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Enjoy farm-to-table food and explore Gold Rush history in California’s vibrant capital city

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Sacramento is undergoing an energetic renaissance. Young professionals looking for an urban vibe are moving into this low-key city, with microbreweries, gastropubs, and trendy boutiques popping up on every corner. Award-winning chefs are gaining attention for their focus on hyper-local ingredients, and relationships between restaurants and surrounding farms have made Sacramento the nation’s leader in farm-to-fork cuisine. Hot summer days create some of the most idyllic evenings anywhere in the state, where locals sit on porches in elegant Victorian-era homes, and kids scamper in leafy parks until the sun goes down.

As the state capital, there’s plenty going on, and gatherings of various colorful groups around the cupola-topped Capitol Museum are common. Museums are centered largely around the Capitol Mall area and in the historic Old Sacramento Waterfront, the renovated area along the Sacramento River that was a hub during the Gold Rush. History buffs will love the California State Railroad Museum, featuring carefully restored “iron horses,” and the Sacramento History Museumwhere guides in period costumes lead you on a tour of underground spaces and streets abandoned when, as an anti-flooding measure, the city raised its streets and buildings. (Those over 21 can go on special “Underground After Hours” tours to delve into the city’s darker past.) Also, don’t miss the interactive California Museumhome of the California Hall of FameFor a mobile experience, try a walking, running, or cycling tour with Sac Tour Company, offering an on-the-go look at the city’s important structures and public art.

Whether on foot or on wheels, getting around the city is a cinch. Granted the gold award for bike-friendliness by the League of American Bicyclists, Sacramento is a great place to explore by bike, with wide designated lanes, and paved trails along the American and Sacramento Rivers. There’s also a convenient light-rail system linking popular sites around town. Car travel is easy as well, thanks to minimal traffic in the city center and beyond.

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