A Dog Friendly Guide to Sacramento: Exploring California’s Capital City

Home » A Dog Friendly Guide to Sacramento: Exploring California’s Capital City

Last Updated on March 14, 2021 by Paroma

Sacramento, the capital of California, is also perhaps the least talked city in the state. However, that did not deter us from visiting our capital city during Thanksgiving. Not only is the 2 hr drive a huge bonus for our family with a driver of one, but also Babu had an epic vacation because Sacramento, as it turns out, is also extremely dog friendly and is also one of the best winter getaways in California.  This dog friendly Sacramento guide has several tried and tested options of dog friendly things to do, dog friendly restaurants as well as a budget option when it comes to dog friendly hotels in Sacramento.

 Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. Clicking on them may earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you for the product. Thank you! 

Dog friendly Sacramento, Sacramento Capitol

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento

 

Dog friendly hotels in Sacramento: Our budget option

Once you leave the bustle of San Francisco and the elegance of wine country behind, a major change in scenery awaits you as you pass through California’s heartland, aka farmland. Dixon is the major city followed by Davis (of Birkenstock and UC Davis fame) and then you hit Sacramento.

 

The city is way bigger than our tiny 49 square miles and very sprawled out. There is a stoic silence about it with the Sacramento river meandering through and providing a very scenic, leafy walkway along it. We stayed at La Quinta Inn-a modest, pet friendly hotel in Sacramento (a step above Motel 6 and pets stay for free), with the one redeeming factor being its location, i.e. close to the river.

dog friendly hotels in Sacramento, where to stay with your dog in Sacramento, pet friendly hotels Sacramento

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento

 

 

 

Dog friendly Sacramento: the best dog friendly activities to explore

a) Sacramento river walks

Sacramento river runs right through the city and is a tranquil spot filled with greenery (more like fall colors when we were there). We had a wonderful evening stroll there and Babu barked his heart out at the one drone hovering above and the occasional steamer passing by.

 

We saw some lovely fall colors and walked along the bridge for some time till the sun set. It gets pretty chilly in the capital in November, so if you do visit Sacramento, remember to bundle up.

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento, Sacramento river

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento

 

 

b) Visiting Old Town

Besides a stroll along Sacramento river, the other popular activity to indulge in is visiting the old town part of the city, which is also its most popular attraction. Old Town Sacramento has several of attractions, horse drawn carriages, restaurants and shops and we got a glimpse of the old railroads and train carriages as we strolled by and walked along the tracks. 

 

Old Town Sacramento definitely had the settings of a Spaghetti western with some New Orleans nostalgia thrown in. The wooden walkways, the quirky boutiques (all locally and independently owned) selling antiques, costumes and souvenirs plus the small cafes and eateries scattered all over reminded be of NOLA and San Diego Old Town in bits and pieces.

 

As per the website, this stretch also doubles as a 28-acre National Historic Landmark District with a State Historic Park along the beautiful Sacramento River. What made it even more charming was the river flowing nearby and so we decided to descend to the banks where quite a few ferry ships/boats had laid anchor.

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento, Old town Sacramento

Old town Sacramento

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento

 

 

The railway tracks adjacent to the The California State Railroad Museum Foundation are undoubtedly the star attraction of Old Town. The railroad stations were built during the 1920s and although one of the structures in no longer operational, the Southern Pacific station continues to be in service and is still a popular mode of transportation within the state of California. For more information on the train stations of Sacramento and their evolution, read here.

 

We walked along the tracks like many others but did not visit the museum because we were traveling with Babu. We finally walked down the ramp leading to the river, with the Ziggurat looming over us. This is a 10 storied stepped pyramid like office building on the shore of the Sacramento River and was designed to resemble the ancient Mesopotamian ziggurats.

 

The building serves as the headquarter to California Department of General Services. The two canary yellow structures of the bridge, kind of resembling the Golden Gate Bridges arches, but standing in the middle of the bridge, were visible from way afar and are another familiar sight in the Sacramento skyline.

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento

 

 

c) Walking along the Riverside Blvd

After old town, we drove towards the Riverside boulevard and stopped by to spend some time walking on a bike road along the river.It was the perfect fall afternoon, crisp air,foliage burnished in different hues and mounds of dry leaves to play in and get the perfect “fall shot”. A nice tranquil contrast to the crowds of old Town, we really enjoyed our afternoon stroll. This is another great spot in dog friendly Sacramento for walking with your dogs.

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento

 

 

d) Exploring the Capitol building grounds

Our final day in Sacramento was reserved for visiting the Capitol since its grounds welcome dogs. The Capitol building was beautifully adorned by holiday decorations with a Christmas tree in front during our visit. The garden surrounding the capital was bursting with yellow roses and there were sombre statues of those who have sacrificed their lives to keep the citizens of this nation safe.

 

Babu and Sriram were pretty nonchalant in their own ways, but I felt a wave of poignancy rushing over me looking at the building which symbolizes what California stands for because within its wombs are policies made that shape our beautiful, progressive state. I looked at the street ad banners which proudly proclaimed “We are all Californians”; truer words were never more spoken. California embraces everyone, as it did me. I am so lucky to have found my home here.

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento

dog friendly sacramento, what to do with your dog in Sacramento, how to spend time with your dog in Sacramento, dog friendly guide to Sacramento, dog friendly activities in Sacramento

Sacramento California capital, Capitol

 

 

e) Catching dazzling murals in Sacramento

Sacramento’s alleys, businesses and parking lots are an open canvas for murals and this city has some of the best and most awe-inspiring murals that you’ll ever see. All murals are in public spaces and are perfect for exploring with your pup! I highly recommend walking around in midtown or zipping around in downtown to see these Sacramento murals (here is my entire post on 50+ murals to see in a self guided tour with map).

dog friendly things to do in Sacramento: self guided mural tour of the city

 

 

Dog friendly restaurants in Sacramento

Dog friendly Sacramento not only specializes in farm to fork dining, but also has several restaurants that will welcome your best friend. I highly recommend amazing breakfast place named “Orphan Breakfast House” (a nod to the Orphan business venture which is not part of the mega retail chains) which is a local favorite, has a heated patio, is pet friendly and open 7 days a week!

 

If you are looking for some great drinking holes in the city, here is a guide to 10 places to drink in Sacramento by a local. We also loved our breakfast at Capitol Garage, another popular dog friendly eatery in the city. Here is another helpful list of all dog friendly dining establishments in Sacramento.

dog friendly restaurants in Sacramento

dog friendly restaurants in Sacramento

dog friendly restaurants in Sacramento

 

 

Overall, we spend a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend in dog friendly Sacramento with Babu and cannot wait to visit again to explore more of its offerings in other seasons.

 

Sacramento is a beautiful, understated city in California which is well worth a visit if you are interested in the state’s history. I hope this post has inspired you to visit Sacramento with your dog and have fun exploring our capital!

Sacramento California travel fall

 
 
 
Like the post? Pin it here

This is a dog friendly guide to Sacramento, USA, the capital of California which is very much under the radar. Discover dog friendly activities, farm to fork dining and dog friendly budget stay option in this post by a seasoned traveling dog mom. Pin this to your California or dog friendly travel board now! #california #sacramento #USA #northamerica #dogfriendly #travelwithdogs #petfriendly #dogfriendlytravel

«

»

25 thoughts on “A Dog Friendly Guide to Sacramento: Exploring California’s Capital City”

  1. I absolutely LOVE your photos!!! I got the chance to visit San Francisco for my 30th birthday, but never made it to Sacramento. I definitely love that it is dog friendly!!!! LOVE THE CHRISTMAS TREE!!!!

    Reply
  2. I am a Cali girl and still live here. I really enjoyed hearing someone else’s view of our Capital City. Your photos/filter are beautiful. Walking the bike path along the river is one of our favorite things to do!

    Reply
  3. Your drive up to Sacramento looked just as lovely as the city itself! Love that you share all of the great places you visit and you make them all come alive with the colorful and expressive photos! The walk on the path was just so soothing – that’s what I feel when I take in your posts, very soothed! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  4. Another lovely place you’ve visited. And more lovely pictures! 🙂 Glad you guys had a good time. Thank you for sharing your experience, so I can pretend I came. HA!

    Reply
  5. I admit I’ve never really thought of Sacramento as a tourist destination. But your post looks like it’s worth checking out! I’ve only been to the more “flashier” cities in California.

    Reply
  6. What beautiful photos! The pictures you captured of the fall foliage really tell the story of your adventures. What a happy journey you had!

    Reply
  7. I’ve never been to California, and I’ll admit I’ve never heard much about Sacramento. It looks like a lovely and historic place! I love scenic drives, so that’s definitely an added bonus!

    Reply
  8. I’ve been to San Francisco and San Jose, but that’s all I’ve seen of California. Sacramento does look lovely and your pictures are gorgeous. I just spoke to a long lost friend of mine yesterday who lives in California. I’m going to ask her if she’s ever been, because if not I think she’d enjoy it. Thanks11

    Reply
  9. What a wonderful trip! I love all the photos. If looks like fall is a beautiful time to visit. I’ve never been to California before, but my husband and I were just talking about wanting to make a trip and travel up the whole state, hitting the must-see places. We’ll have to add Sacramento to the list!

    Reply
  10. It looks like you guys had so much fun in Sacramento. Based on your post, I think I would just go there for the food! Yum! I love the picture with the food coma! Too cute!

    Reply
  11. It looks like Sacramento has a little bit of everything. Nature, history, architecture, shopping, and what looks like delicious food. What a fun trip.

    Reply
  12. I feel so foolish, I didn’t know Sacramento was Cali’s capital either, LOL! I lived right next door in Arizona for almost 10 years and traveled to Cali a lot. It’s funny, people are like that with New York, they assume New York City is the capital, but it’s not. Albany is the capital, and believe it or not, I’m born & raised in NY but I’ve never been to Albany either! Great photos, I pinned this to my Pet Travel board.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    Reply
  13. I’ve never visited Sacramento. It looks so beautiful and I love the architecture of the state capitol building. I’ve been to San Diego, LA, and San Francisco on my travels, but have missed this beautiful city.

    Reply
  14. Whole-heatedly appreciate and agree with your observations about progressive California. It’s so good to see this beautiful Capital building featured, and I’m glad the city is so pet friendly. Also, didn’t know LaQuinta allowed pets to stay free. I love these tidbits I keep learning.

    Reply
  15. I have never been to Sacramento, although it is a name I am familiar with! I love the pictures too its almost like being there myself.

    Thank you for a wonderful tour!!

    Reply
  16. What a great post! I’ve never been to Sacramento but I hope to now that I’ve read your post. Thanks for sharing your experiences and photos!

    Reply
  17. I have never been to Sacramento so I really enjoyed hearing about your trip with Babu. Great pictures really bring it alive thanks. Made me hungry too.

    Reply
  18. I’ve heard good things about Sacramento, and this post confirms what I’d heard! Being vegan, I really like the fact you included so many vegan dining options. Sounds like Babu enjoyed himself. I am hoping to explore California next year, and definitely want to include Sacramento! Thanks for sharing this info!

    Reply
  19. I’ve never been to Sacramento, but it looks like a great place to visit. It seems like you found a lot of great places to dine while you were there!

    Reply
  20. I haven’t ever been to Sacramento, but will definitely be adding it to my to visit list! We just moved to Colorado from Virginia, so we’ll definitely be exploring more of the western half of the US now that we’re out this way!

    Reply

Leave a Comment