Best Places to Live

Sacramento, CA

Population: 506,514
LIV
SCORE
642
iStock/Manny Chavez

Affectionately known by locals as “Sac,” Sacramento is both the capital of California and cultural centerpiece of the surrounding area, with an emphasis on the arts, an incredible food scene and close proximity to other major cities. The city is home to the Old Sacramento district, which takes a step back in time to the Gold Rush and features cobblestone streets and buildings from the 1800s. Sacramento is known for its amazing farm-to-table restaurants (it’s called America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital) and relatively low cost of living, especially when compared to other California cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Top Industries and Employers: Government, real estate and technology take center stage in Sacramento. 

Best Coffee Shop: Temple Coffee Roasters

Best Local Beer/Brewery: Moonraker is an unpretentious brewery producing delicious craft beers and maintaining a low carbon footprint so you can be a hero for drinking sustainably.  

Must-Have Meal: Anything on the constantly changing menu at Mulvaney’s B&L. Housed in a historic firehouse, Mulvaney’s specializes in hand-crafted New American cuisine and places an emphasis on farm-to-table dishes that rotate daily and seasonally. 

Best Co-Working Space: Both an express specialty coffee shop and a co-working space, The Trade is a coffee lover’s co-working dream. 

Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): The Coin-Op serves up both games and great drinks. Patrons can pick from one of the 40 arcade games in the bar and 16 beers on tap, which highlight microbreweries from around the state. 

Creative Hub: The Crocker Art Museum is the only museum in Sacramento that is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is the oldest public art museum west of the Mississippi. The museum is housed in two buildings, including the historic Crocker home, and houses art from across the world.  

Favorite Weekend Activity: Because of Sacramento’s moniker of America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, the city’s farmers’ market is unparalleled. Spend the morning shopping for local goods and then eat, drink and shop your way through the nearby Handle District.

Free Way to Have Fun: Put on your sneakers and explore Sacramento’s impressive public arts scene and multitude of murals located around the city. Sacramento’s street art is well-maintained and super Instagram-able. The city also hosts Wide Open Walls, the largest mural festival in the nation.  

Local Dream Job: Mascot for the Sacramento River Cats, of course. 

Read More:
Go There: A Delicious Weekend in Sacramento
5 Outdated Myths About Sacramento That Need to Be Put to Rest 
Discover Sacramento’s Amazing Public Art

- Cara Sanders

"Sacramento gives you so much of what people love about being in California – great weather, fantastic food, wine and beer, tons of outdoor recreation, arts and culture. But at the same time, we’re a city that has retained its own unique identity that is authentic and very welcoming. It might sound cliché, but there is a strong sense of community here and you can quickly find your place in it. It’s easy to find things that resonate with you, whether it’s a coffee house to hang out at or a new dog park to take your pet to on the weekend. It’s very easy to call Sacramento home."

Karlee Cemo-Mcintosh
Director of Sacramento365

Sacramento, CA Ranking Data

Civic
39
Demographics
76
Economy
64
Education
53
Health
56
Housing
46
Infrastructure
53