Try downtown Sacramento (without a car)

Take the train and enjoy the capital city's walking-friendly center
Kate Washington

EAT

Ambrosia Café This relaxed spot (which composts kitchen waste and uses local products) serves from-scratch sandwiches and treats. Pick a seat overlooking Cathedral Square - it's about as European as Sacramento gets. INFO: $; 1030 K St.; 916/444-8129.

Ella Dining Room and Bar Ella aims to revive the downtown dining scene with communal tables and dishes like ceviche mixto or roasted salmon. INFO: $$$$; closed Sun; 1131 K St.; 916/443-3772.

MAKE IT AN OVERNIGHT

Sheraton rescued the historic Public Market Building, designed by Julia Morgan, from boarded-up obscurity. The Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel (from $139; 800/325-3535) boasts high style and the comfiest beds in town. From its location at 12th and J Streets, downtown's attractions and midtown's shopping district are just a quick walk away.

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