Golf

U.S. Senior Open: Guide to Sacramento’s best attractions

The Sacramento skyline, as seen from Raley Field in West Sacramento, is indicative of a vibrant city. Visitors in town for the U.S. Senior Open golf tournament have plenty of opportunity to partake of the region’s broad variety of things to do, places to see.
The Sacramento skyline, as seen from Raley Field in West Sacramento, is indicative of a vibrant city. Visitors in town for the U.S. Senior Open golf tournament have plenty of opportunity to partake of the region’s broad variety of things to do, places to see. rbenton@sacbee.com

The spotlight is on the 2015 U.S. Senior Open this mid-summer in Sacramento, the biggest professional golf tournament in town since, well, since a long time.

But the tens of thousands of fans expected to watch the event at Del Paso Country Club have plenty of other opportunities to recreate while they’re here. Locals also might want to refresh themselves on what their city and region offer.

Want recommendations for some of the best restaurants, craft beers, wineries, outdoors activities and sights to see? This is not a complete or definitive list, but rather a collection of information and links to activities that represent the character of Sacramento:

Dining

Sacramento has upped its game in recent years when it comes to dining opportunities. Here are useful links:

▪ Interactive restaurant guide: Find the right place, the right price and the right time.

▪ Dining reviews: Learn what Sacramento Bee reviewers think about selected establishments.

▪ Dining on the river and Delta: Here are some popular options.

▪ Interactive map: See how Sacramento-area restaurants fared in health inspections.

▪ Videos from Sacramento’s food and dining scene:

Wine country

Northern California has several fine wine regions, and some are much closer to Sacramento than the famed Napa and Sonoma valleys.

Just up the hill – Highways 50 and 16 are main connectors – the El Dorado and Amador regions provide a variety of varietals, numerous tasting opportunities and stunning views. Equally easy to access – south on Interstate 5 out of Sacramento – Lodi and the surrounding valley appellations have emerged as an increasingly worthy wine region.

Closer still, Sacramento and a stretch of the Sacramento River are home to popular wineries focusing on climate-appropriate varieties and styles.

Beer

Sacramento increasingly fancies itself as a beer town, and to be sure, plenty of the suds made and drunk in the capital and environs are really good. Here are some of them:

▪ Ten top local brews: The Sacramento Bee’s Blair Anthony Robertson highlights favorites.

▪ Want to peruse more brews? Let’s tap into local experts.

▪ Granddaddy gets a makeover: Pioneering Sudwerk redefines itself and its craft lagers; how to get there.

▪ Link to the Northern California Brewer’s Guild

▪ Map of Sacramento-area breweries

More golf

▪ Interactive Golf Guide: This interactive map features key information about all public and semi-private clubs in the Greater Sacramento region.

▪ Haggin Oaks Golf Shop: It’s one of the biggest pro shops in the country, sort of a duffer Disneyland. Worth a visit for golfers of all stripes.

Fishing

▪ Fishing Line: Weekly reports provide updated fishing conditions on local waterways.

Hiking and bicycling

▪ Fresh Tracks and Weekend Hikes, along with occasional stories about fun bike rides

▪ American River Parkway, home of the Jedediah Smith Memorial bike trail; bike trail map; where to access the trail

Movies

▪ List of local theaters, with playbills and schedules

▪ Movie reviews: Read assessments of the latest releases in theaters.

▪ Gallery: Tower Theater – 75 years of movies in Sacramento

Wildlife

▪ Cosumnes River Preserve: A moderate drive from downtown Sacramento takes visitors to a preserve featuring marshlands and fields next to the Cosumnes River. The preserve, about 50,000 acres jointly controlled by seven conservation and government entities, is home or a stopover to a significant number of bird and animal species. Most prominent are sandhill cranes, the huge birds with a distinctive cackle and graceful flight. The fall finds cranes in their largest numbers, but the preserve is a lovely, reflective place in the summer, too.

The preserve features a visitor center, miles of trails and several viewing decks.

▪ Sacramento Zoo: Well, it’s wildlife in the sense that if they weren’t in enclosures, these animals would be out in the wild. The zoo is in Land Park, one of the city’s spacious greenbelts (also home to venerable Land Park Golf Course).

Parks

Sacramento is known for having a variety of neighborhood, community and regional parks, with a variety of amenities. They offer a place to kick back in the shade, take the kids for a romp, watch a ballgame or just enjoy the flowers. Use this Sacramento city park directory to find one that fits you.

▪ OK, it’s a ballpark – and, yes, the River Cats are out of town while the Senior Open is in – but Raley Field is a sweet by-the-river amenity. Its West Sacramento location is easy to get to, most parking is free, and the ’Cats, now affiliated with the San Francisco Giants after many successful years as part of the Oakland A’s family, are more popular than ever. Beyond that, the On Deck Store, featuring River Cats and Giants gear, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Here’s the complete schedule for the River Cats.

Museums

Perfect places to see great exhibits and stay cool on summer days, Sacramento’s museums offer variety, while celebrating the legacy and identity of the city and greater region. Many of these venues are walking-distance close to each other.

▪ California Railroad Museum

▪ Crocker Art Museum

▪ California Indian Museum

▪ Sacramento History Museum

▪ Aerospace Museum of California: up close and personal with vintage aircraft, more intimate displays

▪ California Automobile Museum: just about heaven for car enthusiasts

▪ California Agriculture Museum

▪ Sutter’s Fort: Here’s where the city started; remodeling a landmark.

Other stuff

These places all have their own character and points of interest.

▪ Interactive quiz: What do you know about Sacramento’s history?

▪ Old Sacramento

▪ Midtown Sacramento

▪ Downtown Sacramento

▪ California State University, Sacramento

▪ State Capitol

▪ Coloma gold-discovery site; park information, how to get there

▪ Folsom Prison museum; former Folsom prison guard has big plans for new ‘Big House’ museum

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