We woke up early Saturday and as we were perusing Facebook with coffee - we came across some information that changed our plans for the day. Jessi and I live outside of downtown Sacramento, just a quick 10-minute drive to central downtown or a five-minute walk to the river, depending on what we are looking for. Today, we decided to head out to the neighboring city of Davis because the college was having their popular (at least locally) plant sale. Their student nursery is right next to the U.C. Davis Arboretum, a place I’ve wanted to explore, but never made the time. Today was the day.
We jumped in the car and took the 20-minute drive out to Davis, stopping for coffee at the local Dutch Bros (a favorite West Coast coffee stop) where Jessi got lots of attention, much to her excitement. When we arrived at the plant sale it was mildly busy and incredibly well organized.
Like most of Davis, the campus is very dog friendly and Jessi and I walked around looking for some new and interesting plants for the yard. After making a couple of selections we walked back to the car and tucked away our purchases. With the shopping done, it was now time to play!
The Arboretum is right next to the nursery so we walked on over and were amazed! The paths are a mix of tiny crushed rock and paved options with gazebos, tree groves, gardens and several big expanses of lawn. Lots of squirrels running around to draw Jessi’s attention and adoring walkers who like to stop and chat - with the offering of lots of ear scratches and pets. Jessi loves making new friends when we go out so we spend a lot of time stopping and talking with people.
After spending an hour wandering around, it was time to head back to Sacramento to meet up with friends for brunch at one of our favorite spots. Just half a block from Capitol Park, de Vere’s has a patio that runs across the front of the restaurant that makes it great for people watching while enjoying time with friends.
The staff is attentive and nice, making sure we had a water bowl for Jessi and a good mix of English and American food for the rest of us. http://deverespub.com/?loc=Sacramento
Jessi made the rounds to say hi to everyone before settling down to alternately watch passersby and nap. By the time we were ready to leave she was ready to spend some time in Capitol Park, which is one of my favorite places -- even after working downtown for years.
The Capitol is planted with native California trees, shrubs and flowers – there are citrus trees interspersed with redwoods and interesting shrubs.
Around the Capitol we always keep an eye out for a sighting of the First Dog of California Sutter Brown. This time we didn’t expect to see Sutter as he continues to recover from a serious surgery. With the whole state pulling for him he has recently returned home and we hope to see him out on walks as he continues to get better!
We took a few extra minutes in the rose garden that sits along 16th street and is my personal favorite, although Jessi was not as fascinated with the varieties in color and type as I was. As we wandered back to the car, I realized we don’t spend nearly enough time downtown together – often choosing to go out to the Auburn trails or spending our time on the miles of riverfront trails that are close to our house or even going on trips up north to visit family.
We had a really fun time trying something new and meeting up with friends to share the stories or our adventure. We always look forward to trying out some of the new places that keep popping up as Sacramento continues to expand its farm to fork movement.
Want more dog friendly ideas for exploring Sacramento?
Great ideas here -- http://dogtrekker.com/Destination/Sacramento_Capital_City
Kaitlyn MacGregor is a dog-loving communications professional and a Sacramento native. She and Jessi, her 10 year old springer spaniel mix Jess take advantage of the California capitol’s dog friendly venues and great weather!