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.
If you came to San Francisco this summer dreaming of a California heat wave, you might be a little confused. Sure, SF's proud of its quirky weather patterns, which tend to bring sunshine in the fall and winter and chilly fog in the summer. But there's nothing wrong with looking a bit further afield when you need a little Vitamin D.
As California's State Capital, Sacramento is packed with history: everywhere you turn in this city, it seems, you'll run smack into an old mansion, a historic storefront, or a cobbled street. So it's fitting that Sacramento takes documenting its history very, very seriously. In fact, whatever subject you're interested in – whether it's completely esoteric or universally appreciated – chances are good that Sacramento's got a museum that's right up your alley.
So, you finally come out to California for your sun-filled, beach-tastic vacation, and what happens? It decides to rain. It's nothing personal: the Northern California weather can be indecisive, with warm snaps in the winter and rain storms pretty much any time. The good news is, the rain isn't always here to stay. And the better news is, even when it's cats and dogs outside, there are still plenty of ways to experience everything that makes Northern California special.
The brand-new General Manager over at HI-Sacramento, Marc Johnson, hasn't been in town long. This consummate traveler's fresh off a string of stints living in Washington, Texas, and even London. But even though he just unpacked his bags in Sacramento a few months ago, he can already tell there's something special about this town. "The more I see of it, the more I want to see," he says.