Did You Know? Sacramento Fun Facts

Sutter Health Park, Home of the Sacramento River Cats

Sutter Health Park, Home of the Sacramento River Cats

The “City of Trees”
The “City of Trees” is Sacramento’s nickname for a reason. Though it’s a bit difficult to lose count, our city has the most trees per capita of any other city in the world (though some say Paris takes the top spot). These elms, oaks and sycamores provide a totally green aesthetic to our community and much-needed shade in the summer months — they can actually lower ground temperatures by 36 degrees on a hot day.

Great Weather
The city enjoys a Mediterranean climate, which means we can spend a lot of time walking and biking the nearby American River Bike Trail, hiking, whitewater rafting, kayaking and just enjoying afternoons year-round under our shady trees.

Let It Snow?
Snow in Sacramento is extremely rare. So rare, in fact, that there hasn’t been a decent amount of accumulation since 1976 (when there were 2 inches). Dustings come and go, but Sacramento stays basically snow-free.

A Robust Seaport
Sacramento may not have a front-row seat on the ocean, but it does have a robust seaport, thanks to the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta River. It’s called the Port of West Sacramento, and it is 87.6 miles from San Francisco.

Two Cities in One?
Did you know that Sacramento is two cities in one? The city of Sacramento is only 17 feet above sea level. Underground tours, put on by the Sacramento History Museum, take visitors down into the Old Town Sacramento tunnels to share stories about the businesses and lives that once thrived below our feet — and to rave about the Sacramento spirit that helped the city to rebuild after a devastating 1862 storm and flood.

Express Service
The Pony Express service originated right in Sacramento back in 1860 and stretched as far east as Missouri.

Grand Electric Carnival in 1895
The Grand Electric Carnival was a night parade of illuminated floats mounted on electric streetcars that rolled down streets ablaze with lights. It was held on Sept. 9, 1895, to celebrate the arrival of hydroelectric power in Sacramento from 22 miles away at the Folsom Powerhouse. Sacramento’s electric carnival parade was so beautiful that Walt Disney Co. later used it as a model for its Electrical Parade. It's what was said to be the world’s first long-distance electric power transmission.

On Wheels
In 1903, the first car dealership opened, and one year later, 27 Sacramento residents owned cars.

I Street Bridge
I Street Bridge is the heaviest swinging center bridge in the U.S., built in 1911. Overall, the bridge weighs over 7 million pounds and has two decks for highway and railroad traffic. The bridge can span 90 degrees clockwise to give fast access to the city river and carries about 10,000 vehicles and trucks.

Animal Exhibits in McKinley Park
Animal exhibits existed in McKinley Park for many years. In 1914, two brown bear cubs were added to the deer, rabbits, doves and pheasants that had been there for many years. The deer park was located where the George “Butter” Cole field is today. Monkeys, raccoons and some exotic birds were housed in the Northeastern corner. A lion was added in 1917. According to one account, alligators had been placed in the small lake in McKinley Park. In June of 1927, when the Land Park zoo opened, all of the animals were transferred to the superior facility. 

Tower Records
Only in Sacramento will you find a national landmark named after its previous title of a once-proud music retailer in history: Tower Records. The same building is now known as the Tower Theater, and it’s so popular that within that intersection are Tower Books and the Tower Café.

Mark Twain
At one point in 1866, Sacramento was considered home to author Mark Twain back when The Sacramento Union newspaper was operational. Twain began writing long before even considering the adventures of one Huckleberry Finn and one Tom Sawyer.

On the Move
Sacramento is California’s sixth capital since 1854. The capital city of California wasn’t always Sacramento. The first one was Monterey. The city of Benicia was also the capital at one point. San Francisco, for a brief time, served as the capital, as did the cities of San Jose and Vallejo. It wasn’t until 1879 that Sacramento landed the title permanently.

A Piece of History
The Crocker Art Museum has been showing art since 1885, way before most of the country had places to hang it. It’s located in the Crocker family mansion, which is a piece of history in itself. The house was finished in 1872, and even back then, the mansion had a bowling alley, skating rink, natural history museum, a library, a gallery — and that’s just the first and second floors.

All Aboard!
Sacramento celebrates its railroad history. The nation’s first transcontinental railroad broke ground in Sacramento in the 1860s, informing a large part of the city’s culture and officially establishing it as the terminus of the first railroad to run coast to coast. Inside the California State Railroad Museum, you’ll see a golden spike identical to the one Leland Stanford pounded into the ground in Promontory, Utah, uniting the Eastern and Western sections of the railroad. 

Native People
Nisenan, Modoc and Plains Miwok Native Americans had lived in the area for perhaps thousands of years. Unlike the settlers who eventually made Sacramento their home, these Native Americans left little evidence of their existence. Their diet was dominated by acorns taken from the plentiful oak trees in the region and by fruits, bulbs, seeds and roots gathered throughout the year.

Take a Walk Through our History
The California State Capitol is a living museum that allows visitors to wander the hallways where state leaders worked over 150 years ago. Visitors to the Capitol can experience California’s rich history and witness the making of history through the modern lawmaking process.

Play Ball!
Sacramento is also known for its sports fans. In addition to the Sacramento Kings, the city’s NBA team, the city has a full range of seasonal minor league sports, including baseball and soccer.
The Sacramento River Cats, Sacramento’s minor league baseball team, have unparalleled success on the field — winning three Triple-A Championships (2007, 2008 and 2019) and five Pacific Coast League Championships, and 12 PCL South Division Championships. Catch a game this summer at Sutter Health Park. After 15 seasons as an affiliate of the Oakland A’s, the River Cats are now the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
Republic FC is Sacramento’s USL soccer team, and since its inauguration in 2014, the team has drawn passionate fans from all over the city.

Run to Feed the Hungry
In 1994, 796 participants turned out for the inaugural Run to Feed the Hungry event on Thanksgiving morning. This Sacramento tradition, boasting 21,362 participants in 2020, is not only the largest run in Sacramento but also the largest Thanksgiving Day fun run in the country! 

Sacramento State University
California State University, Sacramento (CSUS, Sacramento State or informally, Sac State) was founded in 1947, and it is the 11th oldest school in the 23-campus California State University system. The university, which sits on 305 acres, is the site of two National Register of Historic Places, the Julia Morgan House and the terminus of the Pony Express. It enrolls approximately 31,500 students annually, has an alumni base of more than 250,000 and offers 151 different bachelor's degrees, 69 master's degrees, 28 types of teaching credentials and five doctoral degrees.