A Guide to Exploring Sacramento

Sacramento or Sactown (as the locals would say) probably isn't at the top of the list of places to visit in California. There are so many wonderful cities in California and the capitol often seems to get overlooked by travelers. Crystal and I have been to Sacramento before, but it had been over five years since our last visit. We're not going to lie, we didn't explore Sacramento much the last time. Instead, we spent most of our time in Napa Valley drinking wine. So, this time, when we went to go visit our good friend, Wes, we vowed to give Sacramento our full undivided attention!

What's there to do in Sactown? Plenty! When we started researching things to do in Sacramento, we were getting excited with all the options we had and couldn't wait to try out all their hip restaurants and cafes. We stayed at an Airbnb located in Midtown Sacramento. We chose this location since it was conveniently located to all the areas we planned on exploring. We did not rent a car, so we either walked or took an uber. Here are the places we enjoyed the most during our weekend trip:

#1 Sacramento State Capitol Museum

Walking down the Capitol Building Entrance

Walking down the Capitol Building Entrance

We have never explored a capitol building, so this was quite the experience. It was an easy 15-minute walk from our place and we saw tons of charming houses and shops along the way. Midtown Sacramento is safe and super easy to navigate. 

As we approached the capitol building, we walked through the Capitol Park Vietnam Memorial, looking at the powerful imagery and statues.

Capitol Park Vietnam Memorial 

Capitol Park Vietnam Memorial 

Capitol Park Vietnam Memorial

Capitol Park Vietnam Memorial

Once we got to the entrance, we had to walk through a screening detector and was a bit confused as to where to go for the free guided tour. They call it a museum, but it is also a place of work with people walking in and out of the building and around the hallways. One of the guards told us that we had to go downstairs to let the tour office know we were interested in the tour. We took the elevator down and met our wonderful tour guide, Louis, by the Lincoln statue.

Louis, Our awesome tour guide

Louis, Our awesome tour guide

The most interesting parts of the tour were the State Senate and State Assembly chambers. Did you know that anyone can go to these rooms and watch live sessions? You don't actually need a tour guide to take you into these rooms and you don't even need a reservation. There weren't any live voting sessions during the hours we visited, but it made us wish we could have been there to see one. I had to ask Louis about the famous governor; I mean the GOVERNATOR. He informed us that he had run into him a few times during his tour guide sessions and the governator was always super friendly and had an entourage surrounding him. Compared to other governors, the governator came out of his office the most.

California State Assembly - GREEN is resembled after the British House of Commons which represents Earth and People.

California State Assembly - GREEN is resembled after the British House of Commons which represents Earth and People.

 
California State Senate - Red represents nobility

California State Senate - Red represents nobility

 

The tour lasted about an hour and a half, but it is not mandatory to stay for the entire duration of the tour. The actual tour is about an hour, but Louis was so informative and fun that we didn't mind that he went over.

A large statuary group titled Columbus’ Last Appeal to Queen Isabella. Made of Carrara marble.

A large statuary group titled Columbus’ Last Appeal to Queen Isabella. Made of Carrara marble.

#2 The Mill

There are lots of great coffee shops in Sacramento and we chose to stop by The Mill since we were attracted by all the beautiful photos they were posting on Instagram.

The Mill cafe

The Mill cafe

The Mill started out as a mobile cafe and after a year and a half, opened their coffee shop on I Street in August 2014. We immediately fell in love with the bright ambiance when we walked in. They serve delicious coffee from the Temple Coffee Roasters and also a variety of pastries. Crystal was especially interested in the waffles and enjoyed every last bite.

The Yummy Waffle Crystal Gobbled down

The Yummy Waffle Crystal Gobbled down

#3 LowBrau

Dining out in Midtown Sacramento was amazing. There were so many fun and cute places to eat that Crystal and I couldn't decide where to go. Luckily, Wes has been to several of the restaurants and took us to the ones that he really liked. LowBrau was our first restaurant stop and we were blown away by all the delicious dishes on the menu.

LowBrau Menu

LowBrau Menu

LowBrau specializes in two things : beer and bratwursts. Everything we tried was absolutely amazing and their homemade mustards were delightful. The beer selection is epic. I'm a huge beer fan and had a difficult time deciding what to drink since there were so many I wanted to try. 

bratwurst

bratwurst

#4 Fox & Goose

Fox & Goose is an English Pub that has been open since 1975 and their menu was huge! They offered traditional English dishes, vegetarian dishes, and American dishes, so there was something for everyone. We went there for brunch on Saturday morning and it was packed. Although we had to wait 45 minutes for our table, the wait was worth it for us.

Fox & Goose Bar

Fox & Goose Bar

We ordered a creative omelet, corned beef hash and pancakes. Every dish was filling and scrumptious. The one thing I regret not trying was the Bloody Mary.

Corned Beef Hash 

Corned Beef Hash 

#5 Escape Sacramento 

Wes surprised us and reserved an escape room one night. These have been popping up everywhere in bigger cities and we've always been curious to try it out. It's a great way to get your friends working together as a team solving puzzles and riddles. We didn't think we would do that well, but for only having 3 people on our team, we got pretty far! The more people you have, the better and the average is usually 5-6 people in a room.

You'll also get to take a cute picture at the end with some fun props.

Escape Sacramento fun photo op

Escape Sacramento fun photo op

There is so much more to do in Sactown, but these were our top picks. A special thanks to Wes for showing us around Sacramento. All of the restaurant recommendations were outstanding and we couldn't have asked for a better time.