West Sacramento California Real Estate and Community Information

West Sacramento California Real Estate and Community Information

City of West Sacramento - Williams Landmark Real Estate

All About West Sacramento California

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West Sacramento (also known as West Sac) is a city in Yolo CountyCalifornia. The city is separated from Sacramento by the Sacramento River which also separates Sacramento and Yolo counties. It is a fast-growing community; the population was 48,744 at the 2010 census, up from 31,615 at the 2000 census. The traditional industrial center of the region since the Gold Rush era, West Sacramento is home to a diverse economy and is one of the area’s top four employment centers.

The United States Conference of Mayors named West Sacramento as the Most Livable City in America in 2014 in the category of cities with fewer than 100,000 residents.

West Sacramento is part of the Sacramento–Arden Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area which has a population (2000) of approximately 1,796,857. Major industries to the region include agriculture, government, and transportation.

History

Gold Rush era

In 1844, John Schwartz, a Flemish traveler, was the first Euro-American to permanently settle in the area of West Sacramento, which at that time was part of Mexico. He built a shack on the west bank of the Sacramento River six miles (10 km) south of its connection with the American River. John, with the help of his brother George, founded a salmon fishery along the river. In addition to the fishery, they also found the soil to be fertile and began farming and raising livestock. The announcement of the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 brought a multitude of miners to the region. This also coincided with the end of the Mexican–American War.

In 1846, a man named James McDowell bought 600 acres (240 ha) from John Schwartz. With his wife, Margaret, and their three daughters, McDowell settled in the area we know today as Broderick. The McDowell family experienced first-hand the violence that the gold rush era brought with it. In May 1849, James McDowell was shot and killed in a barroom argument that he had supposedly started. With the loss of the sole supporter of the McDowell family, Margaret needed to find a way to provide for her family.

In October 1849, Margaret hired a land surveyor to map out 160 acres (65 ha), which was then divided into forty one blocks. She sold individual lots within this platted area which she named the “Town of Washington”. The first lot was sold to August W. Kaye for $500. During its first ten years, the rural Town of Washington went through a significant increase in business development and shipping activity. One of the first businesses to be established in the town was the California Steam Navigation Company, which was attracted to the area in 1859 by how close the Sacramento River is to it. Other businesses in early Washington included hotels, saloons, and restaurants catering to the needs of people passing through. Many of the travelers making the treacherous journey through the marshlands on their way to Sacramento were appreciative of the rest stop at the Town of Washington.

While Sacramento began to urbanize on the other side of the river, early West Sacramento found its hand at agricultural development. Salmon, sturgeon, catfish, eel, crayfish, and clams proved to be lucrative in this region as fisherman soon found. The river settlement was flourishing, stocking fish markets not only in Sacramento, but in San Francisco as well. In addition, the rich soil of the valley produced abundant crops of com, melons, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes. The dairy industry also established roots in West Sacramento around this time.

One of the area’s most well known dairy farmers was Mike Bryte. Bryte came to California in 1849 to try his hand at gold mining. He didn’t make a fortune in gold, but was able to purchase a dairy farm with his findings. When the California Steam Navigation Company came to Washington, Bryte used the steamships to carry his dairy products to various markets within the region. Profits from this allowed Bryte to expand his holdings. Bryte was able to own several thousand acres of land in the area to farm on, as well as raise his many livestock on. Mike Bryte’s influence in the community was marked by his election to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors and later as sheriff. During the 20th century, Mike Bryte’s property was divided and became known as the community of Bryte.

Mission Motel on Route 99 in West Sacramento (c.1930s).

Developing a city

In time, the region began to develop. The Town of Washington was renamed Broderick in honor of U. S. Senator David C. Broderick. After 1900, the three communities known as BryteBroderick, and West Sacramento were cumulatively known as “East Yolo”.

From 1900 to 1920, the population of this area doubled from 1,398 to 2,638. The West Sacramento post office opened in 1915.

These communities officially incorporated as the City of West Sacramento in 1987.

Was chosen for a pilot program called VIA which is a van pool rideshare program.

Port of West Sacramento, located in the city.

Port of West Sacramento

In June 1963, the Port of Sacramento was opened to deep sea traffic with the completion of the Sacramento Deep Water Ship Channel. The project had been authorized by Congress in 1946 and construction commenced in 1949 on the west side of the river. It has since been renamed The Port of West Sacramento.

Geography

West Sacramento is located at 38°34′50″N 121°31′49″W.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.8 square miles (59 km2), of which, 21.4 square miles (55 km2) of it is land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) of it (6.22%) is water.

West Sacramento, which lies in Yolo County, is separated from the city of Sacramento and Sacramento County by the Sacramento River. West Sacramento, incorporated in 1987, consists of three communities that were originally distinct towns, BroderickBryte, and West Sacramento (originally just the community north of the port canal and south of the railroads), as well as the Southport area.

Southport, which comprises about half of the city’s land area, originally consisted of rural homesteads and small neighborhoods in Arlington Oaks and Linden, but now has a considerable population that resulted from housing booms in the early 1990s and the early 2000s, adding new neighborhoods in Bridgeway, Gateway, River Ranch, and Newport.

Climate

According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, West Sacramento has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated “Csa” on climate maps.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 12,002
1980 10,875 −9.4%
1990 28,898 165.7%
2000 31,615 9.4%
2010 48,744 54.2%
Est. 2016 52,981 8.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that West Sacramento had a population of 48,744. The population density was 2,133.5 people per square mile (823.8/km²). The racial makeup of West Sacramento was 29,521 (60.6%) White, 2,344 (4.8%) African American, 798 (1.6%) Native American, 5,106 (10.5%) Asian, 534 (1.1%) Pacific Islander, 6,709 (13.8%) from other races, and 3,732 (7.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15,282 persons (31.4%).

The Census reported that 48,406 people (99.3% of the population) lived in households, 246 (0.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 92 (0.2%) were institutionalized.

There were 17,421 households, out of which 6,626 (38.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 8,073 (46.3%) were Heterosexual-sex married couples living together, 2,574 (14.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,016 (5.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,307 (7.5%) unmarried Heterosexual partnerships, and 186 (1.1%) Homosexual married couples or partnerships. 4,264 households (24.5%) were made up of individuals and 1,314 (7.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78. There were 11,663 families (66.9% of all households); the average family size was 3.37.

The population was spread out with 13,036 people (26.7%) under the age of 18, 4,435 people (9.1%) aged 18 to 24, 15,129 people (31.0%) aged 25 to 44, 11,363 people (23.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 4,781 people (9.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.0 males.

There were 18,681 housing units at an average density of 817.7 per square mile (315.7/km²), of which 10,234 (58.7%) were owner-occupied, and 7,187 (41.3%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 7.0%. 28,012 people (57.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 20,394 people (41.8%) lived in rental housing units.

2000

As of the census of 2000, there were 31,615 people, 11,404 households, and 7,595 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,509.5 people per square mile (582.9/km²). There were 12,133 housing units at an average density of 579.3 per square mile (223.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.99% White, 2.57% African American, 1.76% Native American, 7.22% Asian, 0.58% Pacific Islander, 15.99% from other races, and 6.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 29.95% of the population.

There were 11,404 households out of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.4% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.39.

In the city, the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,718, and the median income for a family was $36,371. Males had a median income of $31,176 versus $30,183 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,245. About 17.2% of families and 22.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.8% of those under age 18 and 12.4% of those age 65 or over.

The Government of Sacramento operates as a charter city (as opposed to a general law city) under the Charter of the City of Sacramento. The elected government is composed of the Sacramento City Council with 8 city council districts and the Mayor of Sacramento, which operate under a mayor-council government.

In addition, there are numerous departments and appointed officers such as the City Manager, Sacramento Police Department (SPD), the Sacramento Fire Department (SFD), City Clerk, City Attorney, and City Treasurer.

As of 2016, the mayor is Darrell Steinberg and the council members are Angelique Ashby, Allen Warren, Jeff Harris, Steve Hansen, Jay Schenirer, Rich Jennings, and Larry Carr.

The City of Sacramento is part of Sacramento County, for which the government of Sacramento County is defined and authorized under the California ConstitutionCalifornia law, and the Charter of the County of Sacramento.

As the capital city of California, Sacramento is home to the Government of California, as the seat of the Governor of California, the California Assembly, and one of the three homes of the California Supreme Court, as well as the numerous California state agencies.

State and Federal representation

In the California State Senate, Sacramento is the heart of the 6th district, represented by Democrat Richard Pan. In the California State Assembly, it is split between the 7th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Kevin McCarty, and the 9th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Jim Cooper.

In the United States House of Representatives, Sacramento forms the majority of the California’s 6th congressional district, represented by Democrat Doris Matsui.

Retail

In March 2006, IKEA opened a store in West Sacramento near Reed Avenue and Interstate 80 in the Riverpoint Shopping Center. On November 15, 2007 a Home Depot opened in the Riverpoint Shopping Center, next to IKEA. Target opened a new store at the Southport Shopping Center directly across from Nugget Market, an upscale grocery store headquartered in Woodland, California. A Lowe’s Home Improvement Center just west of Target, behind Arlington Oaks was completed in February 2008.

Raley’s, a major grocery store chain in Northern and Central California, has its corporate headquarters in West Sacramento.

The California State Teachers Retirement System pension fund CalSTRS is based in West Sacramento and its headquarters tower on the riverfront is the city’s tallest building.

In 2011, the mayor launched an initiative to develop the city as a global food hub and center of food innovation, and several major international companies in the sector made West Sacramento their US or North American headquarters and manufacturing/research centers, including Nippon Shokken, Shinmei Foods, TOMRA, and Bayer Crop Science 

Top employers

According to the City’s 2015 “Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,” the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 United States Postal Service 1,605
2 State of California, General Services 1,960
3 California State Teachers’ Retirement System 1,215
4 United Parcel Service (UPS) 1,182
5 Xerox Healthcare 900
6 Washington Unified School District 750
7 Raley’s/Bel Air 634
8 Tony’s Fine Foods/United Natural Foods 500
9 Nor-Cal Beverage 500
10 Clark Pacific 439
11 Aetna Healthcare 400
12 ABM Janitorial 400
13 Hunter Douglas/Bytheways Inc. 400
14 Walmart 391
15 City of West Sacramento 362
16 Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics 286
17 IKEA 256
18 Farmers’ Rice Cooperative 250
19 KOVR TV 13 231
20 Idexx Veterinary Services 171
21 Target 150
22 The Home Depot 103
23 Lowe’s Home Improvement 100

Schools

Washington Unified School District

Public schools and programs operated by the Washington Unified School District currently include:

Elementary schools

  • Bridgeway Island
  • Elkhorn
  • Riverbank
  • Southport
  • Stonegate
  • Westfield
  • Westmore Oaks

High schools

  • River City High School

Alternative programs

  • Independent Study
  • Preschool programs
  • Washington Adult School
  • Yolo Education Center
  • Bryte Career and College Training

Charter schools

  • Washington Middle College High School

Independent / private schools

  • Sacramento Valley Charter School
  • Heritage Peak Charter School
  • Our Lady of Grace, WestSac
  • Lighthouse Charter School

Colleges

Higher education

The main campuses of the University of California, Davis are in Davis, California (top) and Central Sacramento (bottom).

Sacramento State University is one of the best ranked universities on the West Coast.

The Sacramento area hosts a wide variety of higher educational opportunities. There are two major public universities, many private institutions, community colleges, vocational schools, and McGeorge School of Law.

Sacramento is home to Sacramento State (California State University, Sacramento), founded as Sacramento State College in 1947. In 2004, enrollment was 22,555 undergraduates and 5,417 graduate students in the university’s eight colleges. The university’s mascot is the hornet, and the school colors are green and gold. The 300 acres (1.2 km2) campus is located along the American River Parkway a few miles east of downtown.

The University of California has a campus, UC Davis, in nearby Davis and has a graduate center in downtown Sacramento. The UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM) is near the UC Davis Medical Center off of Stockton Boulevard near Highway 50. Many students, about 400 out of 517, at the UC Davis GSM are working professionals and are completing their MBA part-time. The part-time program is ranked in the top-20 and is well known for its small class size, world class faculty, and involvement in the business community. UC also maintains the University of California Sacramento Center (UCCS) for undergraduate and graduate studies. Similar to the UC’s Washington, D.C., program, “Scholar Interns” engage in both academic studies and as well as internships, often with the state government. The UC Davis School of Medicine is located at the UC Davis Medical Center between the neighborhoods of ElmhurstTahoe Park, and Oak Park.

The Los Rios Community College District consists of several two-year colleges in the Sacramento area—American River CollegeCosumnes River CollegeSacramento City CollegeFolsom Lake College, plus a large number of outreach centers for those colleges. Sierra College is on the outskirts of Sacramento in Rocklin.

University of the Pacific has its Sacramento Campus in the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento. The campus has long included McGeorge School of Law and in 2015 was expanded to become a comprehensive graduate and professional campus, including programs in analytics, business, education, health sciences, and public policy.

The National University Sacramento regional campus offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, education, health-care and teaching credential programs.

The University of San Francisco has one of its four regional campuses in Sacramento. At the undergraduate level they offer degrees in Applied Economics, Information Systems, Organizational Behavior and Leadership, and Public Administration. At the graduate level, Master’s programs are offered in: Information Security and Assurance, Information Systems, Organization Development, Project Management, Public Administration, Nonprofit Administration, and Counseling.

The private University of Southern California has an extension in downtown Sacramento, called the State Capital Center. The campus, taught by main campus professors, Sacramento-based professors, and practitioners in the State Capitol and state agencies, offers Master of Public Administration, Masters of Public Policy, and Master of Public Health degrees.

Epic Bible College and the Professional School of Psychology are also based in Sacramento. Western Seminary has one of its four campuses in Sacramento, which opened on the campus of Arcade Church in 1991. Western is an evangelical, Christian graduate school that provides theological training for students who hope to serve in a variety of ministry roles including pastors, marriage and family therapists, educators, missionaries and lay leadership. The Sacramento campus offers four master’s degrees, and a variety of other graduate-level programs.

A satellite campus of Alliant International University offers graduate and undergraduate programs of study.

The Art Institute of California – Sacramento was established in 2007, and is a branch of The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles. The school is focused on educating students in the field of commercial arts. The school offers both a Bachelor of Science and an Associate of Science degree, as well as diplomas in some areas of study. Some majors the school offers are Digital Film-making & Video Production, Culinary Management, Graphic Design, and Game Art & Design.

On J Street, there is the Lincoln Law School of Sacramento, a private, evening-only law school program with a strong legal presence in the region.

The Universal Technical Institute (UTI) is in Sacramento; it offers automotive programs in auto mechanical, auto body, and diesel.

Primary & secondary education

The historic C.K. McClatchy High School.

The Sacramento Public Library system has 28 branches located in the greater area. The Sacramento area is served by various public school districts, including the Sacramento City Unified School DistrictNatomas Unified School DistrictSan Juan Unified School DistrictTwin Rivers Unified School District, and Elk Grove Unified School District. As of 2009, the area’s schools employed 9,600 elementary school teachers (not including special education teachers), and 7,410 middle school teachers (not including special education or vocational teachers).

Almost all areas south of the American River are served by the Sacramento City Unified School District. The only exceptions are the Valley Hi/North Laguna and Florin areas that are served by the Elk Grove Unified School District.

Areas north of the American River are served by the remaining school districts. This area was not originally part of the City of Sacramento and as such is not served by Sacramento City Unified School District. North Sacramento outside of Natomas and Robla (for K-8) is served by the Twin Rivers Unified School District. The Robla area is served by the Robla School District for K-8 and by Twin Rivers for 9–12. The Natomas region is served by the Natomas Unified School District. The Campus Commons area and the small portions of the Sierra Oaks neighborhood that fall into the city of Sacramento are served by the San Juan Unified School District.

While Roman Catholic institutions still dominate the independent school scene in the Sacramento area, in 1964, Sacramento Country Day School opened and offered Sacramento citizens an independent school that is affiliated with the California Association of Independent Schools. SCDS has grown to its present-day status as a learning community for students from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Additionally, the suburb of Fair Oaks hosts the expansive riverside campus of the Sacramento Waldorf School, a Steiner school adjacent to the Rudolf Steiner College, and the largest Waldorf school in North America. Sacramento Waldorf School educates students from pre-K through 12th grade on a secluded, pastoral site that incorporates a large, functioning biodynamic farm.

Shalom School is the only Jewish day school in Sacramento; however, Brookefield School on property owned by Congregation B’nai Israel provides extracurricular Jewish education.

Capital Christian School is a pre-school–12th grade private, Christian school. There is a small Bible college on campus offering associate degrees in Bible studies or theology. Sacramento Adventist Academy is another Christian school in Greater Sacramento. This is a pre-school–12 institution, as well.

There is one Islamic school in Sacramento, Masjid Annur, founded in 1988.

Sacramento is home to one major league sports team — the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association. The Kings came to Sacramento from Kansas City in 1985. On January 21, 2013, a controlling interest of the Sacramento Kings was sold to Chris Hansen, who intended to move the franchise to Seattle for the 2013–2014 NBA season and rename the team the Seattle SuperSonics. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson fought the move, forming an ownership group led by Vivek Ranadive to keep the Kings in Sacramento. On May 16, 2013, the NBA Board of Governors voted 22–8 to keep the Kings in Sacramento.

Sacramento has two other professional teams. Sacramento Republic FC began play in April 2014 at Hughes Stadium before a sellout crowd of 20,231, setting a USL Pro regular-season single game attendance record. They now play in Papa Murphy’s Park. The Republic FC won the USL championship in their first season. In 2000, AAA minor league baseball returned to Sacramento with the Sacramento River Cats, an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants and formerly an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. The River Cats play in Raley Field, in West Sacramento.

Sacramento is the former home of two professional basketball teams. The Sacramento Heatwave of the American Basketball Association previously played in the Sacramento area until 2013. Sacramento was also formerly home to the now defunct Sacramento Monarchs of the WNBA. The Monarchs were one of the eight founding members of the WNBA in 1997 and won the WNBA Championship in 2005, but folded in November 2009.

Sacramento professional teams (ranked by attendance)
Club League Sport Venue Attendance Established Championships
Sacramento Kings NBA Basketball Golden 1 Center 16,291 1923 (1985) 1 NBA, 2 NBL (as Rochester Royals)
Sacramento Republic FC USLC (D2) Soccer Papa Murphy’s Park 13,763 2012 1 USL Pro
Sacramento River Cats PCL (AAA) Baseball Raley Field 8,435 1978 (2000) 2 Triple-A titles, 4 League titles

Sacramento has frequently hosted the NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship as well as the 1st and 2nd rounds of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. The California International Marathon (est. 1983) attracts a field of international elite runners who vie for a share of the $50,000 prize purse. The fast course is popular for runners seeking to achieve a Boston Marathon qualifying time and fitness runners.

Performing arts

There are several major theatre venues for Sacramento. The Sacramento Convention Center Complex governs both the Community Center Theatre and Memorial Auditorium. The Wells Fargo Pavilion is the most recent addition in 2003. It is built atop the old Music Circus tent foundations. Next to that is the McClatchy Main stage, originally built as a television studio, which was renovated at the same time the pavilion was built. It is the smaller of the venues and provides seating for only 300. The Sacramento BalletSacramento Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sacramento Opera perform at the Community Center Theater.

Professional theatre is represented in Sacramento by a number of companies. Broadway Sacramento and its Summer stock theatreBroadway At Music Circus, lure many directors, performers, and artists from New York and Los Angeles to work alongside a large local staff for their productions at the Wells Fargo Pavilion. During the fall, winter and spring seasons Broadway Sacramento brings bus and truck tours to the Community Center Theater. At the B Street Theatre, smaller and more intimate professional productions are performed as well as a children’s theatre. In February 2018, the theatre moved from its original location and opened a larger theatre complex in the heart of Midtown. Rounding out the professional companies is Capital Stage, which performed aboard the Delta King until the end of the 2010–2011 season and soon took up residence at its own venue along the J-Street corridor.

The Sacramento area has one of the largest collection of community theatres in California. Some of these include the Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre and Playwrights Workshop, Davis Musical Theatre Co., El Dorado Musical Theatre, Runaway Stage Productions, River City Theatre Company, Flying Monkey Productions, The Actor’s Theatre, KOLT Run Productions, Kookaburra Productions, Big Idea Theatre, Celebration Arts, Lambda Player, Light Opera Theatre of Sacramento, Synergy Stage and the historic Eagle Theatre. The Sacramento Shakespeare Festival provides entertainment under the stars every summer in William Land Park. Many of these theatres compete annually for the Elly Awards overseen by The Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance or SARTA.

Visual arts

The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission is an organization which was established as the Sacramento arts council in 1977 to provide several arts programs for the city. These include Art in Public Places, Arts Education, Grants and Cultural Programs, Poet Laureate Program, Arts Stabilization Programs and Other Resources and opportunities.

Sacramento Second Saturday Art Walk is a program of local art galleries that stay open into the late evenings every second Saturday of each month, providing a unique experience for the local population as well as tourists to view original art and meet the artists themselves.

Museums

The Crocker Art Museum is the oldest public art museum in the Western United States and has one of the premier public art collections in the country.

Sacramento has several major museums. The Crocker Art Museum is the oldest public art museum west of the Mississippi River. On July 26, 2007, the museum broke ground for an expansion that more than tripled the museum’s floor space. The modern architecture is very different from the museum’s original Victorian style building. Construction was completed in 2010.

Also of interest is the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park, a large Victorian Mansion which was home to 13 of California’s Governors, as well as the official residence for current governor Jerry Brown following renovations in 2015. The Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park, which was completely restored in 2006, serves as the State’s official address for diplomatic and business receptions. Guided public tours are available. The California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts, home of the California Hall of Fame, is a cultural destination dedicated to telling the rich history of California and its unique influence on the world of ideas, innovation, art and culture. The museum educates tens of thousands of school children through inspiring programs, sharing with world visitors California’s rich art, history and cultural legacy through dynamic exhibits, and serving as a public forum and international meeting place.

The California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento has historical exhibits and live steam locomotives that patrons may ride. The California Automobile Museum, located just south of Old Sacramento, is filled with automotive history and vehicles from 1880 to 2006 and is the oldest non-profit automotive museum in the West. The mission of it is to preserve, promote, and teach automotive culture and its influence on our lives—past, present and future. In addition, the Sacramento History Museum, in the heart of Old Sacramento, focuses on the history of Sacramento from the region’s pre-Gold Rush history through the present day.

There is a Museum Day held in Sacramento every year, when 26 museums in the greater Sacramento area offer free admission. The 2009 Sacramento Museum Day brought out more than 80,000 people, the largest number the event has gathered. Sacramento Museum Day is held every year on the first Saturday of February.

Music

Tower Records was started and based in Sacramento until its closing Rappers C-BoMarvalessLunasicc, and more recently rappers like Mozzy and Chuuwee are among those native to the area. Classical music is widely available. The Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sacramento Baroque Soloists, the Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra, the Sacramento Youth Symphony, the Sacramento Master Singers, the Sacramento Children’s Chorus, and the Camellia Symphony each present a full season of concerts.

Each year, the city hosts the Sammies, the Sacramento Music Awards. Sacramento also has a reputation as a center for Dixieland jazz, because of the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee which is held every Memorial Day weekend. Events and performances are held in multiple locations throughout the city. Each year thousands of jazz fans from all over the world visit for this one weekend.

A growing number of rock, hardcore and metal bands hail from the Sacramento area, including TeslaDeftonesPapa RoachWill HavenTrash Talk, Dance Gavin DanceA Lot Like BirdsFarCAKE!!!Oleander and Steel Breeze; plus some other famous musicians like record producer and recording artist Charlie PeacockBob Stubbs of Social Distortion and Craig Chaquico of Jefferson Starship. Along with these bands, the Aftershock Festival has been held at Discovery Park since 2012.

Scottish pop band Middle of the Road sang kindly of Sacramento in their 1972 European hit song “Sacramento”. Experimental groups such as HellaDeath Grips, and Tera Melos also come out of Sacramento.

Film

Sacramento is home to the Sacramento French Film Festival, a cultural event held every year in July that features U.S. premieres of French films and classic masterpieces of French cinema and the Sacramento Japanese Film Festival, also held in July. In addition, Sacramento is home to the Trash Film Orgy, a summer film festival celebrating the absurd, B-movies, horror, monster, exploitation. Founded in 2007, the Sacramento Horror Film Festival showcases feature-length and short films as well as live musical and theatrical performances in the horror and macabre genres.

Of note, Sacramento has been home to various actors, including Eddie Murphy, who resided in the Riverlake community of Pocket-Greenhaven with his then wife Nicole Mitchell Murphy, a fashion model and Sacramento native. It is also the home of director Greta Gerwig, whose solo directorial debut Lady Bird is set in Sacramento.

Cuisine

The Sacramento Theatre Companyis Sacramento’s oldest theatre troupe

In 2012, Sacramento started the marketing campaign as “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” due to Sacramento’s many restaurants that source their food locally from the numerous surrounding farms. The city has an annual Farm-to-Fork festival that showcases various grocers and growers in the industry. In 2012, The Kitchen was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation. It continues to excel, earning the AAA‘s Five Diamond dining award since 2011. Sacramento is home to well-known cookbook authors, Biba Caggiano of Biba’s Restaurant and Mai Pham of Lemongrass and Star Ginger.

Sacramento is also known for its beverage culture, with keystone events that include Cal Expo‘s Grape and Gourmet, Sacramento Beer Week, and Sacramento Cocktail Week. Its growing beer scene is evident, with over 60 microbreweries in the region as of 2017. Some local brews include Track 7 Brewing Company, Big Stump Brew Co, Oak Park Brewing Co., and Sactown Union Brewery. Numerous beer festivals around the region highlight both local and visitor beers. In addition to festivals in Elk Grove, Davis, Roseville, Placerville, and Woodland, Sacramento hosts the annual California Beer Craft Summit, an exposition dedicated to the art of brewing. The summit also hosts the largest beer festival on the West Coast, featuring over 160 breweries in downtown Sacramento.

Sacramento’s contemporary culture is reflected in its coffee. An “underrated coffee city”, Sacramento has above-average marks for local coffee. The city has numerous community roasters and coffee shops. Examples include Temple Coffee, Insight Coffee Roasters, Old Soul Co., Chocolate Fish Roasters, Naked Lounge, Pachamama Roasting Co., and Identity Coffees. In addition to local brands, the region offers other chains like Starbucks, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, and Philz Coffee.

LGBTQ

Sacramento has one of the highest LGBT populations per capita, ranking seventh among major American cities, and third in California behind San Francisco and slightly behind Oakland, with roughly 10% of the city’s total population identifying themselves as gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual. Lavender Heights is the hub for LGBTQ activities in the city and is a centrally located district in Midtown Sacramento centered within and around K & 20th streets. The area owes its name to the high number of gay-owned homes and businesses residing there. The area is also home to many of the city’s LGBTQ inclusive music and arts festivals, including the Second Saturday Block Party from May to September.

Old Sacramento

The oldest part of the town besides Sutter’s Fort is Old Sacramento, which consists of cobbled streets and many historic buildings, several from the 1850s and 1860s. Buildings have been preserved, restored or reconstructed, and the district is now a substantial tourist attraction, with rides on steam-hauled historic trains and horse-drawn carriages.

The historic buildings include the Lady Adams Building, built by the passengers and ship’s carpenters of the ship Lady Adams. Having survived the Great Conflagration of November 1852, it is the oldest surviving building in Sacramento other than Sutter’s Fort.

Another surviving landmark is the B.F. Hastings building, built in 1853. Early home of the California Supreme Court and the location of the office of Theodore Judah, it also was the western terminus of the Pony Express.

The “Big Four Building”, built in 1852, was home to the offices of Collis HuntingtonMark HopkinsLeland Stanford, and Charles Crocker. The Central Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Railroad were founded there. The original building was destroyed in 1963 for the construction of Interstate 5, but was re-created using original elements in 1965. It is now a National Historic Landmark. Also of historic interest is the Eagle Theatre (Sacramento, California), a reconstruction of California’s first permanent theatre in its original location.

Chinatown

Historic Sacramento Chinatown Paifang.

The Opium Wars of the 1840s and 1850s, along with the Gold Rush, brought many Chinese to California. Most arrived at San Francisco, which was then the largest city in California and known as “Dai Fow” (“Big City”, Chinese: 大埠, Jyutpingdaai6 fau6). Some eventually came to Sacramento, then the second-largest city in California and consequently called “Yee Fow” (“Second City”, Chinese: 二埠, Jyutping: ji6 fau6). Today the city is known as 萨克拉门托 (pinyinSàkèlāméntuō) by Mainland Chinese and as 沙加緬度 (pinyin: Shājiāmiǎnduó) by Taiwanese.

Sacramento’s Chinatown was located on “I” Street from Second to Sixth Streets. At the time, this area of “I” Street was considered a health hazard because, lying within a levee zone, it was lower than other parts of the city, which were situated on higher land. Throughout Sacramento’s Chinatown history, there were fires, acts of discrimination, and prejudicial legislation such as the Chinese Exclusion Act that was not repealed until 1943. The mysterious fires were thought to be set off by those who did not take a liking to the Chinese working class. Ordinances on what was viable building material were set into place to try to get the Chinese to move out. Newspapers such as The Sacramento Union wrote stories at the time that portrayed the Chinese in an unfavorable light to inspire ethnic discrimination and drive the Chinese away. As the years passed, a railroad was created over parts of the Chinatown, and further policies and laws would make it even harder for Chinese workers to sustain a living in Sacramento.

While most of Sacramento’s Chinatown has now been razed, a small Chinatown mall remains as well as a museum dedicated to the history of Sacramento’s Chinatown and the contributions Chinese Americans have made to the city. Amtrak sits along what was part of Sacramento’s Chinatown “I” Street.

Magazines

Newspapers

Top two newspapers
  • The Sacramento Bee, the primary newspaper, was founded in 1857 by James McClatchyThe Sacramento Bee is the flagship paper of The McClatchy Company, the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United States. The Sacramento Bee has won five Pulitzer Prizes in its history and numerous other awards, including many for its progressive public service campaigns promoting free speech (the Bee often criticized government policy, and uncovered many scandals hurting Californians), anti-racism (the Bee supported the Union during the American Civil War and later publicly denounced the Ku Klux Klan), worker’s rights (the Bee has a strong history of supporting unionization), and environmental protection (leading numerous tree-planting campaigns and fighting against environmental destruction in the Sierra Nevada).
  • The Sacramento Union, the Sacramento Bees rival, started publishing six years earlier in 1851; it closed its doors in 1994, with a revival attempt lasting from 2005 to 2009. Writer and journalist Mark Twain wrote for the Union in 1866.
  • The News-Ledger and the West Sacramento Sun are weekly, printed newspapers that serve West Sacramento. The Sacramento Bee has the largest circulation and readership in the city.
Other newspapers

Radio

Television stations

Channel Call Sign Network Subchannels
3 KCRA-TV NBC MeTV on 3.2
6 KVIE PBS PBS Encore on 6.2, World on 6.3, PBS Kids on 6.4
8 KBTV-CD Independent Ethnic Infomercials on 8.2, SBN on 8.3, Independent on 8.4, Retro Television Network on 8.5, HOT TV on 8.6, Rev’n on 8.7
10 KXTV ABC Justice Network on 10.2, Heroes & Icons on 10.3
13 KOVR CBS Decades on 13.2
19 KUVS-DT Univision Bounce TV on 19.3, Escape on 19.4
27 K20JX-D 3ABN
29 KSPX-TV Ion Qubo on 29.2, Ion Life on 29.3, Ion Shop on 29.4, QVC on 29.5, HSN on 29.6
31 KMAX-TV CW
32 KSTV-LP Azteca
33 KCSO-LD Telemundo
40 KTXL Fox Antenna TV on 40.2, This TV on 40.3
58 KQCA MyNetworkTV Movies! on 58.2
64 KTFK Telefutura

Notable residents

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