faces. Both bars and nightclubs are perfect for going out on a Friday or Saturday night. Whether you’re looking to hang out or dance, you’ll find plenty of friendly people and fun music.

On Wanderu, you’ll find cheap tickets from San Francisco to Sacramento, so you can spend your weekend exploring the City of Trees!

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About the author
Austin Bay

Austin Bay

As a Northern California native, Austin's favorite trips begin and end in the mountains. He's always on an adventure to find new running trails and stay somewhere long enough to get to know people.
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