For years, Sacramento was known simply as a city you pass through on your way to Lake Tahoe, San Francisco or Napa Valley. But that’s quickly changing. The city is becoming a destination of its own. Sacramento is ideal for those who love outdoor recreation, the arts and critically acclaimed restaurants.
Sacramento, also known as Sac Town and The City of Trees, is a welcoming city for families, singles and college students alike. Here are a few bits of advice you should know before moving to Sacramento.
Moving to Sacramento during the fall or winter can reduce your moving costs (for example, moving truck rental fees) because it’s considered the off season. Also keep in mind that weekend rates tend to be the highest.
The 5, 50 and 80 freeways can get backed up during rush hour, so make sure you plan your route according to traffic that day. Check Traffic.com for accidents, heavy traffic and construction that could slow down your move.
If you suffer from pollen-induced allergies and plan on moving to Sacramento during the spring, make sure you take your allergy medicine. Check the Sacramento pollen count during the week prior to moving day, so you know what to expect.
Avoid the weather extremes of moving to Sacramento during December or August. Temperatures can drop as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit in December, and can reach up to 109 degrees Fahrenheit in August.
As with any move, make sure to change your address online. It’s easy to do, cost-efficient ($1), and will give you peace of mind that your mail will make it to your new home by whichever date you choose. You’ll also receive coupons for companies in your new neighborhood to help you settle in for less.
Sacramento is the sixth-largest city in California, and with size comes a large array of neighborhoods to choose from. A simple way of narrowing your search for a new home is by focusing on the four main Sacramento neighborhood divisions: Central/Eastern, Southwestern, Southeastern and North of the American River. After exploring all four areas and comparing real estate prices, schools, access to freeways, accessibility to your work, etc., you should have a decent idea of which area you’d like to call home. You can find a map of all the city neighborhoods at CityofSacramento.org.
Cost of Living
Unlike the majority of urban California cities, Sacramento boasts affordable housing and overall cost of living. According to City-Data.com, the median household income in Sacramento was $47,107, and the median house or condo value was $250,300. In the 2011 January cost-of-living index, Sacramento ranked 98.9, with 100 being the US average.
As with most large, urban cities, Sacramento has a good amount of traffic. Compared to Los Angeles or New York, it’s a cakewalk; but rush hours are still something you’ll want to avoid after moving to Sacramento. The freeways that typically back up during these morning and early evening times are the 80, 99, 50 and 5.
As far as public transportation is concerned, you have great options. Keep the following link handy for bus and metro schedules.
Information about the major airports in the Sacramento area can be located at the following sites:
- Sacramento County Airport System (SCAS): Oversees operation of each Sacramento airport.
- Sacramento International Airport (SMF): Offers non-stop and direct flights to and from North America.
- Mather Airport (MHR): A former Air Force base; now offers cargo load handling.
- Executive Airport (SAC): Here you’ll find office space and private flights for businesses.
If you’re moving to Sacramento for a job, congratulations! Moving to a city for a new job means you’re beginning a new chapter in your life, and that you’ll have a home base and a network of co-workers for support.
If you’re on the job hunt, venturing out into a new, fun city to find a job can be an exhilarating experience. You just need to know where to look. Fortunately, the Internet has made this process much easier, and you can search for job openings online.
Moving to Sacramento will put you front and center to the political dealings of the state of California. But as you’ll soon come to find out, it’s not all Capitol Hill and stuffy suits in the city of Sacramento—there’s much more going on. Find out more about the city and keep up with local breaking news by checking in with the following local news outlets.
The Sacramento Bee
The fifth-largest newspaper in California and ranking in the top 30 in the country with respect to circulation, The Sacramento Bee is the city’s primary daily source of breaking headlines. Since its launch in 1857, The Bee has racked up numerous awards for journalism, including five Pulitzer Prizes. Although the paper has been known throughout its long history for taking politically progressive stances (it has been a vocal proponent of free speech, a supporter of the anti-slave movement during the Civil War and leads in promoting environmental protections), the Sacramento Bee is widely regarded for being free of journalistic bias. Its daily circulation is an estimated 280,000, with its Sunday edition reaching as many as 325,000 readers.
Sacramento News & Review
Noted for offering comprehensive coverage of the local music, art, theater, film, dining and nightlife scene, the Sacramento News & Review is more than just a city guide. It also focuses on investigative journalism of local government and frequently covers underreported news stories impacting Sacramento residents. Founded in 1989, the newspaper is published once per week and can be found on newsstands throughout the city.
The Sacramento Observer
Serving the African-American community of Sacramento, The Sacramento Observer was established in 1962 and today boasts a weekly circulation of over 50,000. It has won numerous awards over the years, including the acclaimed John B. Russwurm Trophy for excellence in journalism, an award that has been likened to the Pulitzer Prize in the field of African-American news publications. In addition to local and world news coverage, politics and business articles, The Observer is also heavily involved in promoting and often organizing community activities.
Sacramento Business Journal
Covering business trends throughout Sacramento County, the Sacramento Business Journal is the city’s largest weekly publication providing coverage on local and state business. In addition to articles that focus primarily on the Sacramento economy and the businesses that fuel it, the newspaper publishes job classifieds and has a constantly updated calendar of forthcoming area business events crucial for helping residents and professionals find employment opportunities.
Local TV and News Channels
For local and world news coverage, tune your TV to these Sacramento channels.
After moving to Sacramento you’ll enjoy four distinct seasons, unlike southern California, which tends to have mild weather year round. Sacramento has a Mediterranean climate characterized by cold, damp winters and hot, dry summers. Expect rain and damp fog between October and April, and some sprinkles during June and/or September.
The average annual temperature is 61.1 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures typically remain in the 40s during winter and the 70s in the summer. However, be prepared for temperatures to reach into the 100s during the summer and early fall. Keep this in mind when planning your move date, and retrieve weekly weather forecasts for Sacramento by visiting The National Weather Service.
One of the perks of living in a city nicknamed The City of Trees is the fall season—the changing colors of leaves are spectacular! The Sacramento Bee lists some of the best places to take in the stunning fall foliage.
The quality of education offered in potential neighborhoods can make or break your decision to live in a certain area. Fortunately for you there are school ratings online that can help narrow your search for a school, and a neighborhood to live. Also, keep the links below handy to get a clear grasp of the various school districts and where they land on the map.
- If you’ve already decided on a neighborhood, visit ARCForms.info for a list of schools in your district.
- For an area map of elementary schools, junior high and high schools, visit Trulia.com.
- For the latest school news, schedules and other resources, visit ScUSD.edu.
- The 2009-2010 School Report Card is also available for the Sacramento Unified School District, which includes any and all info you might need for elementary, junior high or high schools in your area.
You can start your search with these lists of top-preforming schools from Greatschools.com and the California Department of Education.
Most Notable Sacramento Public Elementary Schools
- Arnold Adreani Elementary School
- Phoebe A. Hearst Elementary School
- West Campus School
- Camellia Elementary School
- Crocker/Riverside Elementary School
Most Notable Sacramento Public High Schools
- Oak Ridge High School
- Vista del Lago High School
- Davis Senior High School
- Ponderosa High School
Sacramento has a wonderful network of online resources to help you take care of tasks like getting permits for a remodel, paying taxes, registering to vote, trash pick-up schedules, registering your car and more.