When Mustafa and I were brainstorming where to go to celebrate our first wedding anniversary we had only two requirements: somewhere that was a quick drive from our home and a city where we’ve not been together before.
Not an easy feat, but then the answer was clear: California’s state capital: Sacramento.
This city seemed to be the perfect fit: it was an hour’s drive and had the urban environment that we were seeking.
Some may say Sacramento might not have a great reputation for a romantic weekend getaway, but we were curious to explore a city that rumor has it has been reinventing itself from its former cow town reputation.
Here’s where we went on our weekend in Sac.
This expansive, tree-lined neighborhood was our first impression of the city, since we took a long walk from one end to the other. I was a sucker for the beautiful historical homes with their sprawling porches and white trim. This neighborhood is an interesting mix of the old with the new, as it has been revitalized with new restaurants, coffee shops and yoga shops.
The funny thing is that since it was a long weekend, the streets were deserted and it felt a bit eerie wandering around for blocks with seeing hardly anyone else. Add in the overcast weather and you have the setting of a horror movie waiting to happen…
We only made it to this part of town at night, but there is no mistake it’s a lively area with a lot to do. After dinner one night we had extra time on our meter, so we walked down to the illuminated Capitol Building (a classic Sac sight).
This neighborhood reminded me a bit of being in D.C. with all the government workers coming out of the nearby buildings with their IDs hanging around their necks and guys in suits frequenting the nearby bars. We wanted to come back and explore Capital Park, but due to weather we weren’t able to. Ah, well, next time!
To be honest this popular tourist sight was one of my favorite things that we did. Growing up in California, I’m a big fan of all things Gold Rush and enjoyed pretending I was back in a small Western town. It was rainy that day, so the crowds weren’t too overwhelming, which probably made a big difference. I loved popping into the different shops (ok mostly the sweets shops, especially Munchies where they offer endless samples), including the Christmas shop with its wall-to-ceiling decorations and miniature landscapes.
Afterward we went to see the Sacramento River and the Tower Bridge and were surprised to see how high the river was from the recent storms. The pathways by the river were completely covered with flooded with water and you could only see the tops of the trees. Definitely a scary reality.
Have you been to Sacramento? What was your favorite neighborhood?