Each year, the autumn dance of color graces the Sacramento Valley, the foothills and the Sierra Nevada to the east. It’s a rolling show of color, fine autumn weather and wonderful places to stroll, with enough variety to keep everyone smiling. There are many places to take your date when fall arrives in all its splendor. Read on for a list of wonderful options for a fall date outdoors.
Tallac Historic Site
Emerald Bay Road
S. Lake Tahoe, CA 96151
Stunning hardly describes this historic site on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Three very wealthy San Francisco families built lavish summer homes here long ago. It’s no wonder that these estates attract visitors from around the world, all through the year. Autumn is a particularly wonderful time to visit, as the crowds thin out a bit and the trees begin to show a taste of color. Start at Valahalla and wander through the Pope Estate to the Baldwin Estate. Relax by the lake with a picnic or head to one of the nearby eateries to top off the day with a delicious Tahoe-inspired dinner for two.
Second Saturday Art Walk
City of Sacramento Special Services
4623 T St.
Sacramento, CA 95819
This is definitely an early autumn opportunity for a spectacular date. The last Second Saturday Art Walk is on October 12. From 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., stroll through Mid-Town and downtown Sacramento and take in more art galleries, art and artists than you ever thought possible. Start with an early meal or head to Temple Coffee for a cup of the best to start your autumn evening with your date. Check the map out first and figure out what galleries or events on this art-filled evening you’d most like to experience.
Hornblower Cruises and Events
1206 Front St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
The great Sacramento River flows magnificently through the city, which makes this a fine choice to take your date on a late afternoon river cruise. Relax and learn about the history of the area while aboard this very comfortable yacht. You will literally float past the history of Sacramento. When the cruise is over, finish the day with a walk through Old Sacramento. Top it all off with a meal at one of the many fine restaurants that call this part of the city home.
The Sacramento Zoo
3930 W. Land Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95822
Take a walk on the wild side; an afternoon with your special someone in an exotic venue, full of wild and wonderful animals. From around the world, large and very small fliers, crawlers and those that slither will captivate your attention. The weather in autumn is perfect for spending time at the zoo. Go early, as closing time is 4 p.m., which leaves the rest of the day for dinner and zoo talk.
U.C. Davis Arboretum
1 Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616
Imagine taking your time wandering through a spectacular garden paradise. Seventeen different gardens spread out over 100 acres just minutes from Sacramento. Open all year and free, the U.C. Davis Arboretum has too many wonderful spots to list. A mid-day picnic or a moonlight stroll after a fine dinner will ensure a successful date. In autumn, those 100 acres are filled with the scents and colors that come with the season. Mild weather makes it even better.
Related: Best Fall Festivals 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.