HomeLocal NewsA weekend travel guide to Sacramento: where to eat, stay, and play

A weekend travel guide to Sacramento: where to eat, stay, and play

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Sacramento, CA – February often feels like a tough month for many people. In places like New York City, the weather is usually cold and gloomy. The initial excitement of the new year starts to fade, and many experience a dip in mood, often due to seasonal depression which tends to peak during these midwinter days.

If you’re looking for a change of pace, why not plan a trip to Sacramento? While it might not be the first place you think of, Sacramento has a lot to offer. It enjoys all four seasons and has a variety of cultural attractions that aren’t usually overcrowded. It also features a surprisingly varied food scene and is generally more affordable than other popular Californian cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Basically, any time is a good time to visit Sacramento.

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Where to stay in Sacramento

Opened in 2021, The Fort Sutter Hotel in Sacramento is part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton, which includes unique boutique hotels known for excellent service and competitive prices. Situated in Midtown near the Sutter Medical Center, this 105-room hotel was developed by Stacy and her late husband Randy Paragary, a well-loved local restaurateur who passed away shortly after the hotel opened. The couple envisioned Fort Sutter as more than just a hotel; they wanted it to be a community space where locals and visitors could enjoy high-quality food and drinks in a friendly environment that also supports local artists. To this end, Stacy worked with Groundswell Art, a local art consultancy, to showcase both rotating and permanent art installations throughout the hotel, including an eye-catching macramé piece in the lobby.

The hotel’s rooms and suites are designed with comfort in mind, featuring essentials like comfortable beds with crisp linens, spacious desks, and smart storage options. The hotel’s Cafe Bernardo offers a laid-back setting where you can grab a coffee and pastry to go, or sit down for a meal like the Quinoa & Roasted Vegetables salad and small pizzas that are light yet satisfying. Additionally, Four Palms, a vibrant new lounge at the hotel, serves a full menu along with a great selection of California wines and creative cocktails inspired by famous global hotels. The service is friendly, with bartenders like Alexia, who is always ready to recommend her favorite local spots.

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Where to eat in Sacramento

Just a short walk away is Paragary’s, a celebrated restaurant that has been offering fresh California cuisine, including must-try handmade pastas, since 1983. Recognized as a James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurant in 2022, it’s definitely worth stopping by for at least a cocktail and a small dish at the bar. Nearby, Mikuni is popular for its well-crafted sushi, affordable prices, and excellent lunch deals. For those seeking a more refined sushi dining experience, Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine is the place to go. Binchoyaki, also a James Beard nominee, serves up unique dishes such as Japanese noodle soups, rice bowls, and their signature Arabiki corn dogs. Saigon Alley Kitchen & Bar offers a blend of traditional and modern Vietnamese dishes, while Pizzasaurus Rex is known for its crispy rectangular pizzas that pair perfectly with their special Dino Sauce, making them some of the best in Sacramento.

What to do in Sacramento

The Crocker Art Museum, housed in a historic 1869 Victorian mansion and the Teel Pavilion, stands out for its extensive collection of Californian art and as one of the nation’s oldest public art institutions. Currently, the museum features the “Black Artists in America” exhibit, running through May 19, which focuses on themes of inequality and identity in the art world, showcasing mid-century works by African American artists like Alma Thomas and Romare Bearden.

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While visiting a state capitol building might not be on everyone’s list, Capitol Park is exceptional with its 40 acres of majestic heritage trees and vibrant gardens, and entry to the park, museum, and capitol building is free. Lastly, the Old Sacramento Waterfront, a national historic landmark, offers a nostalgic look back to the Gold Rush era with its 19th-century buildings, quirky shops, and views of the Sacramento River.

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