SacTown Resolutions: 15 things I will do in Sacramento this year

By Shawna Malvini Redden 

Shawna Malvini Redden
Shawna Malvini Redden

Every so often my friend Thomas posts “know your city” challenges on Twitter, offering up snaps of various Sacramento locales. Having spent most of my life in this neck of the woods, I’d expect to get some of the answer correct. Close to never it seems!

So, my goal for 2015 is to get to know the city I call home a little better. Here’s a short list of things I want to do around Sacramento this year–locations I haven’t been to before or that it’s been more than 20 years. Wish me luck.


  1. See a movie at Tower Theatre. I know. I know. How can a life-long Sacramentan not have been to Tower Theatre? I plan to remedy that situation soon! (For what it’s worth though, I’ve eaten regularly at Tower Cafe. Try the Priking Prawns or the French toast. Both are to die for.)
  2. Meander the farmer’s market at Cesar Chavez Park. So maybe I haven’t ever been to a farmer’s market in Sacramento. Maybe. I know: #farmtoforkfail  2a. Bonus: Play Follow-the-Chef with Oliver Ridgeway from GrangeOn the list of things I’ve wanted to do since Oliver Ridgeway became the executive chef of my favorite restaurant is follow him around the farmer’s market. Apparently it’s a weekly Wednesday event where he guides folks around the market and then prepares a lunch with fresh found ingredients. Anyone want to go with me this summer.
  3. Tour the Capitol building. For the record, I’ve been to the Capitol before. I’ve even sung in the rotunda with my high school choir (like you do), but I’ve not done the formal tour3a. Bonus: Track down some representatives and chat about the state of affairs in California. Ahem.
  4. Dine at Pancake Circus. Driven by a hundred times, never stopped in.
  5. Enjoy a cone at Vic’s. So, I’m a Leatherby’s girl who practically has black-n-tan-for-eva tattooed on my heart. But I hear that Vic’s is pretty good so I plan to give it a whirl.
  6. Attend Second Saturday. I may or may not avoid downtown like the plague on Second Saturdays, missing opportunities to see great art. This year I plan to get over my fear of not finding parking and wander round with the art loving masses.
  7. Brunch at Rio City Cafe. My sister, Emily, is a big fan!
  8. Visit the Governor’s Mansion. If the renovation is done this year anyway…
  9. Join HandsOnSacto. I’ve been wanting to get more volunteering hours in but can’t always commit to a regular schedule. HandsOn is an organization that links people up with local volunteer opportunities, many of which are one-time or short-term time frames. Pretty cool!
  10. Nibble something at Ginger Elizabeth’s. My chocoholic sister, Tiffany, raves about this place and while I’ve been lucky enough to sample the goods (thanks to a Girls on the Grid Christmas angel!), I’ve never visited the shop. Hand crafted chocolatesanyone??!
  11. Scarf a burger at The Squeeze Inn. Apparently this joint is famous (featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, AND the Tonight Show, among others) and I do enjoy a tasty burger from time to time.
  12. Wander around the Sacramento Zoo. It’s easily been 20 years since I darkened the zoo’s door step. (That I have a hot date to do so in a couple weeks for my niece’s first birthday makes this goal low hanging fruit!) Is the hippo exhibit still there?
  13. Sample tamales at La Esperanza Bakery on Franklin Boulevard. I heard from a Twitter friend that the line for tamales was out the door on New Year’s eve. That’s enough evidence for me!
  14. Check out Oto’s Marketplace in Land Park. An un-met 2014 goal was to cook with 15 new-to-me ingredients. I think I tried one (yaaaay celery root). A visit to Oto’s Marketplace, a Japanese grocery store, will help.
  15. Survey Rick’s Dessert Diner’s new digs. And have cake. Of course.


(Photo Credits: Chantel Elder, Lisa Murphy)


Anything I missed?

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1 Comment

  1. ganeeban says

    Great list! #2 is something I need to do. I didn’t even know about the “follow the chef” thing, that’s definitely something I’m going to do this year! #4, does anyone actually eat there. I thought it was just a historical landmark, that we all think about eating at, but never do 😉

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