27 Jun Sacramento Spotlight
California’s Comeback Kid
Built on golden dreams in the mid-1800s, Sacramento has lacked modern-day luster, falling in line behind California’s other illustrious cities. It may have been that the inland town, often disregarded by Bay Area residents as a pit stop on the way to Tahoe, couldn’t compete with the beaches and attractions of southern California or the hip, tech-centric vibes of San Francisco.
Or perhaps, it just wasn’t trying to – until now.
The once sleepy government city is in the midst of a rapid transformation, reinventing itself into a robust and lively city that many are choosing to visit and call home. The city has centered its efforts on urban revitalization with a $3.2 billion-dollar investment in projects in and around the downtown area including the $558 million state-of-the-art Golden 1 Center.
Anticipating the growth and revitalization of the area, Province West’s Vice President Libby Wickland returned to her hometown in 2016 to open a northern California Province West office. “There was a time I can remember where you simply did not go downtown,” she said. “Now downtown is where everyone wants to be, and the neighborhoods that are nearby are booming.”
With significant urban improvements, the entire region is experiencing a rippling effect of positive change, drawing in tourists and new residents that can support more infrastructure and amenities. All of these factors are contributing to a metropolis and accompanying suburban sprawl that is not just livable, but desirable.
Many aspects of the city are not new but are adding to its new-found allure. Dubbed the City of Trees, Sacramento is lush, dotted with public parks, and surrounded by rivers. Residents enjoy relatively mild weather year-round and are within easy access to the Golden State’s mountains, beaches, and wine country.
In this post, we’re taking a wide-angle view of some main reasons Sacramento has become a desirable, burgeoning community. Keep an eye out for a post later this summer showcasing some of the city’s hottest neighborhoods and real estate trends.
Farm to Fork. Nestled in the heart of some of America’s most fertile farmland, it should come as no surprise that good food is not hard to find. Coining the term “Farm to Fork” dining, California’s capital city embodies the farm-to-table movement quite literally. Whether you are enjoying a meal at an elegant five-star restaurant or filling up on casual fare, chances are your meal was made with fresh, local ingredients. The trend extends beyond local eateries to foodie tours, farmers markets (including the largest California Certified Farmers’ Market in the state), and even an annual festival.
Craft Libations. From craft cocktails to sophisticated wine bars, and local breweries, there is no shortage of destinations for a night out or #SundayFunday with friends. Imbibing on rooftops and patios as local artists strum in the background is a familiar scene downtown.
Original favorites such as the Shady Lady and Red Rabbit set the bar high for the craft cocktail scene and continue to be mainstays as other local watering holes pop up. Keeping pace with the craft beer craze, Sacramento is home to dozens of local breweries both downtown and scattered in surrounding neighborhoods.
Abundance of Entertainment. From strolling through the State Capital to learning about the Gold Rush in local museums, there is no shortage of tourist attractions for first-time Sacramento explorers. For residents, the city leaves little to be desired when it comes to finding culture and entertainment. With museums, parks, theaters, a zoo, and more, finding a low-key weekend activity is an easy task. With a rotating selection of concerts and limited engagements rolling through the Golden 1 Center, residents are lucky to have local access to top-tier entertainment throughout the year.
If boredom does set in within city limits, there are more than enough destinations within driving distance for a day trip or weekend away including San Francisco, Napa, Yosemite, and Tahoe.
Ripe with Opportunity. Libby notes that with the population influx from the Bay Area, the city’s population is highly educated and bring with them great opportunities for growth. In recent years, the city has become home to a plethora of tech startups, even being named one of the friendliest startup cities in the nation last year. Even major players like Bayer are moving some parts of its company to the area.
Affordable California Living. As Sacramento becomes a more desirable place to live, housing prices are on the rise. Sacramento home values have gone up 9.3% over the past year, and Zillow predicts they will rise 7.1% within the next year However, the median home price is still far lower and more affordable when compared with the Bay Area and parts of Southern California where median home prices can climb as high as $1.6 million and $715,000 respectively. Libby explains that people previously relocated to Sacramento mainly from other areas of Northern California because of lower housing prices but over the past decade, the city has become a place people want to explore and inhabit.