Sunday, July 3, 2016

Welcome to Sacramento, IFBC

I've lived in Sacramento for 29 years now, arriving right after college. I had heard the Central Valley referred to as the armpit of California, so I had low expectations. Now I love it more than many natives and even know more of its history than many of them. I can't imagine living anywhere else. That's why I'm thrilled IFBC is here and I hope that others enjoy their visit. After all, when people travel to California, they often go to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Napa, or San Diego. We are often overlooked when we have so much to offer!

Weather - July we are usually in the 90s with occasional 100s. We are blessed with warm summer nights that are perfect for outdoor dining. The Delta breeze usually sweeps in during the evening/night to cool things down. The 100s hit when we don't get the Delta breeze. We have no humidity, so even though 90s sound hot, you don't have to worry about being drenched. 

Arrival - The airport is 20 minutes from the hotel and if you take Uber or SuperShuttle, it should be about $17. Taxi will be double that at least. We do not have good bus or tram to the airport, sadly.  Fun fact: Many people who go to Napa make the mistake of flying to SF or Oakland. In truth, Sacramento is closer and with less traffic!

Getting around - Sacramento is laid out really easy. ABC streets run east to west and 123 streets run north to south. Our hotel is at the corner of 12th and L. My event restaurant for Thursday night, Lucca, is on J between 16 and 17. If you want to Uber, most fares in the Grid are about $4-7 only. 

Restaurants - I'll refer you to my Favorites of 2015 list.  I need to update for 2016, but this list is still valid. Walking distance from hotel that I recommend: Ella, Empress, Mother, Mayahuel, Lucca, De Vere's, Hock Farm, Pizza Rock. 

We are also known for a robust coffee and craft beer scene.

Nearby foodie shopping

Two businesses won (separate years) the Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s Calling All Dreamers contest where they pitched their business and earned free leases and help launching their shops. The first is Andy's Candy (1012 9th St), a candy store that includes childhood favorites, gourmet chocolates, and international treats. The All Spicery (1125 L St) is a spice shop that carries 200 different spices, spice blends and salt rubs. We are the home of Blue Diamond Almonds with a whole store devoted to almonds, milk, flour, and more. Find it at  17th  C St. If you want to do some wine shopping right under the hotel, Downtown and Vine is on K St. If you want to hit one of those stores that specialize in extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegars, the Chefs Olive Mix is for you. And if you are a chocoholic, you'll be tasting Ginger Elizabeth at IFBC, but her shop is at 1801 K St. Want a dessert not yet found in much of the country? Stop at Vampire Penguin (907 K St.) for one of these (video of one of their other locations):

Staying an extra day and need something to do?

Old Sacramento - our pioneer past with lots of touristy stuff. Head toward the river, the equivalent of 1st St.
Railroad Museum - one of the best in the country, located in Old Sac
Crocker Museum - the oldest art museum west of the Mississippi, housed in the mansion of the Crocker family, corner of O and 3rd
Stanford Mansion - the Crockers and the Stanfords were part of the railroad baron past of Sacramento. Stanford Mansion is at 8th and N.
Sutter's Fort - Sutter's Mill was where gold was found, but that's a good hour east. This was his first property, the first outpost, and the origin of the city. 27th & K.
The State Capitol - across the street from the hotel.
Historic Cemetery - I volunteer at the cemetery and love it. In the East and South cemeteries are separated by race and religion. Our cemetery is mixed! Back in 1800s! There are Chinese, Sikh, Europeans. There are three gardens: the nationally recognized rose garden, the CA native plant garden, and the perennial garden. And that Hamilton musical that's the rage of Broadway? His son is buried here. The Hamilton Square Perennial Garden.

Those are the main tourist sites within the city. There are other things like the underground tour and the zoo.

Courtesy California State Railroad Museum

Sacramento is also central to so many other places! Right between the ocean and the mountains. We are this far from:

Reno - 2 hours
Lake Tahoe 2 hours
Napa - less than an hour
San Francisco - 2 hours
Santa Cruz - 2.5 hours
Monterey - 3 hours
Yosemite - 3 hours

Welcome to Sacramento. We hope you enjoy your visit and will consider coming back again!

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