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Go Local - Experience the Vibrant Culture of Sacramento

Go Local - Experience the Vibrant Culture of Sacramento



If you want to dodge the hordes of tourists and get a sense of what the real Sacramento has to offer, you’ll have to think like a local and take a trip off the beaten path. Sure, the state capital is known for its Gold Rush history and landmark rulings, but the state’s sixth-largest city has plenty of grandeur, old-time charm, modern marvels, and hidden gems. Here are the best things to do to immerse yourself in Sacramento's local culture.


Raft in the “Jewel of Sacramento”

The American River has abundant opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. From picnicking and fishing to golfing and yes, white-water rafting, which lures thousands of water enthusiasts to its three forks every year. Whether you are looking for mild, wild, or something in-between, rafters of all levels will find their perfect match on this river and have boatloads of fun.

Heads Up: Many companies offer pre-season and mid-week specials on guided and self-guided rafting excursions.


Savor Local Food

Explore Northern California’s agriculture and rich history through Local Roots Food Tours. Locally produced food is paired with architecture and historical stories about the region. Discover where the locals eat and learn about the local farming community.

Heads Up: In addition to food and farm tours, Local Roots also offers celebration packages for occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and retirement.


Get In the Game

Root for Sacramento’s championship-winning, minor league baseball team, the River Cats. In the past 12 seasons, this team (a Triple A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) has also won numerous awards for business practices and outstanding community efforts. Or you can sit courtside to see the Sacramento Kings play basketball at the Power Balance Pavilion.

Heads Up: You can learn more about the Sacramento Kings and the city’s 26-year struggle to get and keep the team in the documentary, “Small Market, Big Heart.” It just earned two awards at the Sacramento Film & Music Festival.


Pick Your Own Apples

About an hour east from downtown Sacramento is an old-fashioned hidden gem called Apple Hill. This orchard has more than 50 ranches, microbreweries, a spa, and a vineyard. Visitors can pick their own apples, as well as a variety of other fruits like pears and cherries. During the holidays, Christmas tree farms offer a variety of trees, and there are hay mazes and pony rides. There are several eateries where you can enjoy fresh fruit preserves, homemade pies, caramel apples, fudge, ciders, and the famed apple milkshakes at Rainbow Orchards.

Heads Up: The drive is scenic, but watch for the sharp turns.


Go Wine Tasting

Yes, in Sacramento. You may be surprised to learn that the Sacramento region is home to more than 200 wineries. Sacramento County has 13, including the 2012 Best of Class Lodi Appellations Silver Award winner, Revolution Wines.

Heads Up: You can get a full winery list and learn more about each at www.SacWineRegion.com.


Let the Kids Cool Off after Shopping

The Fountains at Roseville is one shopping center the kids won’t mind going to. The mall has more than 40 retailers for the adults to enjoy. Afterward, the kids get can cool off in the interactive fountain, enjoy a water feature show, take a train ride, and check out the one-of-a-kind bronze sculpted animals and benches.

Heads Up: The fountains are open for play during the spring and summer months (check schedule), and the water dances to music every 30 minutes.


—By Rosaline Raj
Rosaline Raj is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley, California.


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