Why I Love Sacramento

Miss Social

I'm a jet-setter.  Or at least I try to be.  I have this need to always be on the go and see as many places as I can before I die.  I want to experience everything, and I want to do it now.  I know I get this from my mom, whom, for the last 25 years has been a field representative for a marketing company, and she has more frequent flyer miles and Marriott Rewards points than she will ever use in her lifetime.  I love to travel, and I do it as often as possible.   But, something always brings me back to my home town of Sacramento.  Well, technically, I grew up in Meadow Vista, CA, a small town about 45 minutes from the heart of Sacramento.  But I knew growing up that I always wanted to live in the "big city".  Sacramento seemed to me as a child a huge bustling metropolis.  As I traveled more, I obviously found much larger cities, but something always seems better about Sacramento. Maybe it is the familiarity of this little big city, or the facade I built as a child about it, but somehow Sacramento continues to consistently and pleasantly surprise me.

I had dinner with my sister last night at Formoli's (33rd & J), just steps from each of our respective apartments, and we talked about the various experiences we've each had since living here in East Sac.  We both came to the same conclusion:  Everyone in this part of town seems to be sprinkled with happy dust all the time.  If you walk down the street to Peet's Coffee, a friendly neighbor will say hello, even if you've never seen them before.  The checkout lady at Safeway on Alhambra is always giving me tips on the best place to get my nails done, or talk the dog for a walk.  Yes, this is an amazing place to live.  But even if you don't happen to live on my particular street, no doubt you have many of the same experiences I have living in the downtown area of Sacramento.

To put it simply, Sacramento has the friendliness of a small town, with the vibe of a big city. Sacramento has a brilliant nightlife, amazing restaurants, great outdoor activities, and some of the world’s most beautiful day-trip locations.  Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe, and Bodega Bay are just a few of the amazing day trips that residents take year round.  Not to mention, the American River, the Sacramento River, and Folsom Lake are Sacramento hotspots in the summertime.

We know how to have a good time. Sacramento has an amazing city life.  With so many delicious local restaurants (Zocalos, Hot Italian, Mikunis), it’s hard to choose just one place to eat at night, which is why the very popular ‘dinner-crawl’ was established.  Restaurant-goers start at a restaurant for drinks, then appetizers, then entrees, then dessert.  Sacramento nightlife begins with a full belly.  Popular nightspots include The Park, Mix Downtown, and the brand new Venue, and let’s not forget FREE salsa lessons at Azukar on Saturday nights.

We love our sports teams. Sacramento is home to the Kings and the River Cats.  Both teams have a huge, dedicated fan base, and it seems the whole city is put on hold during a home game.

We’re artsy-fartsy. Second Saturday is the local art walk, held downtown on the second Saturday of every month for local artists to show their art at local galleries.  This is the ultimate place to be seen.  Singles, couples and families all put on their cutest pair of jeans and head downtown to experience the fun of Second Saturday.  Busy Saturday night?  Try Music in the Park every Friday night (May-August).

We love to eat. Not only does Sacramento have great local restaurants, but we also have great farmers markets throughout the neighborhoods.  Locals head out to one of the many farmers markets and pick up fresh veggies and fruits, flowers, and even baked goods.

We love the past. Old Sacramento is an entire district of the city that is dedicated to our western history.  Old Sacramento has been transformed to look the way it did in the early 1900s.  With costume shops, candy stores, riverfront restaurants, a train museum, and old-time saloons, Old Sacramento is a great time for families or the perfect excuse for a date-night a little out of your normal routine.

With so many wonderful qualities, it seems hard to believe that anyone would want to live anywhere else.

Natalie Grinnell is a freelance social media consultant & blogger, marketing small businesses and entrepreneurs in a way that separates them from the herd.  She is also author of the popular lifestyle blog MissSocial.net.