Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

Ladies, it has come to my attention over the years that many of you don’t know anything about Sacramento. As a native born and raised, I can absolutely tell you that you are missing out. People will always complain that Sacramento is boring and has nothing, but that is completely not true. It’s packed with fantastic food, gorgeous views, and great nightlife. However, you can’t just jump into the city without first doing your research. Let me help you. Here is Sacramento explained by a native.

The first thing you should know is that the city is divided into three main parts. There is East Sac, South Sac, and West Sac. While there technically is a north part of the city, none of us ever call it by a special name. There are other areas that have their own names, such as midtown, downtown, and Old Sac. It’s pretty simple and becomes super easy to get used to once you start exploring the city. Let’s take a deep dive into some of the areas, shall we?


In the heart of Sacramento lies downtown. Here, everything is about the hustle and bustle. You can strut your stuff as you walk down the sidewalk next to the Capitol, drinking a freshly brewed latte from the various cafes around. With a mix of both chic and casual, downtown has plenty of places to fit any vibes you are feeling that day. Some of the best restaurants in the city are here, only second to those in South Sac. There is everything from upscale and fancy to hole-in-the-wall gems. You will never run out of new places to explore downtown.

Honestly, there is so much variety here, it is a struggle to rank some of the best places here. But, I will try my best. 

Best Coffee: Naked Lounge Coffee

Best Park to Chill: Sacramento Rose Garden (when the roses are in season, of course)

Best Place to Explore: DoCo

Best Upscale Restaurant: Kru Sushi

Best Drinks and Tapas Restaurant: La Cantina Alley (one of my absolute favorites)


If Downtown was the bustling city, Midtown is its more chic, calmer sibling. While it’s still urban enough to give you that metropolis feeling, it’s far away enough that you don’t get caught in the waves of office workers rushing in and out of the high rises. Here, everything is trendy and hipster. We’ve got your art galleries, boutiques, and contemporary restaurants. Here’s the lineup:

Best Boutique: Sisu

Best Upscale Restaurant: Paragary’s

Best Chic and Casual Restaurant: Tower Cafe

Best Dessert: Ginger Elizabeth’s

Best Art Gallery: Elliot Fouts Gallery

Best Vintage Shop: Vintage YSJ

East SAC:

If old glamor and preppy are your vibes, then East Sac is the place to be. In the middle of this area are lines of sprawling mansions called the Fab Forties. And are they fabulous! Each house has its own eccentric style ranging from Cape Cod and colonial to Spanish and Tuscan. Fun Fact, the house that is shown in the film Lady Bird is here, right on 44th street. The Fab Forties are a must-visit during Christmas time. Each street competes with the others for the title of best decorated and they go all out every year. It’s considered a Sacramento tradition to go drive past the houses and look at the decorations as you drink hot cocoa, all bundled up in your toasty car. 

Best Brunch: Bacon and Butter

Best Park: McKinley Park

South Sac:

Although Sacramento as a whole is a pretty diverse city, down in South Sac are thriving Viet, Filipino and Chinese communities. And let me tell you, the most delicious restaurants in the county are over here. This may be a controversial opinion, but I’m willing to say that the xiao long baos here are even better than Din Tai Fung’s.

Best Restaurant: Firehouse Crawfish

Best Dessert: Matcha Cafe Maiko

Honorable Mention: Journey to the Dumpling (technically in Elk Grove, but it’s on the city border and it has the best xiao long baos ever so I’m counting it)

Horse At The Park B&W
Anna Thetard / Her Campus

Old Sac:

On the banks of the river lies old Sacramento, a part of town where quaint buildings from the 1800s are still standing. Here you can live out your Old West fantasies as you ride down the dusty streets in a horse-drawn carriage. Or, you can explore Sacramento staples such as the Crocker Art Museum or the underground old city.

Best Museum: Crocker Art Museum

Best Thing to Explore: Underground Old Sac

Best Restaurant: Rio City Cafe

And that’s it! The next time you have free time, consider a trip to Sacramento.

Sara Kajikyan is a weekly writer for Her Campus, producing articles on life, wellness, and experiences. She enjoys adventure stories and reading analyses on her favorite movies.