Exploring Sacramento’s Gay Side: About the City

Published Date Author: , November 4th, 2011

Gay Sacramento

Gay SacramentoAlthough it’s the Capitol of the state of California, Sacramento has always lagged behind Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego in population, culture, and recreational opportunities. But after a decade of Bay Area influx, the character of the area is shifting, even as the drop-off of the real estate market has closed off the spigot.

The newer arrivals, accustomed to the culture of the San Francisco Bay Area, have brought some of it with them, including some fantastic restaurants and local entertainment, and also bringing demand for some of the finer things.

The Midtown area, basically a square bounded by the railyard on the north, the Sacramento River and Highway 5 on the west, Highway 80/Highway 50 on the south, and Business Highway 80 on the east. In the map below (thanks, Google!), the big green area in the middle is the Capitol Building and grounds.

Gay Sacramento Map

The green space in the lower left corner of Midtown is Southside Park, where the annual pride parade ends, and where you’ll find The Inn at Parkside, one of the few gay friendly properties in Sacrmento covered later in this article.

Sacramento also has its share of great architecture – we’ve shared a few favorites here:

Sacramento Architecture

Sacramento ArchitectureSacramento Architecture
Sacramento also has its share of public art, much of it in murals and wall art, scattered throughout the Midtown core:

Sacramento ArtSacramento Art

Sacramento ArtSacramento Art

The Grid (as Midtown is called by the local merchants) is easy to navigate, despite all the one-way streets near its middle – the streets running east to west start at B and end at W, and the streets going north to south start at 2nd and end at 29th within Midtown.

North and South, the main thoroughfares are 15th (southbound) and 16th (northbound) – getting off Highway 80/50 at 16th gives you a direct shot up into the heart of Midtown. East/West, P and Q St. serve the same purpose, though we don’t use them much because the area is mostly residential and there are few attractions there. But J Street, the city’s retail center, and L Street provide easy to use eats west access.

Sacramento SkylineIf you’re coming off Business 80 northbound, here’s the easiest way into the heart of Midtown that we’ve found – take the N street exit (the first one), and after you reach street level, follow the frontage road (basically straight ahead) to Capitol, the next street. Make a left on Capitol going under the Freeway, and then follow it all the way to 16th. A right at 16th will take you up to J Street. This route passes the gay area, Zocalo’s and the other reataurants there, and takes you within a couple blocks of the Convention Center.

Be careful driving in Midtown, though – there are a number of 2 way stops, so be sure the other guy has a stop before proceeding (we made the mistake of not checking once, with “accidental” results).

There are also a number of small roundabouts in the residential neighborhoods – remember, if there are no stops, enter directly but carefully – traffic already in the roundabout has the right of way. If you have a stop, again the other direction may not, so check carefully.

Sacramento Capitol BuildingSacramento has also recently began adopting the same parking meter system as Portland – removing individual meters and replacing them with one meter per block. Like Portland’s system, these meters are solar powered, and you pay for a sticker that you affic to the inside of your street-side window. Also like Portland, if you have time left, just leave the sticker on the window and park in another metered location – the stickers are portable within the time frame you purchased.

Parking in Sacramento has worsened in the last few years, especially in the area around Zocalo, but it’s still easy, relative to most other big cities. And there’s often free street parking just a block or two away from major thoroughfares in the residential neighborhoods – just check carefully for any time or date limitations on posted signs when you park.

Next Section: Local Theatre

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Exploring Sacramento’s Gay Side: Local Theatre | Purple Roofs Travel Blog - Gravatar

purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/2011/11/exploring-sacramentos-gay-side-local-theatre.html Exploring Sacramento’s Gay Side: Local Theatre | Purple Roofs Travel Blog said on November 4, 2011, 9:19 pm:

[…] Section: About the City | Next Section: Gay Nightlife … other posts by […]

Exploring Sacramento’s Gay Side: Gay Nightlife | Purple Roofs Travel Blog - Gravatar

purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/2011/11/exploring-sacramentos-gay-side-gay-nightlife.html Exploring Sacramento’s Gay Side: Gay Nightlife | Purple Roofs Travel Blog said on November 4, 2011, 9:39 pm:

[…] the map in the first section of this article, you’ll find this part of Midtown just below and to the left of where 21st and J intersect […]

Purple Roofs November 2011 Gay Travel Newsletter: Chicago’s Lincoln Park, NC Outer Banks, Sacramento | Purple Roofs Travel Blog - Gravatar

purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/2011/11/purple-roofs-november-2011-gay-travel-newsletter-chicagos-lincoln-park-nc-outer-banks-sacramento.html Purple Roofs November 2011 Gay Travel Newsletter: Chicago’s Lincoln Park, NC Outer Banks, Sacramento | Purple Roofs Travel Blog said on November 6, 2011, 7:11 pm:

[…] Exploring Sacramento’s Gay Side: About the City by Scott & Mark, Purple Roofs Although it’s the Capitol of the state of California, Sacramento has always lagged behind Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego in population, culture, and recreational opportunities. But after a decade of Bay Area influx, the character of the area is shifting, even as the drop-off of the real estate market has closed off the spigot. The newer arrivals, accustomed to the culture of the San Francisco Bay Area, have brought some of it with them, including some fantastic restaurants and local entertainment, and also bringing demand for some of the finer things. http://purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/2011/11/exploring-sacramentos-gay-side-about-the-city.html […]

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