11 Reasons to Love Sacramento in the Summer
There is something especially magical about Sacramento in the summertime. This is perhaps due to the ever-present sunshine, the abundance of people enjoying outdoor activities, and the various community events on the city’s calendar.
Sacramento is situated in a region perfect for enjoying this season to the absolute fullest. Not convinced? Sift through just a few of the endless reasons to love Sacramento in the summer!
1. There are plenty of outdoor patios.
One of our favorite viewpoints for enjoying Sacramento in the summer is out on one of the many outdoor patios in town. This is the perfect place to take in the wonderful weather while sampling some of the best local flavors. For quick reference, our absolute favorite patios can be found at Paragary’s, The Firehouse Restaurant, and Ten22.
If you have your four-legged friend along for the ride, they will be welcomed with open arms at several dog-friendly patios in Sacramento, too! There’s nothing quite like bringing your dog along while you enjoy a meal with family and friends at a local eatery.
2. The city’s park system is amazing.
Another great place for taking in the wonderful summer weather is at one of Sacramento’s parks. Since there are 222 parks and parkways taking up almost 3,200 acres of land in the City of Sacramento, it can be pretty overwhelming if you’re on the lookout for a place to park your picnic.
To simplify your search, you should head to one of the following parks this summer:
Discovery Park is situated at the conjunction of the Sacramento River and American River, with over 300 acres of land to enjoy. Cool off by the river on hot days, go for a bike ride on the American River Bike Trail, or have a picnic in the shade. This centrally located park in the heart of the city has it all!
McKinley Park includes over 30 acres of land with 40+ picnic tables, BBQ pits, a rose garden, tennis courts, a fishing pond, swimming and wading pools, volleyball courts, and more!
Photos Courtesy of the City of Sacramento
If you’re looking for a place to let your dog get some energy out, there are plenty of dog parks in the city as well, including:
Granite Regional Park is a clean and welcoming dog park with a combination of grassy and sandy areas for your dog to run around in. Grab a Starbucks drink on your way in and enjoy the provided seating or a nice walk through this park with your dog!
North Natomas Regional Park has two acres available for large dogs over 25 pounds, and a half acre for small and timid dogs. This is a great space to let your dog roam around while you socialize with fellow dog owners.
Partner Park doesn’t have individual areas to separate dogs based on their size, but the area for them to roam is large enough to give your dog some space if need be. This is a picturesque park you and your dog will enjoy!
3. Sacramento’s summer festival game is strong.
Festivals and community events tend to bring the excitement of summer up a notch or two. There are plenty of festivals going on this summer in Sacramento to make sure you celebrate all things local, flavorful and exciting. Don’t miss these fun-filled festivals and community events to add a little spark to your Sacramento summer:
California State Fair | July 8–24, 2016
Sactown Wings | July 31, 2016
The Color Run | August 6, 2016
Sacramento Banana Festival | August 20–21, 2016
Photo Courtesy of California State Fair
4. There are several bodies of water for swimming + water sports.
Sacramento may not be situated right along the Pacific Ocean (although it’s just a short drive away!), but there are several bodies of water in the area for all your summertime activity needs.
Boat or raft down the American River, accessible at various points throughout Sacramento.
Looking for some gear to borrow? Rent a kayak, canoe, paddleboard or paddleboat at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center.
5. You can travel back in time with a drive-in movie.
West Wind Drive-In Theater is the largest drive-in chain in the country, with locations in seven states, but it has been family-owned and operated since day one! Enjoy warm summer nights as a family at this modern-day outdoor theater providing a taste of the past. West Wind is where relaxed family fun meets old-school nostalgia — topped with the latest technology.
You can toss a frisbee or football around before the show of between movies at a double-feature, or watch the little ones run around on the play structure near the snack bar.
Check out the Sacramento location showtimes, and incorporate a fun drive-in night into your family’s summer schedule. In fact, this will be cheaper (and way more fun!) than a night at a traditional movie theater. General admission costs $7.95, kids between the ages of 5 and 11 are just $1.25, and kids under 4 get in for free! And if you show up on West Wind’s Family Fun Night each Tuesday, entrance is just $5.25 per person.
Photo Courtesy of West Wind Drive-In Theater
6. There are lots of ice cream-filled donuts in Sacramento.
…That’s right. Ice cream-filled donuts. If you love both ice cream and donuts, this might just be the combination you never knew you were searching for. These local sweet shops will be equipped with this dessert craze, ready to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The name of the game for The Parlor is ice cream-filled donuts, or ice cream puffs. They have some extremely out-there combinations, like their sea salt caramel ice cream stuffed inside a warm donut with toffee bits and potato chips!
Baker’s Donuts is known for some pretty unique concoctions as well, like Fruity Pebbles donuts and bacon donuts, and they have lots of ice cream-filled donuts, known as Ice Glazers to cool you off on a hot summer day.
7. This city knows its farm-fresh fare.
As you probably know by now, Sacramento is America’s farm to fork capital. No matter what time of the year it is, you can enjoy seasonal menus and fresh ingredients sourced from a local farm, but the farm-fresh vibe is kicked into hyperdrive during the summer.
One of the best ways to gather fresh ingredients for your fridge is at one of Sacramento’s local farmers’ markets happening on a daily basis all over the city and surrounding areas. (Be sure to check out our interactive map of the many farmer’s markets in the area!) This is a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with some farmers and makers in the area dedicated to providing all things fresh and local.
Or you could combine fitness with health by taking a yoga class and picking some organic produce at Soil Born Farms every Saturday. Join the yoga class at 9 a.m. at their outdoor amphitheater and visit the farmstand until noon.
There are also plenty of places in and around the city where you can pick your own summer fruit!
Travel just 25 minutes out of downtown Sacramento to Delta Islands Organic Farm in Walnut Grove, where you can pick from over 30 varieties of organic heirloom tomatoes, and other fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
From Wednesday through Sunday between July and October, head to R Kelley Farms to pick your own fruits and vegetables. Request a current list of available items before your visit on their online order form!
Impossible Acres in Davis has a wonderful variety of fruits ready for you to pick during the summer, including boysenberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, apples, cherries, tomatoes, apricots, and more!
8. There are so many day trips and weekend getaways nearby.
Sacramento’s central location in the state of California means you are close to several desirable destinations. All it takes is a little gas money, your GPS, a hotel reservation, and an overnight bag if you’re turning the trip into a weekend getaway.
Hop on board an Amtrak or get a $6 bus ticket to an A’s game in Oakland. Or cheer on the Giants in San Francisco, after a short road trip just under 2 hours. Watching baseball is a quintessential summertime activity in America, and there are two major league teams playing this summer just a short distance away!
Lake Tahoe is also about 2 hours away from Sacramento, which means you can enjoy a full day relaxing on the lake shore and taking in all that this action-packed lake has to offer. This is a world-renowned location for water sports, biking, fishing, hiking, golfing and more! Whether you’re at the northern part of the lake or the southern tip, there’s plenty of activity to enjoy.
Northern California is known across the entire world as a region saturated with vineyards. Thankfully, we have immediate access to this luxury and the wonderful wines produced therein.
Amador County Wineries is a complex of 40+ wineries and tasting rooms in Amador County showcasing award-winning Zinfandels, Barberas and Rhones. Drive just a few miles east of Sacramento and venture through the rustic vistas and breathtaking vineyards of this region.
Hop onto the Placer County Wine Trail, a collection of boutique wineries spanning from Sacramento all the way to Lake Tahoe. Placer County Wineries are truly unique, offering a refreshing change from the mainstream and less personalized wine tasting experiences you might find elsewhere. Take a look at the map to see all the wineries along the trail!
9. There are plenty of wineries and breweries in the heart of the city.
In addition to the plethora of wineries in nearby regions, there are several urban wineries right here in Sacramento. Not to mention, there are countless places to grab a beer in the city. And while wineries and breweries stay open year round, they seem to be that much more enjoyable during the summer.
Some of our favorite places to sip wine in the city include…
Revolution Wines is Sacramento’s only fully operational urban winery. They crush, ferment and bottle their grapes on-site at their location in the Winn Park neighborhood. Order an inventive dish off their farm-to-fork menu to pair with one of their exceptional wines.
58 Degrees & Holding Co. may not make wines on their premises, but you can choose from over 58 wine selections by the glass, featuring some of the most interesting wines from all over the world. Sit back in their upscale yet relaxing environment located in the heart of Midtown.
Frasinetti’s Winery & Restaurant blends old-world traditions with improved methods of the present. Experience good food and wine in their rich historical setting. In fact, Frasinetti’s is Sacramento’s oldest family owned and operated winery that has been up and running since 1897!
Photo Courtesy of 58 Degrees & Holding Co.
And these are some of our favorite local breweries…
New Glory Craft Brewery is a brewery and taproom offering four unique beer series, including a Classic Ale Series, Seasonal Ale Series, Funk ‘n’ Wild Series and their Vintage Ale Series.
Yolo Brewing Company is a West Sacramento staple, offering a unique selection of beers crafted with all-grain mash, using only the finest ingredients. Unwind on their Beer Dock during the summer or at their tasting counter during the colder months!
10. We have an impressive fleet of local food trucks.
A sure sign of summer in the city is the presence of local food trucks parked side-by-side on the street during lunchtime or at various community events. There are so many to choose from in Sacramento! But a few of our favorites include…
Bacon MANia for their American fare favoring all things bacon.
Chando’s Tacos for their exceptional Mexican food.
Photo Courtesy of Bacon MANia
11. Sacramento’s summer weather is absolutely perfect.
And above all, you couldn’t possible enjoy any of the above-mentioned activities and community features without Sacramento’s gorgeous summer weather. With average high temperatures in the upper 80s and lower 90s and average lows in the mid-50s, you can’t get a much better forecast. Although Sacramento summers may be hot and dry, you can count on more sunny days so you don’t have to figure out a rain plan for your summer barbeque. Plus, the heat will allow you to jump into the neighborhood pool without reservation!
Happy Summer, Sacramento!
What reasons do you have for loving SacTown in the summer? We’d love to know!