The Best Things to do in Sacramento’s Oak Park
May 19, 2023

The Best Things to do in Sacramento’s Oak Park

Just minutes from downtown Sacramento, Oak Park is a tree-lined area known for its rich history and strong sense of community. One of the city’s oldest residential suburbs, Oak Park retains its historical charm. It was the terminus of Sacramento’s streetcar line, anchored by what is now McClatchy Park — once home to an amusement park, a zoo and a ballpark. Fast forward a hundred years and the area is still brimming with activity. The central Broadway corridor is its commercial heart, with indie shops, restaurants and art galleries. The surrounding area is a mix of historic homes and new construction, which attracts a younger crowd who want to be in the center of it all.


Oak Park can be roughly divided into two sections: Central Oak Park, where McClatchy Park is located, and North Oak Park, which includes the Broadway corridor. Despite its revitalization, Oak Park has managed to retain its strong sense of community and close-knit neighborhoods, as evidenced by the many cultural events and festivals that take place throughout the year. Following are some of the best things to do in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood.


Celebrate Cultural History

Photo courtesy Sacramento Black Book Fair

By the mid-20th century, Oak Park was a predominantly African-American community. That legacy still lives on today through many events that honor that history, which include black book fairs, black film festivals, speaker series, Juneteenth celebrations and much more!

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Browse an Art Gallery

Oak Park has several independent art galleries, including the Brickhouse Gallery & Art Complex, which showcases the work of African-American and other artists and hosts live music and lectures. Another nearby gallery is Patris Studio, which holds drawing and painting classes in addition to its exhibition of established and emerging artists.


Check out a Retro Theater

Photo courtesy Cinema Treasures

Oak Park is home to the Guild Theater, one of the oldest theaters in the Sacramento area, having opened its doors in 1915. Today, the theater hosts film, lectures, plays, concerts, comedy and other community events.


Go Shopping

Photo courtesy Rosen

Oak Park has always been a shopping destination, and its commercial legacy lives on today. The jewel of the neighborhood is Underground Books, an indie book shop that specializes in African-American books and authors, and also hosts lectures and readings. Indie shops along Broadway include Strapping Store, which sells gag gifts and novelty items; the Plant Foundry, which sells every type of plant imaginable, as well as garden accessories; and DISPLAY: California, which features the work of local makers. Another cool shop is Rosen, a curated boutique that offers vintage clothing and home goods.

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Grab a Bite to Eat

Photo courtesy La Venadita

Oak Park has rich culinary offerings, ranging from hip cafes to old-school soul eateries. Some spots to consider are La Venadita, which specializes in creative tacos; Oak Park Brewing Company, which has craft beer and a pub-style menu; Slim & Husky’s, which serves pizza and beer; and The Butterscotch Den, specializing in grill-your-own steaks and craft cocktails. Want a bite to go? Head to Faria Bakery for croissants, bread and sandwiches, or Conscious Creamery for dairy-free, vegan gelato. Nearby KC Kombucha offers the fermented beverage in a range of flavors.


 Meet the Locals

Photo courtesy Oak Park Business Association

The sense of community is strong in Oak Park, and the neighborhood has no shortage of events. Held May to December, First Fridays features live music, food trucks, art, and local makers. The Oak Park Business District hosts walking tours that cover the history of the neighborhood over the decades. Esther’s Park plays host to a variety of community events, including “Self-Care Sundays,” with yoga and music, comedy acts,  poetry readings and movie nights.  


Call Oak Park Home

After spending a day exploring Oak Park, you may want to consider laying down roots there. Luckily, housing options run the gamut, meeting every need and price point. Homes for sale include historic Victorians built during the neighborhood’s heyday, as well as quaint bungalows and sleek new lofts and townhomes. Search homes for sale in Oak Park.


Category Neighborhood Guides, Sacramento

Elizabeth Penney

Elizabeth Penney is a content writer for Lyon Real Estate and the Lyon Local blog. A Sacramento native with a marketing background, she shares her insider knowledge on restaurants, attractions and outdoor activities throughout the greater Sacramento area and beyond.