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Although Sacramento is the capital city of California, it is often forgotten in favor of its larger and much more famous sisters such as Los Angeles, San Capitol BuildingDiego, and San Francisco.   With a population of 407,108, Sacramento ranks as the seventh largest city in California, and the 40th largest city in the United States.   Sacramento is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River, making it a major deepwater port for the surrounding Sacramento Valley.  With an average elevation of only 18 feet, it is one of the lowest cities in elevation in the United States.   Sacramento is located about 85 miles northeast of San Francisco, on the Interstate-5 corridor.  The city is served by Sacramento International Airport, which offers flights to and from Mexico.


Originally inhabited by the Miwok, Shonommey, and Maidu Indians, Sacramento Valley was founded and named by Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga in 1806.  "Sacramento" is the Spanish word for "Holy Sacrament".  InCathedral of the Holy Sacrament 1840, pioneer John Sutter arrived from Liestal, Switzerland to found the trading colony of Sutter's Fort.  In 1848, gold was discovered at nearby Sutter's Mill, breaking Sacramento full-force into the California Gold Rush.  Seeing the need for a city in this area, John Sutter Jr. and William Warner planned and laid out the City of Sacramento, which was officially chartered in 1850, making it the oldest incorporated city in California.  Despite being ravaged by fire, disease, and floods in the early 1850s, the city continued to grow, thanks to its location just downstream of the Mother Lode in the Sierra Nevadas.  In 1854, Sacramento was declared the capital city of California, a title it still holds today.   Sacramento was picked to be the Western end of the famed Pony Express mail delivery service, and was the starting point for the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1863. 

Demographics and Climate

Today, the city's population is ethnically diverse, with 48.3% being Caucasian, 21.6% Hispanic, 16.6% Asian, and 15.5% African American.  The median Downtown Mallincome here is $37,049, not much for being in California, and 20% of the city's population lives below the poverty line.  The average temperature throughout the year here is 61F (16C), with average daily highs ranging from 53F (12C) in the winter to 93F (34C) in the summer.  Average daily low temperatures range from 38F (3C) in winter to 58F (14C) in the summer.  The average year contains 73 days per year where the high temperature breaks the 90F mark.  It rains in Sacramento an average of 58 days a year, with just 17.4 inches of rain annually.  In the summer, you'll virtually never see a rainy day, while in the winter, 3.5 inches per month is average.


Sacramento is not a tourist trap by any stretch of the imagination.  The mere fact that it houses the Governor of the State of California is a touristSpirit of Sacramento attraction unto itself, and the town is built around the government.   A few things do bring tourists to the area when they are itching for something to do, such as Old Sacramento, a restored frontier town with cobblestone streets and riverboat tours.  Water World is a major destination for the kids, and Fairy Tale Town is fun for the little ones.  Beyond that, however, the pickings are rather slim.  Some people will use Sacramento as a day trip when visiting nearby Napa Valley, and others just stop in because there isn't much else to see along the seemingly endless I-5 corridor on their way to Disneyland.

By clicking the links in the left margin, you can find more information about the Sacramento area, such as a message board, a photo gallery, a directory of links, and our own take on the city. 

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