Just west of downtown, West Sacramento was once considered a hotbed of crime and a spot where most people refused to venture, except maybe for an event at Raley Field. Today, West Sacramento has seen an explosion in home construction with a huge influx of new residents. With its growth, new businesses and activities have popped up. This beautiful riverfront area is technically in Yolo County, but is the gateway to downtown Sacramento and to neighboring towns like Clarksburg.

West Sacramento doesn’t have the lodging options that other parts of Sacramento have, so look to downtown and/or riverfront properties like Embassy Suites, Crowne Plaza, Hyatt and Sheraton Grande.

If you haven’t spent a day in West Sacramento, now’s your chance to experience this underrated neighborhood’s best features.

Raley Field
400 Ballpark Drive
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 376-4676
www.raleyfield.com

Raley Field is the home of minor league baseball’s Sacramento River Cats. It is just across the river from downtown Sacramento and built on the site of former warehouses and rail yards. It opened back in 2000 and hosts a number of sporting events, River Cats games, concerts and events like a Beer Fest.

Streets of London
2200 Lake Washington Blvd.
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 376-9066
www.streetsoflondon.net

Streets of London is one of the coolest pubs in Sacramento and it opened another location in West Sacramento. This laid-back, traditional British pub is the ideal place to enjoy a variety of beers, good eats and to catch a sporting event on TV. Be sure to try some “pub grub” and order dishes like bangers and mash, scotch eggs or fish and chips.

Old Sugar Mill
35265 Willow Ave.
Clarksburg, CA 95612
(916) 744-1615
www.oldsugarmill.com

If you head south of West Sacramento, you’ll run into the sleepy town of Clarksburg. Here you can visit an old sugar mill dating back to the 1930s that has been converted into a wine tasting center featuring 10 wineries. There are wine production facilities onsite as well. The Old Sugar Mill is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., although some wineries are only open on the weekends.

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Whitey’s Jolly Cone
1300 Jefferson Blvd.
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 371-3605

This casual drive-in burger joint on Jefferson Boulevard is known as the spot to visit especially during the summer. As peaches come in season, locals in the know flock to Whitey’s as soon as the sign goes up indicating “fresh peach milkshakes.” These are considered the best peach shakes in the whole region so if you want one, you have to get there early in the day as they sell out quickly.

Sacramento River Train
341 Industrial Way
Woodland, CA 95776
(800) 866-1690
www.sacramentorivertrain.com

Choose from departures right in West Sacramento or head north to Woodland for more offerings. These themed train journeys take you along the Sacramento River and into West Sacramento. The Great Train Robbery is a West Sacramento boarding departure and includes a 3.5-hour ride, barbecue lunch and a western show. It’s a fun way to spend a day and check out the scenery along Sacramento’s beautiful riverfront.

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Club Pheasant
2525 Jefferson Blvd.
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 371-9530
www.theclubpheasant.com

Club Pheasant is a West Sacramento icon and dates back long before the neighborhood’s growth. The building was constructed in 1912 and used by UC Davis as an agronomy lab to test the ground for farming. The building was purchased in 1935 and originally named the Hideaway Cafe. Most of what you see today was from the original structure, with the newest and largest room constructed in 1977. Club Pheasant is still popular with long time residents of many areas of greater Sacramento, and is a local staple for West Sacramento transplants. Try appetizers like fried ravioli and Tuscan lima beans. Check out daily specials like steamed clams and Italian lamb stew.

Erin De Santiago is a freelance travel and food/wine writer and photographer from Sacramento, California. She is a regional membership coordinator for the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) and writes for a number of publications in addition to publishing her own blogs. She has traveled to over 40 countries on five continents in search of the best food and wine around the globe. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.