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Living in Sacramento
A comprehensive guide about living well in Sacramento
Living in Sacramento offers many perks - such as craft beers, farmers markets and the monthly "Second Saturday" Midtown event. In this article of the InterNations GO! Guide, you can find out more about the city's culture, transport infrastructure, safety and security.
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Life in Sacramento
Transportation in Sacramento
Getting around Sacramento is the same as getting around most of California, with pleasant, flat and well-maintained roads, numbered and lettered streets and relatively safe drivers around you. As is the case in the majority of the United States, driving is a good option for getting around. Cars drive on the right and traffic is usually light to medium, making for an easy ride. However, Sacramento does have a lot of one way streets, which any driver should be aware of. Also note that if you are living in Sacramento, i.e. not just a visitor to the city, then you will need to have a Californian driver’s license in order to be able to drive legally.
For those who don’t drive, there are still plenty of safe and simple alternatives for transport. Taxis are a popular option and there are lots of registered taxis available, charging 4 USD for a minimum journey, and then 3 USD for each additional mile. Taxis are an easy way to get around and can be a good time-saver.
The Regional Transit Light Rail serves most of Sacramento and offers convenient routes throughout the city. Any areas not served by the RTLR service can be connected to the service by the many bus routes that are available throughout. Bus services in Sacramento run 24 hours a day and are one of the most important forms of transportation in the city. There are 272 bus routes available, and over 57,000 people ride the buses every day.
For journeys a bit further afield, the Amtrak service is a comfortable and relaxed way to get around, and must trains have free WiFi on board to allow business travelers to work whilst on their daily commute. Finally, water taxis are available along the Sacramento River.
Culture and Leisure in Sacramento
Sacramento is where you’ll find the California State Capitol, home to the government of California and an important part of the state as a whole. The California State Capitol building is a popular location for tourists to visit and comprises the historical building itself and around 16 square city blocks of grounds and gardens. The restored traditional offices can be enjoyed as a part of the regular daily tours, and for those looking for a cheaper experience, the gardens, memorials and monuments within the grounds are free to enjoy all year round.
Another part of the old Sacramento that is popular with tourists is the State Indian Museum, which exhibits many examples of Native Californian history and information about tribes to teach visitors more about where Sacramento came from and its rich and varied history. Old Sacramento is also popular with those looking to find out a little more about Sacramento’s past, and the area is a living historic district, with steam train rides and many unique things to see and do that hark back to the old days.
For families, Sacramento Zoo is a very popular day out. The zoo has been open since 1927 and over time has expanded to over 14 acres of land and over 500 animals for people to view and find out more about.
Sports lovers will not be disappointed in Sacramento, either, as the city is home to the Sacramento Kings, a widely supported NBA basketball team that frequently plays in its home town. Visitors to the local venue will be able to enjoy a stadium that is known as the loudest, wildest NBA venue in the state.
Safety and Security in Sacramento
The city is known for being generally safe, with a lot of families and business people living there. However, Sacramento does have some less desirable areas, and has a crime index of 9 (100 is safest), making it safer than just 9% of the cities in the US. Statistics show that there are 6.66 violent crimes per 1000 residents per year in Sacramento, and 41.23 property crimes.
Areas which are best to avoid include:
- Central District, where businesses tend to close early and which can be dangerous at night, particularly around the nightclubs.
- South Sacramento has a number of areas where people are advised to be cautions, particularly around Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard.
- The North Highlands are also avoided by visitors, given that the motels at Longview Drive and I-80 are considered among the worst in the area.
In case of an emergency, call 911.
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