By Molly Hammond,

No matter where you go, there are things that separate locals from transplants and tourists. In Sacramento, standing out is as easy as pronouncing that “t” in the city’s name—natives skip the “t” for a “Sacramenno” sound—or putting “the” in front of a freeway (You drive on 80, not the 80, if you want to blend in). But more important than getting the lingo just right is acknowledging all of the awesome stuff that Sacramento has to offer! Whether you’re considering a move, are just in town for a visit, or are overcome with hometown pride for Sacramento, these are some of the most noteworthy things about the capital of California!


Photo by Ali
Photo by Ali

The West Coast has amazing seafood, and Sacramento, though a little inland, is no exception. Sushi is a Sactown favorite. Mikuni often tops the list with stellar sushi and an ambiance that patrons love, but there are plenty of other places that locals insist on, too. Ju Hachi, Blue Nami, Raku Sushi, and Sushi Hook are all favorites of Sacramento sushi lovers. Wherever you decide to roll, you can’t go wrong.


Photo by Don Graham
Photo by Don Graham

While Sacramento isn’t right on the ocean, the city is in the perfect place for those looking to indulge in both surf and ski. Lake Tahoe is only a two-hour drive from Sacramento and offers unbeatable scenery for skiing in the winter and hanging out by the lake in the summer. If it’s the ocean you’re after, Sacramento is about two hours east of the coast. Keep in mind that Northern California beaches are chillier than SoCal beaches.

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Photo by Scot Benton - Studio B Photography
Photo by Scot Benton – Studio B Photography

There are plenty of great places to grab a drink in Sacramento, but one bar in town has a particularly unique attraction: mermaids. Taking the term to a whole new level, Dive Bar is a watering hole that features some fishy entertainment! It’s home to a pretty spectacular tank above the bar, where swimming fish give the bar a cool, unique atmosphere. The real draw, of course, is the mermaids—for an hour or two five days a week, mermaids (and sometimes mermen) swim through Dive Bar’s tank, putting on a show for bar patrons. The sirens’ schedule is available online, or you can check out the bar and just hope to see one swimming by! If this on-land Atlantis isn’t your scene, locals also love Karma Brew and Capitol Beer and Tap Room.


Photo by Jake Guild
Photo by Jake Guild

Sacramento hosts a number of festivals throughout the year. Bacon Fest Sacramento, a celebration of everyone’s favorite pork product, features amazing bacon recipes from local chefs, BLTs, and even a Kevin Bacon tribute night! The Sacramento Music Festival boasts 100 bands, playing jazz, contemporary, and more. Off the beaten path of food and music is Sacramento’s Trash Film Orgy, bringing a festival of interactive Midnight-movie-esque magic. TFO shows B-movies and cult favorites, and they’ll be putting on Sacramento’s 15th Annual Zombie Walk, a hugely popular event featuring the “Carnival of the Dead” and an outdoor screening of Night of the Living Dead.


Photo by Janice Marie Foote
Photo by Janice Marie Foote

Sacramento has a serious sweet tooth. If their Instagram is any indication, there’s nothing like a snack from Baker’s Donuts, a family-owned bakery specializing in creative and decadent donuts. Baker’s is even open until 8 p.m. six days a week, so making the trip for one of their treats is definitely worth it. If donuts don’t quite do it for you, Freeport Bakery is the perfect place to grab a piece of cake, a cookie, or even a large pretzel Of course, you haven’t really tasted Sacramento until you’ve indulged in a freeze—Merlino’s (now sold at Mr. Pickles) and Hagen’s are the places to go for the frozen and fruity.


Photo by LWYang
Photo by LWYang

It’s been a while since Sacramento’s professional basketball team, the Sacramento Kings, have had a dynamite season, but Sacramentans love them all the same! Fans are ready to tell you that the team is in a rebuilding year (or years) and are happy to pack the Sleep Train Arena for every game, though they might still call it the ARCO Arena. For locals who have jumped off the Kings train, Sacramento is also home to minor league baseball’s River Cats and the Sacramento Republic FC soccer team. Families particularly love River Cats games, which feature tons of fun and fireworks!


Photo by Janice Marie Foote
Photo by Janice Marie Foote

Most Sacramento natives have spent at least a field trip or two at some of the awesome attractions the city has for kids. Safetyville USA, a miniature version of Sacramento built to one-third scale, is an interactive area designed to teach children important safety measures. For kid-friendly fun with a little more zing, try Funderland or Fairytale Town! Funderland is an amusement park with costumed characters and exciting rides! Fairytale Town is all about creativity. With more than 25 different areas modeled after famous fairytales, visitors can stretch their imaginations in fanciful settings and meet some of their favorite literary characters! The California State Railroad Museum is also a huge hit with the field trip set, allowing kids to explore 21 restored railroad cars dating back to the 1800s and learn about the California Gold Rush.


Photo by Bev Sykes
Photo by Bev Sykes

Broadway, ballet, and an abundance of classical and high-caliber music make Sacramento’s performing scene one to envy. Between the Sacramento Ballet, Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, and California Musical Theatre, there’s a performance for every lover of live art. You can even enjoy shows under the stars with Fair Oaks Theatre Festival and Sacramento Shakespeare Festival! Not to mention, the many Sacramento groups dedicated to making music: Sacramento Master Singers, Camellia Symphony Orchestra, and Sacramento Choral Society. If sitting in a concert hall doesn’t appeal to you, Sacramento has the Sacramento 6, or West Wind Drive-In! This movie theater has all the vintage appeal of a drive-in with contemporary films on screen, audio that runs through your car’s radio, and a well-stocked snack bar.


Photo by Robert Couse-Baker
Photo by Robert Couse-Baker

Sacramento has a fantastic visual arts scene, too. Whether you’d like to spend a day marveling at masterpieces in Crocker Art Museum, or immerse yourself in local Sacramento galleries at a 2nd Saturday Sacramento art walk, there’s an experience for you. Of course, one of Sacramento’s favorite artistic endeavors is chalk art. Chalk It Up to Sacramento is an annual festival where local artists use chalk to create temporary masterpieces on sidewalks and cement, all to benefit children’s art education in the city. Local bands perform during the festival, and children are welcome to try their hand at chalk art!

1. AND…

Did we miss anything? Let us know what you love about Sacramento in the comments!

[bctt tweet=”10 Things to Know About Living in #Sacramento”]

If you’re moving to Sacramento and need storage space to help with the transition, view’s directory of storage units in Sacramento, California.

All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons.

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Molly Hammond is a member of the content team at An equal opportunity storage enthusiast, Molly writes about everything, from where to store your extra boat to turning your storage unit into a custom cosplay workshop. When she’s not learning about the evils of plastic bags for clothing storage, she’s eating french fries, watching HBO, and wishing for snow.


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