A Sacramento wedding

A single ripe peach sits on a glass plate with compliments of the Citizen Hotel next to a bottle of Voss water. On the balcony of the suite on the 14th floor, against a stunning backdrop of Sacramento’s State Capitol, a marriage proposal is unfolding. It brings together two families, two communities, and two cultures in an American togetherness. 

A peach sits next a glass
Complimentary treats at the Citizen’s Hotel in Sacramento (image courtesy: Ritu Marwah)

The families mingle to exchange stories beneath the vaulted ceilings, lead-paned windows, and ornate woodwork of 1920s architecture, stories of shared aspirations, conquered obstacles, and human emotions. 

A newlywed couple outside the Ciizen Hotel in Sacramento
A newlywed couple outside the Ciizen Hotel in Sacramento (image credit: xsightusa.com)

Sacramento Citizen celebrates 100 years

At the Sacramento Citizen Hotel, stories of bygone political secrets whisper from the walls in amusing sketches by a cartoonist from the Sacramento Bee.  The Citizen has the largest collection of those sketches. Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger Nancy Pelosi, and other august Californians mock the seriousness of the political game in the cartoons while formally dressed guests huddle together to discuss agendas for meetings before entering the ballroom. 

Kamala Harris’s scribbled note on a napkin nestles with other such messages from dignitaries who have stayed at the Citizen.

  • An image of political cartoons
  • Kamala Harris' signature at the Citizen Hotel

The vibe of the hotel and the city is most definitely political. 

Currently one of the fastest-growing cities in California for affordability and lifestyle, Sacramento is the capital of California. Just an hour and 30-minute ride north of San Francisco and two hours north of California’s first capital, San Jose, Sacramento juxtaposes the old with the new.

The young and the old inhabit the fastest-growing city in California

The old town, with its views of the Sacramento River and the iconic bright yellow Art Deco Tower Bridge, sits between the Riverfront Promenade and the brand new Golden 1 Center (home of the Sacramento Kings). Young adults swarm the area’s niche coffee and cocktail joints, and enjoy the music venues around the Center, whilst tourists take an evening stroll to the Tower Bridge on the Sacramento River.

  • A cartoon image of a girl on a horse on a Sacramento street

Not far from downtown, and near the Lower American River, is midtown where the young enjoy old-time living. Homes lined under a canopy of trees are within walking distance of artsy murals, breweries, artisans, coffee shops, and upscale dining. Placita MX, a building courtyard area, houses six different small artisan businesses. Midtown is the hip and trendy region of Sacramento.

Cantina Alley has Oaxaca and Mexico-inspired à la carte street food. It serves fresh and spicy Asada steak and Baja fish tacos. The Citizen Hotel’s marketing manager suggests Temple Coffee for a coffee break – 500,000 pennies make up the café’s floor.

River Recreation in Sacramento 

A day by the water in California usually means a day on the beach, but the state is also home to some beautiful rivers. Three of the longest rivers in California flow through the capital city – the Sacramento, the San Joaquin, and the American. A tangle of waterways and islands of the Sacramento Delta course through the landscapes of Sacramento and its surrounding region. 

American River Parkway is the most popular location in the Sacramento region for visitors and locals to enjoy recreation on the river. White water rafting is offered on all three forks of the American River, a top destination for rafters. South Fork is rated the best of the three for beginners.

The Sacramento Delta, minutes outside the city in the southern part of the county, offers opportunities for fishing, swimming, boating, and camping. Hogback Island and Sherman Island are two top spots for recreation, the latter being a  renowned windsurfing destination.

A kiteboarder on a river
Kiteboarding on Sheman Island (image courtesy: Ritu Marwah)

Sherman Island is also a favorite escape for the San Francisco kiteboarding community. Crystal Veness Duotone, Kites USA team rider and a MACkite team rider says, “Kite surfers are drawn to the quality of wind and flat water, and the wind blows here throughout the summer.” 

America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital

A plate of food
Farm-to-table cuisine served at the Grange at the Citizen Hotel (image credit: Ritu Marwah)

Hope, the girl with a Ganesh tattoo, serves up Michelin-recommended Californian farm-to-fork cuisine at the Grange in the luxurious Citizen Hotel; her kohl-lined eyes crinkle as she smiles.

A girl shows off a Ganesh tattoo on her arm
Hope at the Grange shows off a Ganesh tattoo on her arm (image courtesy: Ritu Marwah)

Eighty percent of the food in the U.S. is produced in California’s Central Valley region where Sacramento is located. Both the restaurants and Golden 1 source 90 percent of their food from within 150 miles of the center. 

The Farm-to-Fork Street Festival on September 22nd – 23rd is the harvest season’s most anticipated music and food festival. It takes place on Sacramento’s Capitol Mall, with two days of local food, regional wines, craft beer, cooking demonstrations, and much more. 

Sacramento has the vibe of a capital city. It wears its history with politeness and formality. 

For a Quick Guide to the 2023 Farm-to-Fork Festival in Sacramento, click here

Ritu Marwah is an award-winning author ✍️ and a recognized Bay Area leader in the field of 🏛 art and literature. She won the 2023 Ethnic Media Services award for outstanding international reporting;...