A Tourist in Her Own Town

Photo by Beth Baugher
sonya bradley

As chief marketing officer at Visit Sacramento, Sonya Bradley promotes Sacramento as a desirable destination for tourists. So we wanted to know: How does she like to show off the capital city to out-of-town friends and family? And what do visitors think of the place?

“If people haven’t been here at all before, or maybe they haven’t been here in a while, there’s almost always a sense of pleasant surprise from visitors,” says Bradley. “The people are friendly and it’s easy to get around. Once people come, they really like it.”

Here’s the inside scoop on a few of Bradley’s favorite summertime destinations.

Down by the riverside

“My friends from the Bay Area hate coming in the summer because of the heat, but I make them come anyway. I always start with a walk along the Old Sacramento Waterfront. People really enjoy walking along the boardwalk there. I think one of the best things about Sacramento is that we can get out and walk pretty much everywhere in the downtown and midtown core.”

To market, to market

“If my visitors are here on a Saturday morning, the Midtown Farmers Market is the place to be. Granted, you can get some great fruits and vegetables there, but I go for the food stands. You can get a really delicious breakfast or lunch there. My favorite vendor is the guy who makes empanadas. I always get them when I’m there. Afterward, we might walk over to Devine Gelateria. You can sample everything there, which is always fun. I usually lean toward getting something with almonds.”

Play ball!

“I think an evening River Cats game is one of the best ways to hang out and enjoy the weather. The food is very good, and it’s a more intimate setting than your normal large ballpark. I like seeing the kids rolling down the hill in the grassy area. It’s a great place to kick back with friends and enjoy the sunset. I’ve even seen a falling star when I was at a game once. It is the quintessential Sacramento evening.”

Capitol experience

“One of the things we locals take for granted is the Capitol grounds. The beautiful trees and the flowers—it’s such a serene, nice place. It’s sort of the opposite of what you think is happening inside the Capitol sometimes.”