California State Capitol

In town for a convention? You don’t have to stray far from the Sacramento Convention Center to discover the essence of our city. Here are 10 suggestions for filling in those gaps between commitments.


1.       Rub shoulders with politicos and fill up on fun facts during a free tour of the California State Capitol.

2.       Get some fresh air in Capitol Park, where 40 acres of gardens and memorials await exploration just two blocks from the convention center.

3.       Explore Midtown. Sacramento’s vibrant Midtown district is home to dozens of boutiques, galleries, restaurants bars and nightclubs. From the convention center, turn right on J Street and let serendipity be your guide.

4.       Get happy. Downtown and Midtown restaurants are justifiably renowned for happy hour deals aimed at the after-work crowd. Mikuni Sushi, Spataro, Ella Dining Room & Bar and de Vere’s Irish Pub are all popular.

5.       Visit Old Sacramento. Don’t miss this 28-acre National Historic Landmark district filled with buildings set in the time frame of the 1849 Gold Rush and the coming of the Transcontinental Railroad.

6.       Eat our (or in). Trying local restaurants is the fun part of a convention stay, but don’t overlook in-house dining at your convention hotel. Dawson’s at the Hyatt, Morgan’s at the Sheraton Grand and Grange at the Citizen Hotel are among the city’s best.

7.       Take a coffee shop break. Sometimes you just need to get away from the crowd, out of your hotel and into a place where you can enjoy a quiet cuppa joe. Temple Coffee and Old Soul Co. are Sacramento originals.

8.       Visit the California Museum. From its Hall of Fame gallery to its changing exhibits, this “home of the California dream” explores the people, places and events that have shaped the state. Dig in some more at the California State Archives, upstairs in the same building.

9.       Go carousing. Sure you have to be dressed and at your meeting by  8 a.m. tomorrow. But that shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying Sacramento by night. Our night spots include Mix Downtown, The Park Ultra Lounge, Faces and Harlow’s.

10.   Get cultured. The Crocker Art Museum, founded in 1885 and recently doubled in size thanks to a new addition, showcases a century and a half of California art as well as changing exhibitions.