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Where to Get a Shot of Coffee Culture in Northern California

A caffeine fix, a break from the go-go-go lifestyle of backpacking, a ringside look at the local culture – there are so many reasons we love stopping into neighborhood cafés wherever our travels take us. And here in Northern California, there are endless ways to make a run-of-the-mill refueling stop into a one-of-a-kind experience: from no-frills cups of Joe at corner mainstays, to sweet concoctions in exotic neighborhoods, to artful pours of espresso at high-class hideaways, here a few of our favorites spots for coffee and culture.

Near Sacramento, it's Autumn on Apple Hill

It's mid-October, but it still feels like summer in Sacramento. This shouldn't, perhaps, be too much of a surprise: about 80% of days around California's state capital are sunny, often in defiance of the season. But I've come here today to do something specifically, traditionally, quintessentially autumnal, and so it's taking me a while to wrap my head around the heat: who dresses for a day of apple-picking, pie-tasting, cider sipping, and pumpkin patching wearing shorts and a T-shirt and SPF 50?

Two Perfect Days in Sacramento

Whether you're a history buff or a political junkie, a sun-worshipper or a locavore foodie, we've got a surprise destination that's perfect for you: Sacramento. Sure, California's State Capital may not get as much attention in the guide books as its more glamorous cousins to the north and south. But Sacramento's been quietly making a name for itself for well over a century: this is one the oldest cities in the state (with the architecture to prove it), the seat of California's government, and a magnet for chefs, farmers, artists, and musicians.

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