The capital of California, Sacramento is often overlooked in favor of some more famous towns in the state. However, if you’re looking for amazing museums, a rich culture, historical buildings, and a city that’s constantly changing, then Sacramento makes the perfect destination.

Despite its small-town feel, Sacramento is surprisingly alternative and inclusive. It has a thriving LGBTQ community and is known as America’s Most Diverse City. It also has landmarks dating back to the Gold Rush!

It’s not a large city, but figuring out where to stay in Sacramento to best suit your needs can be tricky. To help you out, we’ve created this guide on the best places to stay in Sacramento for any travel style and budget.

Where to Stay in Sacramento

Need to make a quick decision about your Sacramento accommodation? Here are our top picks.

Best Airbnb in Sacramento: Inviting 2 Bedroom Home

Best Airbnb in Sacramento Inviting 2 Bedroom Home

This home is a good choice when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Sacramento for families. It sleeps up to four people and has a fully stocked kitchen, laundry facilities, and a private backyard. It’s also within walking distance of a local park and the Downtown district.

Best Luxury Airbnb in Sacramento: Modern 1 Bedroom

Best Luxury Airbnb in Sacramento Modern 1 Bedroom

Located close to the Downtown area, this apartment is convenient and very reasonably priced. It offers a spacious kitchen, living areas, and bathroom as well as laundry facilities and a private backyard.

Best Hotel in Sacramento: Hampton Inn & Suites

Best Hotel in Sacramento Hampton Inn and Suites

This is one of the best hotels in Sacramento if you want to be close to everything. It’s just minutes from the Downtown district and offers comfortable rooms with private bathrooms, coffee machines, and a microwave. The hotel also offers a continental breakfast every morning, a fitness room, and boasts a heated outdoor pool.

Sacramento Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN SACRAMENTO
old town Sacramento
FIRST TIME IN SACRAMENTO

Old Sacramento

For a first-timer, Old Sacramento is the best neighborhood to stay in Sacramento. This beautiful historic district is technically part of the Downtown area, so it offers great access to shops and restaurants. However, it also has an intoxicating historical atmosphere and lots of great attractions.

ON A BUDGET
Midtown Sutter's Fort State Historic Park
ON A BUDGET

Midtown

Sacramento’s Midtown district is east of the Downtown area, so it’s fairly central but offers a quieter atmosphere and a more local vibe. That’s why it’s the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Sacramento on a budget.

FOR FAMILIES
East Sacramento McKinley Park
FOR FAMILIES

East Sacramento

East Sacramento is the best area in Sacramento to stay in if you’re looking for a quiet, more local feel. This small neighborhood is close to the city center, but it’s smaller and less crowded making it ideal for families with small children who need quiet nights to sleep.

FOR NIGHTLIFE
Downtown Sacramento California State Capitol Park
FOR NIGHTLIFE

Downtown

The Downtown district is easily one of the coolest places to stay in Sacramento. This part of the city has everything. It’s where you’ll find the city’s best shops and restaurants as well as lots of entertainment options. It’s also within walking distance of all the history and atmosphere of Old Sacramento.

Sacramento is a relatively small city, but it still has distinct districts with their own unique atmospheres. While it’s easy to travel around the city, you’ll be better off staying in an area that suits your needs.

If it’s your first time in this area of California, then we recommend staying in Old Sacramento. This is the historic district of the city and it’s filled with cobbled streets, museums, restaurants, and shops. With so much to do, it’s perfect for discovering what Sacramento has to offer.

If you’re visiting California on a budget and want to take advantage of cheaper prices, then look for accommodation in Midtown. This residential area offers a quieter atmosphere along with local attractions.

East Sacramento is the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Sacramento for families. There are lots of local restaurants in this area as well as parks that will keep the kids happy for hours!

The final area to look at is Sacramento’s Downtown. This is where you’ll find the greatest concentration of shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs. If you’re trying to find where to stay in Sacramento for nightlife, this is a perfect choice.

Sacramento’s 4 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look at each of these areas in more detail. We’ve included our top accommodation and activity picks in each, so you know exactly what to expect.

1. Old Sacramento – Where to Stay in Sacramento for your First Visit

old town Sacramento
The best place to get to know the city

COOLEST Thing to Do in Old Sacramento – Take a walking tour through Old Sacramento to get a real feel for the best spots.

BEST Place to Visit in Old Sacramento – River Walk Park for amazing views of Old Sacramento.

For a first-timer, Old Sacramento is the best neighborhood to base yourself in. This beautiful historic district is technically part of the Downtown area, so it offers great access to shops and restaurants. However, it also has an intoxicating historical atmosphere and lots of great attractions.

When you wander along the cobbled streets of Old Sacramento, you’ll get a real feel for the past of the city. This is where you’ll find the Old Waterfront, protected as a State Historic Park and National Historic Landmark District, and lots of preserved buildings.

Best Airbnb in Old Sacramento: One of a Kind Historic Loft Suite

One of a Kind Historic Loft Suite

This accommodation is conveniently located just a few minutes from the old district in the Old Union Hotel. It offers a private bathroom and enough space for one guest as well as a historic flair that’s hard to pass up!

Best Luxury Airbnb in Old Sacramento: Old Sacramento Historic Loft Suite

Best Luxury Airbnb in Old Sacramento Old Sacramento Historic Loft Suite

If you’d like a touch of luxury close to the old district, this is where you should stay. The building is an old hotel turned into a boutique hotel, and it offers complete privacy, rooms with kitchenettes, and an 18 hole mini-golf course in the basement!

Best Hotel in Old Sacramento: Delta King Hotel

Best Hotel in Old Sacramento Delta King Hotel

This hotel in Sacramento is as unique as the town itself. The rooms are luxuriously appointed and close to attractions like the Crocker Art Museum. The hotel has a 24-hour front desk, delicious breakfast, and a bar and restaurant on-site.

Things to See and Do in Old Sacramento:

Sacramento History Museum
Photo: Janannwa (WikiCommons)
  • Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the area.
  • Check out the Big Four Building, one of the most iconic in the city.
  • Spend some time learning about the city’s past at the California State Railroad Museum.
  • See how the city grew at the Sacramento History Museum.
  • Have a meal at Joe’s Crab Shack, Foundation Restaurant and Bar, or the Yard House.
  • Marvel at the antique cars at the California Automobile Museum.
Is This the Best Travel Pack EVER???

We’ve tested countless packs over the years, and now we’ve found our absolute favourite: the nomad-approved Nomatic Travel Bag.

Want more deetz on why we love it so damn much? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

Learn More Now!

2. Midtown – Where to Stay in Sacramento on a Budget

Midtown Sutter's Fort State Historic Park

COOLEST Thing to Do in Midtown – Learn about pioneer life at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park.

BEST Place to Visit in Midtown – The Kennedy Gallery for three floors of amazing works of art.

Sacramento’s Midtown district is east of the Downtown area, so it’s fairly central but offers a quieter atmosphere and a more local vibe. That’s why it’s the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Sacramento on a budget. You’ll find a range of cheaper accommodation options in this part of the city as well as restaurants and shops with local prices.

Midtown has taken on a bohemian vibe of late and it’s become famous for its art scene. You’ll find lots of art galleries showcasing a wide variety of artwork styles as well as some of the trendiest restaurants in Midtown. You definitely won’t go hungry for food or for culture!

Best Airbnb in Midtown: East Side Apartment

Best Airbnb in Midtown East Side Apartment

If you’re on a tighter budget, then you’ll love this Sacramento accommodation. It’s within walking distance of local restaurants, clubs, and cafes. It offers a fully stocked kitchen and enough room for up to three guests for a great price.

Best Luxury Airbnb in Midtown: Fresh and Charming Mother in Law Apartment

Best Luxury Airbnb in Midtown Fresh and Charming Mother in Law Apartment

Located in one of the best areas to stay in Sacramento if you want convenience and a quiet atmosphere, this apartment offers cozy accommodation for two travelers. It’s located in a beautiful historic home and neighborhood, with dozens of restaurants close by, and offers all the modern facilities you could want for your stay.

Best Hotel in Midtown: Inn Off Capitol Park

Best Hotel in Midtown Inn Off Capitol Park

This hotel is a great choice when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Sacramento on a budget. It’s just over the road from the Capitol building and offers rooms with sitting areas, work desks, and all the usual amenities. There’s also a fitness center and a business center on-site for those working travelers.

Things to See and Do in Midtown:

Midtown Sacramento
  • Head down to K Street and 20th for LGBTQ friendly clubs and bars.
  • Delight your tastebuds at Ryujin Ramen House, Tres Hermanas, or Mendocino Farms.
  • Eat something sweet at Rick’s Dessert Diner.
  • Relax with a craft brew at SacYard Community Tap House or the Capital Hop Shop.
  • Go walking, skating, or biking at Sutter’s Landing Regional Park.
  • In summer, take the kids to enjoy the water park at Raging Waters Sacramento.

3. East Sacramento – Best Neighborhood in Sacramento for Families

downtown sacramento
Vibrant Downtown

COOLEST Thing to Do in East Sacramento –Visit McKinley Park for food trucks and concerts as well as a great food scene.

BEST Place to Visit in East Sacramento – Gunther’s Ice Cream, a landmark store for sweet treats.

East Sacramento is the best area in Sacramento to stay in if you’re looking for a quiet, more local feel. This small neighborhood is close to the city center, but it’s smaller and less crowded making it ideal for families with small children who need quiet nights to sleep.

East Sacramento also has some great local restaurants, so you definitely won’t go hungry while you stay there, as well as great local parks and boutique stores. If you enjoy getting to know a more local part of the cities that you travel to, you’ll love the independent shops, cafes, and restaurants in this area as well.

Best Airbnb in East Sacramento: Beautiful Home in the heart of East Sacramento

Best Airbnb in East Sacramento Beautiful Home in the heart of East Sacramento

Suitable for four guests, this home is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Sacramento with kids. It has a bathtub, a fully equipped kitchen, and free parking on the premises and is a short drive from all of the city’s best attractions.

Best Luxury Airbnb in East Sacramento: Modern and Clean Guesthouse

Modern and Clean Guesthouse

This bright and modern apartment sits in a secluded and very walkable neighborhood in the heart of East Sacramento. It has a fully equipped kitchen, is close to local parks and restaurants, and is only 10 minutes drive from the Downtown area.

Best Hotel in East Sacramento: Tapestry by Hilton

Best Hotel in East Sacramento Tapestry by Hilton

Comfortable and convenient, this hotel is a great choice whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Sacramento for one night or for a longer visit. The hotel has a fitness center, bar, restaurant, and concierge service as well as a 24-hour front desk. Rooms are spacious and have a coffee machine and work area.

Things to See and Do in East Sacramento:

East Sacramento Mckinly Park
Photo: Jeff Hitchcock (Flickr)
  • Have a pizza at OneSpeed or some Italian delights at La Trattoria Bohemia.
  • Drink with the locals at Socal’s Tavern or Bonn Lair.
  • Try some delicious donuts or specialty cream puffs at The Parlor Ice Cream Puffs.
  • Head down to play a round at William Land Golf Course or Bing Maloney Golf Course.
  • Take the kids to enjoy the rides at Funderland Amusement Park.
  • Enjoy the storybook themes of Fairytale Town with the kids.
  • Let the kids play freely at the Sacramento Adventure Playground.
The Future of the SIM Card is HERE!

A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!

An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected. It’s just that easy.

Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.

Buy an eSIM!

4. Downtown – Best Area to Stay in Sacramento for Nightlife

Downtown Sacramento California State Capitol Park
State Capitol Park

COOLEST Thing to Do in Downtown – Spend a few hours in the California State Capitol Park for manicured gardens and a museum.

BEST Place to Visit in Downtown – WAL Public Market for unique and independent stores and shopping.

The Downtown district is easily one of the coolest places to stay in Sacramento. It’s where you’ll find the city’s best shops and restaurants as well as lots of entertainment options. It’s also within walking distance of all the history and atmosphere of Old Sacramento. You’ll never run out of things to do here!

If you’re looking for some lively nightlife while you’re in the city, this is where you’ll find it as there are lots of pubs and clubs in Downtown. It also has great transport links to other parts of Sacramento, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting around to explore!

Best Airbnb in Downtown: The Cathedral Building

Best Airbnb in Downtown The Cathedral Building

This one-bedroom loft is perfect for couples or solo travelers. The Cathedral Building is right in the heart of Downtown, so you’ll be surrounded by all the best that the city has to offer. During your stay, you’ll enjoy free parking, a full kitchen, a dedicated workspace, and elegant surroundings with all the comforts of home.

Best Luxury Airbnb in Downtown: Modern, Bright Studio with Private Yard

Best Luxury Airbnb in Downtown Modern Bright Studio with Private Yard

This apartment offers the perfect combination of privacy and outdoor space. It has modern furnishings and fixings as well as laundry facilities, a full kitchen, free street parking, and a patio where you can take in the city at your leisure. It’s also right in the center of Downtown and surrounded by shops and restaurants!

Best Hotel in Downtown: Best Western Plus Sutton House

Best Hotel in Downtown Best Western Plus Sutton House

Located right in the heart of Downtown, this motel in Sacramento is reasonably priced and comfortable. It’s within walking distance of several attractions and has a restaurant and bar on-site as well as a delicious breakfast so you can start your days off well.

Things to See and Do in Downtown:

Downtown Sacramento Leland Stanford Mansion
  • Check out the period architecture and furniture at the Leland Stanford Mansion.
  • Get destructive at Smash Sacramento.
  • Experience the city’s creative heart at the Crocker Art Museum.
  • Have a meal at TableVine, the Thai Lotus, or The Melting Pot.
  • Get up close and creepy with the past at the Old City Cemetery or take a tour to meet its more famous residents.
  • Go shopping in Downtown Commons shopping center for great shops and an entertainment complex.
  • Head down to 10th street north of Capitol Park for the city’s best clubs and bars.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Sacramento

A banner creative for World Nomads travel insurance

It’s good to get lost sometimes, but it’s also good not to get too lost. There are people that want you home in one piece.

There’s one travel insurance provider The Broke Backpacker trusts for all his wildest shenanigans… World Nomads!

Click the button below to get a quote on your insurance or read our in-depth review of World Nomads’ coverage. And then… let the shenanigans begin. 😉

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Sacramento

Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Sacramento with kids or are traveling on your own or with friends, there are lots of great choices. Sacramento is a vibrant city, one that no doubt will become more popular among travel lovers as it continues to expand and flourish!

If you;re still not sure where to stay in Sacramento, we recommend Midtown. It’s close to everything while offering cheaper accommodation – so you can stretch your budget even further.

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.


Bye for now, but not forever!

If you want MORE top-tier Broke Backpacker content like this, then sign up for our weekly newsletter below to get the latest and greatest!










    And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!