Sacramento, California’s capitol, is located at the junction of the Sacramento and American Rivers in the Northern part of California’s Central Valley. With a population approaching 500,000 it is the 6th largest city in the state.
The Sacramento region is served by several highways and freeways; Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 50 – east-west routes, and Interstate 5 (I-5), California State Highway 99, and State Highway 160 – north-south routes. Amtrak provides passenger rail service to the city of Sacramento, the Sacramento Valley Rail Station provides numerous Thruway Motorcoach routes and the city and its suburbs are served by Sacramento Regional Transit District (Sac RT), a bus and light-rail system, with 274 buses and light-rail providing service for 58,200 daily passengers.
The Port of West Sacramento, located 79 nautical miles northeast of San Francisco, and is centered in one of the richest agricultural regions in the world. Cargo ships passage up the Sacramento River and the Sacramento deep water channel. The ship channel is 43 miles long and its project depth is 30 feet.
Sacramento International Airport is located 10 miles northwest of downtown and in 2012 the airport handled 8,910,570 passengers.
Early in the 19th Century Gabriel Moraga, a Spanish explorer, discovered the Sacramento Valley and Sacramento River. He named them after the “Most Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ” attributed to the Sacrament of the Eucharist a Catholic tradition.
In 1840 John Sutter, along with other settlers, established Sutter’s Fort – a trading colony and stockade. In 1847 Sutter became one of the first local farmers in the Sacramento Valley, planting 2000 fruit trees. In 1848, Gold was discovered by James W. Marshall at Sutters Mill and along with gold came a large number of gold-seekers.
Sacramento became a city through the effort of John Sutter, Sr, John Sutter, Jr. and James W. Marshall and due to the protection of Sutters Fort, Sacramento grew quickly.
Sacramento was a major distribution point and agricultural/commercial center for stagecoaches, riverboats, Pony Express, wagon trains, the telegraph and the First Transcontinental Railroad.
A city charter was adopted by the residents of Sacramento in 1849, and in 1850 was sanctioned by the California state legislature. During the 1850s, Sacramento was devastated by floods, fires and cholera epidemics. From 1862 to the mid-1870s Sacramento raised the level of it’s downtown by building reinforced brick walls on either side of its downtown streets and filling the space between the walls with dirt. The existing first floors became basements and the space between the second floor and the street, originally sidewalk, was covered overhead with wooden sidewalks, then brick barrel vaults and eventually replaced with concrete sidewalks.
Despite the devastation, Sacramento was rebuilt and the new city quickly grew to a population of 10,000.
In 1854, the California State Legislature was moved to Sacramento, and in 1860 construction was started on the California State Capitol. Designed in the style of the United States Capitol, construction was completed in 1874. Sacramento was named the permanent state capital during the 1879 Constitutional Convention.
In recent years, Sacramento has experienced population growth with the influx of San Francisco Bay Area residents, as well as immigration from Asia and Latin America. And, it 2002 Time magazine recognized Sacramento as the most diverse and integrated city in America.
Sacramento has been noted as the sunniest location on the planet 4 months a year, and in July averages 14 hours and 12 minutes of sunshine per day. The city has hot, dry summers and damp to wet, mild winters… Mediterranean style.
On average, there are 73 days where the temperature exceeds 90 degrees, and 14 days where the high exceeds 100 degrees. And during the winter, there are (on average) 15 days where the temperature doesn’t reach 50 degrees, and 15 freezing nights per year. Sacramento experiences some degree of fog an average of 96 days a year. The foggiest months are December and January and it rains an average of 60 days each year, mostly during the winter, with an average rainfall of 18.52″.
Sacramento’s top 10 are; State of California, Sacramento County, UC Davis Health System, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, Sacramento City Unified School District, Elk Grove Unified School District, Intel, Mercy/Catholic Healthcare West, San Juan Unified School District and City of Sacramento.
California State University, Sacramento, also known as Sac State, is the largest local university. Drexel University Sacramento and the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law are in Sacramento. In addition, the University of California, Davis, is nearby 15 miles west of the capital. The UC Davis Medical Center, a world-renowned research hospital, is located in the city of Sacramento. Sacramento schools (grades K – 12) rank from low to high with an average API score around 800.
Both the American and Sacramento rivers were key to the economic success of the city, however today these same rivers are used largely for recreation. While both rivers attract boaters, the American River has become an international attraction from rafters and kayaking and the Sacramento River is now home to the refurbished steamboat, the Delta King, which provides a hotel, a restaurant, and two theaters for nightlife along the Old Sacramento riverfront.
Old Sacramento, the oldest part of the town, 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 paddle-steamers and historic trains.
There are several major theatre venues for Sacramento; the Community Center Theatre, Memorial Auditorium, Wells Fargo Pavilion, and more. The Sacramento Ballet, Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sacramento Opera perform at the Community Center Theatre. There are several major theatre venues for Sacramento. California Musical Theatre and its Summer stock theatre, Music Circus, lure many directors, performers, and artists from New York to Los Angeles to work alongside a large local staff for their productions at the Wells Fargo Pavilion.
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.
Sacramento has several major museums. The Crocker Art Museum, the oldest public art museum west of the Mississippi River, is one of the finest. Also of interest is the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park, the Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park, the California Museum, the California State Railroad Museum, the California Automobile Museum, and the Sacramento History Museum.
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 Sacramento hosts the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee which is held every Memorial Day weekend. And, a growing number of rock bands hail from the area; Deftones, Will Haven, Trash Talk, Dance Gavin Dance, A Lot Like Birds, Papa Roach, Tesla, Oleander and Steel Breeze.
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.
The Sacramento River Cats (AAA Minor League Baseball), an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, play in the recently constructed Raley Field, located in West Sacramento. The Sacramento Heatwave of the American Basketball Association currently plays at Folsom High School. The newest sports team to come to Sacramento is the Sacramento Mountain Lions which is part of the United Football League (2009). They currently play at Raley Field.
Beyond that, Sacramento hosts California International Marathon, a national flat-track motorcycle racing event and the area is a hotbed for high school rugby, while some neighborhoods are bicycle friendly.
*Information Courtesy of Wikipedia.com