2012: A Big Year for SacramentoThis was a big year for Sacramento, and next year will be even bigger.

2012 saw Sacramento officially named “America’s Farm to Fork Capital” – a title well-earned over the past 200 years. The farms in the Sacramento region supply ingredients to the country’s best restaurants…and, of course, many of those restaurants are right here in California’s capital. And mark your calendars for September 2013 when Sacramento presents the inaugural Farm to Fork Festival.

This year we saw the addition of great restaurants and bars such as Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. with its rustic California décor, inventive menu and – most importantly – Negroni cocktails on tap. Then there’s Oishii  Sushi Bar & Karaoke, where you can order a party platter of Nnigiri and take it to your own private karaoke room.

Or how about Downtown & Vine, which brings the best wineries in California right to downtown Sacramento, with a collection of Napa, Sonoma, California Delta, Gold Country and Foothill wines offering tastings right there. And just down K Street from there you’ll find the new KBar overflowing with folks enjoying late-night bites and great happy hour deals.

Let’s not forget the new Firestone Public House, which also opened to much fanfare in 2012 as it properly completed the vision of restoring the old Firestone Tire Shop into a vibrant downtown Sacramento dining and nightlife location.

And that’s just a handful of the new spots in town.

Tours in Sacramento have also seen a boom. Local Roots Food Tours and Grange Restaurant’s “Follow the Chef” program showcase Sacramento’s “farm-to-fork” prowess. Or if you prefer to see the city by bike, there’s always a casual historic city tour from Fast Eddie Bike Tours. For the more adventurous, Giro d’Oro Cycling will even guide you through all 30+ miles of the American River Parkway Bike Trail or on a cycling escape through the foothills.

2012: A Big Year for SacramentoOf course, not everything in Sacramento was new in 2012, the classics also stood their ground. Old Sacramento, our venerable waterfront district, is better than ever. In the Fall, Old Sacramento welcomed the National Tour Association’s Tourism Cares volunteer program to town as over 250 travel and tourism professionals picked up paintbrushes, hammers, shovels and saws to restore, repair and beautify the historic district. If you haven’t seen Old Sacramento for a while, you’ll want to get out there and reconnect with California’s Wild West past.

Speaking of Sacramento’s past, the city is on its way to recapturing its rightful place as the beer capital of the west. Prior to prohibition Sacramento was known as the “Milwaukee of the West” for its impressive collection of breweries. With plenty of water from two major rivers, the best land for growing hops and the post-Gold Rush influx of German immigrants with beer-making knowledge, 1800s Sacramento was the perfect place to make beer. Of course, prohibition put a damper on all that. But now, Sacramento is regaining its beer-making reputation as the city is home to numerous craft brewers such as Ruhstaller, River City Brewing, Track 7, American River Brewing, Rubicon, Hoppy Brewing and more. There’s even Two Rivers Cider which produces some of the finest hard cider available anywhere. So come on by for a beer or two.

2012 was also a great year for festivals in Sacramento: Gold Rush Days, Grape Escape, Beer Week, Restaurant Week, California Capital Airshow, the Launch Art & Design Festival, the Sacramento Music Festival and more kept us busy all year long.

In short, 2012 was a year filled with great food, locally produced beer, fine wines, some awesome bike rides, a lot of festivals and some Wild West fun. Not too shabby.

If you are interested in bringing setting up a group tour to Sacramento, email us at tourism@discovergold.org.

See you in 2013!