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5 Notable Sacramento Neighborhoods

5 Notable Sacramento Neighborhoods

Explore the state capital to discover a patchwork of communities, each with its own distinctive vibe

From the trendy Handle District to the historically significant Lavender Heights, Sacramento’s eclectic neighborhoods are some of Gold Country’s most stroll-worthy. Spend a day getting to know the eclectic enclaves that make up California’s vibrant capital city. Uncover cultural treasures, iconic landmarks, and tons of amazing shops in these five Sacramento neighborhoods.

1. East Sacramento

Stop and smell the roses at McKinley Park, home to more than 1,200 varieties, then stroll through the Fabulous Forties, a string of elegant homes made famous by former resident Ronald Reagan and 2017’s Lady Bird. Earn a new appreciation for modern medicine at the Museum of Medical History, where an iron lung and live leeches are on permanent display. Bookend a day with beverages at Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters, Temple Coffee Roasters, Porchlight Brewing Co., and SacYard Community Tap House.

2. Oak Park

Known for locally owned boutiques, tree-lined streets, and a tight-knit community, Oak Park is Sacramento’s historically Black neighborhood. Celebrate the area’s legacy at Brick House, a gallery and sculpture garden focused on highlighting African American artists and Cine Soul, The Sacramento Black Film Festival (February). Browse racks of graphic tees at 1 Up Retro Clothing; find an inspirational read at Underground Books; shop for succulents at Public Land; sip on American-style ales at Oak Park Brewing, and sample the deep-fried deviled eggs at Fixins—all Black-owned.

3. Handle District

Located in the heart of hip Midtown, “The Handle,” packs nearly 20 of the city’s best eateries in one square block. Sample Ginger Elizabeth Chocolate’s bonbons or snack on ceviche at Zócalo, a former 1920s car dealership-turned-Mexican restaurant, then shop for mid-century furniture in the former repair garage, now Scout Living. Make sure to secure a reservation at Mulvaney’s B&L. Dubbed a “gem” by Michelin, chef Patrick Mulvaney works closely with local ranchers and farmers to showcase the region’s bounty. 

4. Lavender Heights

Rainbow crosswalks at 20th and K Streets celebrate the city’s LGBTQ+ neighborhood. Located in Midtown, Lavender Heights is known for its nightlife. Let loose with disco dancing at Badlands, a dip in Faces’ outdoor pool, and a marigold-topped cocktail at The Flamingo House. For a tamer time, visit on Saturday mornings when the Midtown Farmers’ Market sets up shop with vendors selling watercolor art, flower wreaths, and seasonal produce.

5. Old Sacramento

The clip-clop of carriage horses and churn of riverboats signal your arrival in the city’s oldest neighborhood, a 28-acre district that harkens back to the boomtown days. Stuff your pockets with bacon-maple taffy from Munchies before immersing yourself in locomotive history at the California State Railroad Museum. Enjoy a breakfast of champions at Cerealism Café, which boasts over 75 cereal options, 50 plus odd toppings, and milk flavors like Banana Oat and Horchata.

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