Photos: Nicolette Lovell

A Day In The Bridge District

Hello sunshine! Is it just us, or did summer suddenly appear overnight? Such is life in Sacramento. Whether it’s spring or summer, or this beautifully brief sweet spot right in between, there’s no arguing the river city comes to life in the warmer months. Our flourishing city has no shortage of farmers markets, community gatherings, and outdoorsy activities with which to fill our weekends.

But perhaps your annual spring/summer itinerary needs a refresh. Well, there’s a whole new experience entering the scene, and it’s got all the things Sacramento loves most: yoga, a pop-up makers’ shop, artisanal pizza, craft beer, cocktails, and gorgeous views. It’s ‘The Best Day,’ and it’s pretty damn good.

The Best Day is a rotating experience that will occupy different spaces in The Bridge District, the burgeoning riverside neighborhood in West Sacramento just across the bridge from Downtown. The inaugural event we attended took place within the courtyard of 980 Central, a stylish new apartment complex; it was an incredibly refreshing experience that took us on a tour of all that the The Bridge District (TBD) has to offer. Allow us to walk, bike, and vinyasa flow you through it.

JUMP Across Town

Getting there is easy; it’s just a hop, skip, and a JUMP over the Tower Bridge….wink…. we took a JUMP Bike, is what we’re saying. JUMP bikes are, of course, those red, electric pedal-assisted bikes you’ve likely seen around town. We checked out a bike in Downtown’s Southside Park and in minutes we were in TBD. If it’s your first time riding a JUMP bike, mind the gear shifts. Just a quick tip in case you’re going so slowly despite pedaling furiously! (Not that we did that…) Once you find the right gear and resistance, JUMPing is a breeze. Also, did you notice JUMP Bike just released newer bikes all over the city? If you haven’t taken one recently, you’re going to love the upgrades, including a new phone holder!

Crossing the Tower Bridge feels so cinematic, and not just in a Ladybird kind of way. In the few minutes you’re traversing the golden portal, you are the main character of your own indie film: sun dappling your face, the cool (delta) breeze caressing your hair…time seems to slow down as you soak in the moment. Before the scene can cut to a flashback though, you’ve already crossed over to the other side. Back to reality. The Best reality, that is.

Brake for Breakfast

Once you’ve had your cinematic moment and crossed over, it’s a quick left to get to TBD. We swerved right though, because first: avocado toast. With a 10am yoga start time we knew we wanted to eat a little something first, lest our forward fold turn into a full-on faint. We pulled up to West Side Cafe to grab a quick iced oak milk latte and toast. The cafe is bright, the staff is friendly and yes, you heard that right—they have oat milk!

(City of) Tree-Pose on the Waterfront

We find that social festivities, especially those of the indulgent food and bev variety, pack a more nuanced punch when prefaced with a little exercise. So we biked over to the Mill Pier to partake in Yoga on the Pier, a (free!) new series hosted by The Bridge District.

As it turns out, the outdoor yoga experience does many things better than your regular four-walled practice: all things air-related (circulation, scents, the tactile delight of a breeze), sounds (birds! water!), and spaaaace. We loved that in some poses, the point they ask you to “focus on” could be anything from a tree, to a boat docked in the middle of the river, to the aesthetic “WEST” sign by artist, Janet Zweig. It sure beats a crack in a studio mirror! The practice, facilitated by Yoga Seed Collective, felt like it was appropriate for all levels, whether it’s your first downward dog, or your hundredth. It was lovely given the easy-going vibe of the morning.

Shop Till You (and the Beat) Drop

Next stop: The Best Day pop-up shop! A one-minute JUMP ride later and we’d arrived at 980 Central to meet up with some friends and explore the boutique pop-up hosted by The Bridge District. On our way in, we scooped up some delectable drinks from Bar Baby Co, a charming mobile bar serving seasonal, beautifully bright libations (garnished with flower petals). From there, we headed into the shopping event, which was nestled festively in the courtyard of the stylish residence, and included artisanal wares from Witt & Lore ceramics and jewelry, Ship Shape fiber art designs, and Propagate plants. Upbeat, ambient tunes from DJ Cutty helped us hit our shopping groove.

The micro-size of the pop-up was not just adorable, but wonderfully digestible. During a recent trip to the San Francisco makers’ blitz that is the Renegade Craft Fair, my date called me out for barely paying attention to him as I weaved frantically through the aisles. “I was overwhelmed!” I admitted. Do not underestimate the power of a sensory overload, friends. This pop-up event, however, provided just enough stimulation for highly sensitive persons.

The thoughtful set-up also allowed us to chat up the vendors in a more meaningful way. For example, we learned a very indulgent snack hack from Whitney from Wit and Lore (um, homemade whipped cream?? Yes, please!). It’s the kind of delightfully meandering conversation you’ll only find amidst an easy-going weekend activity.

Pizza, People-Watching, and Pilsners

Okay, I don’t care for pilsners, but IPA’s are not alliterative. I digress! We walked over to Drake’s: The BARN for some pizza from PizzaSmith, which was a total treat. Okay but first, like, what is Drake’s again? Are those community tables Drake’s? Is Drake’s just the bar area over there? Is PizzaSmith considered Drake’s? Are these dogs all named Drake? So confused. Luckily, the host cleared it all up in one sentence. “Drake’s: The BARN is this whole gathering area.” Phew, okay. Back to the pizza.

We dined at PizzaSmith (within Drake’s: The BARN), and ordered two classic pies and one wild card, which is a pretty damn good strategy, we must say: one plain cheese, one pepperoni, and the Eustace vegan pizza but with real cheese (shrug!). The latter was delightfully garlicky and the former hit the spot in that elevated-take-on-a-classic sort of way. After toasting the perfect capsule of a day, we soaked in the buzz of the brewery and the good vibes of the city’s not-so-underdog-anymore west side.

The Bridge District is a welcome addition to the Sacramento scene. With that rare combo of river-and-cityscape views, art installations dotting the River Walk, and opportunities to eat and drink all the farm-to-fork things, it’s the best way to breathe new life into your summer outings. Keep up with The Bridge District for upcoming events with all new vendors, eats, and activities.


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