By Randy Yagi
Are you in desperate need of a vacation but dreading the thought of traveling? Instead, treat yourself to an immersive Sacramento staycation — visit hidden treasures, try something entirely new or simply relax and enjoy a beer or two at a new place. Staying close to home also means there’s no limit to how many members of your friends and family can join your staycation entourage, and there’s nothing better than spending quality vacation time with the people you love. Regardless of the length of your staycation, here are a few insider tips to help you get started on creating a fun and entertaining itinerary in the Capital City.
Explore The City Via Light Rail
With 48 stations, a great way to explore California’s state capital in a fast, affordable and efficient manner is by traveling on the local light rail. Operated by the Sacramento Regional Transit, the light rail system consists of three color-coded routes and extends across the Greater Sacramento Region to attractions like Cal Expo, Raley Field and Old Sacramento, as well as to outlying communities like Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova and Folsom. As long as you avoid the busier commute hours, you can even explore downtown Sacramento in greater detail by walking to prominent landmarks like the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament; the historic Citizen Hotel; or the Golden1Center, the dazzling, new state-of-the-art multi-purpose arena. Fare is just $2.75 per ride and $7 for a day pass, with tickets available at light rail stations or with the new RideSacRT mobile app.
Enjoy A Gourmet Meal
As America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, Sacramento has an abundance of outstanding restaurants led by award-winning chefs and featuring locally-sourced foods. Among the suggested spots to dine for an amazing culinary experience are Mulvaney’s B&L, led by the James Beard honored chef Patrick Mulvaney, and the Grange Restaurant & Bar, whose rising star chef Oliver Ridgeway recently introduced a Chef’s Table Dinner Series, currently held every other Friday.
Book A Hotel Room
Enjoying a staycation in Sacramento doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sleep in your own bed each night. Instead, why not a book a hotel in downtown Sacramento and treat yourself to an overnight stay or two. Despite being a local, there is a good chance you haven’t set foot in some of the best hotels in the city for a tasty meal or a luxury spa treatment, such as the Citizen Hotel, Sheraton Grand Hotel or the Westin. While you’re staying in the downtown area, you can also hangout at popular nightspots like the Dive Bar or Shady Lady Saloon. Other top rated destinations in the area include Firestone Public House and the saloon at Claim Jumper Restaurant.
Visit A New Museum
A nice addition to your staycation itinerary is a visit to one or more of the many museums in Sacramento. Aside from the touristy California State Capitol Museum, there are nearly 30 other museums and historical sites to see that never seem overcrowded, such as the Crocker Art Museum, California Automobile Museum, Sutter’s Fort Historic State Park and—perhaps the most entertaining of all—the California State Railroad Museum, acclaimed as the best of its kind in North America.
Head To The Beach
Since Sacramento can get a little hot during the summer, why not head to the beach? Stay close to home by spending the day at one of the public beaches along the American or Sacramento rivers, such as Tiscornia Park, Paradise Beach and Sand Cove Beach. If you need a little more excitement on your staycation, try river rafting with reliable local businesses like American River Raft Rentals or test your jetskiing skills at nearby Folsom Lake.