Coming to Sacramento for the first and second-round games of March Madness on Thursday, March 16 and Saturday, March 18? Whether you get to town early, or are looking for something to do between games, here’s our guide to some of the best local hotspots you won’t want to miss while you’re in Sacramento.


Temple Coffee
Image Courtesy of: Francisco Chavira

Start Your Day with a Cup of Coffee

There’s nothing like kickstarting your day with a cup of joe. Sacramento is home to a wide variety of local roasters including Chocolate Fish Coffee RoastersOld Soul Co. Milka Coffee, Pachamama,  Temple Coffee Roasters, and Upper Crust Baking. No matter which coffee shop you choose, we know you won’t be disappointed.

Not a fan of coffee? Here are five non-coffee drinks to try at those local coffee shops.


General-Old Sacramento Waterfront

Explore the Old Sacramento Waterfront

No games on Friday? No problem. Sacramento is full of rich history, and a trip to the Old Sacramento Waterfront is the perfect plan if you feel like indulging in California history. Experience the time of the Transcontinental Railroad at the California State Railroad Museum, North America’s largest railroad museum, or learn about Sacramento history around the Gold Rush on an underground tour of the Old Sacramento Waterfront at the Sacramento History Museum .  After exploring Sacramento history, head over to Candy Heaven to grab a sweet treat, or check out Evangeline’s for tons of unique gifts, gags, and gadgets for all ages.

Learn more about the Old Sacramento Waterfront.


capitol building in sacramento with trees in the foreground

Visit Sacramento’s Iconic Landmarks

Being the capital of California, there are several landmarks you won’t want to miss checking out during your trip to Sacramento. Stroll down Capitol Mall to catch a glimpse of the Capitol Building at one end and Tower Bridge at the other. Afterward, head over to East Sacramento to take a walk through the McKinley Park Rose Garden, which was featured in the popular Sacramento-based film Lady Bird.


Punch Bowl SocialImage Courtesy of: Punch Bowl Social

Try a New Activity

Looking for something fun to do while you’re in Sacramento? Grab your crew and enjoy axe-throwing at one of Smart Axe’s several locations around the Sacramento area, or play a round of mini golf at Flatstick Pub. If you’re looking for bowling, billiards, darts, ping-pong, karaoke and more, head over to Punch Bowl Social in DOCO for a guaranteed evening of fun.

Explore more things to do in Sacramento.


DTN - ROS - Fizz Champagne & Bubbles Bar
Image Courtesy of: Fizz Champagne & Bubbles Bar

Enjoy a Cocktail

There’s no better way to get ready for the game than enjoying a cocktail. Fizz Champagne & Bubbles Bar and Revival at the Sawyer are both conveniently located in DOCO, where Golden 1 Center is, and are the perfect places to go if you’re looking to grab a cocktail or a glass of champagne. If you’re downtown, Public House Downtown on 16th Street offers a unique approach to your usual sports bar, and Juju Kitchen and Cocktails on L Street offers a variety of small plates, craft cocktails, and local beers and wines.


Sauced BBQ & Spirits

Image Courtesy of: KJ 2 Productions

Grab a Bite to Eat

You don’t have to worry about getting hungry during a game when you’re in America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital. Head over to DOCO before the game to enjoy southern barbeque at Sauced BBQ & Spirits, surf ‘n’ turf at Echo & Rig, or delicious food and craft cocktails at Punch Bowl Social. If you’re running late for the game, not to worry. Whether you’re in the mood for tacos, wood-fired pizza, or a bier hall sausage, there are plenty of delicious local restaurants to eat at inside Golden 1 Center.

Discover other Sacramento restaurants.


The Sacramento Mural on the side of Shasta Hall at Sacramento State University. Each letter was painted by a different artist

Image Courtesy of: Francisco Chavira

Watch the Sacramento State Women's Basketball Team in the Women's NCAA Tournament

The Sacramento State Women's Basketball team is going dancing! Grab your friends and family and head over to SacYard Community Tap House at 8:30 p.m. to watch Sacramento State take on UCLA in the Women's NCAA Tournament.


Coin Op Game Room Sacramento

Explore Sacramento Nightlife

The fun doesn’t have to stop once the buzzer goes off. Keep the night going by checking out some of Sacramento’s nightlife spots. From Tiger and Coin-Op Game Room on K Street, to Goldfield Trading Post and The Golden Bear in Midtown, there are plenty of happening spots near Golden 1 Center.

Check out other Sacramento nightlife spots.


Regional Transit Bus - Tower Bridge

Getting There

From Folsom (Hwy. 50):

  • Merge onto US-50W
  • Merge onto I-5 N
  • Take the J Street exit toward Downtown

From Elk Grove (Hwy. 99):

  • From Hwy. 99, merge onto US-50W
  • Merge onto I-5 N
  • Take the J Street exit toward Downtown

From Roseville (I-80 W):

  • Merge onto I-80 W
  • Continue on Capital City Fwy.
  • Take the J Street exit toward Downtown

From Davis (I-80 E):

  • Merge onto I-80 E
  • Merge onto I-5 N toward Redding
  • Take the J Street exit toward Downtown

From Natomas (I-5 S):

  • Merge onto I-5 S
  • Take the J Street exit toward Downtown

Take advantage of the SacRT light rail as there are multiple light rail stations conveniently located within a block of the arena. For more information about SacRT, check out our guide about using SacRT.


Golden 1 Center

Parking at Golden 1 Center

Here are a few parking garages near Golden 1 Center:

  • DOCO West Parking Garage
  • Plaza 555 Garage
  • 520 Capitol Mall Garage

Golden 1 Center encourages fans to use the SacPark website to find and reserve parking ahead of time.


March Madness

No tickets? No Problem

There’s still time to buy tickets for the first- and second-round games of the 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship at Golden 1 Center! To buy tickets or for more information, visit