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11 Because Our Triple-A Team Is
More Dominant Than The Yankees
Sure, it can be fun to root for the underdog. But we know that it’s even better to cheer for winning cats. Since moving to Sacramento in 2000, the River Cats have been the most successful team in Minor League Baseball, earning 10 division titles, four league titles, and two national championships. In 2012, under new general manager Jeff Savage, they will pursue a record sixth consecutive division title. Sacramentans embraced the River Cats (and beautiful Raley Field) from the first “Play ball!”—the team has consistently led all of Minor League Baseball in attendance, regularly topping 10,000 fans and selling out at 14,680. (Meanwhile, their Major League affiliate, the Oakland A’s, once attracted just 8,874 fans to a 2010 game.) But the River Cats experience isn’t just about baseball; it’s about hot summer days and breezy nights, views of the glowing Tower Bridge—and, of course, food, like salmon tacos ranked by Sports Illustrated among the Top 10 Minor League Foods, and bacon cheeseburgers sandwiched between two glazed donuts. That’s what we call hitting the sweet spot.
12 “A family tradition of ours every summer I lived in
Sacramento was to raft down the American River. The lazy two- or three-hour float down the river with family, eating snacks and soaking in the sun is a must-do on my list when I visit in the summer! I [also] love the Eagle Theatre in Old Sacramento. It is the first permanent theater ever built in California. This is where I did my first show in the community when I moved to Sacramento (playing Sandy in Grease), and where I did my last show before heading to college (directing Jenny and Eugene, written by Aaron Gaines, who is now my husband!). Oh boy, if the walls of that theater could talk.”
“It’s all about the simple pleasures. I can spend all day at the
Nugget Market in the Pocket—start the morning with coffee and a bagel, a deli sandwich for lunch and a dinner of turkey meatballs. … Ernesto’s is hard to beat for a casual dinner out. My family believes we should own stock. … One day, I hope to break 50 at [William] Land Golf Course. And my favorite, the Tower [Theatre] corner. Browse the bookstore, hit the cafe, take in a movie—it’s like a weekend away!”
Hell (On Two) Wheels
Our American River Bike Trail boasts 32 glorious miles of almost entirely car-free asphalt that ribbon from Discovery Park eastward to Folsom Lake and let you completely zen out when pedaling. Landing 43rd on Trail.com’s list of the 100 “Best Trails in North America,” ARBT was singled out as “one of the most successful and beautifully paved paths in Northern California.” However, familiarity has bred discontent in many Sacramentans who grumble that the route has become too crowded on weekends, too sketchy at dusk. To that we say, put down your hanky and pick up your helmet. The virtues of this remarkable greenbelt are almost too many to list, but here are three biggies: the trees, the wildlife and the river, all available at pretty much every sweeping turn and over every gentle undulation. Happy trails.
Company in Lincoln Is
Keeping New York, Tokyo and San Francisco Looking Good
It wasn’t too long after the Gold Rush that another big discovery was made around here—one of the richest deposits of natural clay in the world. That’s right. Clay. Realizing this particular kind of clay was lightweight but also weather resistant and uniquely malleable, the founders of Gladding, McBean set up shop in 1875, and the company has been supplying terra cotta architectural moldings to cities around the world ever since, including landmarks like New York’s Carnegie Hall. In 1928, The San Francisco Examiner declared: “With clay from a hole in the ground in Lincoln, California, the modern city of San Francisco has come.” And yes, they’re big in Japan, too. But you don’t need to hop on a plane to see their handiwork up close. Just look up at the Memorial Auditorium, the Citizen Hotel and other iconic Sacramento structures for a glimpse of their greatness. And if you want an even closer look, you can visit the historic factory, but only once a year. The 2012 dates are May 2-27. Take a tour of the towering kilns, and watch artisans create architectural masterpieces right in front of your eyes.
16“Everybody knows that I love Red Lobster,
but my brother, Reggie, is always trying to get me to expand my tastes. There’s a restaurant in midtown called The Press that I really like. They serve French and Italian dishes. It has a great vibe and my favorite meal is shrimp fettuccine. I don’t really eat sweets, but once in a while I will have the pecan pie. That’s very good.”
“There’s a wonderfully diverse population
living and working in Sacramento.
From stagehand to state worker.
Hipster kids to power nerds.
It’s all there.
To me, what makes Sacramento great is the people.”
18 Because Our Authors Are Worth Writing Home About
We’ve been home to authors who’ve won National Book Awards (like native Joan Didion and Land Park resident William T. Vollmann); Pulitzer Prizes (like former Bee writer Pete Dexter); and American Book Awards (like Kennedy High alum Cornel West). Not to mention those whose books become A-list movies, like Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, Nights at Rodanthe), Karen Joy Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club) and Anthony Swofford (Jarhead). Plus, one who got named to the list of 20 best writers under age 40 by The New Yorker (UC Davis professor Yiyun Li). And that’s not counting the New York Times best-selling authors who live among us, like John Lescroart, James Rollins and Brenda Novak. No matter how you slice it, we’ve got the write stuff.
19 Because Our Cup of Joe
Is Not Your Average Joe
Our ears perked up in 2010 when the prestigious Coffee Review gave Temple Coffee’s Guatemala Hunapu Antigua Bourbon blend a near-perfect score of 97 (out of 100)—the highest rank in the country that year. And then CNN Money gave us a caffeine high in 2011 when it named the Sacramento roaster one of the nation’s top 17 small coffee makers. And as the company grows in reputation, so does its size (in 2009, the downtown coffee house expanded into midtown, and in September, its downtown hub moved from 10th Street to a larger space on 9th). But one thing at Temple remains unchanged: a cup of coffee worthy of worship with every aromatic sip. templecoffee.com
“One of my favorite things to do around Sacramento is, early in the morning, go flying in a little old airplane up the Sacramento River in between the rice fields and down along the banks there, low, just after sunrise, and watching the birds. It’s very peaceful and beautiful, watching the sun come up over the river there.”