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Sleepy or sleeper? Sacramento named the most underrated city in California

Farm-to-Fork draws large crowds at Capitol Mall

Music, food and wine tasting were among the reasons thousands of people filled Capitol Mall for the 2017 Farm-to-Fork Festival on Saturday.
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Music, food and wine tasting were among the reasons thousands of people filled Capitol Mall for the 2017 Farm-to-Fork Festival on Saturday.

Tourists visiting California usually opt for the beaches of Southern California, the breathtaking views of Yosemite and Lake Tahoe or the new-age appeal of the Bay Area. To hear one national publication tell it, though, they're missing a hidden gem in the Central Valley.

Sacramento earned love from Thrillist on the website's list of the most underrated cities in all 50 states released Wednesday. The ease of getting into natural beauty mixed with a close proximity to touristy destinations helped the River City eke out others throughout the state, wrote Thrillist editor Matt Meltzer.

"It’s made itself one of the most bikeable cities in America, where rides along the American River run into wine country and back through the El Dorado foothills," Meltzer wrote. "It’s also a scant 90 minutes from San Francisco to the west and Lake Tahoe to the east, and under an hour to Napa and Sonoma."

No national write-up of Sacramento would be complete without mentioning the surrounding area's deep roots in agriculture, as well as the more recent embrace of the farm-to-table food model in the city's marquee restaurants.

And as residents know well, the city's relatively low cost of living compared to San Francisco has contributed to a substantial population growth over the last few years.

"Sacramento may not be the California dream people imagine, but as the Bay Area prices out the masses, Sacramento is primed to grow into the state’s next great destination," Meltzer wrote.

Sacramento's neighbor to the east, Reno, was named the most underrated city in Nevada in the same list. Thrillist writers chose towns with 5,500 residents or fewer in Arizona (Bisbee), Oregon (Sisters) and Washington (Orcas Island).

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, begel@sacbee.com

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