Skip to main content

LGBTQ in Midtown, History and Today

It is impossible to speak of LGBTQ history and culture in Midtown without mention of the Lavender Heights District. The neighborhood is rich with the history of Sacramento’s vibrant community; and attracts local and regional residents and tourists to the area’s many LGBTQIA+ owned clubs, restaurants, salons, galleries, and retail stores. Lavender Heights is located at the heart of Midtown at 20th and K Streets and is the home of our weekly Midtown Farmers Market.

History of Lavender Heights

In 1978, just nine years after the Stonewall Riots, the Sacramento LGBT Community Center was originally incorporated as a special assistance program based in Midtown, Sacramento. The Center is Sacramento’s oldest non-profit serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

In 1984, the Rev. Jerry Falwell appeared on television and denied that he ever referred to the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) as vile and satanic and its members “brute beasts” on his Old Time Gospel Hour. Falwell offered $5,000 to anyone who could prove that he had.

The Rev. Jerry Sloan of MCC in Sacramento called Falwell’s toll-free number, purchased a copy of the tape as proof, and demanded payment of the $5,000. When Falwell refused, Sloan sued with legal pioneer Rosemary Metrailer and won. With $5,000 in hand, the Lambda Community Fund was reorganized to later become what we know today as the Sacramento LGBT Community Center.

In 1985, Faces Nightclub was the first gay club in Sacramento when it opened its doors at 20th and K Street. “When I opened it, it was where everyone who was gay could go, that was 33 years ago,” Faces owner Terry Sidie said, in an interview with ABC10 in 2017. The establishment of Faces paved the way for other LGBTQIA+ businesses to open in the immediate area, which earned its name Lavender Heights.

In 2015, Sacramento City Council member Steve Hansen, Sacramento’s first openly LGBTQ+ council member, invited the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce to be part of a community coalition to pursue official city designation of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood of Midtown Sacramento historically known as “Lavender Heights.”

The goal of establishing Lavender Heights as an official district was two-fold: to serve as a memorial and landmark referencing the history of Sacramento’s vibrant LGBTQ+ community; and to attract local and regional residents and tourists to the area’s many LGBTQ+ owned clubs, restaurants, salons, galleries, and retail stores.

As a “flagship” landmark to spotlight the new district, the city approved the installation of a rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of 20th and K, the heart of Lavender Heights. The rainbow crosswalks were designed as a celebration of the region’s LGBT community and are similar to those in other U.S. cities, including Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and West Hollywood. This project was a collaborative effort of the Midtown Association, the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, and Councilmember Steve Hansen. The crosswalks are maintained and supported by the Midtown Association, which is committed to ensuring Midtown remains a thriving center for culture, creativity, and vibrancy.

In 2017, a documentary was released about a woman who founded the Sacramento LGBT Community Center (then called the Lambda Community Center) after bringing a successful lawsuit against a reverend. Titled “Legends of Courage: The Rosemary Metrailer Story” highlights actions leading up to the legal action against the Rev. Jerry Falwell, which led to the founding of the Center by Metrailer in 1984. 

In 2019, the Sacramento LGBT Community Center moved into its forever home at 1015 20th street, in the heart of the Lavender Heights district. The Center continues to offer peer support groups for a variety of marginalized populations, community resource referrals to meet individual basic needs, education, and training to improve the competency of businesses and organizations to LGBTQ+ issues, numerous artistic expressions, and cultural activities that build community, and volunteer opportunities that empower individuals to give back.

In 2021, Midtown Association partnered with WEAVE Inc., The Sacramento LGBT Community Center, The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, Faces Nightclub, and Outword Magazine to launch PRIDE, Pronouns & Progress: Gender Inclusion Training, a new grant program and series of workshops for interested Midtown and Central City businesses. The free, hour-long inclusivity training sessions for grant recipients will be led by WEAVE in a virtual format to focus on three primary topics: educating interested businesses about gender identities, gender rights in the workplace and beyond, and the importance of pronouns that go well beyond he/him/his and she/her/hers to include gender-neutral or inclusive pronouns. 

In February 2022, as part of a partnership between Midtown Association and the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, 10 vibrant new banners are now proudly displayed on 20th Street between J and K Streets — including in front of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. The colorful banners were specially designed to demonstrate and celebrate #MidtownLove, acceptance, and inclusion in the heart of Lavender Heights. In addition to the banners on 20th Street, the new eye-catching and whimsical “Love is in our roots” rainbow vegetable art wraps were installed on utility boxes on 21st Street.

Today, Lavender Heights is home to weekly farmers markets and seasonal block parties and serves as the hub for Pride events to celebrate LGBTQIA+ culture and community. Amenities such as the rainbow crosswalks and public art further declare the neighborhood as a space for people to take pride in being unapologetically themselves.

 

LGBTQIA+ Businesses In Midtown

 

View the Map                                    View the Guide

 

Lavender Heights Events

Lavender Heights is full of weekly, seasonal, and annual events:

 

Midtown Farmers Market – Every Saturday Year-round

Shop from 5 blocks of local farmers, artisans, and vendors from the Lavender District. Midtown Farmers Market is open every Saturday year-round. Learn More

 

Makeup & Mimosas Drag Brunch – Every Sunday at Badlands

Sundays are a Drag! Sip on mimosas and watch extravagant performances from local Drag Queens every Sunday at Badlands. Learn More

 

Drag Queen Bingo – First Thursday of the month at Mango’s

Drag Queen Bingo is a monthly charity fundraising event located hosted at Mango’s Sacramento. Come play bingo every first Thursday and enjoy comedic performances by Drag Host-with-the-most, DoMe Moore. Learn More

 

THIS916 Block Party – May through October

THIS916’s seasonal block party series brings 20th Street between J and K Streets to life with local and renowned musical artists. Learn More

 

Sacramento Rainbow Festival – Labor Day Weekend

Sacramento Rainbow Festival is a huge street celebration of Pride that takes over the intersection of 20th & K Streets. This festival brings top notch live entertainment and local vendors together for a celebration of Sacramento’s LGBTQIA+ community to raise public awareness and funds for LGBTQIA+ charitable organizations. Learn More

 

Find more events

 

LGBTQIA+ Resources

Sacramento LGBT Community Center: The Sacramento LGBT Community Center creates events, programs, and pathways to services that help lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people feel welcome, needed, and safe. The Center’s website provides several links to community resources including Advocacy, Arts and Culture, Community, Social, Health & Wellness, and more.

Rainbow Chamber: The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber has a member directory of LGBTQ-owned and ally-owned businesses in Sacramento. If you are looking to support these businesses that give back to our community check out the directory!

Visit Sacramento: Visit Sacramento has featured LGBTQ+ friendly itineraries, blogs, and more for visitors and residents alike.

One Community Health: One Community Health is a non-profit health care provider serving the needs of the Sacramento Community. The center is a proven leader in LGBTQ health issues, including HIV and AIDS health issues, and is regarded as a safe space for LGBTQ community members to receive healthcare.

Outword Magazine: Outward Magazine is the leading LGBTQ magazine for Central and Northern California. For over 25 years, they have been producing content for queer locals that includes local queer news, events, and highlights of community members.

 

Come see Lavender Heights for yourself and tag @exploremidtown on social media! Make sure to also check out our LGBTQIA+ Business Guide and support LGBTQIA+ owned businesses in Midtown!

Celebrate Halloween in Midtown!

Bewitching brews, a boo bash, a vampire ball and the annual Midtown Sutter Halloween Festival and Pooch Parade are all taking place in Midtown Sacramento this October, distinguishing Midtown as a Halloween hotspot for you, your friends, and your pets to have a ghoulishly good time.   

Check out our list of must-attend October events in Midtown to celebrate your favorite scary month and scroll down to enter your pup into the pooch parade and win great prizes.  

Halloween Festival & Pooch Parade
Saturday, October 29, 12 PM
Marshall Park 

Did someone say happy HOWL-oween? This year, make sure your favorite four-footed friends get to indulge in some Halloween festivities! The restaurants of Midtown Sutter have joined forces once again to present the Midtown Halloween Festival & Pooch Parade on Saturday, October 29 from 12 – 3 pm at James Marshall Park. 

Presented by Midtown Sutter restaurants –including Barwest, Blue Cue, Café Bernardo, Centro Cocina Mexicana, Four Palms, Harlow’s, INK Eats & Drinks, Paragary’s Midtown, Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar, and Tea Bar & Fusion Café – the canine-friendly event is highlighted by a much-anticipated “pooch parade” scheduled to take place at 2 p.m.  

Furry friends will strut and stroll while competing in an always-entertaining costume contest that will include prizes, like gift cards to Sutter Midtown District restaurants and Midtown Love swag, for the winning pooches. Make sure to register your pooch in advance here: https://exploremidtown.org/pooch-parade/

Before the highly anticipated parade of costumed pooches, there will be plenty of family-friendly outdoor activities such as live music presented by Harlow’s, DIY plant jars presented by Paragary’s, arts & crafts from Café Bernardo and Four Palms, a magician and puppet show presented by B Street Theatre, pumpkin bowling brought to you by Blue Cue, a face painter brought by Ink Eats and Drinks, lawn games like Giant Jenga from Barwest, a fun photo-booth from Tea Bar, dog treat guessing game from Centro, and even a fabulous bounce house from Red Rabbit! 

After a spirited day of Halloween fun with your pets, make sure to stop by the many eateries across the street from the park and throughout Midtown Sutter.

Barwest – 2724 J Street | Saturdays 10 am–2 pm
Blue Cue – 1004 28th Street | Saturdays 5 pm–1 am
Café Bernardo and Four Palms – 2730 Capitol Avenue | Saturdays 10 am–midnight
Centro Cocina Mexicana – 2730 J Street | Saturdays noon–10 pm
Harlow’s – 2708 J Street | Saturdays ______
INK Eats & Drinks – 2730 N Street | Saturdays 9 am–2 am
Paragary’s Midtown – 1401 28th Street | Saturdays 10 am–2 pm, 5–9 pm (only humans allowed here, unless your pup is a registered service animal)
Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar – 2718 J Street | Saturdays 3 pm–1 am
Tea Bar & Fusion Café – 2700 Capitol Avenue | Saturdays 11 am–8 pm


View a map of all restaurants here: https://goo.gl/maps/vFrUQBK7bnxWUXf69

Learn more about some of our favorite and read our blog about Midtown Sutter.  

 

Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 8, 1 p.m.
Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op

The community is invited to enjoy an afternoon of live music with ACME Soundtracks plus Gabe Nelson and Hannah Lingrell, and Hans Eberbach.  Plus, guests will enjoy activities for the whole family including a free photo booth, a vintage clothing market, wine tasting, food sampling, and local community groups, too. For more, visit www.sac.coop. 

Paint Nite: The Haunted Mansion
Saturday, October 8, 12:15 p.m.
Streets Pub and Grub  

It’s time to plan a cool yet creative night in Midtown where guests can paint a creepy haunted mansion to get into the Halloween spirit. Starting with a blank canvas and ending with a completed masterpiece, participants enjoy wine, tasty snacks, and upbeat tunes. To register visit Paint Nite Registration 

Sugar Skull Decoration Night
Friday, October 21 at 7-9 p.m.
Kolores at 108 L Street 

Sugar Skull Decorating Night is back! Have your early Día de Los Muertos celebration at Koloros and decorate some sugar skulls. The event sells out quickly and is only $25.

May be an image of text that says "JOIN US FOR OUR SUGAR SKULL DECORATING NIGHT! FRIDAY 10/21 7:00-9:00 P M KOLORES 108 STREET SACRAMENTO,CA 95814 $25 INCLUDES SUGAR SKULL, CRAFTING MATERALS, SNACK BEVERAG! DIRECT MESSAGE TO RSVP @KOLORESBYKULTURE"

HarryWeen
Thursday, October 27 at 7:30 p.m.
The Starlet Room at Harlow’s 

What do you get when you combine Harry Styles and Halloween? HarryWeen of course. A fun way to kick-off Halloween weekend is by dancing the night away in the Starlet Room at Harlow’s to the sounds of Harry Styles. For more, visit www.harlows.com/events. 

XOSO Annual Halloween Pub Crawl
Saturday, October 29, beginning at 4 p.m.  

14th Annual Halloween Pub Crawl 2022

Sacramento’s biggest Halloween Bar Crawl is just around the corner! Registration includes one complementary drink at check-in, drink/food specials at participating bars, and entry into the costume contest. Dress up in your funniest, cutest, or scariest Halloween costume for the longest running Halloween pub crawl featuring several Midtown locations. For more, visit XOSO Halloween Pub Crawl. 

Halloween Boo Bash
Saturday, October 29, 8 p.m.
Self Designs Art Gallery  

Visit Self Designs Art Gallery to experience an art gallery that transports guests to another dimension with creative sights and sounds. Attendees are welcome to participate in their Paint for Pride in the upstairs glow room.  Plus, there will be live body painting demonstrations by local artists and a two-level tour of the glowing atmosphere with amazing music, awesome projector visuals and complimentary party treats to fill Boo Bags. For more, visit www.selfdesignsartgallery.com. 

Shannon McCabe’s Vampire Ball
Saturday, October 29 at 8 p.m.
Harlow’s 

Calling all vampire lovers…Harlow’s annual Vampire Ball returns this year as they celebrate 14 years of all things Anne Rice, a famous author of gothic fiction and all the vampires chronicled through the history. For more, visit www.harlows.com/events 

Now that you’ve got your calendar booked this month, are you ready to have a fangtastic Halloween?! Time to dust off your scariest, funniest, or cutest costume and get ready to have a memorable Midtown experience for Halloween this year. Remember to #ExploreMidtown or tag us on social media for a chance to be featured!  

 

Midtown Sutter, History and Today

Midtown Sutter might be Sacramento’s best kept secret. The renowned entertainment corridor has a friendly neighborhood atmosphere where you can find theatre, live music and a treasure trove of locally owned restaurants and bars. The area is crowned by the historic Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, an adobo-stucco construction that includes a replica fort that provides exhibits and living history interpretive services. 

When you visit the thriving Midtown Sutter, we invite you to think about the many generations of people who lived on this land before us. Sutter has changed a myriad of times in our history and will continue to change. Read on to learn about the history of Sutter, and places to explore today to fully experience Midtown Sutter. 

History at Sutter

The iconic Sutter’s Fort Park sits in the heart of Midtown, and is an area that has been the homeland of the Nisenan people since time immemorial. If you grew up in Sacramento, chances are you took a school field trip here to learn about what life was like for the pioneers in the mid-1800s, but how much did you learn about the lasting devastating impacts on the area’s original Native residents? 

Recently, California State Parks has recognized the need to reexamine the past at this National Landmark and confront the unbalanced perspective of John Sutter and his legacy, along with other settlers. You can find the plans of California State Parks to change the way history is interpreted at Sutter’s Fort to share a more inclusive and historically accurate history in their Sutter’s Fort Interpretation Master Plan. 

Long before colonizers ever set foot on Californian soil, Native peoples’ had created a mature and highly managed landscape. In the early 1800s, the colonization of California had reached the Native villages of the Sacramento River valley.

From 1839 to 1849, Sutter’s Fort was the economic center of the first permanent European colonial settlement in California’s Central Valley. Its founder was John Sutter who named his vast Mexican land grant “New Helvetia.” 

During that time, the Fort catalyzed patterns of change across California. Native peoples felt these changes most significantly as their lives were transformed by the Fort’s presence. Many different Native people helped build the Fort, and their exploited labor made the Fort’s many industries possible. In 1848, the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill started the gold rush that ultimately undermined Sutter’s businesses at the Fort and led to an even greater exploitation of Native people across California.

Sutter Today 

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is often a memory for many schoolchildren who visited the park across generations in Sacramento. If you have never been to Sutter’s Fort or perhaps only went as a kid, we invite you to come back to reminisce about your school day field trips, learn a more inclusive and accurate history, and enjoy all the amenities offered.

Visitors to Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park are welcome to explore the historic structures and living history museum at their own pace with a self guided tour, and can find a map and brochure available at the kiosk. 

When you visit, plan your day to also visit the State Indian Museum (only a three-minute walk away). All the exhibits and photographs on display are presented with respect for those who went before us on this land and continue to live in California communities today.

Although Sutter’s Fort and the State Indian Museum are the best places to learn more about the history of Sutter, we encourage you to also explore the Sutter Midtown area and experience how it has evolved into a thriving district with restaurants, bars, live entertainment shops, and of course some of the best brunch in Sacramento! 

Exploring Sutter Midtown you will find understated elegance and well curated experiences that reflect a variety of the best of what Midtown has to offer. Plus visits are a breeze with easy freeway access and plentiful street parking in the area. 

Here are some of our favorite places to visit inside Midtown Sutter. 

Barwest | @mybarwest

2724 J Street

Visit Barwest to find a modern day neighborhood sports bar and restaurant that serves up delicious burgers, hot wings, beer, cocktails, wine and more. Check out this spot to gather with your friends to watch the next ballgame! 

 

Blue Cue | @therealbluecue

1004 28th Street

Featuring karaoke, darts, multiple pool tables, and a welcoming neighborhood atmosphere, the large, brick-walled space is bolstered by traditional bar cuisine combined with a wide selection of spirits and cocktails.

Café Bernardo | @cafe.bernardo

2730 Capitol Avenue

A casual dining concept based on the European tradition of cafe dining, Cafe Bernado is a longstanding local favorite featuring a farm-to-fork menu with house made bread, pasta and dessert. Come here for an inviting atmosphere for any moment. 

Centro Cocina | @centrococina

2730 J Street

Centro crafts all their dishes from scratch – from salsas, to masa and corn tortillas, slow-cooked meats, and hearty soups. The bright and colorful interior highlights items sourced from Mexico providing a festive and casual atmosphere.

Harlow’s | @harlowsnightclub

2708 J Street

Harlow’s is one of our favorite venues for nationally renowned musicians and acclaimed local acts. For more than 35 years, Harlow’s has featured some of the best live music for every type of fan from blues to soul to rock ‘n’ roll. 

Ink Eats & Drinks | @inkeats

2730 N Street

This tattoo-themed restaurant and bar is known for their Bloody Mary Bar and quality brunch fare! Ink offers an approachable yet inspired menu, great prices and down-to-earth attentive service. 

Paragary’s | @paragarysmidtown

1401 28th Street

Opened in 1983, Paragarys is considered a Sacramento dining staple, serving generations of locals over the years. Known for its delicious seasonal cuisine in a beautiful setting, this restaurant is perfect for your next dinner date.

The Red Rabbit | @sacrabbit

2718 J Street 

The Red Rabbit’s mission: raising the neighborhood bar. They believe in seasonal and local, creating their cocktails from the ground up with housemade syrups, fresh squeezed juices, and fresh herbs. Enjoy their farm-to-table food selections, the artisan cocktails, sourced beer and wine. 

Tea Bar & Fusion Café | @ilovetbar

2700 Capitol Avenue

At Tea Bar you’ll find create-your-own wraps and bowls, snacks like avocado toast and edamame, and frozen, iced, or hot teas all made with the freshest ingredients. Stop by for lunch or a snack before catching a show at B Street Theatre.

B Street Theatre | @bstreettheatre

2700 Capitol Avenue

Over the years the B Street Theatre has introduced more than 100 original plays. Located at The Sofia, this gorgeous theatre keeps audiences laughing and crying, and critics raving. 

From the Historic Sutter’s Fort, to delicious farm-to-fork dining, and even live entertainment, Midtown  Sutter has it all. We would love to hear from you about what you learn and experience while exploring the area. Do you agree with us that it may be Sacramento’s best kept secret? Tag us in all your adventures @exploremidtown on social media.

10 Reasons Why You Should Live in Midtown

 A walk in the neighborhood has a whole new meaning when you live in Midtown. Living in Midtown means being a short walkable distance to restaurants. It means the Farmers Market is often your grocery store. It means brunch on weekends. And that coffee shops are often also your office. The perks of being a Midtown resident are endless.

Here are our top 10 reasons why you should live in Midtown!

1. Foodie haven

         

 There is a reason Sacramento is known for being the farm-to-fork capital! From mouth watering brunch (check out our blog on our Favorite Brunch Places in Midtown), to fresh and locally sourced entrees, to several  amazing dessert shops to satisfy any sweet tooth, Midtown is bursting at the seams with talented restaurants and cooks. Foodies are in absolute heaven when visiting the grid.

2.  Endless coffee chops

When you live in Midtown the neighborhood coffee shops are often an extension of your office. I mean, what is a city without some great coffee shops?! If you’re looking for a coffee place in Midtown, we got you covered, read our blog on Iconic Coffee Shops so you can become a Midtown coffee connoisseur.

3. The Midtown Farmers Market is in your backyard

Not to brag, but Midtown has one of the most impressive Farmers Markets in California, spanning more than five blocks and featuring more than 160 plus vendors. Who needs Walmart or Safeway when you can stroll down to the Farmers Market every Saturday to get fresh vegetables, home-made bread and the most gorgeous flowers to place on your kitchen table.

To make the most of your visit at the Farmers Market, you’ll want to check out our blog that has everything you need to know about the Midtown Farmers Market!

4. Beautiful parks & free workout classes

How great and safe a community is, can often be measured by their public parks. Midtown Parks features six beautiful parks (Fremont Park, Winn Park, Sutter Park, Truitt Park, Marshall Park and Muir Park) complete with beautiful art and engaging programming.

How many cities can you say offer free park programming almost every day throughout the Summer? Read about our Fresh Air: Fremont Park series to learn more about our everyday exercise programming at Fremont Park. Or plan to visit Winn Park on Wednesday to find great local artisan and food vendors, live music, yoga and yummy food trucks (pssst I heard that sometimes they even have a wine garden!) Learn more about all our parks at MidtownParks.org.

5. Walk & bike everywhere

Sacramento is one of California’s most accessible major cities, and Midtown in particular provides many different options from scootering to biking that make traveling to and around our central city effortless.

Read our transportation blog for more tips and information on how to travel the grid like a pro!

6. Fun nightlife

How many cities can you say have a bar inside a pink Victorian house? Whether you are partying in the Golden Hub or the Lavender Heights District or perhaps catching some live entertainment in the Sutter District we have unique bars and fun nightlife that make Sacramento an exciting place to go out on the town. Time to dial up your besties for a night of dancing!

7. Art around every corner

It is impossible to drive down a street in Midtown and not spot a beautiful mural on the outside of a building or even in unexpected places like an electrical box.

Initiatives like Art in Unexpected Places and Wide Open Walls have made Midtown a destination for art lovers and artists. The art not only beautifies our city, it helps represent our diversity and culture in Sacramento.

8. Dog friendly

How does the saying go? Happy dog, happy life? Living in Midtown is a dog’s dream, complete with dog friendly patios, events like the Pooch Parade that highlight our cute puppies and of course our favorite dog park: The Truitt Bark Park.

9. Midtown Love

     

 In Midtown we like to use the phrase Midtown Love, which means being in action to actively celebrate, include, and proudly protect our fellow community members. In Midtown we have no place for prejudice, sexism, racism or bigotry. We only have space for learning, love and inclusivity. You’ll often see our banners hung up on our light poles in Midtown that showcase our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Learn about other ways we are spreading love in the grid in our DEI blog!

10. A city lifestyle that you can afford

For many living in a city is a pipe dream because of how expensive big cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose have become in recent years. Living in Midtown is the perfect balance of city and suburban … and you’re bound to see many Victorian homes living in Midtown too!

Now that you know the perks of living in Midtown are endless; click any of the available properties in Midtown below to find your next home.

Follow us on @exploremidtown to find new happenings, businesses and events happening in Midtown! If you #exploremidtown remember to tag us, we may share your photo on our social media!

Solid Gold Entertainment, Art and Dining at Midtown Sacramento’s “Golden Hub”

Pop quiz—how many of these trendy Midtown destinations do you know? Historic homes turned bars, shipping container beer gardens, forgotten alleyways reclaimed by art and cuisine, and towering trees filled with disco lights, all of this and more are found in the heart of Midtown Sacramento’s “Golden Hub” at the intersections of 24th and K streets. 

Area Murals, History, and Art

The 24th and K Golden Hub features more than ten art installations within one block. Discovering art as you Explore Midtown is one of our favorite pastimes so while we won’t reveal every single mural or unexpected art installation, here are three that are not to be missed for a perfectly Instagrammable and Midtown-y moment. Tag @ExploreMidtown on your photos as you discover these incredible lighting, art and statue art installations. Extra credit if you find Amy Winehouse in the alley! 

The Disco Tree at 24th and K Streets 

Located right on the golden corner, this tree came about through a partnership between Midtown Association, SMUD and local artist and creator Michael Sestak. Featuring color changing “disco ball” lighting features, the tree has become one of Midtown’s hidden gems. The best time to view the tree is at sundown or after from urban beer garden DerBiergarten with a pretzel, stein of beer or cider, or a Schnitz n’ Waffle. Historically, this corner was a blighted and empty piece of land following a fire in the converted home/restaurant prior. The now owner Thomas Roth and operator Sean Derfield created the first shipping container garden in Sacramento.

Midtown Sacramento lettering on K Street 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Located below the speakeasy at Cantina Alley (yes there is a speakeasy and yes there is also an authentic cantina in an alley..), these iconic and colorful Midtown letters are best photographed during happy hour or early evening to catch the vibrancy and detail of each letter. Upstairs above the letters is a special Mexican speakeasy, directly to the east of the letters find a mercado in a converted church complete with imported furniture and handicrafts, and right behind the letters find the locally famous Cantina Alley restaurant and bar. Featuring traditional Mexican street foods in an art-filled and garden-esq converted alley, Cantina Alley’s elote and fruit filled cocktails are not to be missed. Interesting historical note, the converted church was originally a Mormon church erected around 1929, became the Spiritual Life Center in the mid-1990’s, evolved to be the Ancient Future Urban Sanctuary, to now become the PlacitaMX mercado.

Take Flight on K Street 

Best photographed during day-time hours and especially with a little one or pup in tow, the Take Flight wings mural was painted by JM Knudsen in the late 2010’s, and is steps away from the Golden Hub. This mural features a city streetscape with wings above and Knudsen’s signature lettering and messaging, “You are Great.” 

Cultural Street Parties

Not a day goes by without something fun going on at the Golden Hub, but a few days are especially notable. Cinco de Mayo hosted by Cantina Alleyway is a celebration with music in the alleyway between J and K streets and some years it spills out to a street closure on K street between 23th and 24th streets. Oktoberfest hosted by DerBergarten is in late September and features a large array of local and imported beers, authentic entertainment, and incredible German foods. Banana Sundaes hosted by Flamingo House is a later evening street party with music and drinks a plenty hosted in June and October each year.

Eating, Drinking and Live Entertainment

Each restaurant at the Golden Hub has a perfectly curated menu and experience ranging from fully plant based at the Burger Patch to the best pizza in town at Pizzasauras Rex. All locations offer food to go or on site, most offer live entertainment in the evenings, and all are equipped with beautiful outdoor dining. 

Burger Patch | @theburgerpatch
2301 K Street | Open everyday 11 am – 10 pm, until midnight Friday and Saturday, for breakfast at 8:30 am on Saturday and Sunday. 

The perfect mixture of flavor and sustainability, Burger Patch provides a fully plant based burger, fries and shakes experience with the best vegan milkshake on the planet. The fresh baked cookies, vegan breakfast and tots are also not to be missed. Open from early to late on the weekends, and everything in between during the week, Burger Patch is a great stop for any meal.

Cantina Alley | @cantinaalley

2320 Jazz Alley | Open Tuesday – Thursday 4 pm -10 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:30am – 1am and Sunday 11:30 am – 10 pm

Originally an 1800s era two story home with a large run down backyard, Cantina Alley is now a shaded garden-esque patio featuring traditional Mexican street foods with a soon to launch speakeasy in the still standing Victorian structure. 

DerBiergarten | @midtownbeergarden

2332 K Street | Open Monday – Thursday 3 pm – 8:30 pm, Friday 3:00 pm – 10:45 pm, Saturday 11 am  – 10:45 pm and Sunday 11:00 AM – 8:30 PM

Der Biergarten is Sacramento’s spot to socialize over some great German beer and light German fare. This Midtown Sacramento beer lover’s spot is a twist on the traditional German beer garden. It’s authentically German in its extensive beer selection and light German food menu, with 32 beers on draft and sausages brought in fresh from Sacramento’s #1 German Butcher.

The Flamingo House | @flamingosac

2315 K Street | Open Monday – Friday 6 pm – 1:30, Saturday and Sunday 2 pm – 1:30 am

The Flamingo House is an intermingling of midtown culture and coastal leisure offering a unique California approach with plates and exceptional cocktails. Two patios along with a bar and lounge offer ample opportunities to listen to the evening’s DJ, hang out on the swinging hammock, or enjoy a handroll or two.  

The Golden Bear@thegoldenbear
2326 K Street | Open Monday – Friday 12 pm – 2 am, Saturday and Sunday 10:30 am – 2 am

Since 2004, Golden Bear has been a casual bar and kitchen in Midtown with a welcoming staff and a laid back vibe. TGB has delicious food made from scratch, cold craft beer and stiff cocktails along with hosting weekly Wednesday open mic nights and popular annual events like the annual Hot Toddy Competition. 

Pizzasaurus Rex | @eatpizzasaurusrex

2322 K Street| Open Mondays 2 pm – 9 pm and Tuesday – Sunday 11 am – 9 pm

Pizzasaurus Rex specializes in one-size-only, 18-by-13-inch rectangular pies, fired for six to eight minutes at 475 degrees in the restaurant’s brick deck oven. The menu includes staples like a melty three-cheese version topped with mozzarella, provolone and ricotta, as well as a hearty vegan combo with faux pepperoni, mushrooms, olives and bell peppers. They offer 12 beers on tap to wash down your meal or to take home in a growler for later. The “dino” sauce is a cilantro jalapeno dipping sauce that is a must on the side no matter what you order.

Experience this uniquely Northern California destination on any evening for bustling nightlife, one of the above culturally diverse events, or enjoy a happy hour stroll to see artwork and enjoy a watermelon filled with margarita, a vegan burger, or even a German beer stein filled with pilsner. 

Remember to snap a photo and hashtag #ExploreMidtown for a chance to be featured on our social media @ExploreMidtown or our next blog!