Destination DiversityBy Nikki Gloudeman

Sacramento shows its range

Destination Diversity

Sacramento, California’s vibrant capital city, gets a lot of attention for some very good reasons. Thanks to its West Coast locale, it provides sunny weather and mild seasons. It is an outdoors haven with the well-earned monikers City of Trees and River City. And, of course, it has the distinction of serving as the political hub of the country’s most-populous state.

But one of the city’s proudest distinctions is less well-known: its rich diversity. When Harvard University did a Civil Rights project a few years back, it was Sacramento that landed atop the list of the country’s most culturally diverse destinations. Today, it continues this legacy with an ever-diversifying list of happenings and attractions. Cultural festivals include Juneteenth, a celebration of the end of slavery in America; the Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee, a Memorial Day tradition commemorating one of the most culturally eclectic musical art forms around; and an annual Christmas Around the World festival. Global influences are also evident in the city’s food scene, which is one of the most ethnically expansive around, and attractions like the newly remodeled Crocker Art Museum, which houses an international collection of fine art. This tapestry is firmly rooted in a long and fascinating history, lovingly preserved today.

Perhaps most importantly, the city offers a varied roster of things to do. “Sacramento’s appeal has grown and widened for those who have recently visited,” says Steve Hammond, CEO and president of the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau. “You can take in the Gold Rush-era charms of Old Sacramento, which are livelier than ever. Later, you can bike along the banks of the Sacramento and American Rivers, and stroll amid downtown’s stately Victorian homes and enjoy the shade of the city’s urban forest. You may even catch a glimpse of the governor himself at the impressive Capitol building.”

This variety holds true in Sacramento’s surrounding areas as well, from lush, winery-filled Gold Country to up-and-coming Folsom. It all adds up to an appealing destination for a range of groups. After all, at the end of the day, diversity really means one thing, and it’s a trait every planner craves: something for everyone.

MAJOR MEETINGS VENUES

The Sacramento meetings market is filled with an assorted swatch of hotels and unique venues. Yet this variety doesn’t come at the expense of accessibility—the city is known for its close-proximity venues, which offer sought-after convenience.

It is also a city that hits a sweet spot for groups: big enough to accommodate gatherings in the thousands, and small enough to make attendees feel special when they come to town. “Groups of 500 to 1,000 people have had some of the best opportunities to be a ‘big fish’ while enjoying the attention and focus of Sacramento’s hospitality community and city leaders,” Hammond says.

GETTING THERE

Sacramento International Airport offers flights from 14 major carriers and one commuter airline, with nonstop service to about 30 U.S. cities, including Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Washington D.C., New York City, Seattle and Portland, Ore.

Sacramento's Great Outdoors

  • Tee up at one of several world-class golf courses
  • Go white-water rafting along the American River
  • For a more mellow time, hop on a boat or raft instead
  • Hold a picnic en masse at Discovery Park
  • Bike or hike through wine country, wildlife areas or the American River Parkway