Thursday, January 23, 2014

Places of Interest Near and Around Sacramento, California

A friend of mine recently asked me, "Betch, have you been to Sacramento?" Haha, somehow, whenever any of my friends move to California, they would think right away I am the person to ask about the place. Sadly, even though Sacramento is the capital city of California, but I have never been there, yet. :( The nearest place to Sacramento I've been to is this sunflower field in Sacramento Valley, on our way to Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Sunflower Field, Sacramento Valley, CA

Now, because my response was "No, I haven't been there yet, why?", my friend got anxious that Sacramento may be a boring place to live because I've never been there! :) LOL! I assured her that the reason behind I have not been to Sacramento is not because it is a boring city, but simply because, our travels always center around National Parks and nature's wonders.

Anyway, my friend told me she is planning to move to Sacramento to escape the long bitter cold of winter. She said she is not really crazy about San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles or any other coastal cities of California because of their high cost of living. Sacramento she found out, being inland, is cheaper than the coastal cities of California. It would just be right for her even though Sacramento's cost of living is still more expensive than where she lives right now and most of  US because she said she is willing to downsize or live in a smaller place. Aside from escaping the bitter cold, she also sees the advantages of living in a smaller house/condo. Less time for home cleaning and maintenance, more time for life's leisure.

I told her however, that Sacramento is too inland. Inland California can be very hot in the summer, like 90s-100s, unlike places along the coast that is moderated by the ocean thus enjoys a very mild climate year round. She said, she will take that few months of dry heat over long period of bitter cold. Dry heat means no humidity, which a lot find more comfortable than the places that are both hot and humid in the summer. My friend told me that she got a reasonable offer in one of the hospitals in Sacramento. Before really taking a plunge in moving, she plans to just get some rental first before looking at buying a place. It's good that these days, property management sacramento ca, could assist in both rentals and home acquisition.

Too bad, Sacramento is too far from San Diego, about 8-hours drive away (500 miles)! Otherwise, I and my friend can go hiking more often. :) However, Sacramento is close to many places of interest I have been actually. Here are some of the places of interest in California near and around Sacramento. I am sure my friend would love visiting, being also an outdoorsy person.

1. San Francisco (100 miles, 1.5 hour drive ) and the Bay Area (75 miles, a little bit more than an hour drive)
San Francisco, CA

Even though Sacramento city alone features a diverse city activities, boasting a great variety of restaurants, clubs, shows, events, and night-life, but its proximity to the Bay Area and San Francisco provides easy access to the cultural, touristic, and culinary opportunities available in these two bigger metros.

2. Lake Tahoe ( 2 hours drive away, about 118 miles )
Lake Tahoe in the Summer, California and Nevada

Lake Tahoe is a popular winter wonderland escape for most Californians, especially in San Francisco and Sacramento area, being just 2 hours away. Popular for skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, and hiking and mountain biking in the summer. Plus of course, popular for many water activities.This easternmost part of Sierra Nevada Mountain is where the State of California and Nevada meet. 

3. Lassen Volcanic National Park ( 3 hours away, about 190 miles )
Lassen Volcanic National Park in the summer, California

This park is undoubtedly one of my favorite National Parks. It is in the southernmost of the Cascade Range, and is one of the two least visited National Parks of California (the other is Channel Islands National Park), with less than 400,000 visitors annually. However, the low visitation can not be equated to being less beautiful than the 6 more popular National Parks of California. Maybe visitation here is low because this is in the most remote part of California, farthest away from CA major cities. The serenity and peacefulness here, even in the summer is truly one of the joys of experiencing this park where fire and ice continually shape this land.

4. Yosemite National Park ( 3 hours away, about 180 miles )
Yosemite National Park in the summer, California

Another one of my favorite National Parks. Yosemite is such a beautiful place and a sight to behold, it's more than just a great valley. It is one of the first wilderness National Parks in US ( 3rd after Yellowstone and Sequoia). Though it is most well known for its numerous waterfalls, but in Yosemite you will find nature's beauty and power through glacially carved massive granite rocks, an almost heaven on Earth meadows, pristine alpine lakes, giant sequoias, and miles of trails that wind through nature's beauty.  

Now, it looks like Sacramento is really a very ideal place to live for someone who loves the great outdoors, what with its proximity to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Being a city with very energetic social scene, and close enough also to San Francisco, Sacramento does offer the best of both world, nature and city. Despite Sacramento's cost of living is more expensive than the US average, but it is more affordable and cheaper than most of California ( see chart below), making this city really one of the more attractive places to live. 

( Aside from cost of living, cost of housing in Sacramento is cheaper than most of California, but still more expensive than most of US )

The only drawback is that Sacramento is not too close to the ocean. The nearest beach is maybe 2.5 hours away. But for someone who loves both city and mountain escapes and does not mind not seeing the ocean for a week or a month like my friend, Sacramento is an ideal place to live.
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  1. Like your friend in this post I think a place there is boring when you have not yet visited it ;) hmmm one day I just might get the chance to live there too and a hospital is where I'd probably work in...and I will want to live as near to your place whether you like it or not so we could go hiking together often hahaha....

  2. Oh my God! That sunflower field looks like heaven! I imagine there are a lot of bees there too lol

  3. With all the beautiful places and attractions near Sacramento, your friend will not have second thoughts in moving there especially that the cost of living there is more affordable compared to her current state.

  4. oh boy!!! I've also thought sis, that you've been to Sacramento, because you've been to mostly part of CA..

  5. Okay, I warmed up seeing the sunflowers but towards the end I got cold again lol Beautiful captures as always AteB.

  6. I guess my friends lives around that area. That would be the ideal place for my hubby, 2.5 hours away from the ocean is nothing once you're itchy to go to the ocean. My husband likes a fish coz he's in love in the ocean for many reasons.

  7. I have a cousin who lives in Sacramento and frequently drives to San Francisco because we also have cousins living there. You're so right about the heat in the summer, she always complains about it, but it is definitely cheaper to live there.

  8. OMG! I love the sunflower field, it instantly changed my mood! Great photos, specially in the Yosemite National Park.

  9. That Sunflower Field-- we sure would like to visit that place someday! I love those snaps of the sunflower, Ms. Betchai. The other weekend, the husband did a sermon at church about Math linking it to God's love to us. He included a close up photo of a sunflower to show the pattern of the its design which is related to Math. Oh, you truly captured a close-up that's breathtaking! :)