5 Great Places to Have a Picnic in Sacramento, CA

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in Sacramento.

McKinley Park

A beloved Sacramento park. You can walk through the colorful Rose Garden, sit down with a book alongside Lake Kiesel, or go for a swim in the public pool before sitting down at a picnic table. Families and kids can also enjoy the playground, tennis courts, or basketball courts. All of these activities are part of the reason McKinley Park is so popular in Sacramento, and the reason is a great place for a day in the sun enjoying a great picnic.

California State Capitol Park

Located in front of the California State Capitol Building, this park is highly landscaped with plenty to see while walking through it. There are monuments and memorials along the paths and a Victorian-style Rose Garden and Pavilion. Flowering trees on the open meadows outside the Rose Garden make for excellent shade when picnicking. Any spot you pick in the park, whether It’s on a blanket in an open grassy field or on a park bench, you will have a great view of Downtown Sacramento.

Nimbus Flat Recreation Area

A riverside park along the American River. There are long bike and walking trails throughout the park and a beautiful view of the hills across the river. The Nimbus Dam is also in view of the park. Many visitors enjoy swimming, kayaking, and setting up lawn chairs or blankets on the beach along the river. The back parking lot also has a large open picnic area. Overall, the park is peaceful and the perfect place for a day on the water and a large, delicious picnic.

Ancil Hoffman Park

Just East of Sacramento is Ancil Hoffman Park, a Riverfront Preserve. Stop in at the Nature Center upon arrival for wonderful information on the local wildlife and plant life. Designated picnic sites with grills are available throughout the park. They are nestled under ancient oak trees that fill the whole park with a sense of beauty and peace. 

Discovery Park

A winding park that sits where the American River meets the Sacramento River. Like many of the other great parks in Sacramento, the river is a central focus and creates much of the charm of the park. An archery range can also be found in this park, for anyone looking for a unique outdoor activity. The 32-mile bike trail is the best part of Discovery Park. A bike ride followed by a picnic in the shade near the river is the best way to enjoy Discovery Park. 

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Fun Summer Things To Do In Sacramento, CA

Summer is finally here!  The kids are out of school, and backyard barbecues are taking place all over the nation.  After the year we had in 2020, and most people haven chosen not to take a vacation, you can almost rest assured that families will be out in full force this year.

With this in mind, we thought we would offer a few great vacation ideas to help you plan, as well as some places that would be great for just a few days away.  We all need time to recharge and some well-deserved play in the sunshine.

Here are some of the best places to check out this summer!

California State Railroad Museum

125 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

The California State Railroad Museum is a museum interpreting the role of the “iron horse” in connecting California to the rest of the nation. The Museum features 21 restored locomotives and railroad cars, some dating back to 1862. The “Sierra Scene” shows a large-scale mockup of a construction scene high in the Sierra Nevada representing Donner Pass circa 1867, featuring the locomotive Gov. Stanford. Other exhibits show how the influence of railroads changed American society, influencing travel, commerce, and daily life, as well as the lives of railroaders and the diversity of people who work on railroads. Changing exhibits featuring photography, ephemera, and artifacts from the Museum’s collection, add depth and incidental information to the overall story of railroad history. The Museum has an extensive educational program for elementary students from across the region to help them learn about railroad history using re-enactments, costumed docents, and including train and handcar rides.

California State Capitol Museum

1315 10th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

The California State Capitol is the seat of the California government, located in Sacramento, the capital of California. The Capitol building serves as both a museum and the state’s working seat of government.  The building houses the chambers of the California State Legislature, made up of the California State Assembly and the California State Senate, along with the office of the Governor of California.  Visitors to the Capitol can at once experience California’s rich history and witness the making of history through the modern lawmaking process.  Discover the architecture, history, and development of the California State Capitol from its initial formation 150 years ago to the modern-day.

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

Sacramento, CA

Sutter’s Fort was a 19th-century agricultural and trade colony in the Mexican Alta California province. The site of the Fort was established in 1839 and originally called New Helvetia by its builder John Sutter, though construction of the fort proper wouldn’t begin until 1841. The Fort was the first non-Indigenous community in the California Central Valley. The Fort is famous for its association with the Donner Party, the California Gold Rush, and the formation of the city of Sacramento surrounding the Fort. It is notable for its proximity to the end of the California Trail and Siskiyou Trails, which it served as a waystation.

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Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Sacramento

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and fireworks! But with the country beginning to emerge from the worst of it, some celebrations are returning in the area. Read on to see what’s happening around Sacramento this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Seafood and Soul Festival

The Annual Seafood and Soul Festival in Miller Park is coming back to Sacramento this summer! The event is taking place on Saturday, July 3 from 1 to 9 pm. It will be a great way to kick off your holiday weekend relaxing by the river listening to soul, R&B, blues, and jazz music. The highlight of the evening is legendary soul star Howard Hewett, with featured co-star Michel’le, and special guest Paris Escovedo. General admission tickets are $20 (bring your own lawn chairs), VIP seating is $30, or you could rent a family-size picnic table for $250. Either way, make sure you buy some seafood to enjoy while you watch the performances.

McKinley Park

A laid-back day barbequing with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park to host a BBQ, check out McKinley Park. This large public green space is incredibly scenic with a lake and a rose garden and lots of shady spots for spreading out a picnic blanket. They also have several picnic areas with picnic tables and BBQ grills. You can easily spend the whole day here enjoying the various on-site amenities for all age groups. There are playgrounds, walking trails, a swimming pool, horseshoe pits, soccer and softball fields, and basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts. Whichever activity you pick, there are plenty of opportunities to burn off all the calories from hamburgers and ice cream you’re sure to consume!

Watch the Fireworks

There are several fireworks shows around Sacramento tentatively planned for July 3rd and July 4th. You can view this list to see details, but here are the highlights:

·   Carmichael Fireworks – at the La Sierra Community Center, will be an all-day event with a pancake breakfast.

·   Rancho Cordoba – at Hagan Community Park, typically a two-day festival with food, music, and live shows.

·   Annual Salute to the Red, White, and Blue – at Grove Regional Park, a family-friendly celebration.

Swim in a Pool

Cooling off in the pool is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and luckily, Sacramento has plenty of public pools where you can do just that. Admission is typically just $1 and many have fun amenities like slides, diving boards, open swim areas, and splash pads for toddlers, plus of course, lifeguards, changing rooms, and picnic tables. View all the different pools and what they have to offer on the city’s Parks and Rec website.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Sacramento

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educate with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening and the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcome all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

Jensen Botanical Gardens

8520 Fair Oaks Blvd, Carmichael, CA 95609

The 3 1/2 Acre garden was founded in 1958 by Charles C. Jensen. After his retirement as a produce buyer. Mr. and Mrs. Jensen moved from their home in Oakland to their new property in Carmichael. They made regular trips to Oakland to bring back truckloads of plants and trees. The property already had Oaks, Coastal Redwoods, and blackberry brambles. He gradually cleared the land and began planting the many Magnolias, Azaleas, Dogwoods, and Japanese Maples, which were among the first plants brought from Oakland.

WPA Rock Garden

15th Ave Off Of Land Park Dr, Sacramento, CA 95818

Although it is relatively small, you can’t see the entire garden from any one spot…and so you don’t always know what is around the corner!  The winding and sloping paths are sprinkled with decomposed granite, small steps, and even rock “benches.”  Many different and unusual types of plants and flowers live in this garden, and my kids just love to check them out!  What they always beg to have time for, though, is a game of hide and seek!

International World Peace Rose Gardens

1317 15th St, Sacramento, CA 95814

International World Peace Rose Gardens transforms ordinary public spaces into vibrant, beautiful places of peace and inspiration.  The Gardens are living reminders that peace begins within the hearts of each of us…in our thoughts, in our words, and in our actions.  Every day, each one of us has an opportunity to make the world a better place.  Everyone can make a difference!

UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden

448 La Rue Rd, Davis, CA 95616

The Arboretum occupies 100 acres along the banks of the old north channel of Putah Creek, in California’s Central Valley. Our collections include 22,000 trees and plants adapted to a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. The plants are arranged in a series of gardens that represent different geographic areas, plant groups, or horticultural themes. 

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Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Sacramento

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

Bacon & Butter

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and there’s no better place for brunch than Bacon & Butter, one of the most accoladed restaurants in Sacramento. This farm-to-table, Michelin-starred restaurant has truly delectable options for brunch, ranging from stick-to-your-ribs biscuit and egg sandwiches to healthy yogurt with granola and bee pollen. Given current regulations due to the COVID-19 situation in California, indoor brunch is tricky at the moment. But Bacon & Butter is finding a clever workaround by offering curbside pickup so you can host your Mother’s Day soiree at home and feed everyone with professionally-made cuisine.

California State Capitol Park

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is California State Capitol Park. This lovely green space is conveniently located downtown, so if you don’t feel like packing a picnic it will be easy to find a nearby spot to grab takeout to enjoy in the park. When you’re done eating, stroll along the walking paths to the World Peace Rose Garden at one end of the park. After all, not much else says Mother’s Day like roses.

DIY Crafting

If you want something unique to do with your mom, try a crafting workshop at AR Workshop Sacramento. This woman-owned DIY spot is the perfect place for a girls’ night with mom. You can book a private party that includes materials and instruction for one of their many crafting projects. Or, if you’d rather host the party at your house, you can pick up some DIY crafting kits to go. And if you’d like to join a public event, on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, they’re doing a family crafting workshop perfect for moms who still have young kids.

Winery Daytrip

It’s a common trope that mothers love wine. But come on, who doesn’t? A perfect Mother’s Day idea is taking a trip 15 minutes outside downtown Sacramento to Scribner Bend Vineyards. Come for a wine tasting (reservations are highly encouraged) and then visit the on-site restaurant serving small bites, wood-fired pizzas, salads, and cheese plates. You and your mom can also enjoy strolling the lovely grounds and landscaped gardens along the Sacramento River. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle or two of wine for mom to take home!

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Best Car Washes in Sacramento, California

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Sacramento, California. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Sacramento has to offer.

First, we recommend Diamond Shine Detailing & Hand Car Wash. This shop offers three car wash packages from which to choose, the Express Silver Wash, the Gold Wash, and the Diamond Wash. Each package stair-steps in price and offers more services as you go up. Three detail packages are available as well, also offered with the same names, the Silver Detail, the Gold Detail, and the Diamond Detail. Each detail package includes a hand wash, but only the Diamond Detail offers leather conditioning, a sealant wax application and engine detail. If your vehicle is oversized, you can expect to pay $50 over the listed price. Call or go online to book your appointment.

Second, we suggest Detail Maniac. Whether you drive a clunker or a sports car, this shop takes the best care of your car. They’ll make it gleam the same as it did the day you drove it off the showroom floor. Need a paint correction? Headlight restoration? How about window tinting? This shop can help you out with that. Detail Maniac is the only certified Master Detailer in the Sacramento area, and the only one to be featured on Good Day Sacramento for four years running! Excellence is their goal, and they take great pride in their work. You’ll be excited by the results.

Finally, Gem Auto Wash and Detail Center might be what you’re looking for. This shop offers several packages depending on what your car needs. How often do you get it washed? You might enjoy looking into their buy-four-get-one-free deals! They have one for 5 exterior washes, 5 full service, and 5 works washes. They also offer detailing services, both interior and exterior, or both together. They even have add-on extras to spruce up the package you choose, such as headlight restoration, clay bar, waxes, or leather and vinyl treatment. Come on down and enjoy their gift shop! You will not be disappointed with a visit to Gem Auto Wash!

If you’re on a time crunch and looking for a quick drive through car wash in Atlanta, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the Sactown Express Car Wash on L St., Orbit Wash on 9th St., or Quick Quack Car Wash on Bicentennial Cir. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Sacramento, California, you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

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Pet-Friendly Hotels Around Sacramento

Those of us with pets know it can be hard to travel. You have to arrange for a pet sitter, spend extra money paying them, stock up on food and supplies before you leave, and deal with guilt for leaving your furry friend behind.

One solution that works well for easy-going or adventurous is bringing them along with you! So, if you’re planning a trip to Sacramento and want to (or have to) bring your fur baby along for the ride, you’ll need accommodations that are pet-friendly. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Sacramento that accept pets. All are highly rated and we’ve included a variety of options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Read on and choose the one that best serves your needs!

Amber House Inn of Midtown

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, chances are you’ll be cramming a lot into your days. If you want a quiet and relaxing place to stay and are traveling with a small dog, book a room at the Amber House Inn of Midtown. This comfortable oasis from the city is an award-winning, elegant, and luxurious 10-bedroom house that’s walking distance from great restaurants and shops. The hosts make it their goal to take the very best care of you, with amenities like gourmet breakfast in the dining hall, fresh cookies brought to your room, early morning coffee or tea left at your door, dinner reservations, parking, and Wi-Fi! The best part is that your stay will be supporting a locally-owned business during these tough economic times. Only small dogs (under 20 lbs.) are permitted and you’ll need to call ahead when you make your reservation.

Airbnb – Cottage

If you like doing your own thing, you should rent this cottage, where you and your pet will have private access to the whole place! This includes a one-bedroom space with plentiful, free street parking, Wi-Fi, and a full kitchen. The cottage has recently been remodeled and has stylish, eclectic décor. A great perk is the front patio where you can relax and watch the world go by. Hosts Jim and Jesus are experienced Airbnb Superhosts who have earned an impressive 4.94 rating for the property.

Kimpton Sawyer Hotel

If you’re looking for somewhere tried-and-true, the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel is Top Rated on TripAdvisor, because it really has it all. The prime location in Downtown Commons is just a 4-minute walk from the light rail station and near shopping and dining options. Features like in-room yoga mats, whirlpool tubs in suites, contemporary design schemes, and city views all contribute to the Kimpton Sawyer’s AAA Four Diamond Award. If you get hungry, there are wonderful dining options onsite, from a sports bar to a steakhouse to a chic rooftop bar. Other amenities include a pool (with poolside yoga classes), a gym, a terrace, and a ballroom. There are no species or size restrictions for pets, and you won’t be charged a pet fee! See for yourself why it was featured in the Condé Nast Reader’s Choice Award of 2019.

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What to do in Sacramento, California

What is there to do in Sacramento? Sacramento is the capitol of the state of California, but you might not want to visit the capitol building or the Governor’s mansion. We have some amazing recommendations that are sure to bring you a wonderful day whether you’re in Sacramento for a vacation, a business trip, or if you’re a local. Let’s take a look at all this town has to offer.

First, we recommend the charm of the Old Sacramento Waterfront. The waterfront is full of so many things to do, it’s almost like a little city within itself! Shops, restaurants, attractions, and hotels abound, making the waterfront an all-day excursion. Take a walk along the water and be sure to stop in to one of the many eateries for lunch. Looking for that perfect souvenir? They have it here somewhere! What about fun for the kids? Yep, they have that too in various attractions. If you want to stay longer than a day, come and rest your head at one of the hotels on-site. You’ll love it down here on the waterfront!

Second, you’re sure to love the classics on display at Fairytale Town. This one will delight children of all ages as they walk through various worlds of make-believe. This attraction is based on fairytales and nursery rhymes with 26 different playsets with which to imagine and explore. All the old favorites are here, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe, the Gingerbread House, Cinderella’s Coach, Sherwood Forest, and much, much more! Come on out and give it a gander!

Do not miss the adventure at the Sacramento Zoo while you’re here. Open to the public, the animals are ready for you. While certain events and attractions are closed until further notice, all the exhibits are open. Wander the paths through Africa, the Arctic, and the Outback. Sacramento is famous for their zoo, so if you’ve never been, be sure to go! All the shops and restaurants are open, so round up the whole family and prepare for a day of happiness for all.

Finally, if you love to bike the great outdoors, you’ll love the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail. The trail itself is 32 miles long. It starts at Discovery Park and ends at Beals Point. But you don’t have to merely ride a bike along the trail. Come ride a horse, bring your skates, go for a jog, or simply walk along the winding paths. If you do decide to take a walk, it is recommended to stay to the “soft” shoulder of the path in order to allow faster traffic to go by. If you do happen to bring your horse, remember, horses are not allowed on the paved trails. Lose yourself in nature and have the time of your life!

Sacramento has something for everyone to enjoy, whether you love to shop, want to become a kid again, check out the animals that share our beautiful planet, or spend a day on the trail, you’ll be sure to have your own personal adventure.

Links

On Air Parking (SMF) – https://www.onairparking.com/parking/Sacramento-Airport-Parking-SMF

Old Sacramento Waterfront – https://www.oldsacramento.com/

Fairytale Town – https://www.fairytaletown.org/

Sacramento Zoo – https://www.saczoo.org/

Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail – https://regionalparks.saccounty.net/Parks/Pages/JedediahSmith.aspx

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Best Legitimate Places to get Vaccinated near SMF

There are currently three vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the US government—Pfizer/BioTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.  Depending on what region of the country you live in will determine which brand will be available to you.

If you are considering receiving the vaccine, it is advised that you look around for a distribution center and make an appointment.  Many of the centers that are administering the vaccine do require patients to have an appointment ahead of time.

Places To Receive The Vaccine

When looking to receive the COVID vaccine, you can contact the local public health department to set up an appointment. 

Sacramento County Health Department

7001 East Pkwy #1000

Sacramento, CA 95823

916.875.5881

Hours:  Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm

Several Sacramento retailers are authorized to distribute the vaccine as well.  It is suggested that you call ahead of time, as an appointment may be necessary.

·         CVS

·         Rite Aid

·         Walgreens

·         Safeway

There are several hospitals and clinics offering vaccinations.  It is suggested to call ahead of time as appointments are required.

·         Dignity Health/Mercy Medical Group

·         Kaiser Permanente

·         Sutter Health

·         UC Davis Medical Center

Two walk-thru sites are available to receive the vaccine.  Call ahead of time to check if an appointment is needed.

·         California Northstate University

·         Sacramento State University

There are also three drive-thru sites available for receiving the vaccine.  Again, call ahead of time to check if an appointment is required.

·         CalExpo

·         McClellan Park

·         Natomas High School

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Great Places to Stay Traveling to Sacramento

Parking near SMF, try onairparking.com for the best rates!

Do you have travel to Sacramento coming up soon? Whether you’ve been to the city before or it’s your very first time, if you don’t have relatives or friends to stay with, you’re going to be looking for a quality place to rest your head.

Finding the very best place can be overwhelming when you have to consider all the factors, like price, comfort, service, health & safety, location, and more! To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Sacramento. All are very different -from quirky to traditional- but highly rated. Read on to see why these are your best options, and then choose the one that best serves your needs!

Amber House Inn of Midtown

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, chances are you’ll be cramming a lot into your days. If you want a quiet and relaxing place to stay, book a room at the Amber House Inn of Midtown. This comfortable oasis from the city is an award-winning, elegant, and luxurious 10-bedroom house that’s walking distance from great restaurants and shops. The hosts make it their goal to take the very best care of you, with amenities like gourmet breakfast in the dining hall, fresh cookies brought to your room, early morning coffee or tea left at your door, dinner reservations, parking, and Wi-Fi! The best part is that your stay will be supporting a locally-owned business during these tough economic times.

Kimpton Sawyer Hotel

If you’re looking for somewhere tried-and-true, the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel is Top Rated on TripAdvisor, because it really has it all. The prime location in Downtown Commons is just a 4-minute walk from the light rail station and near shopping and dining options. Features like in-room yoga mats, whirlpool tubs in suites, contemporary design schemes, and city views all contribute to the Kimpton Sawyer’s AAA Four Diamond Award. If you get hungry, there are wonderful dining options onsite, from a sports bar to a steakhouse to a chic rooftop bar. Other amenities include a pool (with poolside yoga classes), a gym, a terrace, and a ballroom. You can even bring your furry friend, as pets are welcome. See for yourself why it was featured in the Condé Nast Reader’s Choice Award of 2019.

Four Points by Sheraton Sacramento International Airport

If you’re taking a quick trip through the city and want to be close to the airport, book a stay at the Four Points by Sheraton, which -at 6 miles from the airport- is about as close as you’re going to be able to get. In addition to the prime location, you’ll be enjoying a comfortable and affordable stay at this newly remodeled hotel, with access to free Wi-Fi, a shuttle to the terminal, a pool, and a fitness center. And if you need to grab a quick bite before you head to the airport, The Gateway, the hotel’s restaurant, serves up an eclectic variety of food.

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