By Kelly Ryan

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento is getting a nod by an iconic lifestyle magazine. In its annual Best Places issue, Sunset Magazine named Sacramento a top city.

Sacramento has been for years referred to as a cow town; recently, comedian Stephen Colbert called Sacramento “boring.”

But that is changing and Sunset magazine is recognizing it.

Ken and Sara Poore live in North Carolina but they chose Sacramento to get married.

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“I’m trying to get him to move here,” says the new bride. “It’s been cool to see so much happening here.”

Sara grew up here and, like many others, says the city is changing for the better.

In its February 2018 annual Best Places Issue, Sunset Magazine chose Sacramento a top pick on the list “20 Game Changers Re-Define the West.”

Editors cite city gardening programs, farm to table dining, sidewalk cafés, hip brewpubs and modern lofts as standouts.

The criteria also included housing prices, jobs, value, livability, tech, and entertainment.

“We’ve got a growing identity nationally as America’s Farm to Fork Capital, it’s getting attention,” said Mike Testa with Visit California. “You look at what the Golden 1 Center has done not only for downtown entertainment but what it’s bringing to the community.”

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Testa says Sacramento’s reputation is not what it was just a few years ago.

“We were seen as a government town with government jobs, not much going on after 5 o’clock,” Testa said.

Barry Broome of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council says, in the past, Sacramento has had a crisis of confidence.

“I think what happened when we kept the Kings and built Golden 1, we sort of broke through that notion that we have limitations as a community and we can’t do things,” Broome said.

Having that asset he says vastly changed the entertainment value of the region. Pointing to the Golden 1 Center he adds, “That is the fifth most successful arena, according to the Kings, that entertainment facility, the world’s fifth right there.”

He anticipates more accolades, more development and more people coming to visit and live in Sacramento.

“When you deliver excellence people come out of the woodwork for excellence.”

More development underway this year includes the expansion of the Convention Center, the renovation of the Community Center Theater and the opening of DOCO, the Downtown Commons.

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