Your Perfect Summer Day: 99+ Ways to Soak Up the Sun
Apr 25, 2017 01:58PM ● Published by Sharon Penny
Stand-up Paddling at Sacramento State Aquatic Center-Photo courtesy of Sacramento State Aquatic Center
BY SHARON PENNY
Swimming in a crystal-clear lake, exploring local art, sipping foothill wines on a shady patio…have we described your perfect summer day yet? Keep reading, because we’ve compiled a veritable cornucopia of perfect summer day activities for foodies, art lovers, water babies and kids (or kids at heart)—an entire season’s worth of perfect summer days, in fact. Whether you’re looking to hike, paddle, explore, sip, munch or get away, we’ve got you covered (sunscreen not included).
IF YOU’RE A FOODIE: Eat your way through the region
The Waffle Experience
13405 Folsom Boulevard, Suite 950, Folsom
Chase away a cruel summer with a Bananarama waffle: fresh bananas, house-made vanilla pudding, walnuts, agave syrup and fresh whipped cream. You can thank us later.
Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co.
4355 Town Center Boulevard Suite 114, El Dorado Hills
Try a Ruffaroni Hot Dog with chili and mac and cheese, or the battered Buffalo Dog with hot sauce, slaw and blue cheese dressing. And don’t sleep on the garlic fries! But do nap afterward.
Zia’s Italian Caffe and Gelato Bar
4364 Town Center Boulevard
El Dorado Hills
Jump-start your morning with a Zia cappuccino. They use beans from Mauro Cipolla’s Caffé D’Arte in Seattle and organic, pasture-raised Jersey cows’ milk from Saint Benoit Creamery in Petaluma.
4359 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 116
El Dorado Hills
Meet us on the patio. The code word is Bacon Pancake Donut Holes (and bottomless mimomas). You know what to do.
705 Gold Lake Drive, Suite 340, Folsom
Ignore the blueberry cinnamon muffin at your peril, and don’t get us started on the ginger peach scone.
Smoosh Ice Cream Sandwich Factory
811 Wales Drive, Folsom
This is the place where ice cream cookie sandwich dreams come true. Like our dream of an oatmeal raisin spice cookie with strawberry ice cream and toasted coconut shavings.
3909 Park Drive, El Dorado Hills
Lean into the summer heat with a Sweet Serrano Chilitini featuring infused serrano chili vodka, orange liqueur, house-made sweet and sour, lime juice and a serrano pepper. Ay yai yai!
Prohibition Wine Lounge
2776 East Bidwell Street, Folsom
Soak in the cool 1920s vibe, choose from over 60 bottles of wine, and make sure you sample the excellent menu (baked brie with bacon, coffee, shallot jam, maple syrup and balsamic, hello!).
Heckle Ale House and Eatery
705 Gold Lake Drive, Suite 390, Folsom
Tip back a pint (or two) of great local and special edition ales at Folsom’s newest craft brew hangout and enjoy their many tater tots—regular (sure), sweet potato (‘sup), chili cheese (hi!) or garlic (helloooo!).
2770 East Bidwell Street, Suite 100, Folsom
This Folsom favorite dishes up authentic curries, rice dishes, noodle soups and more with a side of genuine hospitality. On a balmy summer’s evening, there’s nothing better than their papaya salad alongside pineapple curry; do yourself a favor and save space for the sweet sticky rice and mango.
Take home some local produce after you’ve eaten your way through town! The Historic Folsom Farmers’ Market at 915 Sutter Street is held year-round, rain or shine, every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The El Dorado Hills Town Center Farmers’ Market at Town Center Boulevard kicks off May 1 and runs through October every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
5 PURVEYORS OF FROZEN GOODNESS
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in Folsom, custom flavors made using fresh milk from happy California cows with gluten-free, vegan and no high-fructose corn syrup options, menchies.com
Rita’s of Folsom, ice, custard and happiness…in a cup or a cone, ritasice.com
Rockin Frog Yogurt and More in El Dorado Hills, tasty fro-yo in a rainbow of flavors that regularly rotate, with a nice outdoor sitting area to boot, facebook.com/rockinfrogyogurt
The Niche Ice Cream in Folsom, warm and gooey donuts stuffed with ice cream and toppings aplenty, thenicheicecream.com
T-Crepes in Folsom, Japanese crepes stuffed with Gunther’s ice cream and tasty toppings that run the gamut from fruit and Oreos to Pocky sticks, t-crepes.com
Selland’s Market Café
4370 Town Center Boulevard
El Dorado Hills
Get your own little piece of Paris in the summertime on the patio at Selland’s. There are misters (the watery kind, not the men) to cool you off and plenty of shade under the huge umbrellas, topped off with a beautiful view of Town Center.
Murer House and Learning Center
1125 Joe Murer Court, Folsom
Try your hand at “Handmade Fettuccine” on May 20 or take the Introduction to “Home Winemaking” workshop on June 3. Keep an eye on the website for even more exciting classes.
IF YOU’RE AN ARTS, CRAFTS + CULTURE LOVER: Let your creative juices flow
Don’t miss the seventh annual Sacramento Promenade of Mermaids on May 20 at Riverfront Park in Old Sacramento from noon to 4 p.m. Mermaids, mermen, pirates and sea creatures of all shapes and sizes are welcome to join, and no pre-registration is required—just show up by noon to be in the running for a costume prize (adult and child categories). Proceeds benefit the River City Food Bank, and it’s all part of Sacramento Mermaid Weekend. sacramentopromenadeofmermaids.com
Summer is shaping up to be colorful and exciting at the Crocker Art Museum. Don’t miss Turn the Page: The First 10 Years of Hi-Fructose from June 11 through September 17. For 10 years, the quarterly art magazine Hi-Fructose has celebrated distinguished emerging and new contemporary artists; this exhibition puts 51 of these remarkable artists together in one space for an unforgettable experience. And from June 25 through October 8, Full Spectrum: Paintings by Raimonds Staprans offers a vibrant exhibition of more than 55 paintings by Staprans, a Latvian-born painter of landscapes, architectural elements, and still lifes with ties to California’s Bay Area figurative movement and pop art. Explore the power of black and white film this summer with the return of Crocker’s Summer Film Series. Things kick off with a bang (or a boom) with a screening of the 1964 classic Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb on May 4. The series continues with The Third Man (1949) starring Orson Welles on June 1, The Misfits (1961) starring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe on July 6, and the ‘90s French classic La Haine (1995) starring Vincent Cassel on August 3. crockerartmuseum.org
Relax, loosen up and enjoy some live music at Folsom’s Summer Concerts in the Park, which kicks off June 2 and continues through July 29. These free concerts are held every Friday from 7-9 p.m. at Folsom City Lions Park; get down to country, blues, classic rock, reggae and much more! 916-355-7285
Enjoy a free, family-friendly movie under the stars, weather permitting, on a giant inflatable screen at El Dorado Hills Town Center’s Outdoor Movie Night on May 5 at 8 p.m. at the Steven Young Amphitheater. Bring blankets and chairs. Popcorn will be served courtesy of Regal El Dorado Hills Stadium 14 and IMAX. edhtowncenter.com
This year marks the 14th annual El Dorado Hills Art, Beer and Wine Festival (formerly known as the Art and Wine Affaire). On May 13-14 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., head to Town Center and enjoy works from over 80 local artists, as well as libations from over 25 area wineries and breweries with paid tastings. Admission is free. eldoradohillsartfestival.org
Now into their 15th year, FreeFall Stage is Folsom’s longest running community theater. This month and next, they’re presenting the George Bernard Shaw classic Androcles and the Lion, and plans are afoot for Shakespeare in the Park in June. freefallstage.com
Folsom Library’s First Fridays provide entertaining, educational and informative programs for adults. March was musical with “Ukulele Music Recital with Silver Ukes,” and April featured “How to Share Family History.” Summer promises more exciting topics. Join in on the first Friday of each month. (No programs in July.) Programs are free and held in the Library Meeting Room from 10-11 a.m.; doors open at 9:45 a.m. for seating. folsom.ca.us
The best things in life are free and so is Palladio at Broadstone’s Summer Concert Series, which kicks off June 7 with Wonderbread 5, and continues every Wednesday from 7-9 p.m. through August 30. All shows are family-friendly—bring your dancing shoes and welcome the return of summer with great local live acts. gopalladio.com
Celebrate the fine wines, breweries and restaurants of El Dorado, Amador and San Joaquin Counties with Wine at Town Center on June 3 from 6-9 p.m. at El Dorado Hills Town Center’s Steven Young Amphitheater and Sandra’s Rose Garden. Enjoy live music and a fantastic array of items in a silent auction at one of the city’s hallmark social events. wineattowncenter.com
Live on the Boulevard, El Dorado Hills Town Center’s popular Thursday night concert series, returns June 15 and will run through September 7 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Steven Young Amphitheater. This year boasts an amazing lineup with a “get out of your seat and dance” vibe and fun for the entire family. It’s festival-style seating, so be sure to bring blankets and chairs. Concert set-up begins at 5 p.m. edhtowncenter.com
Shine your dancing shoes for the Bistro 33 Dance Party concert series every third Saturday from 8-11 p.m., June through August (June 17, July 15 and August 19) at the El Dorado Hills Town Center’s Steven Young Amphitheater. Tickets are available at Bistro 33 in El Dorado Hills. bistro33edh.com
Food Truck Safari, presented by SactoMoFo and the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, features some of the best food trucks in the region the third Wednesday of every month from 5-8 p.m. Vendors change but often include Smokin Hot Pizza, Chando’s Tacos, An Honest Pie, Gameday Grill, Wandering Boba, Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen, The Sweet Spot Baking Company, and Smoothie Patrol. The Folsom Public Library and the Gallery at 48 Natoma are also open during the event. folsomzoofriends.org
The Harris Center has an exciting summer program, starting with the Tony Award-winning revival of Pippin. Don’t miss the national tour hitting the stage June 9-11; enjoy the Folsom Lake Symphony’s Festa Italiana from June 3-4; and be swept away by the Sacramento Ballet’s The Four Temperaments + The Seven Deadly Sins June 16-18. El Dorado Musical Theatre’s production of the Broadway hit Mary Poppins runs through May 14, and their production of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka runs from July 7-16. Keep an eye on the calendar for more exciting events coming throughout the summer months. harriscenter.net
De-stress this summer and learn the art of meditation at Art of Living in Folsom. Keep an eye on their calendar for upcoming programs and events, including this month’s Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Course from May 12-14. us.artofliving.org
The Venn Diagram of art and beer overlap at Rancho Cordova’s Brushes and Brews at American River Brewing Company on September 23 from 2-6 p.m. Enjoy the art exhibit and sale, along with great beer, food trucks and music. cordovacouncil.org
Mark your calendar for Folsom’s favorite night out, when Folsom LIVE bursts onto the stage(s) September 24 in Historic Folsom. Rock out with great live music on multiple stages, plus plenty of great local brews, wine and good food. folsomlive.com
5 GALLERIES TO VISIT
1 // American Visions Art Gallery, Folsom, avartgallery.com
2 // Bennett Gallery, El Dorado, historiceldorado.com/galleries.htm
3 // The Gallery at 48 Natoma, Folsom, facebook.com/thegalleryat48natoma
4 // Bank of America Gallery at Harris Center, Folsom, harriscenter.net
5 // Sutter Street Artists’ Gallery, Folsom, sutterstreetartists.net
Sutter Street Theatre has been entertaining Folsom for over 52 years and this summer season will be no exception; their upcoming Off Broadway series shows include Agatha Christie’s The Unexpected Guest from May 6-June 4, the Thornton Wilder classic Our Town from June 10-July 16, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvey in July; and Family Series shows like Jack and the Beanstalk, Madagascar, Jungle Book Kids, and Anne of Green Gables. sutterstreettheater.com
The Gallery at 48 Natoma continues its summer shows with It’s Story Time from May 19 through July 6, a surrealist, mixed media exhibit of paintings and prints by Susan Silvester with digital images by Vincent DiLeo; Wish You Were Here from July 14 through August 31, an exhibit of European travel paintings and sketch journals with watercolors by Barbara Kempe, photography by David Crosby, and drawings and sketchbooks by Phil McDonel; and Kid in the Candy Store from September 8 through November 2, a retrospective collection of ceramic sculptures by celebrated artist Camille Vandenberge. facebook.com/thegalleryat48natoma
IF YOU’RE A NIGHT OWL: Evening activities that are a hoot
LATE-NIGHT EATS FOR INSATIABLE INSOMNIACS
Wally’s Pizza Bar (wallyspizzabar.com) in Cameron Park has a late-night menu every night from 10-11:30 p.m. (which is a good thing because their pizza is the bomb); if you can handle some dancing with your food, Hacienda Del Rio‘s (hacdelrio.com) “DJ Night” has $3 tacos on the balcony every Friday and Saturday from 10:30 p.m. until close; Hop House (hophouseedh.com) serves food until 11 p.m. so you can dig into their Exception Burger (burger + egg + bacon = yes); Aji Japanese Bistro (aji-bistro.com) has Happy Hour food and drinks from 8:30 p.m. until close Tuesday-Sunday and all day Monday. La Garnacha is a Sacramento drunk-food institution open 24 hours: no website, no Facebook, just the best carne asada fries in town; Chita’s (chitasmexicangrill.com) is another late-night institution in Midtown for Mexican deliciousness, open until midnight on Thursday, and until 2:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday; when the rest of Sacramento is sleeping and you’re craving delicious food, Ink Eats and Drinks (inkeats.com) has got your back, open until 1 a.m. Sunday-Tuesday, 2 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday; Elixir is the kind of place you don’t know exists until you’re starving at 1 a.m. on a Tuesday—this dive bar specializes in burgers and wings and they’re open until 2 a.m., seven days a week. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (bjsrestaurants.com) is open until midnight Monday-Thursday and Sunday, and until 1 a.m.
Friday and Saturday; Blue Nami (bluenamisushi.com) is open until 10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, and until midnight Thursday-Saturday; and for the diehards: Buffalo Wild Wings (buffalowildwings.com) is open until 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, The Original Mels (originalmels.com) is open until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and, of course, Denny’s (dennys.com) and IHOP (ihop.com) are open 24 hours, seven days a week.
LATE-NIGHT MUSIC AND COOL HANGS
Enjoy Late Night, Date Night (historicfolsom.org/events-schedule) on the first Friday of every month from 5-9 p.m. in Historic Folsom where you can stroll Sutter Street and enjoy late-night merchants, live music, art and refreshments; El Dorado Saloon and Grill (eldoradosaloonandgrill.com) has live music every Friday and Saturday from 9:30 p.m. until 1
a.m.; Relish Burger Bar (relishburgerbar.com) has karaoke every Thursday from 8:30-11:30 p.m. with tasty burgers to boot; venerable late-night Folsom institution Powerhouse (powerhousepub.com) has live band karaoke every Tuesday night and live music and dancing every Friday and Saturday night, and they’re open until 2 a.m. every night of the week. In Sacramento, Shady Lady Saloon (shadyladybar.com) has live music most days starting at 9 p.m., and is open until 2 a.m.; there’s always great live music to be had at the Blue Lamp (bluelampsacramento.com) on weekends, as well as occasional weeknight shows; Harlow’s (harlows.com) promises great music with a huge variety of late-night live entertainment; The Hideaway Bar and Grill (facebook.com/sactohideaway) is the punk rock tiki dive bar of your late-night dreams with regular live music, and is open until 2 a.m. every day.
last Sunday of every month. If you avoid comedy clubs and hate undersized cocktail furniture, the Secret Comedy Show is your new friend. No venue, just a U-Haul and a twitter handle @movingvanshow—they’ll tweet the venue and the time, and through the magic of moving vans, comedy will appear before your eyes. Live on the edge, just like Aerosmith. Folsom Lake Bowl (flb365.com) has unlimited glow bowling on Friday and Saturday nights from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m. for $10 per person; and $10 unlimited bowling Monday and Tuesday nights from 9 p.m. until midnight; Rancho Cordova’s glow–in-the-dark Monster Mini Golf (monsterminigolf.com/rancho-cordova) is open until 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and is great fun for night owls of all ages.
IF YOU’RE A WATER BABY: Catch a wave and make a splashSacramento’s full of great riverside beaches. Relax or have a gentle paddle in the river at the popular Paradise Beach, a great downtown oasis for water lovers. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, bring along a floatie and take a float trip along a portion of the American River—it’s DIY so take safety precautions, travel with a group, hydrate, and slather up with sunscreen. Try starting from under Guy West Bridge (right by Sacramento State) and finish up at Paradise Beach, or take a longer trip past Paradise Beach to Sutter’s Landing (just past the I-80 overpass). It’s a popular spot during summer, so be sure to get there early to avoid crowds. Tip: Bring along a paddle to help steer you out of trouble or dead spots, and make sure you stash your valuables and dry clothes in a sealable waterproof bag.
Folsom Lake is your one-stop hub of water-based activity this summer, especially if you’re into boating, sailing, water-skiing, jet skiing and wakeboarding or whatever your chosen method of perambulating across the water; with 75 miles of shoreline, it’s great for paddling if you prefer things a little less boisterous; there’s plenty of secluded coves begging for water-borne exploration. And, of course, there’s great fishing to be had if you want to stay out of the water but remain water-adjacent; bass, trout and catfish are among the most popular catches at the lake. parks.ca.gov
Feel like seeing a little more of Sacramento’s riverways? There’s some great local boat tours to be had and summer is the perfect time to climb aboard. Hornblower Cruises in Old Sacramento offers one-hour historic river cruises, as well as a two-hour “Alive After Five” happy hour cruise; Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Memorial Day weekend cruises; Fourth of July cruises; and Gold Rush Days cruises over Labor Day weekend. facebook.com/hornblowersacramento
Looking for a change of scenery and perhaps not a fan of the summer beach crowds? Just looking to soak up some sun and read a good book? Try Gritsmill Recreation Area near Rancho Cordova for some secluded riverside relaxation.
Bring your little “fish” ages six and under (with parent/guardian) along to “Little Dippers” at the Folsom Aquatic Center, Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to noon, June 2 through August 4. Take advantage of this special time for kids to visit the activity pool and gain water confidence. And be sure to sign up for one of the “Aquatics Camps” in June and July for ages 8-12 where campers learn lifeguard duties, swim and first aid safety, and have lots of time to play in the pools. 916-355-8318
Rent a raft for yourself, or two for up to 10 people, and enjoy a self-guided float trip along the American River. Try River Rat Raft and Bike in Fair Oaks—they offer $5 shuttle rides back to River Rat every 30 minutes from 1-5 p.m. on weekends. river-rat.com
Steve Wallen Swim School has been teaching locals how to swim for over 35 years, and they’re not going to stop this summer. They specialize in teaching swimmers of all ages and abilities, so bring your kids, bring your teens, bring your parents, bring yourself and gain the confidence to stay afloat. They also have a brand-new indoor heated pool so you can learn year-round! wallenswim.com
If you’re looking for a chill hang this summer, try Lake Natoma. It’s picture-perfect for kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddling, especially if you’re a beginner (there’s a five-mile-per-hour speed limit for boats, so there’s no hectic water traffic), and there are multiple access points around the lake where rentals are available; try starting from Sacramento State Aquatic Center and rent your equipment there, or work your way down from Negro Bar. Or just hang out at one of the shallow beach access areas, perfect for families to splash about and relax. visitfolsom.com
It’s not summer without the sound of kids squealing in delight as they frolic in the local spray parks. Here’s a few for you to consider the next time you need a “kiddie cooldown”—John Kemp Commuity Park and Nisenan Community Park in Folsom; and Promontory Community Park in El Dorado Hills.
IF YOU’RE A KID (OR KID AT HEART): Make it a summer to remember
Cool off with the kids this summer at the Crocker Art Museum—they have a whole host of kid-friendly programs, like Sunday Playday, a monthly hands-on artmaking event for kids ages 4-6; Wee Wednesdays, a gallery-based art experience for kids ages 3-5 every Wednesday; and their monthly Kids and Company Gallery Adventures, a kid-friendly tour of the museum for kids ages 5+. crockerart.org
Live happily ever after at Fairytale Town this summer with loads of fun events for kids and families—like their Family Campouts in June, July and August; A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Crystal Ice Cream Fantasy on June 24; puppet shows on the first weekend of each month, June through August; Grandparents’ Day on September 10, and much more! fairytaletown.org
All aboard for awesome train rides this summer at the California State Railroad Museum. Take an Excursion Train Ride along the river in closed coach cars and a first-class observation car pulled by either a Granite Rock No. 10 steam locomotive or vintage diesel locomotives from the museum’s collection. californiarailroad.museum
Keep an eye out for monthly “Hands on History” days this summer at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park: a fun and interactive way for kids and families to connect with the past. Admission is free for kids 5 and under! suttersfort.org
Come out to the Sacramento Children’s Museum in Rancho Cordova and enjoy $5 Fridays with discounted admission all day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Perfect for kids up to 8 years old (big kids welcome, too). sackids.org
The library is the coolest place for kids in summertime—literally. It’s hot outside! The Folsom Public Library has some great ongoing programs for kids—there’s regular Storytime Sessions throughout the week for a variety of age groups; Toy Time on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon.; Legos at the Library on Saturdays from 2-4 p.m. for ages 5-12, Kids’
Movie Matinees on the first Saturday of every month at 1 p.m.; and much more! folsom.ca.us
Take your kids on a historical journey this summer with the Folsom Historical Society’s exciting upcoming exhibits at the Folsom History Museum. Home is Where the Heart Is: Vintage Quilt and Fashion Show is on display through June 4; Insider’s Peek runs from June 16 through September 3; Military Life opens September 16; and the Museum of Wonder and Delight’s Let’s Play! Childhood Treasures from the Toy Box runs through August 31. folsomhistoricalsociety.org
The Folsom Zoo is holding special story time events featuring zoo animals at Karen’s Bakery every second Tuesday of the month from 9:30-10:30 a.m., and at the Folsom Public Library every third Wednesday of the month from 3:30-4:30 p.m. folsomzoofriends.org
In addition to performances, Sutter Street Theatre offers a wide variety of classes in everything from voice and dance to adult acting and scene study, improv for kids and oil painting for all ages; and sign up now for their “Performing and Visual Arts” workshop from June 19-23 for ages 6-12 or 10-16. sutterstreetheatre.com
Get some exercise and have some crazy fun with the kids and family at Folsom Parks and Recreation’s annual Wacky Dash on August 5 at Rodeo Park. This is a family-friendly, two-mile obstacle course challenge with mud pits, waterslides, a foam tunnel, climbing wall, giant inflatables and much more. 916-355-7285
You want summer kids’ camps, Folsom Parks and Recreation has them! Running through June and July they’ve got a camp for every interest and activity you can think of: Zoo Camps (ages 4-7 and 12-15), Science Camps (age 6-12), Art Camps (ages 6-14), Lego Camps (ages 5-12), Intellibricks Camps (ages 5-15), Sports and Fitness Camps (ages 4-16), Dance and Theater Camps (ages 5-18), Tech Camps (ages 6-15) and Enrichment Camps (ages 4-16). There’s also Vacation Zone for ages 5-10 from May 30 to August 9, and Summer CAVE Camp for incoming sixth graders through outgoing eighth graders from May 30-August 4. 916-355-7285
Climb aboard this summer for great kid-friendly (and big-kid friendly) train rides. Next stop: Folsom Valley Railway, located in Folsom City Park (right by the zoo and the library). From June through August, the railway runs Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; through September, it runs Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. folsomvalleyrailway.com
IF YOU WANT TO GET AWAY WITHOUT GOING FAR AWAY: 5 summertime staycationsFOLSOM
Escape to a little piece of luxury at the Penthouse on Sutter overlooking Historic Folsom. The spacious modern loft boasts two master bedrooms with king beds, a full kitchen and front deck, as well as a rooftop patio with an outdoor fireplace and panoramic views, Wi-Fi, free parking and more. It’s perfect for entertaining a group or enjoying a quiet getaway with all the creature comforts. Located in the heart of Historic Folsom right across the street from Marly and Moo, where you can enjoy a casual brunch, lunch or dinner; whatever you do, be sure to hit them up during Happy Hour and sample their handcrafted cocktails, wine and extensive tap list. Spend the day kayaking nearby Lake Natoma (kayak rentals available at Sacramento State Aquatic Center); or ride and hike around Lake Natoma along the American River Bike Trail and see the jewel in Folsom’s crown up close. After you’ve built up an appetite and head back to Sutter Street, fine dining is less than a stone’s throw away from the Penthouse at the Sutter Street Steakhouse where the steaks will leave you saying “Ruth’s who?”
Penthouse on Sutter, 607 Sutter Street, Folsom, penthouseonsutter.com
Imagine getting away to a peaceful country farm with magnificent gardens and little chickens wandering about, and no TV…now stop imagining, because you really can do all of that at the Flower Farm Inn in Loomis. The farm itself dates back to 1905, and the Inn boasts a working citrus orchard, mature gardens and rolling lawns, plus a bed and breakfast, café, plant nursery, Casque Winery tasting room, silky chickens wandering the grounds, and all of the fresh air you can possibly breathe into your lungs. We 100-percent guarantee this isn’t a dream. The Casque tasting room is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., so that’s your getaway taken care of. But if for some reason you’re looking to do more than taste glorious wine and bask in your country-living retreat (why, we’re not sure, but okay), you’re only a short drive away from Auburn’s Foresthill Bridge, which offers both breathtaking views and excellent hiking; Clark’s Hole is also close by, a popular local swimming hole and worth the trek if you’re looking to cool off. All that hiking and swimming builds an appetite; for an unforgettable dining experience, make the quick trip to Source Global Tapas Restaurant in Granite Bay for truly delicious and unique cuisine sourced from local farms. When you return to the inn, make sure to set aside a little time for stargazing—yes, it’s so perfect here you can even see the stars.
Flower Farm Inn, 4150 Auburn-Folsom Road, Loomis, 916-652-4200, flowerfarminn.com
The first thing you’ll do at Eden Vale Inn is exhale. You’ll feel like you’re beautifully, perfectly isolated here among the rolling hills, far from all of civilization despite being only a 15-minute drive from Placerville. Set on beautiful farmland, Eden Vale is the perfect bed and breakfast for a romantic getaway, a platonic getaway, or a solo getaway…any kind of getaway you like. Between the gorgeously appointed rooms, beautiful grounds, the on-site spa (yes, spa) and the great food that’ll be served to you daily, honestly, there’s really no reason to leave. We wouldn’t blame you if you decided to quit your job and plead with the owners to let you live here. (We tried.) Here at Eden Vale, it’s just pure bliss, every day.
But if you’re one of those weird people who likes to “do” things when you’re on a mini-vacay, then definitely take the 40-minute drive over to Fair Play where you’ll find almost 20 wineries tucked away in a magical region we like to call El Dorado County’s Hobbiton; your quest is to enjoy all the fabulous award-winning wine, so do not take this trip lightly (and definitely take this quest with a designated driver). If you’re a gardening enthusiast, visit Master Gardeners of El Dorado’s pride and joy: Sherwood Demonstration Gardens, a collection of 16 immaculate demonstration gardens located behind Folsom Lake College-El Dorado in Placerville. Explore these marvels of sustainable gardening, from rose gardens and cottage gardens to Japanese, succulent, orchard and butterfly gardens and even a children’s garden—keep an eye out for educational classes and events. Make sure you stop by Allez! in Diamond Springs for a pre-tasting gourmet picnic lunch to go, or set aside an evening to dine in and savor their truly magnifique take on classic French cuisine. And then return to Eden Vale and exhale once more, because you are so incredibly relaxed. Enjoy your nama-stay.
Eden Vale Inn, 1780 Springvale Road, Placerville, 530-621-0901, edenvaleinn.com
When you’re looking for a wine-based getaway, there’s only one place to stay, and that’s on a vineyard. Not the kind of stay where you sleep in your car until they quietly ask you leave, but a proper planned stay in a room like a grown-up. For your magical winery getaway, look no further than the new Grand Reserve Inn, situated on 40 acres of the Wilderotter Vineyard in picturesque Plymouth, in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley wine country. You will luxuriate at this unique Tuscany-inspired bed and breakfast in a spacious room with a private veranda where you can sip champagne and enjoy a gourmet breakfast while gazing out over the beautiful vineyards. While you’re gazing, warm up that sipping arm because the wineries are waiting. With over 20 wineries to enjoy and savor throughout the region, you’ll have your work cut out for you; so pace yourself and be sure to bring a designated driver along for the ride. Winery-wise: Make sure you start with Wilderotter Vineyard (I mean, it’s right there, how could you not?). Wilderotter is a hidden gem with a great array of high-quality wines (and delectable cheese pairings). For fine dining, look no further than Taste in Plymouth for the ultimate in Amador wine country dining…and be sure to go across the street to Amador Vintage Market and buy a bag (or five) of homemade truffle potato chips. You can thank us later. (They double as excellent currency for your designated driver).
Grand Reserve Inn, 19890 Shenandoah School Road, Plymouth, 209-245-5466, grandreserveinn.com
Your “getaway” is waiting just outside Downtown Sacramento at The Greens Hotel in the up-and-coming Boulevard District. This luxury boutique has a colorful ’60s motel vibe from the outside, but inside it’s completely updated and ultramodern, offering all the creature comforts you need for your perfect mini-vacation away from home. There’s a fab pool area with an enclosed patio, so chances are you’re not going to spend a whole lot of time in your room during this summer retreat. Bonus: The Greens Hotel is right next door to some of Sacramento’s best Southern food at Mama Kim Eats, and you do not want to miss out on their Sunday brunch (smoked pork, greens and cheddar grits…just sayin’). Since you’re minutes away from Downtown and Old Sacramento, you can just hop on nearby ligh trail and see what’s happening. Head to the brand-new Golden 1 Center for a concert, or wander across the beautiful Tower Bridge and take in a River Cats game on a balmy summer night; or, head a little further out to Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg for a day of wine tasting from the 14 wineries housed in this picturesque location (don’t miss their Food Truck Picnics every Sunday from 1-4 p.m.).
The Greens Hotel, 1700 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, 916-921-1736, thegreenshotel.com