If you’re anything like me during quarantine, you’re desperately searching for things to do while still abiding by stay-at-home orders. I never knew how much I would want to leave my parents two-story, five-bedroom home until I was confined to it. Going on our fourth week now, my family and I are going just a bit stir-crazy.
One thing I’ve found that makes this experience more bearable is going to local parks. While observing social distancing, I take walks, ride my bike, get some fresh air, and stay sane. Here are some of my favorite parks in my hometown of Sacramento, CA.
- William Land Regional Park
Address: 3800 W Land Park Dr, Sacramento, CA 95822
William Land Regional Park is a 240.5 acre park located in the Land Park neighborhood of Sacramento. It’s home to the Sacramento Zoo and FairyTale Town amusement park. Its open-air recreation facilities include a baseball field, soccer and rugby fields, a golf course, a rock garden, and three ponds. It is a beautiful park with lots of green space, great for walking, running, biking, or just hanging out.
When the zoo and amusement park are open, you’re sure to find plenty of people out on a nice day. But right now, it’s a great place enjoy the fresh air while staying six feet apart.
- Capitol Park
Address: 1300 L St, Sacramento, CA 95814
Capitol Park is a large state park in the heart of downtown Sacramento. Capitol Park spans 12 city blocks, taking up 40 acres of land. It consists of State Capitol buildings, commemorative seals, thriving native plant life, trees from all over the world, the World Peace Rose Garden. Throughout the park, there are memorials to the Mexican-American War, Junipero Serra, Firefighters, Civil War Veterans, Peace Officers, the Spanish-American War, the USS California Bell, Veterans, and the Vietnam War.
Capitol Park has one of the most beautiful arrays of trees and plant life I’ve seen in a city. The past three summers, I interned for offices in the California State Senate. I spent many of my lunch hours in this park.
Its paths allow for an endless walk, and there are lovely spots under trees and around plant life to take in the natural beauty. In this park, you feel like you’ve been transported outside of the city.
- Discovery Park & American River Bike Trail
Address: 1600 Garden Hwy, Sacramento, CA 95833
Discovery Park is a 302-acre park located in the neighborhood of South Natomas. It is a Sacramento regional park where the American and Sacramento rivers come together. This park functions as river overflow for the neighborhood during winter time.
This park has picnic table areas, a boat launch, and bike trails that continue through large parts of Sacramento. What I love about this park is the confluence of the two rivers. I also love riding my bike through this park. It connects directly to a portion of the American River Bike Trail, which can take you as far as Folsom, CA, a suburb of Sacramento. I prefer to ride my bike in this particular park because it gives you access to bike trails that transport you out of the inner city and into the river and wildlife scenery.
- North Natomas Regional Park
Address: 4989 Natomas Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95835
In 206.75 acres of land, North Natomas Regional park has baseball fields, bike paths, bridges, dog parks, a farmers market, a lake, a picnic area, a play structure, a stage and lawn amphitheater, and walkways. This extensive park is excellent for walking and running, but it is also used for sports and community functions.
There is a pathway to walk around the entire exterior of the park, as well as a bike path that cuts down its length. The lake adds extra beauty to large grassy areas that take up most of the park.
During quarantine, there aren’t any large gatherings of people. But normally, it can be a very community-oriented space. I’ve attended yoga held on the lawn of its amphitheater, and the park contains a permanently-designed farmers market space.
- Fishermans Lake Parkway
Address: Fisherman’s Lake Pkwy Sacramento, CA 95834
Fishermans Lake Parkway is a 34.41 acres parkway located in the North Natomas neighborhood of Sacramento. This parkway runs along the backside of a new development in North Natomas that encompasses Westshore lake. It has a bike path along one side of the lake and a walking path that goes around the other edge.
This is a very simple parkway on the edge of a developed area, but it has a lot to offer. The lake is a beautiful element, and it is a nice change of scenery from the city streets. The lake goes back into residential development that reminds me of Venice, Italy where buildings are placed right on the edge of the water.
One thing I love about riding here is how windy the bike path is. It’s a small thing, but city streets are often very straight with little variation. It adds spice to my ride, changing up my walking and riding routes.
I’ve been trying to take bike rides or walk every day, even if it’s only for 45 minutes or reaching my goal of 10,000 steps a day. Being able to get fresh air helps counteract the stir craziness of quarantine. Using this time to explore new places has shown me how valuable all the parks in Sacramento are – no matter how small or simple.