I rented the Tahoe chalet for a weekend and found myself in Sacramento on short notice recently. I'll have to admit, I haven't spent a ton of time in our capitol city (though I've passed by countless times on I-80), but I was fairly impressed by the amount of things to do there on a random fall weekend.
To start, I hit up the American River Bike Trail, which seems to be where the fit-erati of Sacramento and the surrounding suburbs get it in. The paved path stretches for miles and follows alongside the river, crossing at a couple points, and offering a number of places to rest, take in the scenery, and more. A lot of serious road bicyclists zip on by, so runners and walkers are encouraged to use the shoulders of the path (on the opposite side, which took me a couple minutes to figure out). There are certainly worse ways to get a workout in, though, so I appreciated the opportunity to enjoy some hot summer weather (as fall has already come to Tahoe). Pro tip: there are plenty of areas to park before the paid parking lots that can get runners and bikers onto the trail in just a couple short minutes.
Following my workout and general sense of accomplishment, I set out to explore the cultural aspects of the city, with the Crocker Art Museum as my first stop. The museum, located just across the river from Old Town, really surprised me with the breadth and depth of its collection. There seemed to be something for everyone, from realism, contemporary pieces, sculpture, antiquities, and more. I loved its focus on California artists, and grew a new appreciation for Kara Walker's work (which was a special exhibit).
Following the museum, I strolled toward the Capitol building and through the Farm to Fork Festival, which was taking place downtown. A lot of good looking food and drink was on hand, along with live music, but I didn't partake. Solid people watching, though! The Capitol was closed, as it was the weekend, but it was a great sunny day to get up close and stroll through the park behind it. I drove through Old Town afterward, which was a little more than I cared to take in at that point, but one could easily kill a couple hours there exploring the shops and more. I enjoyed a quiet night in, as none of my friends in the area were in town, so I'm looking forward to exploring more of the food and dining options next time.
On Sunday, I hit up another point on the river for a workout before turning back east and onto the highway. I elected to take Route 50 for a change of pace through South Lake Tahoe, so I stopped through Folsom to visit the Premium Outlets (which of course was the same ole, like every other outlet mall), and for lunch at Whole Foods (which of course was a zoo, like every other Whole Foods). I'm sure I missed out on a ton of things to do in Sac (for instance, it would be fun to visit the California State Railroad Museum), but I'm comforted in knowing that there's plenty waiting for me on my next stop through! – LN, Sept 2013