Get to know Sacramento from A to Z

American River. Swim in it, row on it, jog or bike next to it. The American River is Sacramento’s recreational and scenic oasis and CSUS students are fortunate enough to study right alongside it. Cross the Golden Gate-esque Guy West Bridge from campus an you’ll be at mile marker eight of the Jedediah Smith Memorial Bicycle Trail—a mostly flat, paved trail that skirts the American River 31 miles from Old Sacramento to Folsom Lake. Plenty of river access points make the American River a convenient and fun place to cool off, too.

Beer. Even if you’re not of legal drinking age, you can nosh some tasty bar food and quaff a root beer at one of Sacramento’s award-winning brew pubs. Less than a mile from CSUS, the perennially upbeat Hoppy Brewing Company (6300 Folsom Blvd.) offers specials like $2 tacos on Tuesdays and half-price appetizers and South Park on Wednesdays. In Midtown, Brew It Up (801 14th St.) has a free buffet weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m.; Rubicon Brewing Company (2004 Capitol Ave.) has free wi-fi access and $2 pints on Tuesdays; and Pyramid Alehouse (1029 K St.) offers free tours and samples (Thomas Kemper soda if you’re under 21).

Cycling. This city is basically flat as a tortilla, so getting around on two wheels isn’t too taxing no matter how physically fit you are. Many major roadways, particularly in Midtown, have wide bike lanes, providing safe haven from speeding SUVs and other hazards. Cycling saves money, improves your health, protects the environment and eliminates the hassle and cost of parking a car. Visit the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates ( for safety tips, classes and other resources.

Discounts. Show your student ID and you can see: a movie any day, any time, for just $5.50 at the arty Crest Theatre (1013 K St.); ride the Regional Transit bus anywhere in the city for free; score a free beverage at various Chipotle locations; or get $2 off the cover charge at Empire Events Center (1417 R St.) on Wednesday nights.

Earth Day. Every April thousands of people don their Birkenstocks and flock to the CSUS campus to hear live music, eat locally grown organic food, see yoga and bellydancing demonstrations, and dispose of their batteries, cell phones and ink cartridges at this mammoth homage to our planet.

Food. Wondering where to buy mac and cheese and other hot-pot delicacies? At Trader Joe’s (5000 Folsom Blvd.), less than two miles from the CSUS campus, you’ll find all manner of inexpensive, sodium-laden instant meals, chips, cereal and other non-perishable munchies to get you through long nights of studying—or whatever you’ve told mom and dad you’re doing.

Gaming. If you started playing Trouble and Chutes and Ladders as a child and have since graduated to more cerebral board and card games like Dungeons & Dragons, Scrabble, Settlers of Catan or Go, you’ll find friendly adversaries at the Sacramento Boardgames, Cardgames and Miniatures Meetup every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Crepeville (1730 L St.).

Heat. Sacramento essentially has two seasons: hot and wet (see “U”). Students might miss the major mid-summer meltdowns of 100-degree days, but daytime temperatures in Sacramento can reach into the ‘90s even in spring and fall.

Ice Cream. Craving a good, old-fashioned banana split or root beer float in a good, old-fashioned setting? Vic’s Ice Cream (3199 Riverside Blvd.) is famous for its 1950s-era soda fountain, seasonal flavors (pumpkin in October, eggnog in December) and extensive selection. Gunther’s Ice Cream (2801 Franklin Blvd.) has fed generations of Sacramentans massive amounts of ice cream and other treats like mud-pie-on-a-stick and chocolate-dipped banana chips. Closer to campus, sit at the counter at Burr’s Fountain (4920 Folsom Blvd.) and enjoy a frothy chocolate shake or inexpensive diner food, like a grilled cheese-dog sandwich.

J Street. Whether you’re looking for a place to eat lunch, sip coffee, buy new duds or get your hair coiffed, J Street in Midtown is a lively, can’t-miss destination. CSUS students can get there for free on the No.30 bus.

KNOW your radio stations

KBMB, 103.5FM
(The Bomb; Top 40 & hip-hop)

KDND, 107.9FM
(The End; Top 40 and pop)

KDVS, 90.3FM
(UC Davis student-run radio)

KFBK, 1530AM
(News and talk)

KHTK, 1140AM (Sports)

KHYL, 101.1FM
(R&B and old school)

KNCI, 105.1FM (Country)

KNCO, 94.1FM
(‘80s, ‘90s and current pop)

KQJK, 93.7FM
(Jack FM; ‘80s and ‘90s pop)

KRXQ, 98.5FM (Rock)

KSEG, 96.9FM
(The Eagle; classic rock)

KSSU, 1580AM
(CSUS student-run radio)

KWOD, 106.5FM

KXJZ, 90.9FM
(National Public Radio)

KZZO, 100.5FM
(The Zone, adult alternative)

Land Park. Play golf, jog, swing a baseball bat, go swimming, visit the zoo or have a picnic at Sacramento’s most picturesque and popular city park, located at the intersection of Freeport Boulevard and Sutterville Road.

Markets. A Sacramento Certified Farmers’ Market is a cornucopia of locally grown fruits and vegetables, fresh flowers, bread, olive oil, cheese and herbs—all for a fraction of what you’d pay at the grocery store. Visit for a list of locations and times.

News & Review. We wouldn’t be good business people if we didn’t make this shameless plug. Make the SN&R free weekly publication your first stop for information on nightlife, restaurant and movie reviews, discount coupons, events and witty commentary. Did we mention it’s free?

Old Sacramento. Some people think this historic district is just a tourist trap, but they probably haven’t had the salt-water taffy, strolled by the river or bought gag gifts at Evangeline’s (113 K Street). Students say Old Sacramento is a great destination for a date or some serious people watching.

Pizza. Fortunately Sacramento offers plenty of choices for the ultimate college meal. Roundtable Pizza is always dependable, with lots of locations nearby and free delivery. If you crave thin-crust, New York-style pizza, two outposts of Giovanni’s Pizzeria (6200 Folsom Blvd. and 2449 Fair Oaks Blvd.) are close to CSUS. For something completely different try Zelda’s (1415 21st St.), a Sacramento institution offering authentic deep-dish pizza and a kitschy atmosphere in Midtown.

Quiz me. Not all quizzes are anxiety inducing. Pub quizzes—where a “quiz master” reads trivia questions and teams compete for prizes—are popular throughout Sacramento. Try Streets of London (1804 J St.) Sundays at 9 p.m.; Capitol Garage (1500 K St.) Mondays at 8 p.m.; Sacramento Brewing Company (2713 El Paseo Lane and 7811 Madison Ave., Citrus Heights) Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; or check out the SN&R Nightbeat listings for even more options.

Road trips. We’re not saying there isn’t plenty to do in Sacramento, but when wanderlust sets in, the city is well positioned for adventure. In two hours you can be strolling one of San Francisco’s ecclectic neighborhoods or skiing the slopes near Lake Tahoe. Less than four hours away you’ll find world-class hiking trails and heart-stopping scenery at Yosemite National Park.

Second Saturday Art Walk. Sacramento’s lively art scene blossoms exponentially on the second Saturday of each month when galleries stay open late and visitors spill into the streets. Whether you like art or not, Second Saturday is a good excuse to get out and enjoy the free wine, appetizers and live music that many galleries offer. SN&R publishes a comprehensive monthly guide called d’ART which appears in the paper the Thursday prior to every Second Saturday. If you’re not sure where to go first, check out the gallery map inside and follow the Route of the Month.

Tunes. Whether you like live jazz, country line dancing, rock cover bands or DJ-spun dance music, Sacramento offers a lively music scene. Old Ironsides (1901 10th St.) is a popular no-frills place for live music and the Lipstick! dance party every Tuesday night. Harlow’s (2708 J St.) is a high-end nightclub featuring popular ‘80s cover bands like Tainted Love and Wonderbread 5, and salsa lessons on Sunday night. If you carry a song in your heart but can’t carry a tune, visit Luna’s Café and Juice Bar (1414 16th St.) on Thursday nights for open-mike poetry. Consult the SN&R Nightbeat section for a complete list of entertainment options.

Umbrella. Don’t leave home without one between November and April.

Vegetarians. Sacramento has always been a meat-and-potatoes town, but it’s gaining ground with vegetarians. Andy Nguyen’s (2007 Broadway) is the city’s only all-veg restaurant, and its menu of Vietnamese cuisine reflects the owners’ Buddhist philosophies of compassion, health and sustainability. The deli at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op (1900 Alhambra Blvd.) is loaded with vegetarian salads, a hot self-serve buffet and even vegan desserts. Go east to Fair Oaks Village to visit the Sunflower Drive-In (10344 Fair Oaks Blvd.), serving nut burgers, tacos, salads and smoothies to the adoring fans lined up outside the pick-up window. Vegans craving pizza or calzones head to Pieces (1309 21st St.) and those needing hangover-curing breakfasts praise the tofu scrambles and grilled tempeh strips at the Fox and Goose Pub (1001 R St.).

Web sites. Naturally we think that is the ultimate portal to Sacramento’s best dining, shopping and entertainment experiences. Other good resources for all things Sacramento include, and

Xeno-friendly. Time magazine once named Sacramento America’s “most integrated” city, and indeed there is no clear ethnic minority here. Latinos, Asians, African-Americans and Caucasians collectively make up about 96 percent of the population, and the city is home to enclaves of Croatians, Greeks, Russians and Italians. Annual events like the Sacramento World Music and Dance Festival and the Sacramento International Film and Music Festival showcase a variety of ethnic cultures to the greater Sacramento community.

Yogurt. Maybe it’s lower in fat than ice cream, maybe it isn’t. Either way, frozen yogurt has its devotees. If you’re one of them, you’ll find your poison at Big Spoon Yogurt (3644 J St.), where you can choose from 75 toppings and pay by the ounce.

Zero Dollars. Sometimes you can get something for nothing. For example: The Crocker Art Museum (216 O St.) offers free admission every Sunday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. You can gain free admission to some of the city’s most popular nightclubs at (click on the “guest list” link). On the first Saturday of February, more than 20 Sacramento-area museums offer free admission. Every Friday at 5 p.m. from May through August, popular Sacramento bands give free concerts at Cesar Chavez Plaza (10th and J Streets). SN&R often gives away free passes to sneak previews of upcoming movies. Check the paper each week for details.