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A Breakdown Of Sacramento’s Neighborhoods

July 19, 2014 5:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

From its early beginnings, Sacramento has steadily spread out. As it did so, neighborhoods sprung up and businesses developed. Families gave each of the many named neighborhoods a flavor of their own. Here are just a few of them, and what’s great about each.
Land Park

Land Park is marked by Interstate 5 on the west, Broadway to the north, Sutterville Road to the south and Freeport Boulevard on the east. What’s here? The Sacramento Zoo and its many animal friends live here. The great William Land Park, an amazing community asset, weaves through the area, complete with ducks in ponds. Children’s parks Fairytale Town and Funderland have entertained families for years. The business area boasts the iconic Tower Cafe, simply one of the most beloved and very different cafes ever to grace a community. A wonderful mix of artists, entrepreneurs and community spirit mark this area as a must-visit for anyone within range.

Oak Park

Oak Park started out in 1887 when a 230-acre ranch was subdivided into 56 different pieces. It was called Oak Park simply because there was an eight-acre grove of oaks in the middle of it. The area is bounded by Stockton Boulevard to the east, Broadway to the north, Highway 99 to the west and Fruitridge Road to the south. Oak Park is currently experiencing a true community-based renaissance. The Oak Park Neighborhood Association is at the forefront of this trend. New businesses, wonderful restaurants and art spaces are sprouting up on a continual basis. The UC Davis Medical Center and Shriners Hospital are an anchor point, just as much as the many new small businesses. It’s a good place to visit and explore these days for a meal, an art experience or to attend any of the cultural events in the area.

Curtis Park

Curtis Park is another neighborhood that had a start in the late 1880s in Sacramento. It is generally thought of as north of Sutterville Road, south of 2nd Avenue, east of Freeport Boulevard and west of Highway 99. Preservation efforts have certainly kept it populated with some wonderful homes. Definitely a big part of Sacramento, the schools and libraries are anchors for the community. It is home to Galena Street East, a wonderful performing arts group and venue. The Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association continually looks for ways to better the community. Fine restaurants, art and theater productions and a strong and friendly community vibe exist here for all to enjoy.

Related: Best Up-And-Coming Visual Artists In Sacramento

East Sacramento

East Sacramento is defined as being east of downtown and midtown Sacramento. What could be more simple? Bounded by U.S. Highway 50 to the south, Alhambra Boulevard to the west, Elvas Avenue to the north and northeast and CSU Sacramento, which includes a part of the American River, to the southeast, it is a part of Sacramento that has quite a great mix of cultures. Embedded in this area is a group of homes known as the Fab 40s. This collection of homes, all different, all spectacular, are completely drool worthy. Anyone looking for architectural inspiration needs to pack a lunch and cruise the streets. CSUS lends a bit of a University air to the entire area. The urban wild land interface along the river is spectacular. Great coffee, art studios and an ever-present drive to maintain its friendly climate makes the area worth visiting, or settling down in. At the very least, sitting down to a wonderful meal at one of the area’s eateries should be on the menu.

MidTown

Simply put, this is the middle of Sacramento. Included are areas like the Sutter District and what’s known as The Handle. Bounded by Highways 50 and 99 and the Sacramento and the American Rivers, laid back could be a good term to describe it, but you’d have to mix in the frenetic drive of the Capital and politicos too. It is eclectic to the core. Foodies love it because of the mix of eateries here, from very goofy to very formal, and everything in between. The art scene is vibrant, with studios dotting the area, galleries all over and performing arts groups for just about any taste. With tree-lined streets, wonderful old Victorian homes and cottages, it’s a great place to simply wander about. It is populated with large and small bits of public art. Walking it is truly the way to experience this fantastic and friendly area. You won’t need a thermos or a lunch. The coffee around here is spectacular, and the food choices are very deep and varied.

Related: Best Places For Grilled Cheese In Sacramento

Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 37 years. In 2010 he retired from teaching after 36 years . He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at Examiner.com.
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