Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the county seat of Sacramento County. It is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California's expansive Central Valley. With a population of 472,178, it is the sixth-largest city in California and the 35th largest city in the U.S. Sacramento is the core cultural and economic center of the Sacramento metropolitan area which includes seven counties.
Its metropolitan area is the fourth largest in California after the Greater Los Angeles Area, San Francisco Bay Area, and the San Diego metropolitan area as well as the 22nd largest in the United States. Sacramento was cited by Time magazine as America's most ethnically and racially integrated city in 2002.
Sacramento became a city through the efforts of the Swiss immigrant John Sutter, Sr., his son John Sutter, Jr., and James W. Marshall. Sacramento grew quickly thanks to the protection of Sutter's Fort, which was established by Sutter in 1839. During the California Gold Rush, Sacramento was a major distribution point, a commercial and agricultural center, and a terminus for wagon trains, stagecoaches, riverboats, the telegraph, the Pony Express, and the First Transcontinental Railroad.
California State University, Sacramento, more commonly known as Sacramento State or Sac State, is the major local university. It is one of the twenty-three campuses of the California State University system. University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, is located in historic Oak Park. In addition, the University Of California, Davis, is located in nearby Davis, 15 miles (24 km) west of the capital. The UC Davis Medical Center, a World-renowned research hospital, is located in the city of Sacramento.
Colleges and universities:
The Sacramento area hosts a wide variety of higher educational opportunities. There are two major public universities, many private institutions, community colleges, and vocational schools.
Sacramento is home to Sacramento State (California State University, Sacramento), founded as Sacramento State College in 1947. In 2004, enrollment was 22,555 undergraduates and 5,417 graduate students in the university's eight colleges. The university's mascot is the hornet, and the school colors are green and gold. The 300 acres (1.2 km2) campus is located along the American River Parkway a few miles east of downtown. The University of California has a campus, UC Davis, in nearby Davis and also has a graduate center in downtown Sacramento. The UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM) is located near the UC Davis Medical Center off of Stockton Boulevard near Highway 50. Many students, about 400 out of 517, at the UC Davis GSM are working professionals and are completing their MBA part-time. The part-time program is ranked in the top-20 and is well known for its small class size, world class faculty, and involvement in the business community. UC also maintains the University of California Sacramento Center (UCCS) for undergraduate and graduate studies. Similar to the UC's Washington, DC, program, "Scholar Interns" engage in both academic studies and as well as internships, often with the state government. The UC Davis School of Medicine is located at the UC Davis Medical Center between the neighborhoods of Elmhurst, Tahoe Park, and Oak Park.
The Art Institute of California - Sacramento was established in 2007, and is a branch of The Art Institute of California - Los Angeles. The school is focused on educating students in the field of commercial arts. The school offers both a Bachelors of Science and an Associate of Science degree, as well as diplomas in some areas of study. Some majors the school offers are: Digital Film-making & Video Production, Culinary Management, Graphic Design, and Game Art & Design. The National University Sacramento regional campus offers Bachelor's and Master's degrees in business, education, health-care and teaching credential programs. A satellite campus of Alliant International University offers graduate and undergraduate programs of study, and the Professional School of Psychology is also based in Sacramento.
Sacramento is home to an unaccredited private institution, the University of Sacramento, a Roman Catholic university run by the Legionaries of Christ. Currently, the university offers course work in graduate programs. The University Of San Francisco has one of its four regional campuses in Sacramento. At the undergraduate level they offer degrees in Applied Economics, Information Systems, Organizational Behavior and Leadership, and Public Administration. At the graduate level, Master's programs are offered in: Information Security and Assurance, Information Systems, Organization Development, Project Management, Public Administration, Nonprofit Administration, and Counseling.
While Catholic institutions still dominate the independent school scene in the Sacramento area, in 1964, Sacramento Country Day School opened and offered Sacramento citizens an independent school that is affiliated with the California Association of Independent Schools. SCDS has grown to its present day status as a learning community for students from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Additionally, the suburb of Fair Oaks hosts the expansive Riverside campus of the Sacramento Waldorf School, a Steiner school adjacent to the Rudolf Steiner College, and the largest Waldorf school in North America. Sacramento Waldorf School educates students from pre-K through 12th grade on a secluded, pastoral site that incorporates a large, functioning biodynamic farm.
Roads and highways:
The Sacramento region is served by several highways and freeways. Interstate 80 (I-80) is the major east-west route, connecting Sacramento with San Francisco in the west, and Reno in the east. Business 80 (the Capital City Freeway) splits from I-80 in West Sacramento, runs through Sacramento, and then rejoins its parent in the northwest portion of the city. U.S. Highway 50 also begins its eastern journey in West Sacramento, co-signed with Business 80, but then splits off and heads toward South Lake Tahoe as the El Dorado Freeway.
Interstate 5 (I-5) runs though Sacramento, heads north up to Redding, and then heads south near the western edge of the California Central Valley towards Los Angeles. California State Highway 99 runs through Sacramento, heading closer to the eastern edge of the Central Valley, connecting to Marysville and Yuba City in the north, and Fresno and Bakersfield in the south. California State Highway 160 approaches the city after running along the Sacramento River from Contra Costa County in the south, and then becomes a major city street in Downtown Sacramento before turning into the North Sacramento Freeway, going over the American River to Business 80. Some Sacramento neighborhoods, such as Downtown Sacramento and Midtown Sacramento are very bicycle friendly as are many other communities in the region. As a result of litigation, Sacramento has undertaken to make all city facilities and sidewalks wheelchair accessible. In an effort to preserve its urban neighborhoods, Sacramento has constructed traffic-calming measures in many areas.
Sports and recreation:
Sacramento is home to the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association. It was also formerly home to the now defunct Sacramento Monarchs of the Women's National Basketball Association. The Kings came to Sacramento from Kansas City in 1985, and the Monarchs were one of the eight founding members of the WNBA, which started in 1997. The Monarchs won the WNBA Championship in 2005 to become the first major, professional sports team in Sacramento to do so; however the Monarchs team folded in November 2009.
The Sacramento Solons, a minor league baseball team of the Pacific Coast League, played in Sacramento during several periods (1903, 1905, 1909-1914, 1918-1960, 1974-1976), mostly at Edmonds Field. In 2000, AAA minor league baseball returned to Sacramento with the Sacramento River Cats, an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. The River Cats play in the recently constructed Raley Field, located in West Sacramento. Teams in several smaller leagues have been and continue to be in Sacramento. The Sacramento Heatwave of the American Basketball Association currently plays at Folsom High School. In the past, the city hosted three professional football teams, the Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football (who won the World Bowl II on June 6, 1992), the Sacramento Gold Miners of the Canadian Football League, and the Sacramento Attack of the Arena Football League.
Sacramento was also home to an indoor soccer team, the Sacramento Knights of the Continental Indoor Soccer League (later called the World Indoor Soccer League). The Sacramento River Rats of Roller Hockey International also played in the city for several years. The Sacramento XSV (pronounced "excessive") of the National Professional Paintball League represents the City but is based in Modesto, CA. The newest sports team to come to Sacramento is the Sacramento Mountain Lions which is part of the United Football League (2009). They currently play at Raley Field which is where the Sacramento River Cats play.
Sacramento hosted the 2000 and 2004 USA Olympic Track & Field Trials and has frequently hosted the NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship as well as the 1st and 2nd rounds of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. The California International Marathon (est. 1983, runcim.org) finishes in front of the Capitol, and attracts a field of international elite runners who vie for a share of the $50,000 prize purse. The fast point-to-point course begins in Folsom and is also popular for runners seeking to achieve a Boston Marathon qualifying time and fitness runners. The Sacramento Mile is a national flat-track motorcycle racing event. From 1961 to 1980, Sacramento hosted the Camellia Bowl, which selected or helped select ten national champions in college football's lower divisions.
Sacramento is a hotbed for high school rugby. Jesuit High is the recent defending national champion (winning five times in total). Their arch-rival school Christian Brothers came in second nationwide. Burbank, Del Campo and Vacaville have also placed well in the national competition over the years. The Sacramento Valley High School Rugby Conference hosts the largest and arguably deepest preseason youth and high school rugby tournament in America. Sacramento also hosts some recreational facilities and events. The Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail that runs between Old Sacramento and Folsom Lake grants access to the American River Parkway, a natural area that includes more than 5,000 acres (20 km2) of undeveloped land. It attracts cyclists and equestrians from across the state. The California State Fair is held in Sacramento each year at the end of the summer, ending on Labor Day. In 2010, the State Fair moved to July. More than one million people attended this fair in 2001.