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Skyline view of Sacramento with a body of water in front of it, framed by trees.

16 Things to Know About Living in Sacramento

Considering a move to Sacramento? The Farm-to-Fork Capital offers affordable housing in California, unique fresh and local cuisine, and plenty of fun things to do. Check out these 16 things you need to know about living in Sacramento!

Find Affordable Living in Sactown

Aerial view of the Sacramento Tower bridge. Photo by Instagram user @mrryanedwards.

Photo via @mrryanedwards

If you’ve decided to move to The Golden State, Sacramento could be the perfect fit for you, as it’s been ranked as one of the best cities to live in California! Sacto is a budget-friendly city with a cost of living that is 22% lower than the California average and 85% lower than neighboring San Francisco. A major factor is River City’s cost of housing, which is significantly lower than most other cities in the state—like San Francisco, for instance, which offers housing 321% more expensive than Sac. If you’re planning to buy a home in Sacramento, the median sales price is relatively low at about $482,250. And if you’re thinking of renting in Sacramento, the average rental price is around $1,850. To sweeten the pot, lower costs on utilities and groceries provide additional savings for Sacramento residents!

Explore Sacramento’s Job Market

Bottom view of Downtown Sacto building. Photo by Instagram user @thesactoday.

Photo via @thesactoday

As a major economic center in Northern California, there’s an abundance of job opportunities in Sacramento. Salaries average $65,525 and Sacramento’s unemployment rate is below the national average, making River City a great place to live and work. Seek employment in clean energy, a major initiative bringing over 3,000 jobs to the area with companies such as Greenleaf Power, Alto Ingredients, and Capitol Energy Systems. Interested in healthcare jobs? Sacramento’s healthcare industry supports more than 279,000 jobs with employers like Sutter Health, Western Health Advantage, and UC David Medical Center.

Pursue Your Degree at Exceptional Schools

Choose from any of the Sacramento-area colleges or universities to expand your mind and start your higher education journey. Check out programs in social sciences, business administration, liberal arts, and more at Sacramento City College. Learn psychology, sociology, and biological sciences, or become a registered nurse while studying at American River College. Enroll at California State University, Sacramento to join the ranks of notable alumni—like Tom Hanks, filmmaker Ryan Coogler, and Lester Holt, journalist and news anchor of NBC’s Nightly News. Or get your degree in humanities, social sciences, or accounting technology at Cosumnes River College.

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Enjoy Nice Sacramento Weather

With temperatures averaging between 39 and 94 degrees, you can benefit from comfortable year-round weather in Sacramento. The Mediterranean climate produces hot summers and cool winters with windy autumns and mild springs. In addition, the City of Trees is an urban forest that provides plenty of shade on sunny days, making it even easier to take part in outdoor activities throughout the year. Go solo or round up some pals to explore local bike trails like the Sacramento River Parkway Trail, Sacramento Northern Bikeway, or the Two Rivers Trail. Take advantage of warm Sacto weather when visiting signature city parks like William Land Regional Park, River Park, Boulevard Park, or Capitol Park. Fish, kayak, or find a spot on Paradise Beach at the American River Parkway. Have a relaxing afternoon aboard a Sacramento historic river cruise to the Old Sacramento Waterfront.

Take Advantage of Accessible Sacto Transportation

Sacramento public transportation the SacRT approaching on tracks. Photo by Instagram user @rss199997.

Photo via @rss199997

While traffic can get quite congested, Sacramento is one of the best cities in California (and the U.S.) for living without a car. With the launch of the popular Sacramento bike share program, bikes are available to rent for easy travel throughout the city. Residents of Downtown Sacramento and Midtown Sacramento will find most errands are within walking or biking distance. Sacramento Regional Transit has options like the RT light rail and an expansive bus system, both of which run 365 days a year. When taking trips out of Sacramento, take the Yolobus for transportation to the Sacramento International Airport—where the world is your oyster. Or use Amtrak for trips to neighboring cities like San Francisco and San Jose, as well as further destinations like Portland.

Experience Life in the Farm-to-Fork Capital

You can always find fun food events and your choice of fresh produce in the Farm-to-Fork Capital of America! Don’t miss out on visiting farmers, chefs, musical acts, and a cornucopia of food and drink at the Farm-to-Fork Festival. Not to mention, there are also plenty of Sac farmers’ markets to explore! From May through October, visit the NeighborWorks Community Farmers Market, which serves 11 counties with art, culture, and healthy food. Take advantage of fresh produce and meat, as well as coffee and pastries to fuel your shopping at Sacramento’s largest farmers market, the Central Farmers’ Market! Or find the best bok choy, daikon, and other high-quality Asian cuisine ingredient staples at the Asian Farmer’s Market.

Live Loud & Proud in an LGBTQ-Friendly City

A person standing though a sunroof during Sacramento Pride holding a sign that says, "Queer to Stay." Photo by Instagram user @@sacramentobee.

Photo via @sacramentobee

Sacramento has a flourishing LGBTQ community, with gay-owned businesses and restaurants all throughout its LGBTQ district, Lavender Heights. In fact, the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce provides growth opportunities, networking, and benefits resources for LGBTQ-owned businesses. Find support at the Sacramento LGBT Center, which offers activities as well as resources for houselessness, medical care, and more. Connect with the queer community at the Lavender Library, a volunteer lending library, archive, and community space for the Sacramento LGBTQ community. Join the festivities during two-day Sacramento Pride, with concerts, food, games, and more! Show up loud and proud to the Sacramento Rainbow Festival, an annual charity block party held in Midtown Sacramento on Labor Day Weekend. On the weekends, grab friends and head down to Capitol Garage to catch a fabulous cabaret-style performance from local Sacramento Drag Queens.

Find Family-Friendly Fun in Sacramento

Red panda sitting in a tree at the Sacramento Zoo. Photo by Instagram user @rzafoto.

Photo via @rzafoto

Bring the kids to the Sacramento Zoo to see giraffes at the Tall Wonders of Africa viewing deck, African lions, jaguars, and snow leopards at Big Cat Row, or amphibians and reptiles at the Reptile House. Have a blast on the Classic Carousel, spin on the Crazy TeaCups, or soar away on the Red Baron Planes at Funderland Amusement Park. Walk around a world of fantasy storybook attractions like Humpty Dumpty’s Bridge, the Yellow Brick Road, or Pooh Corner at FairyTale Town. Play in the Imagination Playground, Peek-a-Boo Friend Wall, or Sparky’s Light Wall at the Sacramento Children’s Museum. Get on track for a day of fun aboard a Sacramento River Fox Train, with excursions like the River Fox Train Excursion, Pumpkin Patch Express, or even the two-seater Railbikes for Adventurers. Head over to nearby Wheatland to eat fresh-baked pie, find your way through a corn maze, navigate the sunflower labyrinth, and meet animals at the petting zoo at Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm.

Tour Interesting Sacramento Museums

Two children interacting with an exhibit at the MOSAC museum. Photos by Instagram user @smud_mosac.

Photo via @smud_mosac

Learn about Sacramento’s contributions to the Gold Rush and other eras of the region at the Sacramento History Museum. View breathtaking star shows in the state-of-the-art planetarium or visit 100 exhibits about nature, engineering, and health when you reserve tickets to the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity. Board the train ride through locomotive history at the California State Railroad Museum. Be on the lookout for announcements in the fall and winter months for a chance to ride the real-life Polar Express. Discover the mysteries of aircraft, aerospace, and the history of aviation through interactive exhibits at the Aerospace Museum of California. Or stop by the California State Capitol Museum to find art, archives, and artifacts that connect to the past of California’s Capitol.

Cheer for Your Favorite Local Sports Teams

If you’re a sports fan, Sacramento has plenty to offer! Join fans at the Golden 1 Center to watch the Sacramento Kings (NBA) dunk on the competition. More of a soccer person? Get tickets to a riveting Sacramento Republic (USL) match at Heart Health Park. For baseball, watch the Sacramento River Cats (MiLB) hit a home run at Sutter Health Park. Or lace up your running shoes, grab your paddles, and sign up for the annual Great American Triathlon, a unique event that takes place at the American River Parkway.

Take Part in Festival Fun

Throughout the year, there are tons of fun local events in Sacramento. Don’t miss out on the Sacramento County Fair during Memorial Day Week, where attendees of all ages can see daredevil motorcyclists, aerialists, acrobats, circus clowns, and more. Enjoy four days of musical acts at the Sacramento Music Festival in Old Sacramento. Go wild with your favorite rock and heavy metal bands during California’s largest rock festival—the Aftershock Festival at Discovery Park. Experience drumbeats of taiko, classical dances, flower arranging, a tea ceremony, concerts, food, and more during the two-day Annual Japanese Food & Cultural Bazaar. Feast on authentic German food and beer at Sacramento’s own Oktoberfest. See Contemporary art, speak to artists about their work, and purchase pieces to take home at the Sacramento Arts Festival!

Immerse Yourself in Sacto’s Arts Scene

Two actors on a stage in costume during a performance. Photo by Instagram user @sacmusicals

Photo via @sacmusicals

Sacramento has a rich art scene. Immerse yourself in fine art and Native American ceramics at the Crocker Art Museum. Attend elegant operas and concerts with the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera. Book tickets to see Contemporary and classic plays or musicals at the Sacramento Theatre Company. Sip beer while watching dance performances at Beer & Ballet, an annual event put on by Sacramento Ballet. Find fabulous Broadway shows on the West Coast—Broadway Sacramento has presented productions including Hairspray, The Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ Superstar, and even Disney’s Frozen! Or see where the city’s beauty comes from when you attend the Wide Open Walls Festival, an art initiative that brings artists from all over the world to turn alleyways and buildings into public art.

Join Sacto’s Coffee Craze & Boba Buzz

A tall cup of boba tea by Pearls on a table. Photo by Instagram user @sacpearls.

Photo via @sacpearls

Sacramento’s passion for a good cup of Joe lands them in the top 10 best cities for coffee. The city also has a boba tea culture about to bubble over, with dozens of milk tea options in Sacramento! Get your caffeine fix with an Apple Hill Latte, Algerian Mint Matcha, or simple pour-over coffee at Milka Coffee. Check out their whole beans or order a to-go cup of Cold Brew, Cappuccino, and even Horchata Cold Brew at Camellia Coffee Roasters. Find spiked boba options and taste customer favorites like Mango, Strawberry, and Super Fruit Tea at One Milk Tea. Choose between a Tiger Brown Sugar Boba Latte, Lychee Flamingo, or Taro Mochi drink from Michelin star-certified Teapercent. Or quench your thirst with a wide variety of milk teas, premium teas, coffee, or even shaved ice at Pearls Boba!

Eat Your Fill of Exquisite Cuisines

Sactown is a foodie paradise, with no shortage of mouth-watering restaurants and eateries. Need a hearty breakfast or brunch? Stop by The Mimosa House for The East Sacramento, The Florentine Benedict, or Butterfinger Toasties. Visit Bacon & Butter for their Michelin-awarded Strawberry Flapjacks, Peaches & Cream French Toast, or Smashed Fries & Bacon Gravy. Feed your soul during the lunch hour with mouth-watering Shrimp and Grits, Gumbo, or Smothered Pork Chops at Fixins Soul Kitchen. Get Garden Chorizo, Double Deluxe, or Al Pastor farm-fresh vegan tacos at Bambi Vegan Tacos. Feast on modern Chinese plates like Kung Pao Triple Crown, Curry Beef Short Ribs, or Young Shew Fried Rice at family-owned restaurant Frank Fat’s. Or bite into a slice of some of the best pizza in Sacramento at Federalist Public House with options like Margherita, Queen Regina, and Garfield pizza.

Get Into the Spirit at Local Sacramento Breweries

Four glasses of cider in front of the Nitty's Cider sign on a table. Photo by Instagram user @nittyscider.

Photo via @nittyscider

There’s nothing like an ice-cold beer at the end of the day—and good thing Sacramento has some hoppin’ options to choose from. Sip on seasonal beers or year-round offerings like Made in Sac, What The Haze, and Pincushion at any of Device Brewing Company‘s three locations, which are all dog and family-friendly. Check out the Jackrabbit Brewing Co. for beer recipes inspired by Belgian, English, and German brews. Try unique beer flavors like Yasss Cream Extreme, Mindshaker w/ Strawberry Pineapple, and Grandaddy Burps at New Glory Craft Brewery. Sample a wide range of delicious ciders, including Disco Hot Spot, Pineapple Grass Bracelets, or Saturday Sun at Nitty’s Cider. Or taste why The Underground Tasting Room is an award-winning Sacramento winery.

Dive In to Sacramento Nightlife

A mermaid in the Dive Bar looking out of the water tank. Photo by Instagram user @ghlsh8.

Photo via @ghlsh8

Sacramento’s nightlife is vibrant with spectacles and experiences for every walk of life! Sip drinks while watching mermaids and mermen perform with schools of fish at the Dive Bar. Aim for a high score while playing classics like Galaga, Frogger, and Pac-Man at Downtown Sacramento’s retro game pub, Coin-Op. Saunter over to one of the best bars in America to transport back in time to a 1920s speakeasy, with live music and artisan cocktails like the Hemingway Daiquiri and more at the Shady Lady Saloon. Catch the best up-and-coming comedic talent at Laughs Unlimited, which has hosted stars like Bob Saget, Jay Leno, and Jerry Seinfeld. Prepare for a night of glitter and glam and test your luck at Drag Queen Bingo every first Thursday at Mango’s Sacramento.


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Sacremento, CA - 16 Things to Know

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.