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Old 10-02-2021, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
237 posts, read 509,239 times
Reputation: 282

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Disclaimer: I did see that a post with a similar title has already been posted on this forum but my perspective is different than the other poster. Not vetting Sacramento as a place to live but moreso as touristic destination.

I travel a lot to cities and always ask around to get tips about what to see and do. I am planning a trip to Sacramento in December and was surprised to hear folks saying there is nothing there, go instead to SF or the national parks.

I was surprised with that response because when I look at stats of size of cities I am seeing that Sacramento is a larger metro than 5 that I loved:

- SAC 2.37M metro
- PIT 2.37M metro
- Austin 2.29M metro
- KC: 489k (2.1 Mil metro)
- Nashville: 691k (1.9 Mil metro)
- Milwaukee: 605k (1.7*Mil metro)

Surely there is gotta be something here. Could it be that its close enough to SF (1.5 hr) that it doesn't try to be an exciting destination? I wonder why it didn't take the trajectory of Austin as a capital city that thrived as a destination (1 can argue best city in TX) despite being smaller than Houston, Dallas and San Antonio in populations.
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Old 10-03-2021, 01:31 AM
 
Location: Elk Grove, CA
379 posts, read 242,640 times
Reputation: 641
Well first off, there is stuff to do here. Problem is, most of it is stuff you could easily do in your hometown. Go out to a nice restaurant, go to a live music venue, a brewery, catch an NBA game, take a historic tour, a comedy show, check out some museums, etc. And like the majority of cities that are state capitals, we are kind of a one trick pony. I think our biggest mistake was not putting Sac State at the old fair grounds site where the med center now stands.


Part of the problem is that Sacramento city and metro, until recently, was fairly small. In 1950 the entire county had a population of 277,000 people, with the city 137,000 people. So we were not a big city at all, and thus did not have much in the way of big city amenities. We did not even have a public university in town until 1947 - the vibrancy life-blood of many downtowns in capital cities.

Pittsburgh had nearly 700,000 people and KC had nearly 460,000 people! So you are talking better urban landscape, better endowments for the arts, better public institutions, professional sports teams. And likely a transit system designed before car ownership was ubiquitous. Those cities peaked and declined, and now maybe stagnant or slightly bouncing back.


The 1980's was our biggest decade of growth and the 1950's was the second biggest, regionally speaking And the landscape reflects it. Suburbsy and sprawly with out much in the way of direction, and very autocentric. All the civic amenities, culture, and growth has been there, but it was on a small scale . But on a mid sized metro level this is all new territory for Sac beginning in the 1960's, when we crossed the 500,00 mark. Sac has had some growing pains as the result of all this rapid growth.

Some cities have better urban bones than Sac because they grew much faster and earlier than us. Pre car era. So they have tons of pedestrian friendly areas that create a better urban experience. They have downtown college campuses, like Austin, Columbus, or Madison that can really add some good vibrancy.

Another drawback is that we sit in a flat valley between coastal areas and the Sierras. So we don't really have that stunning nature factor. If you get bored because San Diego lacks big city sunsets, you can still go for hike or have an epic day at the beach.

Some places are just like that, they are better places to live than they are to visit as a tourist.
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Old 10-03-2021, 05:23 AM
 
6,139 posts, read 6,960,337 times
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Sacramento Standouts:

*1. Between May and Aug - Raft down the American River starting from the Sunrise Blvd Bridge (or anywhere below Nimubs Dam) finish your relaxing ride east of the Watt Bridge Ave Bridge. Uniquely Sacramento experience, can't do this in LA or SF Bay Area or San Diego.

*1. Take a Winery driving tour along Sacramento River south to Clarksburg to Old Sugar Mill.

1. Crocker Art Museum - Excellent museum, packs a big city art museum punch without the big city hassles and crowds.
2. See a live show/play/performance/concert at the B Street theater/Sophia Center and at The Capital Stage theatre.
3. See a live show/play/musical at Sacramento Community Theatre
4. Tower (Draw) Bridge, walk across it, unique gold-yellow color, see it when it is lit at night
5. Go to the Railroad Museum located within Old Sacramento, walk around Old Sacramento. Dinner at the Firehouse Restaurant.

6. Kimpton Sawyer Hotel and K Street/Golden One NBA Arena - upper level pool area has nice views, nice bar, plenty of eateries. Take in a Sacramento Kings game or concert, check December schedule.

7. Capitol building and Capitol Park walk around the park and through it.

8. Ziggurat buidling, 200-250 ft. tall Ziggurat Pyramid along the Sacramento River. See it when it is lit at night.

9. Bike/scooter through Sacramento's mid-town, breakfast at The Morning Fork. Plenty of other places too.

10. Drive up to El Dorado Hills on Hwy 50, to see a view of Sacramento and the Sacramento Valley below, you will see the Coast Mts to the west and to the east the Sierra Nevada Mts. Keep going to town of Placerville, get out walk the center of town.

11. Drive Folsom-Auburn Road from Folsom to Auburn. Beautiful Northern Cal scenery.

12. Take Sacramento's light rail from downtown Sacramento to the the town of Folsom, Sutter street. Better to drive, the light rail is not that scenic, and some scary characters on the train.

13. Take the Capitol Corridor Amtrak train to the Bay: goes to Berkeley, Emeryville-San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose.

** Sacramento's is an excellent summer pool party town (home pool parties) like Vegas/Palm Springs/Phx kind of place. But, Sacramento has much much better summer weather than those western desert cities. Western dry heat, uniquely cool nights and mornings.

Last edited by Chimérique; 10-03-2021 at 06:14 AM..
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Old 10-03-2021, 05:31 AM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
4,823 posts, read 1,904,824 times
Reputation: 11170
Sacramento is a poorly run city. The city council sells out to developers and does nothing to make the city more exciting to tourists or to locals. The Railyard development is a perfect example. Massive development smack dab downtown where they could have done anything. I thought, why not add a world class tourist attraction, and give bay area drivers on their way to and from Lake Tahoe a reason to stop and play and maybe stay overnight.

Specifically, a wild west themed park would fit in well with Sacramento's gold rush history. Rides, shoot outs, wagons, forts, etc. Just one suggestion. I realize a western theme park might be completely passe in this woke climate of multiculturalism that it won't work. I am not suggesting I know the right tourist attraction.

How about a top tier water park instead of the rink-a-dink in Cal Expo?

How about an observation tower with a revolving restaurant like Seattle's. Would not have to be too tall or too expensive. Keep it in budget.

How about a beautiful garden for a tourist attraction?

Nope. Nothing but office, retail, high density residential for the Railyard project. Same old, same old BS. Same old idiotic Sacramento. Same old selling out to the Developers. Nothing new under the sun.

Sacramento will never be a top tier city. If it wasn't for the train museum in Old Sac, there wouldn't be anything to see in the City of Sacramento. They continue to screw it up. Stupid idiots.
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Old 10-03-2021, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Northern California
100,436 posts, read 8,420,990 times
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The museum in old downtown offers some good tours, one is an underground tour, it is well worth taking.

Underground Tours | Sacramento History Museum

I think they also offer a gold rush walk. You could fit both in, in one day.
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Old 10-03-2021, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Northern California
100,436 posts, read 8,420,990 times
Reputation: 31012
The museum in old downtown offers some good tours, one is an underground tour, it is well worth taking.

Underground Tours | Sacramento History Museum

I think they also offer a gold rush walk. You could fit both in, in one day.
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Old 10-03-2021, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Nevada City, California
349 posts, read 633,787 times
Reputation: 420
The new Museum of Science and Curiosity (MOSAC) will be opening soon in the former SMUD power station next to the Sacramento River. Looks pretty cool:

https://visitmosac.org

There are plans to revitalize Old Sacramento and the waterfront -- not sure where they are in the process, though.

Sutter Fort is worth a visit, but it's not really a big attraction. I agree a lot more could be done to play on the Sacramento's Gold Rush history.

I've often wondered why Sacramento doesn't have a world-class botanical garden. There has been talk about putting one in Land Park once the zoo moves.

The American River bike trail, running from downtown Sac to Folsom, is an incredible recreational asset. Unfortunately much of the part near downtown is marred by all the homeless camps. I loved biking on the trail when I lived in Midtown, but eventually it got too depressing (and a little scary).
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Old 10-03-2021, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Elk Grove, CA
379 posts, read 242,640 times
Reputation: 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by Igor Blevin View Post
Sacramento is a poorly run city. The city council sells out to developers and does nothing to make the city more exciting to tourists or to locals. The Railyard development is a perfect example. Massive development smack dab downtown where they could have done anything. I thought, why not add a world class tourist attraction, and give bay area drivers on their way to and from Lake Tahoe a reason to stop and play and maybe stay overnight.

Specifically, a wild west themed park would fit in well with Sacramento's gold rush history. Rides, shoot outs, wagons, forts, etc. Just one suggestion. I realize a western theme park might be completely passe in this woke climate of multiculturalism that it won't work. I am not suggesting I know the right tourist attraction.

How about a top tier water park instead of the rink-a-dink in Cal Expo?

How about an observation tower with a revolving restaurant like Seattle's. Would not have to be too tall or too expensive. Keep it in budget.

How about a beautiful garden for a tourist attraction?

Nope. Nothing but office, retail, high density residential for the Railyard project. Same old, same old BS. Same old idiotic Sacramento. Same old selling out to the Developers. Nothing new under the sun.

Sacramento will never be a top tier city. If it wasn't for the train museum in Old Sac, there wouldn't be anything to see in the City of Sacramento. They continue to screw it up. Stupid idiots.
Well they were supposed to build a soccer stadium for an MLS expansion team, but one of the investors pulled out so who knows. I definitely agree on a theme park. However, Roseville already has Golfland Sunsplash, which is a good family water park. And then you got Marine World in Vallejo. So I am not sure if there is a market for that.

A big problem with Sac is that once things get cracking and we get some sort of good local thing that is drawing crowds, something bad always happens. Someone always get shot or stabbed, Sac PD can not provide effective security to keep stuff safe, and the events get scaled down. Half the metro is ghetto/trashy, and really just tends to ruin things where ever they congregate.

But yeah, I generally agree that the Sac City Council is ****** up and dysfunctional, and has been for sometime. I mean look at the West End of Downtown. They have been trying to do something with it for the last 60 years, and it is still struggling.
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Old 10-03-2021, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
1,026 posts, read 1,153,694 times
Reputation: 1403
I think the challenge that Sacramento is faced with is the complacency from being a government town as the State Capital and having an inferiority complex of being in the shadow of the Bay Area. About 10 years ago, I participated in a focus group study locally and the person conducting the study was from the East Coast. She casually asked the participants what was there to do in Sacramento and the responses were “going to San Francisco, Napa, Lake Tahoe or Reno.”

Sacramento does have a number of unique attributes and attractions that it can build its brand around but it requires having a more an entrepreneurial spirit and for civic and business leaders being more confident about the city’s potential. We need to be practical yet visionary.

One example comes to mind. For being a “river city”, there aren’t enough bridges, which causes bottlenecks over existing crossings as well as longer than necessary trips around the region.
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Old 10-03-2021, 03:48 PM
 
209 posts, read 155,039 times
Reputation: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valley Boy View Post
Well first off, there is stuff to do here. Problem is, most of it is stuff you could easily do in your hometown.
Another drawback is that we sit in a flat valley between coastal areas and the Sierras. So we don't really have that stunning nature factor. If you get bored because San Diego lacks big city sunsets, you can still go for hike or have an epic day at the beach.

Some places are just like that, they are better places to live than they are to visit as a tourist.
Yes and no. We have miles of scenic nature trails and bike trails along the American and Sacramento river that are wonderful for hikes and bike rides. Tons of deer, wild turkeys, coyote and more. I've been hiking every weekend on Ancil Hoffman park and it is quite nice!

But no we don't have the beaches of San Diego and some things like tons of museums like San Francisco and NYC and nightlife is weak.
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