California’s Golden City: Sacramento

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Tower Bridge in Sacramento

Two wide rivers reflect the dazzling blue sky overhead. A bridge – closely resembling one a child might create with a terrific imagination and an erector set – leads to the historic, riverside city. While it may not be as famous as glitzy, glamorous LA or as popular as fun, funky San Francisco, California’s oldest city – Sacramento – is also one of its most impressive. From the iconic Tower Bridge – a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly feature of the city – to Old Sacramento, there’s a wealth of things to see and do in Sac.

Old Sacramento is a 28-acre Historic Landmark District located along the Sacramento River. It is a gorgeous shopping and dining location and it is also home to some impressive attractions, including historic museums and riverboats. The American River and Sacramento River provide outdoor adventures, while Sutter’s Fort takes visitors back in time, to when Sacramento was at the heart of the California gold rush.

Sacramento is also a popular college town. California State University-Sacramento is located in the city, and while the University of California-Davis is in nearby Davis, its world-famous UC Davis Medical Center is located in Sacramento. Drexel University Sacramento, another major university, is also located here.

If you’ve decided to rent an apartment in Sacramento but you aren’t sure you want to live in the city proper, the surrounding Sacramento area is just as impressive. Consider some of these neighboring cities and communities:

Davis: Pack your bicycle if you are moving to Davis – you’ll need it. Bicycles outnumber people in this, the most bicycle-friendly city in the country. It is a college town, home to UC-Davis, and it is considered one of the most educated cities in the country. Davis is roughly 15 miles from Sacramento. It has a beautiful downtown shopping area and is home to several events and festivals, including the Davis Art Walk, UC-Davis’ annual Picnic Day, and the Whole Earth Festival. If you choose a Davis apartment, you’ll love the Davis Farmers Market. It isn’t just a market – it also features musical events, crafts, and more. The Davis Farmers Market is award-winning and considered one of the best in the nation.

The Pocket: A terrific little community located along a bend in the Sacramento River, the Pocket (or Pocket-Greenhaven) is considered one of Sacramento’s most charming neighborhoods. It is about 10 minutes south of downtown and has high-ranking schools and terrific river views. The Pocket has a wide selection of apartments to choose from, most just a short distance to one of the area’s 12 parks.

Elk Grove: The second-largest city in Sacramento County is busy-and-beautiful Elk Grove. Probably most famous for its festivals and events, renting in Elk Grove means you’ll always have something to do. The annual Strauss Festival, Spotlight on Elk Grove, the Giant Pumpkin Festival, the Western Festival, Dickens Faire, and several other events make this city feel more like a cozy small town. Add in award-winning schools, the beautiful Laguna Creek Parkway, a historic downtown, and the Cosumnes River Preserve, and it’s easy to see why Elk Grove is a fast-growing city.

Napa: Since the 1830s, people have flocked to the Napa Valley – mainly for the rolling, green hills adorned in grapevines. The city of Napa was incorporated in 1872 and has grown into one of the world’s most recognized wine regions. But that’s not all – in addition to vineyards, wine bars, and tasting rooms, Napa also offers art galleries, boutiques, theaters, spas, and top-rated restaurants. If you choose a Napa apartment, you may be surprised at the gorgeous Victorian-era architecture, historic sites such as the Holden Mansion and the Napa Valley Opera House, and beautiful Patchett Street, where winemaking began.

Rocklin: With its rolling hills and Sierra Nevada Mountain views, Rocklin may fly under the radar, but this beautiful city is family-friendly with high-ranking schools and a wealth of green space. Rocklin’s 30 parks include features such as water play areas, picnic areas, walking trails, ball fields, golf courses, and more. Rock climbers will appreciate the quarries located in Rocklin. Brigham and Hawes Quarry, dating back to 1861, is the oldest quarry in Rocklin. The city is also home to museums, Victorian architecture, and several shops and restaurants.

Roseville: If you love to shop, then rent your next apartment in Roseville! This is the Sacramento area’s favorite shopping destination, home to the second-largest shopping mall in Northern California, the Westfield Galleria. The Fountains at Roseville offers another 330,000 square feet of retail space with several recreation centers. In addition to these two main shopping destinations, the city is dotted with shopping plazas and stores. And for those who prefer window-shopping in quaint, historic downtowns, Roseville has you covered with that, as well. Be sure to take some time off from shopping to take the Historic Roseville Walking Tour, which includes several area landmarks.