|I had briefly visited Sacramento a few years ago and I thought I should take another look at it, plus it was a nice stop to make before reaching San Francisco. But California is in bad shape and it shows in its capital.|
Yes, little Sacramento (500 000 proper
population) is the capital city of the most populated US state (with
over 38 millions, it's even more than Canada!). They finally managed
to present a balanced budget a free a decade of deficits. But at
enormous cost of drastic cuts in education and public workers' pay.
But the hardship experienced by California is visible all over the
city. There are vacant stores all over downtown, even two closed
hotels. Another sign is the transit system. It barely covers the
core of the city, and some lines run only on weekdays. The light
rail line deserving the bus station doesn't run on Sundays!
Downtown Sacramento is compact and very
easy to walk and navigate with its alphabet and numbered streets
grid. But there's not much to see and do in there, everything
following the business hours of the politicians and state workers. I
even saw a fast-food restaurant close at 6PM on a Saturday, even if
they were the only food option around for thousands of teenagers
attending an anime convention on the other side of the street!
Old Sacramento although it's a kitsch
tourist trap is one place to visit because they did a very good job
in preserving and restoring the old West spirit. When I was there,
the was a Gold Rush celebration event, reminiscing the glory days of
the city funded in 1849, in the midst of one of the largest human
migration of history. They had horse-drawn chariots offering rides
around the old city, they had replicas of soldier camps, a Pony
Express recruiting office, etc.
Will I feel the need to visit it again?
No, but it happens to be the gateway airport if I want to visit my
California friends again.