Here’s a list of 5 places in the Sacramento region one can visit whenever feeling adventurous or just in need of a place to relax:
1. Capitol Park
Home to the California Legislature since 1869, Capitol Park is located within the California State Capitol. Bring your dog and take a stroll, admiring the stately architecture and the many species of trees and flowers housed within the park. Grab a bite afterward at one of the many coffee shops and restaurants downtown! For more information on park hours and guided tours visit https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=495.
2. Effie Yeaw Nature Center
The Effie Yeaw Nature Center is a nonprofit organization located inside the Ancil Hoffman Park in Carmichael, CA. The center is a hidden gem among Carmichael residents, housing an array of rescue animals including birds, snakes and amphibians. Effie Yeaw’s mission is to spread awareness of our natural wildlife in the Sacramento region through the catering of programs and events focused on wildlife education and interpretation. One can hike along the trails leading down to the American River or simply have a meal and rest in the picnic area. As a volunteer receptionist at the center myself, I have seen the impact the center’s programs and events have on families looking for activities to enrich their children’s life. For more information on activities and membership purchases go to https://www.sacnaturecenter.net/.
3. Nimbus Fish Hatchery
Located twenty minutes from downtown Sacramento, Nimbus Hatchery raises close to 4 million Chinook salmon and steelhead for release to the American River each year. The visitor center offers educational activities for children and adults including raceway ponds, hiking trails, play areas and opportunities to learn about the fish species raised at the hatchery. Visitors can even feed the salmon at the top of every hour and watch them climb the hatchery’s ladders, making for a fun and educational experience about our local ecosystem. Check out more details at https://wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/hatcheries/nimbus.
4. Sacramento Zoo
The Sacramento Zoo has been a staple of the Sacramento region since 1927, housing more than ninety animal species since its opening. Come visit some furry friends and experience the opportunity to feed a giraffe at the zoo’s Giraffe Encounters! The zoo is also hosting a number of virtual events throughout the season, such as Safari at Home and Zoo to You. Visit https://www.saczoo.org/visit/ to check out the events calendar and purchase tickets in advance!
5. Sac State Aquatic Center
The Sac State Aquatic Center is part of Associated Students Inc., and is located at Lake Natoma in Gold River, CA. The center offers paddling, boating, rowing and windsurfing lessons among many others. The Aquatic Center is open to the general public and offers perks and discounts to students at Sacramento State. Right now, the center is offering free boat rentals to all students until the end of the fall semester. Make sure to visit https://www.sacstateaquaticcenter.com/ for class sign-ups and costs.
Take some time and check out one of these spots soon!
-Cesar Ruiz Martinez