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9 Best Neighborhoods in Sacramento

By: Susan Finch
June 28, 2021

Living in the capital of California brings sunshine, kayaking along the Sacramento River and American River, and a historic urban backdrop. Sacramento's modern history dates back to the Gold Rush era with wooden sidewalks. Today it offers a walkable urban core with many neighborhoods, as well as a thriving nightlife, waterfront views, and laid-back suburban enclaves.

Ready to move to the best neighborhoods in Sacramento? Learn more about the best neighborhoods and where to find the best place for you.

1. Midtown

Midtown is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Sacramento. This historical district boasts tree-lined streets with restaurants, pubs, and shopping. Midtown was once considered an extension of its Downtown neighbor but has its own flavor and live music and art scene. Locals gather at the beloved Saturday Farmer's Market and Secondary Saturday Art Walk. For a day of exploring, traverse the 32-mile American River Parkway running along the American River. You'll find smaller parks, boat launches, and trailheads for rustic hiking.

Choose apartments in postwar apartment complexes or new luxury high-rises. You'll also find old Victorian homes for rent and sale. It’s easy to find LGBTQ+-friendly neighborhoods as well, like Lavender Heights. Wherever you live, you can likely walk or cycle to your favorite breweries or bistros for outdoor patios and live music.

2. Pocket

Pocket-Greenhaven offers a suburban feel within the urban landscape of Sacramento, offering upscale Medeterrain and Tudor Homes, as well as River Lake. The city earned its name from the pocket shape of the Sacramento River running along with the neighborhood. Sail and paddle boat for some exercise or hit the trails for jogging and cycling. Locals celebrate Pocket's cozy neighborhood for its greenspace and outdoor recreation. Pack up a picnic and head to Garcia Bend Park to relax with friends or play a game of tennis.

Whether you're a prominent professional, raising a young family, or are up and coming in your career, you'll feel right at home in Pocket. The neighborhood isn't known for its thriving nightlife. But there are fun and unique attractions, like Verra Farms located across from the Sacramento River. This major producer of locally grown food hosts year-round events, movie nights, pig races, and holiday fun.

3. Downtown Sacramento

Live in the heart of Downtown Sacramento for culture, greenspace, fine dining, and nightlife. Despite its urban core, there are 47 acres of parks from Capitol Park to Cesar Chavez Plaza. The Capitol Mall area houses businesses treated to gorgeous views of the river. There's always a year-round festival, concert, or market within reach from Capitol Mall.

Downtown Sacramento is the city's central business district but draws as many visitors as it does locals. The neighborhood is home to the Crocker Art Museum, the first public art museum dating back to 1885. Downtown Sacramento is still growing with over $1 billion in public and private investments over the last 10-years.

Renters have their choice of modern lofts and condos or private units tucked inside of Victorian homes. You’re within walking distance to nearby museums, bars, and restaurants, making car-free living a reality. You may need to hit up Uber or Lyft to connect to other parts of the city.

4. Land Park

Named after William Land Park, Sacramento's Land Park neighborhood is family-friendly and laid-back. Little ones and kids at heart enjoy visiting Fairy Town play park, Funderland Amusement Park, and the Sacramento Zoo. You can make a day of hanging out in William Land Park with golfing, a fishing pond, and paths. Of course, you can also take a stroll through the neighborhood and stop in a local taphouse or burger joint for a late lunch.

Apartments around Land Park range from smaller modern apartment complexes, older units, and single-family homes for rent. Choose a place to live near the south side of the neighborhood to live near William Land Park, where you can catch more of the action in this low-key community. On the other hand, you might choose to live along a quiet corridor and get away from the action.

5. Natomas Park

In Sacramento, the Natomas Park neighborhood boasts a shopping plaza, community park, and laid-back vibe. The local North Natomas Regional Park offers multi-use amenities, including a kids' play area, amphitheater, and ball fields across 47.3 acres. Locals visit the weekly Farmer's Market or picnic down by the lake at the North Natomas Regional Park. When in Natomas Park, you’ll find plenty of paths and walkways for a jog or bike ride.

6. East Sacramento

You’ll find luxury homes, modern condos, and luxury apartment units in the upscale neighborhood of East Sacramento. You'll also find your share of pubs and breweries. Dogs are welcome at the Tower Brewing Company with a weekly trivia night, food trucks, and live music. The celebrated McKinley Park Rose Garden is home to a duck pond, pool, playground, and ball fields for outdoor fun.

Walkers and bikers will appreciate that East Sacramento has one of the best Walk Scores in the city. The pedestrian-friendly neighborhood boasts bars, restaurants, and shopping steps from your apartment. Biking is also a popular mode of transportation and recreation around East Sacramento. The American River Bike Trail is the perfect place to cycle along the eastern edge of the neighborhood.

7. Curtis Park

The family-friendly neighborhood of Curtis Park is known for its Craftsman bungalows and Tudor Revival homes. The tight-knit community is a short commute to Midtown and Downtown, providing residents with expanded amenities. For entertainment, the historic 24th Street Theatre features comedy performances and a namesake park. Of course, you can also choose to head to the Sierra 2 Community Center, where locals gather for artistic events and on-site fitness activities.

8. Roseville

Roseville is the largest city in Placer County, California, known for its shopping and family-friendliness. Some of Roseville’s attractions include Golfland Sunsplash, a celebrated amusement and water park where families gather for mini-golf, laser tag, and cool off on hot summer days in the wave pools. Roseville is also home to individual neighborhoods, including Blue Oaks, Sun City, Sierra Gardens, Diamond Oaks, and other areas. Roseville's suburban lifestyle and laid-back vibe are also just 25 minutes from Sacramento, making it a desirable location for commuting.

9. Fair Oaks

Fair Oaks, California, is a tight-knit community along the American River and Rancho Cordova. It was once a hot spot for North California's Gold Rush and citrus groves. After a deep freeze, however, Fair Oaks left behind its fruit days and earned its festivals and chickens reputation. Wild chickens roam the parks and attract locals to the annual chicken festival, while frog-jumping contests dazzle residents in the spring. Bike or walk along the American River, go horseback riding through the local park, or enjoy kayaking along the waterfront.

Living in Fair Oaks comes with a more reasonable cost of living than much of the greater metropolitan area in Sacramento. In addition, it’s an easy commute to the surrounding metropolitan area colleges. Nearby higher institutions include Sierra College, William Jessup University, California State University-Sacramento, Sacramento City College, and the University of the Pacific.

Which Sacramento Neighborhood is Right for You?

Browse Apartment List to find the best Sacramento apartment.

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Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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