Stunning murals, outstanding craft beer, a lively industrial district, and farmers markets filled with tasty fare and artisan flair … it’s all happening in Sacramento! Take a stroll through the lively Midtown neighborhood and you can view some of the capital city’s best artwork for free. The wide, shady streets are home to dozens of dramatic murals created by local (and not so local) street artists.
While street art is found in all corners of the city, much of it is concentrated along J, K, and L streets between 16th and 21st. Many of the murals here were created for the Wide Open Walls festival, and you can access an interactive map of the most recent works. But don’t limit yourself to the “official” pieces—peek down alleyways and through the leafy treetops and you’ll find pops of color at every turn. Our recommendation: Go on a Saturday and start your art walk at the Midtown Farmer’s Market on 20th Street. Along the back side of the MARRS building is the bright blue “Koi Fish.”
Continue north on 19th and you’ll find the dandelion-dotted “Wishing Wall” tucked away in Historic Alley. Head to 16th & L and it’s hard to miss the 15-story fiery orange Johnny Cash portrait by Shepard Fairey, best known for his Barack Obama “Hope” poster. Loop down 15th, past the Capitol Park Rose Garden, and east to 21st and O and look up. At the top of the office building above the taqueria is a ginormous golden grizzly bear.
Beer Bonus: Sacramento has dozens of craft breweries and tap houses, but one that’s smack dab in the middle of Midtown is the Federalist Public House, a laid-back eatery in an open-air shipping container. Try a New Glory IPA or Ruhstaller Amber and fill up with a wood-fired pizza topped with goodies such as carnitas and salsa verde or pulled pork and pineapple.
Tip: Here’s a comprehensive map to all of Sacramento’s murals, graffiti, and street art.
To get to the Midtown Farmer’s Market, take I-80 to I-5 North. Exit at J St. and continue east to 20th St. Street parking is available on J, K, and L streets, though 20th is closed to traffic. The Federalist Public House is located at 2009 Matsui Alley, off 21st St. between Capitol Ave. and N St. Dog-friendly!