Home to three professional sports teams, a thriving arts scene and plenty of family-friendly fun, Greater Sacramento offers a rich culture with a little something for everyone.
Basketball fans in Greater Sacramento head to Golden 1 Center in downtown to root for NBA team the Sacramento Kings. Situated in dowtown’s lively entertainment district, Downtown Commons (affectionately known as DoCo), Golden 1 is the world’s most connected indoor venue with the most powerful WiFi arena services in the U.S. The sports and event venue is also uniquely focused on sustainability and slow food. Its executive chef and restaurant partners source 90% of their ingredients from a 150-mile radius. The arena donates its leftover food, recycles leftover fryer oil and treats its green waste using a sustainable food digester.
The region is making leaps and bounds in professional soccer with its newly minted Major League Soccer team: the Sacramento Republic FC. Work is underway on a new, 20,000-seat soccer stadium and surrounding entertainment district at The Railyards in downtown Sacramento. Just across the river, you’ll find the home the River Cats, a Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
MUSIC AND EVENTS
The Greater Sacramento region is home to a variety of annual events and festivals that showcase the region’s diverse arts and entertainment culture. Live music is easy to come by year-round as music festivals like Sol Blume, Concerts in the Park, Aftershock and dozens more draw crowds from across the nation to watch both nationally touring artists and local rising stars, often for free. Music fans can tailgate outside the Toyota Amphitheater in Yuba County then head to the Hard Rock Casino after the show to continue the festivities.
For those looking to imbibe, the region is home to the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, the largest event of its kind in the western hemisphere. Those looking for a “hoppier” experience have plenty to choose from, as the region hosts multiple beer festivals throughout the year. Most notably, the Capitol Beer Fest closes out Sacramento Beer Week by lining Capitol Mall in downtown with 125+ of the nation’s best brewers, many hailing from Greater Sacramento.
Greater Sacramento’s emerging arts scene is founded in multiple community events and distinguished museums like the Crocker Art Museum. Aficionados will feel at home walking the vibrant streets of midtown Sacramento during the Second Saturday Art Walk, where artists and curators open their galleries to showcase their work and host workshops. Those on their own schedule can explore murals from the Wide Open Walls festival, which allows local and renowned muralists like Shepard Fairey alike to “paint the town” and create evergreen works of art on blank walls throughout the city. Spend an afternoon meandering the city on a self-guided tour and view larger than life works of art.
Home to multiple museums, parks and a zoo, there are endless activities for children of all ages in Greater Sacramento. The waterfront and railroad museum are popular attractions near downtown Sacramento, offering a look back at California’s gold rush heyday. Walk the wood-planked streets of Old Sacramento, take in the Wild West architecture and don’t forget the trains! The California State Railroad Museum offers a magical look at the past, present and future of railroad technology and innovation. During the holiday season, the “Polar Express” takes families for an enchanting ride inspired by its literary namesake. Nearby, the newly renovated SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity is a hub for STEM education, featuring a planetarium.
Across town, the Sacramento Zoo features over 140 native, exotic and endangered animals while neighboring Fairytale Town offers young children the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild as they explore the storybook-themed park, petting zoo and gardens.
In the fall and winter, Apple Hill in El Dorado County comes alive with apple and pumpkin picking, family-friendly events, wine tasting and Christmas tree farms. Older children enjoy the thrills of Rocklin’s Quarry Park Adventures, which features zip lining, rappelling, rock climbing and other aerial activities.