102 Interesting Facts About California

Last updated on June 15th, 2020

Facts about Sacramento (Capital of California)

Sacramento, is the seat and the largest city of Sacramento County. Sacramento is famous for its tech industry, fresh farm crops and many other things alike. 

66. Sacramento is located on the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River.

The Sacramento River in California.
The Sacramento River, seen in Redding, California. Photo via ShutterStock.

67. Sacramento is named after the Sacramento River, which is the largest river in California. The river itself was named the river Rio de los Sacramentos in 1808, by the Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga.[42]

68. By population, Sacramento is the ninth largest capital city in the United States and the sixth largest city in California.

69. Maidu (North American Indians) were the early inhabitants of the region.

Sacramento - Sutter's Fort-min
Facts about Sacramento – Sutter’s Fort. Image by – Roger W

70. John Sutter, a Swiss national, after leaving Switzerland due to financial crises, arrived in California in 1839 and persuaded the Mexican governor to grant him lands on the Sacramento River. There he established the colony of New Helvetica which later became Sacramento. However, the discovery of gold on his land by a carpenter named James W. Marshall brought some bad luck for the Swiss. When the news about the discovery of gold broke out, the colony was deserted by workers and gold seekers alike, and his goods and livestock were stolen and destroyed. Eventually when the U.S. court denied him title to his Mexican grants, he went bankrupt.

71. The discovery of gold nuggets in the Sacramento Valley in early 1848 which sparked the California Gold Rush, lead to the extraction of gold worth nearly $2 billion. With the spread of the news, prospective gold miners started travelling towards the land. Before the gold rush, the non-native population of California was less than 1,000 and by the end of 1849, the number changed to 100,000 and more. More than 75,000 pounds of gold was extracted by the miners during the California Gold Rush.[38]

Sacramento on the map


72. The city got incorporated in 1850, making it the oldest incorporated city in California. It also witnessed Gold Rush which helped it position itself as a major commercial center and distribution point for northern California.

73. Based in Sacramento, the Sacramento Kings are an American professional basketball team, which is the only team in the major professional North American sports leagues located in Sacramento.

74. Sacramento is the sixth capital city of California. In fact, it was the first and then it was dropped and then again chosen to be the capital of the state since 1854. Prior capitals of California included Monterey, Vallejo, Benicia, San Jose and San Francisco (temporary).

75. The Pony Express, the mail delivery service that used a relay system of horse mounted riders, originated in Sacramento in 1860. The delivery service carrying messages, newspapers, and mails, operated between Sacramento and Missouri. However, it only lasted for 18 months before going bankrupt because of the establishment of faster telegraph services.

76. The city has various interesting nicknames including; The Big Tomato, Camellia Capital of the World, City of Trees, and Sactown. The Sacramento Valley was once nicknamed the “inland sea.”

77. Time magazine once named Sacramento “America’s Most Diverse City.”

78. Sacramento is known as the nation’s “Farm To Fork Capital” and has the largest certified farmers market in California. Since 2013, the city also celebrates “Farm To Fork Festival” every year. The aim of the festival is to connect people with the farmers, ranchers, vintners, brewers and chefs.[40]

79. Did you know that one of Sacramento’s nickname “the Big Tomato” came out because of the fact that the city was once a shipping hub for the delicious red fruit. The state once hosted many tomato canneries as well. 

80. Sacramento has more trees per capita than any other city in the world. And there are many benefits of having plenty of trees in the city including improved air quality, lowered temperatures and a calming effect on drivers. Sacramentans even have a 40-year plan to double the city’s tree canopy. That’s inspiring, isn’t it! Another city that has plenty of trees is Paris, France. They say that Paris has 1 tree for every 10 people.

Sacramento Skyline, Sacramento.
Sacramento Skyline.

81. Sacramento is the fastest growing city in California.

82. Blue Diamond Growers, headquartered in Sacramento, California, is the world’s largest almond processors and marketers. Starting its operation in 1910, the plant today has more than 50% of California almond growers as its members. The processing plant in Sacramento spans 90 acres.

83. The Sacramento Zoo, also known as the “little zoo in the park” started operating on June 2, 1927, with a mere collection of 40 animals including deer, raccoons, monkeys and birds on an area spanning some 4.2 acre. In 1965, the zoo began charging twenty-five cents as admission fee.

84. Did you know that in 1850 and in 1861 the city of Sacramento was flooded? And while there was a thriving underground network of tunnels, they had to be shut down due to flooding and over the years, many of these underground spaces have been filled or destroyed by subsequent development.

85. Mark Spitz, the Olympic gold medal winner trained at the age of nine at Arden Hills Swim Club in Sacramento, California. He is most known for winning 7 gold medals in 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. He won all the medals in world record time. Interestingly, it took 36 years for a fellow American named Michael Phelps to break his record after he won eight gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Mark Spitz once said, “If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.”

86. Ronald Reagan, the ex-president of the United States was the last Governor of California to live permanently in the city.

87. The city covers over just 100 square miles in area.

88. After New Orleans, Sacramento is the second most flood susceptible city in the United States.

89. For three months during a year, from July through September, the city also holds the distinction of being the sunniest city in the world. 

90. Sacramento is home to the Crocker Art Museum, which is also the oldest public art museum west of the Mississippi River.  

91. The 59,000 acre Yolo Bypass is a part of a large system developed on the Sacramento River to bypass flood areas, which catches excess water to deter flooding in cities such as Sacramento and West Sacramento. Note that the Sacramento River separates the two cities. The Sacramento River has man-made weirs along its bank. The weirs channel the extra water towards the Yolo Bypass. The floodway is three-miles wide in some parts.

What is Sacramento, CA known for?

92. Sacramento is famous for its burgers. “The Squeeze Inn”, a famous restaurant chain in the area, is proudly known to add a lot of cheese to their burgers, and the people love it!

93. UC Davis Medical Center which is a 625-bed acute-care teaching hospital was recognized as the top hospital in Sacramento metro area by U.S. News. It was also the only medical center in the area to be listed among the five best in California. The hospital also earned the nation’s highest form of recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nursing Credentialing Center.

94. Did you know that the coldest temperature ever recorded in the downtown area was 17 degrees on Dec. 11, 1932?

95. The most snowfall measured in Sacramento in any 24-hour period was 3.5 inches on January 4-5, 1888.

96. The Sacramento Bee, founded in 1857, is the largest newspaper in Sacramento and the fifth largest newspaper in California. The newspaper is circulated in an area that spans some 12,000 square miles.[41]

97. The abundance of farms in the area that produce more than 160 crops for the local as well as foreign market allow the residents and the restaurant owners alike to utilize the fresh produce.

98. The median household income in Sacramento in 2018 was $73,000, which is the highest in at least three decades.

99. December and January are the foggiest months in the region, which has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate.

100. The wet season in Sacramento is generally October through April.

101. Among various metropolitan areas in California, Sacramento Metropolitan area is the fifth largest and the 27th largest in the United States.

102. Sacramento has 28 museums that cover almost everything that the city is known for including art, rail roads, the Gold rush and the medical developments/achievements in relation to the state from the mid-1800‘s through today.

Sacramento – Quick facts and statistics

State nameCalifornia
Population521,769 (2020)
AreaTotal: 100.11 sq mi
Land: 97.92 sq mi
Water: 2.18 sq mi
GovernmentType: City Council
Body: Sacramento City Council
MayorDarrell Steinberg
(Assumed office on December 13, 2016)
Date of IncorporationFebruary 27, 1850
Major IndustriesInformation, Technology service, Leisure and hospitality, Education and health services, and Construction.
Zip codes942xx, 958xx
Bordering countiesSutter County - northwest.
Placer County - north.
El Dorado County - northeast.
Amador County - east.
San Joaquin County - south.
Contra Costa County - southwest.
Solano County - west.
Yolo County - west.
Table last updated27 May 2020

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