Tag Archives: California

Sacramento, CA

Of Interest: downtown Sacramento, old Sacramento

Lodging: yes

Tourist Office: no

There are two hotels close to Sacramento Station, but the city makes it a little hard to walk there. The hotels are in front of the station to the right, but to cross the street in front of station, you have to go left from the station. In fact, to get to those hotels, you have to cross the street three times. You have to cross the street to the left of the station then cross the street in front of the station then cross the street that is to left of the station again (this time going right). Are you lost yet? You need to cross the street in the crosswalk because cars drive on and off the highway on this street, and you need the lights AND the crosswalk to keep from dying horribly.

(In California, cars are required to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. This doesn’t actually help pedestrians since crosswalks are often badly placed. Remember you must have [indirectly] killed at least one small animal on any significant trip to get any respect.)

Once you have crossed the street, just walk along the street that runs in front of the station until you see the first one, a motel. In back of that is a Denny’s and in back of that is a Holiday Inn.

Luckily, the hotels.com page for Sacramento is accurate as long as you can find the link to the Sacramento Amtrak station under the landmarks list. (They are getting better. Near the Holiday Inn, there is an underpass to Old Sacramento (see picture). There are some historic buildings and a railway museum here.

Walking left from the station will take you downtown which also has its fair share of historic buildings, although this area is further away from the station than Old Sacramento. There is a mall right next to the station. You will see it during the twenty minutes you spend crossing the street.

Oh, one of Sacramento’s light rail lines stops at the station. No one knows where it goes. I know because somebody asked. The cars are empty. (Gee I wonder why.)

Sacramento is the last stop for most Capitol Corridor trains. It is three hours from San Jose and two hours from Berkeley. The route is beautiful and environmentally friendly too. There is one Capitol Corridor train daily to and from Auburn which is about an hour away. Also the California Zephyr (to Reno, Salt Lake City, Denver, and Chicago) and the Coast Starlight also stop here daily. Both these trains also cover the Capitol Corridor route.

The San Joaquin has twice daily service to and from Stockton (an hour away) and Bakersfield (three and a half hours) with bus connections to Los Angeles.


More info on Thanksgiving trains

Justin Nelson gives some information about train schedules over the holidays on his blog “Riding in Riverside“. I checked, and he is right. Each Metrolink line is running its own schedule for both Thanksgiving and New Year’s. No Metrolink trains will run on Christmas. No extra trains are being run today. Special promotions are in effect for Thanksgiving weekend. For example, round trip tickets are good for the whole weekend.

Metrolink monthly passes will only be accepted by the Pacific Surfliner on Friday. The Surfliner will run on a weekend schedule all holidays as will the Capitol Corridor. The Capitol Corridor is running an extra train to San Jose today using CalTrain equipment.

After Thanksgiving, Santa will be visiting Metrolink Stations on weekends from now until Christmas.

What to eat near LA’s Metro

The Source is the blog of the LA Metro. Yesterday Fred Camino published a post about eating near the Gold Line. It is an excellent post. Every light rail line should have something similar.

Emeryville, California

  • Hotels: Yes, expensive
  • Of Interest: not much
  • Safe at night: ?

The first hour out of the Emeryville station going north is stunning.  However, the area around the station is not.  The Emeryville Amtrak station is the main station serving San Francisco with buses too and from that city.  However, it is faster to take the BART to the nearest station and then take the bus.

I think the station is next to an interstate interchange.  There are several cookie cutter hotels within walking distance, although the walk may not be comfortable at night.  Also, because of the large scale of the parking lots, a walk from one end of the hotel strip to the other is probably quite a hike.  This area is accessible by walking across the tracks behind the station. At the time that I visited, most of the hotels were very expensive.  I just did a search on the Amtrak site, and it looks like hotel prices have come down significantly.

I was leaving early in the morning, and the only restaurant open for business was a Subway. It looks like the station is surrounded by offices.  Where do the people who work there eat?