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50 Things You Must Do in Sacramento


Posted on December 21


 

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Longtime residents and newcomers alike will find plenty to do in our fair region.

Got some great ideas for area must-dos?  Share them with us.


1. Chill out at one of Sacramento’s frozen-treat institutions: Gunther’s Quality Ice Cream, serving specialty ice creams including Swiss Orange Chip and Green Tea; Vic’s Ice Cream, with favorites like Cappuccino Chip; Burr’s Fountain, where you can order a milkshake made with any ice cream flavor on the menu; and The Original Hagen’s Orange Freeze, which uses Merlino’s famous recipe to make its tasty treats in flavors such as mango, mint chocolate chip and coconut cream.

2. Experience the city’s cultural diversity at the annual Festival de la Familia at Cal Expo, a celebration of nearly two dozen Latin cultures filled with children’s activities such as piñata making, Tex-Mex music, Latin jazz, folklorico dance, food and more (this year on April 29). At the annual Pacific Rim Street Fest in Old Sacramento (held this year on May 20), enjoy traditional dance performances, music, cultural presentations, crafts and foods representing more than 15 Asian and Pacific Island cultures. 

3. Check out public artworks. Sacramento is home to more than 600 pieces of art in front of city and county buildings, the Sacramento International Airport and outdoors: Next time you’re at the Sacramento Convention Center, be sure to stroll through the Convention Center Sculpture Garden at 13th and K streets. And in front of the Safeway at 19th and R streets, check out the giant silver horse that dominates the store’s entrance. Shining with chrome, the work elicits strong reactions from viewers: Some love it, some hate it.

For more information about public art, including guided tours, call the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission at (916) 566-3992 or log on to sacculture.com.

4. Tap your toes at the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee. Held every Memorial Day weekend, the Jubilee marks its 34th year this May. Whether you’re into the music or the people-watching, the three-day event—held in Old Sacramento, Raley Field and several downtown/midtown locales—is the quintessential way to kick off a Sacramento summer. This year’s headliner, the Rebirth Brass Band, offers brass with a heavy dose of funk. (916) 372-5277; sacjazz.com  

5. Cheer for the Sacramento Kings at Arco Arena. You don’t have to be a basketball fan to feel the energy emitted from these royals of the court. The tougher the competition, the louder the fans stomp their feet.

One game to catch: Kings versus Utah Jazz, April 6 at Arco Arena. Watch as our hometown heroes take on one of the top teams in the NBA. (916) 928-0000; kings.com 

6. Step out for a Sacramento tradition, Run To Feed The Hungry, a 5K walk/run and 10K run through East Sacramento and midtown on Thanksgiving morning.

Attracting upwards of 20,000 runners and walkers, Run To Feed The Hungry is the Sacramento Valley’s largest fun run and raises more than $400,000 annually for Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.
capitalroadrace.com

7. Visit the “old towns” of Folsom, Fair Oaks, Rose-ville and Elk Grove to glean a little bit of history and knowledge of what life once was like in the region. In Fair Oaks, step back in time in the Oaks Hardware store, where purchases are rung up on an old-fashioned cash register—a far cry from the impersonal “self-checkout” at big box home improvement centers. In Folsom, smell the aged wood as you wander through the creaky antiques shops on Sutter Street, where you can pick up old 45s for a nickel apiece.

8. Tour the Capitol. It’s free, it’s architecturally stunning and it’s historically rich: You can get the complete history of California’s governors as you wander among their portraits in the squeaky-clean hallways. (Check out former Gov. Jerry Brown’s portrait on the third floor—painted in an unconventional abstract style compared to the other, more realistic gubernatorial portraits. No surprise.) And, who knows, you might run into the newly re-elected Governator himself.

Good to know: The public can view the legislature, which reconvenes Jan. 8, in session from the viewing balcony on the third floor. Sessions typically start Mondays around noon and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. Check the daily file at the state Assembly or Senate websites to see what’s on the agenda. (916) 324-0333; parks.ca.gov

9. Root for the Sacramento Monarchs at Arco Arena. Don’t miss an opportunity to see these local champs—winners of the 2005 WNBA title—to see some real, bona fide grrrl power! Fun facts: (1) Most of the Monarchs play in Europe and Korea during the off-season; (2) The Monarchs’ new head coach, Jenny Boucek, 33, is the youngest person to hold her position in the WNBA. (916) 928-3650; sacramentomonarchs.com

10. See a show at the Crest Theatre. Opened in 1949 with celebrities and dignitaries in attendance, the Crest closed its doors for many years. It reopened in 1986. Today, the theater is host to concerts, comedians, speakers, films and more. (916) 442-7378; thecrest.com

Enjoy an indie film in the main theater, with its original 1949 interior featuring a guilded art-deco ceiling and waterfall main drape. Or attend one of its many film festivals taking place this year:

11. Volunteer your time. Want to try a few charities on for size before committing to one? Community Services Planning Council’s Hands On Sacramento program arranges opportunities for you to volunteer however many hours you desire at a variety of organizations. Choices include working with children, seniors, the homeless, animals, in nature and for the arts. One of Hands On’s more intriguing listings comes from the Sacramento Police Department: The department is seeking forensic assistants to take photos and collect DNA samples and fingerprints. (916) 447-7063, ext. 314; handsonsacto.org  

12. Ride the rails along the river. Both the Sacramento RiverTrain (800-866-1690; sacramentorivertrain.com) and the California State Railroad Museum (916-445-6645; californiastaterailroad
museum.org) offer rides. RiverTrain’s 28-mile ride begins in Woodland, passes through Fremont Trestle and stops in Luvdahl to prepare for the return trip. RiverTrain also stages special events such as a Murder Mystery Dinner train and a Great Train Robberies train. The railroad museum offers themed 40-minute train rides at Halloween and Christmas.

13. Run, cycle and kayak your way through Eppie’s Great Race. “The World’s Oldest Triathlon” takes place July 21. Celebrating its 34th year in 2007, this triathlon is unique because it features kayaking instead of swimming. The catalyst? Founder Eppie Johnson’s affinity for the sport. The Great Race raises money for Sacramento County Therapeutic Recreation Services and is the largest one-day kayaking event in the United States. thegreatrace.org

14. Head to a Sacramento River Cats game at Raley Field in West Sacramento. Grab a hot dog and a beer and enjoy a little bit of Americana while overlooking West Sac’s River Walk and Sacramento’s skyline in the distance.

On Kids’ Days, expect face painting, balloon artists and other attractions for little ones. After the ballgame, the kids can go out on the playing field and run around the bases. (916) 376-4700; raleyfield.com

15. Take in some outdoor theater. Sit among the famous free-roaming chickens and roosters at the summertime Fair Oaks Theatre Festival (916-966-3683; fairoakstheatrefestival.com), where plays are performed under the stars in an amphitheater in Fair Oaks Village. Past performances have included Godspell, Gypsy and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. For another outdoor theater experience, cuddle beneath the big trees at the William A. Carroll Amphitheatre in William Land Park during the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival. Expect great things: Last summer brought Romeo and Juliet and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. (916) 558-2173; sacramentoshakespeare.net

16. Dine at a neighborhood joint. You know the type: may not be much to look at or located in the chichi part of town, but the food’s so good, it sends you straight to the moon. Squeeze Inn, Zelda’s and Pancake Circus all fit the bill. Need more suggestions? Check out Nick’s Neighborhood Joints Saturday mornings on “Good Day Sacramento.” Each week, “Good Day” anchor/reporter Nick Toma scours the city in search of some choice chow.  

One place to chow down: Broadway Bakery Cafe. Located near the UC Davis Medical Center campus in the Broadway Building, this cafe is known for its sumptuous baked goods, hearty soups, yummy panini and barbecue lunches on Fridays during the summer. Another benefit: owner John Sedger, whose calming presence and warm, welcoming smile greet diners Monday through Friday. 4900 Broadway, Sacramento; (916) 455-9482; Monday–Friday 6:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., closed major holidays.

17. Tune into local music at Pops in the Park, concerts held in East Sacramento and River Park neighborhood parks; Friday Night Concerts in the Park at Cesar Chavez Plaza downtown; and Harmony on the River, held along River Walk Park in West Sacramento.

18. Spend time around the Sacramento and American rivers. Whether you choose to dine overlooking, frolic in, fish from, boat up or raft down, these grand waterways offer activities for every level of amphibian. Throw dry leaves off the Fair Oaks Bridge into the American River, float in a raft under the Guy West Bridge at Sacramento State and let your kids play in the fountain at the Sacramento River Water Intake Facility between Old Sacramento and Discovery Park.

Good to know: The Old Sacramento-based River Otter Water Taxi, which cruises the Sacramento River April through October, is available for chartered trips year-round. (916) 446-7704; riverotter.com

19. Board the Delta King. The whitewashed paddle-wheeler is permanently docked in Old Sacramento, and you can enjoy its ambiance by sipping a drink on the deck, dining in the Pilothouse Restaurant, catching a show by Capital Stage in the intimate theater or spending a night in a stateroom. Capital Stage presents Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Feb. 3 through March 11. (916) 444-5464; deltaking.com

20. Pause at PAWS. Periodic events at the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s sanctuary in Galt, including school tours, open houses and holiday celebrations, allow the public a peek inside this refuge for abandoned and abused captive wildlife (elephants, primates, big cats, coyotes and bears) and raise money for their care. PAWS’ 21st annual vegetarian Easter Brunch takes place April 8. (209) 745-2606; pawsweb.org

21. Go the distance or cheer on others at the annual California International Marathon, a 26.2-mile run from Folsom Lake to the state Capitol, held the first Sunday in December.

Participating in the marathon makes you intimately familiar with every nook and cranny of Fair Oaks Boulevard—you cover the entire stretch of road. Feel the rush of running through the (normally) traffic-heavy intersection of Fair Oaks Boulevard and Howe Avenue. And get chills up and down your spine as you cruise down L Street toward the finish line, the pulse of the crowd providing you with momentum. runcim.org

22. While away an afternoon touring the Crocker Art Museum, or attend one of its many cultural programs or special events. The opportunity to view “Portrait of My Father” by Stephen Kaltenbach is worth the price of admission alone. It took Kaltenbach seven years to paint this large-scale, luminous masterpiece. (916) 264-5423; crockerartmuseum.org

23. Linger in Sacramento’s late-night scene. Didn’t think Sacramento had a late-night scene? It does, especially if you’re hungry or thirsty. Check out Bistro 33 Midtown, which closes at 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, or Ink Eats & Drinks in midtown, which closes at 4 a.m. those same nights. Ink serves up unique drinks like the Blueberry Cheesecake Martini and Key Lime Pie Martini, both rimmed with a graham cracker crust. For more traditional partygoers, Ink general manager Nancy Martis notes the Mojito and Cosmopolitan are popular choices. Got a sweet tooth? Go to Marie’s Donuts, which opens daily at 1 a.m. Or go bowling at Country Club Lanes—it’s open 24 hours day, seven days a week. 

Good to know: Midtown’s True Love Coffeehouse—known for its eclectic live music and after-midnight waffles—has reopened at 23rd and K after closing the doors of its J Street digs two years ago.

24. Explore the California State Fair. Carnival rides, games, animals, exhibits, concerts and fried food—what more could you want? It’s a summertime must-do. Aug. 17 marks the start of this year’s fair. The fair is a great place to check out rock stars and bands who, while they may no longer make the cover of Rolling Stone, still strike a chord with loyal fans. Past acts have included Rick Springfield, Collective Soul and The Wallflowers. (916) 263-3000; bigfun.org

25. Glimpse life as a miner on the Sutter Gold Mine tour. Take a Boss Buggy into the mine and learn about California’s gold mining history. While you’re there, visit Moaning Caverns, California’s largest vertical chamber, big enough to house the Statue of Liberty. Sutter Gold Mine is between Sutter Creek and Amador City, about an hour and a half away. (866) 762-2837; caverntours.com

26. Walk the crooked mile at Fairytale Town in William Land Park, a low-tech children’s play park where fairy tales and nursery rhymes come to life. How can you go wrong at a place where Humpty Dumpty greets you at the entrance? Watch the calendar in July for Wacky Water Day, when kids of all ages are invited to swim in the “lazy river” and challenged to break into King Arthur’s Castle past staff members armed with water weapons. Just don’t try to sneak into Fairytale Town without a youngster: All adults must be accompanied by a child. (916) 264-5233; fairytaletown.org

27. Attend local live performances. Whether it’s a show by the Sacramento Theatre Company, the B Street Theatre, The Sacramento Ballet, Sacramento Opera or Sacramento Philharmonic, you’ll witness the best in area talent. But this spring, don’t expect to see The Sacramento Ballet’s annual Modern Masters program. Instead, the ballet will be touring China, taking 50 ballet-loving travel buffs with them. sacballet.org.
 
 
For more information on local performances, check out Sacramento magazine’s calendar of events.

Good to know: Marking its 21st year, the award-winning Celebration Arts, a tiny theater in the heart of East Sacramento, is a training ground for those in theater, dance and music. (916) 455-2787; celebrationarts.net

28. Drive around Dovewood Court in Orange-vale for a Christmas lights show to end all Christmas lights shows. This vibrant display of community and holiday spirit—all the residents in this cul-de-sac decorate their houses to the nines—will warm the hearts of even the Scroogiest Scrooges among us. See the spectacle in December and the first week of January. Bring a plastic jar of peanut butter, a can of beans or other nonperishable food item to drop in the Raley’s Food for Families bin to complete the holiday experience.


29. Swing on over to see the Sacramento Capitals at the team’s new stadium at the Galleria in Roseville. This coed World TeamTennis team is joined by two to three big-name tennis stars (think Anna Kournikova, Pete Sampras) each season and has made it to the playoffs 15 of the past 16 years. (916) 638-4001; gocaps.net

30. Grab a seat in the Guild Theater. Located in the 40 Acres Art Gallery and Cultural Center, this 92-year-old theater—once a vibrant fixture in Oak Park—stood vacant for years. Today, the restored landmark hosts lectures, films and performances. (916) 736-1185; guildtheater.com 

Check out the Guild this February for its American History Month, which celebrates the histories of both African-Americans and Chinese-Americans. Events include a poetry night, a symposium on Chinese-American history and a film series with lectures.

31. Harvest healthful produce at a farmers market. Take advantage of living in our agriculturally rich region by enjoying farm-to-you fresh produce at area farmers markets. You’ll find tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, zucchini, sweet Bronx grapes, spinach, lettuce, herbs, winter squash, persimmons, pomegranates, mandarins, sunchokes . . . the list goes on and on. To find a market near you, go to cafarmersmarkets.com or california-grown.com.  

Good to know: Davis Farmers Market, located in Central Park at Fourth and C streets in Davis, is a veritable food fest and boasts several organic-produce vendors. Shop Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons year-round or Wednesday evenings in the summer, when the market becomes an unofficial picnic party, complete with music and food booths. (530) 756-1695; davisfarmersmarket.org

32. Time travel at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, the first building in the interior of California. Since its construction in 1843, the fort, originally called “New Helvetia” (New Switzerland), has served as a trading post, a rehabilitation point for Donner Party survivors and a refugee camp for displaced persons after the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. Pioneer Demonstration Day is Jan. 20. Watch as costumed docents demonstrate skills, such as rope making and carpentry, from days gone by. Kids will love the hands-on activities. It’s a great day for first-timers to the park. 2701 L St., Sacramento, (916) 445-4422; parks.ca.gov

33. Have a look at the Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park. Leland Stanford, the eighth governor of California and founder of Stanford University, drove the famous Golden Spike into the ground, completing the Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869. His 1856 mansion, which has 44 rooms, was home to three governors in the 1860s and later became the Stanford Home for Children. The 19,000-square-foot house was named a National Historic Landmark in 1987. Rehabilitation efforts began in 2002 and the mansion was opened to the public in September 2005. Corner of Eighth and N streets, Sacramento, (916) 324-0575; parks.ca.gov

Good to know: Guided tours may be canceled on days the governor is using the site for official state business.

34. Shop locally. Hit the trendy boutiques in midtown or any neighborhood mom-and-pop shop. You’ll find unique items while supporting local merchants.  Don’t miss: Hàus by David Randall at 2512 J St., Riki at 2317 J St., Olipom at 1115 21st St. and Felicia Strati at 1901 Capitol Ave. 

35. Enjoy the American River Parkway—along with the Jedediah Smith Memorial Bicycle Trail—for cycling, running, horseback riding, picnicking, hiking, golfing, boating, skating, fishing and more. Check out sacparks.net.

For more information on the 32-mile bike trail, which runs from Old Sacramento to Folsom Lake, including rules and regulations and a detailed map, pick up the Jedediah Smith Memorial Bicycle Trail guide. You can find one at The Rest Stop, at 3230 Folsom Blvd. in East Sacramento, for about $3.

One great place to catch the trail: William B. Pond Recreation Area, also known as Mile 13.5. Named after the first director of the county of Sacramento’s Department of Parks and Recreation, this section of the parkway is a popular starting point for runners, cyclists, picnickers, and fishing and river enthusiasts. Best way to get there: Take Arden Way east until it dead-ends.

36. Immerse yourself in the vibrant social scene at Second Saturday art gallery openings held throughout the city. Start at the corner of 18th and L streets, near several galleries. In March, Zanzibar Tribal Art will display Mexican yarn paintings and beaded items by the Huichol Indians. But don’t look too hard for Zanzibar at its 1731 L St. location—the gallery may have moved to its new midtown digs (no address as
of press time) by then.

Check out sacramento-second-saturday.org for the scoop on local gallery receptions along with similar art walks in the region, including Winters’ First Saturday Art Walk, Davis’ ArtAbout Art Walk (the second Friday of the month) and Placer Valley Third Saturday Art Walk, which encompasses galleries in Roseville, Lincoln and Loomis.

37. Catch an event at Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. Built in 1926, this architectural gem seats 3,855 people and has been home to concerts, lectures, sporting events and graduations for generations.
Good to know: You can rent Memorial Auditorium’s Memorial Hall and Jean Runyon Little Theater for private events such as weddings and parties. (916) 808-5291; sacramentoconventioncenter.com

38. Support a charitable event. Sure, you could put a check in the mail, but why not have some fun and help a good cause by attending one of hundreds of events held throughout the year? Activities range from bowling to brewfests to black-tie affairs.

Good to know: Capital City AIDS Fund’s An Evening With Oscar is a swanky soiree held at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. The event, which benefits HIV/AIDS services in Sacramento, includes a sit-down dinner, silent auction and viewing of the Academy Awards on large-screen televisions. The fun takes place Feb. 25; tickets are $125 each. (916) 448-1110.  

* For a comprehensive list of charitable events happening in our area, check out Sacramento Magazine’s 2007 Charitable Events Registry, coming in the February issue.

39. Eat at Biba. Among Sacramento’s many upscale restaurants, Biba shines by its sheer fame—its own and its owner’s. Opened in 1986 by renowned Italian cookbook author and cooking show host Biba Caggiano (a Bologna, Italy-born Sacramento resident), the midtown restaurant receives glowing reviews and awards for its authentic Italian cuisine. To say Biba serves pasta and meats would be accurate, but heartily inadequate. A recent dinner menu offered Saltimbocca di Anatra: sautéed duck breast topped with prosciutto, sage and Parmigiano in a butter-port wine sauce, with mashed potatoes and roasted fall vegetables. 2801 Capitol Ave., Sacramento; (916) 455-2422; bibarestaurant.com

40. Make music Circus a summertime tradition. For more than 50 years, Music Circus audiences have enjoyed Broadway-quality entertainment with its musicals like The Sound of Music and Fiddler on the Roof. For most of these years, shows took place under an unairconditioned circus tent with poles that obstructed views. Not anymore, thanks to Wells Fargo Pavilion, which opened in 2003. Now audiences enjoy shows in cool comfort with clear views of the stage.

What’s new under the Big Top for 2007? “We are at looking at two Music Circus premieres,” says California Musical Theatre’s Community Affairs Director Chris McSwain of the upcoming season. Public announcement of this summer’s shows takes place Jan. 22. (916) 557-1999; sacramentomusiccircus.com

41. Stroll through Old Sacramento. Riverfront restaurants, museums, nightspots and kitschy shops dot the landscape of Old Sacramento these days, but a lot of history has happened on them thar streets. To learn something new about the oldest part of town, take an Old Sacramento Hysterical Walk, which provides a humorous look at the history of Old Sacramento—and some exercise, too.

Good to know: Brave souls will want to check out the Hysterical Walk of the Dead: A Ghost Tour offered March through November; private tours of 15 or more are offered year-round. Coming soon: Hysterical Walks and Rides, a tour of the central city that takes you from Old Sacramento to Sutter’s Fort at 26th and K streets—on Segways. (916) 441-2527; hystericalwalks.com

42. Embrace the animals (figuratively) at Folsom Zoo Sanctuary. Lions and tigers and bears—oh, my! And monkeys, foxes, bobcats, coyotes. . . . A refuge for animals that have been injured, orphaned or rejected, this zoo has a goal of “teaching responsible human behavior toward all animals.” You can get close enough to Misty and Pouncer, the female tigers, to smell their breath. You may shiver a little listening to Misty as she sharpens the claws on her immense paws. (916) 351-3527; folsom.ca.us

43. Look up to the trees. From the palm trees on the perimeter of Capitol Park to the river birch on the banks of McKinley Park pond to the eucalyptus trees of Goethe Arboretum at Sacramento State, they shade us from summer sun and show us their colors come fall. Although recent reports refute Sacramento’s claim to be “second only to Paris in the number of trees per person,” the Capital City still is known as the “City of Trees.”

Good to know: The Sacramento Tree Foundation has maps of popular parks and the trees that inhabit them. Go to sactree.com to download your copy.

44. DAZZLE A DATE at the Tower. Tower Records may have sold its last CD, but you still can enjoy the Tower Theatre and Tower Cafe (no relation to Tower Records) on Broadway. Built in 1938, the moviehouse specializes in independent, specialty and foreign films. (916) 442-4700; thetowertheatre.com
 

The cafe, opened in April 1990, is known for its desserts, but diners are missing out if they don’t stay for a meal. Delectable delights include creamy corn chowder, the Malaysian chicken sandwich and any item off its brunch menu. (Lines for brunch wind out the door.) (916) 441-0222; towercafe.com

45. Waltz through the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park. Built in 1877, this 30-plus-room mansion served as home to only 13 of California’s 38 governors. The last governor to live in the house was Ronald Reagan. (Today, California is the only state that does not maintain a permanent governor’s residence.) Take note: Never before open to the public, the mansion’s recently renovated third floor—housing the governor’s office, a ballroom and a billiards room—will open in late spring or early summer. 1526 H St., Sacramento, (916) 323-3047; parks.ca.gov

46. Monkey around at the Sacramento Zoo. Along with housing the animals, this Land Park institution holds classes, concerts and special events. On May 13, treat Mom to the Mother’s Day Zoo Tour and Brunch. (916) 264-5888; saczoo.com   

47. Get educated about the region’s history by visiting the Towe Auto Museum, The California Museum for Women, History & the Arts, the California State Railroad Museum and the Folsom History Museum. For a list of these and other area museums, check out sacmuseums.org. Museum visits are free on Sacramento Museum Day, happening this year on Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Good to know: Every year during Thanksgiving weekend, the California State Railroad Museum hosts Small Train Holiday, an exhibit of operating modular toy trains and scale-model railroads provided by regional model railroad and toy train clubs. (916) 445-6645; californiastaterailroadmuseum.

48. Meander down the Delta. With the closest only about 15 minutes from downtown Sacramento, the sleepy towns that make up the Delta region—Freeport, Locke, Walnut Grove, Isleton, Ryde, Rio Vista—feel a lifetime away. Wander through the shops in Locke, the only town in the United States built for and by Chinese immigrants. (Today, the Chinese population is down to 10.) In Walnut Grove, experience the beauty of the Delta as captured by late landscape artist Marty Stanley—his public mural graces the Pump House and his Levee Gallery remains open on River Road. Time your visit to the Delta properly and you just might catch a “Marty Stanley Sky,” which is how locals often describe the pink, purple and orange sunsets that grace the horizon. For more information, call the Delta Chamber at (916) 777-4041 or log on to deltacalifornia.com.

49. Trip up the hill to Apple Hill. With more than 50 ranches to visit, wineries and a microbrewery, arts and crafts vendors, an annual fun run, apple delicacies and more, a visit to Apple Hill is a must-do for fall. Pick your own at Denver Dan’s, where a guy cuts an apple into a spiral, cores it and plops it on your child’s thumb. Or sink your teeth into a moist and fluffy apple doughnut from Abel’s Acres—you’ll be forever hooked. How ’bout them apples? (530) 644-7692; applehill.com

50. Taste wine—locally. Closer and less crowded than Napa, nearby El Dorado and Amador counties along with the Lodi region grow award-winning wines and offer wonderful wine tasting opportunities. For more information, log on to eldoradowines.org, amadorwine.com and lodiwine.com.

Stop and sip: Did you know El Dorado County’s Madroña Vineyards’ 2003 30th Anniversary Zinfandel was named an Editors’ Choice by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and given a score of 92? (530) 644-5948; madronavineyards.com 

 

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