Our stay at The Citizen Hotel was provided in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are my own.
What a weird title, huh? Pandemic staycation? What a time to be alive. When all this *gestures wildly* went down, Tyler and I knew we weren’t going to be able to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary the way we had planned––at a tropical locale, on the beach, drink in hand––we knew we had to realign our expectations.
Staying local was inevitable but we didn’t let that get us down. With exactly 24 hours away, we explored, we ate, we drank––in a pandemic-friendly and responsible way, of course––all that Sacramento had to offer. I’ve outlined all of the highlights of our anniversary staycation below, including where to stay, where to shop, where to eat, and more. Also, be sure to check out our Instagram Stories of our whole trip!
Where To Stay: The Citizen Sacramento
The Citizen Hotel is located in downtown Sacramento, directly across from Cesar Chavez Park. The decor is inspired by the 20th century political scene, which was so fun considering our stay was mid-election season and just weeks before the presidential election.
We arrived before check-in time and we’re thrilled that our room was ready for us. Check in was seamless and we were so thankful the hotel offered valet services since parking can be tricky downtown. We knew we were only going to be there for 24 hours and would walk everywhere so it was a no brainer.
We stayed in the junior suite on the 12th floor which offered sweeping views of Sacramento. When we walked in the room we were struck by how beautiful it was. The striped walls were a statement that I absolutely love. The room was spacious; we never felt like we were on top of each other like we have in other hotel rooms. Maybe that was because we didn’t have two little boys running around like crazy people, maybe not, whose to say. Ha! The hotel theme carried through as the room was decorated with politically influenced art and accessories. We really loved every detail.
The hotel is home to Grange Restaurant which, sadly, was not open yet after COVID restrictions were lifted. We were bummed because so many of you said to try it when I asked for recommendations on Instagram. We will just have to go back soon. It has since reopened so if you stay at The Citizen, you’ll definitely have to try Grange and report back!
Where To Eat
Where to eat was a top priority for us (ok, mostly me). Not having been “out” much, I knew we wanted to try restaurants that were taking precautions and had delicious food. Let me take you on a little downtown Sacramento food tour!
Less than a block away, adjacent to Cesar Chavez Park, is a fun Mexican restaurant. After putting our stuff in our room, we walked over and enjoyed a late lunch with margaritas, of course. The food wasn’t our favorite but the novelty of being out, enjoying each other’s company with delicious drinks more than made up for it.
On many of your recommendations on Instagram, we made a reservation at Mulvaney’s B&L and ohmygoodness, we were not disappointed.
We we were seated on the patio and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Perhaps our favorite detail of the evening was the custom message printed on our menus, “Happy 10th Anniversary!” We loved it so much.
The food was definitely the highlight. Everything we ordered was so delicious and the service was top-notch. We will definitely be back!
We had a bit of a time constraint the next morning so we walked a few blocks to Solomon’s. It has such a fun 80s vibe and the fresh bagels were delicious.
Our final stop on the walk back to the hotel to check out, Temple Coffee. Just as delicious as promised!
What To Do
Prior to heading to the hotel, we walked around Old Town for awhile. It was just before Halloween so we browsed Evangelines, a famous three-story costume shop.
I love Old Town, though it is a touristy spot. We had a lot of fun just wandering and reminiscing about all the times we had been there before (in normal times, ha!).
Plant Daddy Co.
I am obsessed with how adorable Plant Daddy is. Described on their website as “the greenest and gayest plant shop in Sacramento, CA” you know you’re in for a treat.
I took home this beautiful Monstera plant baby. I can’t wait to go back!
Mural Tour: Wide Open Walls
This COVID-friendly activity is perfect to stay outdoors and get some exercise. Wide Open Walls is an art for all movement. It is so moving to see art accessible to so many people. It’s easy to plan your own walking tour, download the 2020 map here.
I’ve been wanting to check out this adorable gift store in person for years now. It’s just as adorable as their Instagram shows. Not local? They have an online shop too!
Pandemic Staycation Lessons Learned
There were a few times when I stopped and realized just how different the world and social norms are right now. We put on our masks every time our server came to our table. I didn’t ask anyone to take our photo for fear that touching another person’s phone would be out of their comfort zone. We didn’t ride the elevator with anyone else. We used a lot of hand sanitizer.
The Citizen and everywhere we visited did such a great job of making us feel safe. I so appreciate businesses that are taking the time to mitigate risks and still provide services during this pandemic.
I know we’re all learning to navigate this “new normal” (is anyone else sick of that phrase yet?) and we all have varying levels of comfortability. To be honest, if this trip had been planned even a few weeks later I might not have felt comfortable because of the rising COVID case count. I am glad we got to go when we did and it felt nice to celebrate a happy milestone in this chaotic year. And for fun, here’s a photo from ten years ago, when these young, well-rested kids got married.