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From craft beer breweries to relics of the USA's Gold Rush era, Sacramento is an eclectic blend of Old World and regeneration. The capital of California, the city is a worthy stop on your tour of the Golden State thanks to its buzzing arts scene, boutique shops and mid-century architecture. Get stuck into local life at a farmer's market, join in the Midtown Gallery Hop or take a hike on a nature trail.
Immerse yourself in the city's history at a Sacramento hostel in a former Victorian mansion, where you'll find original fireplaces in the dorms. Lots of Sacramento hostels offer free Wi-Fi with your stay, so you can plot out the rest of your journey down the coast. Get to know other travellers at a hostel with a games room, and save your cents by staying at a place that offers a free breakfast.
Downtown Sacramento is the city's beating heart. Here you can catch open-air concerts in the park, people-watch from the seats outside the coffee shops or shop at local markets. For history, stay in Old Sacramento to dip in and out of museums and sample the treats at the famous old sweet shops. If you're looking for a youthful vibe, try Midtown. This up-and-coming neighbourhood is the centre of the arts scene and a hub of action at night with plenty of bars offering live music.
Visit Capitol Park to see the neoclassical state government building, which houses antiques, murals and portraits. For more art, head to the Crocker Art Museum, home to over 15,000 priceless pieces. At the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, you can look up at an astounding 13-foot crucifix. Want to fit in some exercise? It's as easy as hopping on a Sac Brew Bike, a multi-person cycle that leads you to the best bars and eateries. Catch a cult cinema classic at the Crest Theatre, a venue over 100 years old that has a rich history and plays regular movie marathons.
From Sacramento International Airport, take the number 42A bus into downtown. Buses run regularly throughout the day, departing around every hour. If you're coming in from another city, you can catch a coach or the Amtrak train. The city itself is pretty flat, so cycling or walking are easy ways of getting around. Otherwise, take the light rail service or jump in a taxi.