15 Sacramento Nicknames and the History Behind Them

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Tall glass buildings near green trees and an electrical pole on a clear blue day
Sacramento's lush landscapes and urban setting contributed to some of its nicknames

Sacramento might be California's capital, but not many people know much about it, like the state's world-famous tech capital, the San Francisco Bay Area. One of the best ways to get to know Sacramento better is by learning about the nicknames that have been attributed to it over the years.

The capital city may be officially dubbed The City of Trees, but there are many other Sacramento nicknames worth knowing. Keep reading to find a title that you think best suits this part of California!

15 Nicknames for Sacramento

A dirt road with grass in between rows of trees with blooming white flowers
Sacramento supplies around 80% of almonds in the US

The Almond Capital of the World

Not many people know that the Almond Capital of the World is a nickname for Sacramento. According to sources, this name isn't unfounded, with up to 80% of the world's almonds coming from California, including the area around Sacramento.

However, this isn't a ubiquitous title; it even surprises locals. So, only expect to find it in articles and as an answer in the occasional trivia game.

Camellia City

Since 1852, Sacramento has been known for its camellia flowers. This reputation grew even more by 1910 when a local campaign was started to make Sacramento not just California's capital but the Camellia Capital as well.

This nickname eventually morphed into Camellia City. Since it's even Sacramento's official flower, you can expect to find this nickname on tourism pamphlets and souvenirs.

A white building with a dome top in the middle surrounded by green trees and blue sky
Capital City is one of the Sacramento nicknames due to the California State Capitol

The Capital City

It might surprise you that, despite the fact that Sacramento is California's sixth-largest city, it's still the state capital. As a result, the area has occasionally been referred to as The Capital City due to housing the California State Capitol, where California's government decides local legislation.

Although it's not a nickname that's used often in day-to-day conversations, you can find Sacramento referred to by this nickname in numerous articles and historical texts.

A water fountain in the middle of a lake surrounded by green trees and blue sky
Sacramento has been known as The City of Trees since 1855

The City of Trees

Sacramento was first referenced as The City of Trees in 1855. However, it's likely that the city was still known for its plant life in the 1830s when John Sutter first founded the area.

Some of the trees in Sacramento were naturally grown, while others were planted by some of the city's earliest residents who wanted shade while mining for gold in the 19th century. Today, this moniker is one Sacramento continues to embrace, and it regularly appears in articles about the city's history and culture.

Cow Town

There are a few theories as to why Sacramento is called Cow Town. One of the most well-known times it was used dates back to 2002. The head coach of the LA Lakers basketball team called Sacramento a Cow Town before a game against the Sacramento Kings.

Others like to cite Sacramento's early years as a mostly agricultural area as the origin of the name. Today, this moniker is still used on souvenirs and in articles, but with less regularity than it once was. That's partly because many locals are unsure where the name comes from!

Farm-to-Fork Capital

In and around Sacramento, you can find 1.5 million acres of farmland. Since agriculture is such a big part of the local economy, the name Farm-to-Fork Capital was created around 2012 when Sacramento began to embrace its fresh, locally sourced food. Today, the moniker is most often associated with Sacramento's restaurants and food-related events.

Sandra Foyt/Shutterstock.com
Colorful adjacent buildings with balconies near a paved open area on a nice day
Sacramento played an important role in the California Gold Rush

Gold Rush City

Having been settled in the mid-1800s when an influx of hopeful prospectors came to the area, it is no surprise that Sacramento became known as a Gold Rush City.

The gold rush in California itself started in the Sacramento area when a few pieces of gold were found in the region. If you visit Sacramento today, you can still see remnants of this time in history.

White riverboats moored near coastal establishments and autumn trees
Sacramento has been called The River City since the 1990s by locals

The River City

Thanks to the presence of the Sacramento River, which is also one of the famous landmarks in Sacramento, California's capital is sometimes referred to as The River City.

Though it's hard to know for sure when this moniker started circulating, it's been in use by locals since at least the 1990s. Though you might find this title on some souvenir items, especially in locations near the water, it's most often used in texts or event names.


Like many California nicknames, "Sac" is a shortened version of Sacramento. The exact origin of this moniker is unknown, but it quickly gained popularity, being used to refer to the local university, airport, and even the county on official websites. Additionally, residents, especially younger generations, often use "Sac" as a colloquial and informal way to refer to their city.


Sacratomato is a play on words combining the word tomato with the city's name. This title was created because tomatoes are bountiful in this part of California, leading to a booming canning industry.

However, don't expect to hear this nickname come up in conversation much. Locals really only use the word to refer to the local Sacratomato Week, which celebrates local restaurants and farmers.

Aerial shot of a city with a road and tall and short buildings on a sunny day
In contrast with New York City's The Big Apple, Sacramento's called The Big Tomato

The Big Tomato

California's Central Valley is highly fertile, causing numerous farms to crop up in the area over the years. Tomatoes were, and continue to be, a particularly popular crop among local farmers, leading to the creation of the Sacramento name The Big Tomato since many of these tomatoes were grown and later canned in the city.

The name also plays on words from the well-known NYC nickname, The Big Apple. However, don't expect to hear this nickname used in day-to-day conversations. It's typically only found on novelty souvenir items and in the occasional blog post or magazine article on Sacramento.


Sactown is one of the most commonly used Sacramento nicknames among locals. The moniker uses the city's name, which derives from the Sacramento American River, and gives it a more contemporary twist.

No one knows for sure who first coined the term, but it's been circulating for decades. So, you can expect to hear the name in conversations and see it printed on souvenirs and in local news articles and businesses.

One of the Sacramento nicknames is "The Mento"
Sacramento is also called The Mento

The Mento

Sacramento's nickname, the Mento, is a shortened version of the city's name. The exact date the term was coined is unknown, but it's gained some traction over the years, becoming a title most locals are familiar with.

However, though the city's residents know about the name, it's not a very popular one. Most people from the area prefer to call the town Sac or Sactown, so you won't find it used much in literature or on souvenirs.


No one is quite sure who coined the nickname Sacto, but it's not hard to guess how it originated. This particular moniker likely started among locals as a shortened version of Sacramento.

While not one of the most popular nicknames among locals, it's gained some traction over the years, appearing on websites, in articles, and the occasional novelty item.

Ducks by the riverside with the city skyline in the background
Since 1947, Sacramento's local phone numbers start with 916

The 916

The origin of Sacramento's moniker as the 916 is simple if you've ever looked at a local phone number. Since 1947, virtually all phone numbers in the city's metropolitan area have been preceded by this number combination.

This nickname is particularly popular among residents, so it's often used on fliers, event calendars, and in local articles. You can also find it on souvenir items for a subtle nod to the city.

In Summary

Sacramento has a lot to offer, from its diverse culture to its fascinating history. All of this is reflected in the area's nicknames. Some, like Sactown, are commonly used by locals, while others, like Farm-to-Fork Capital, are a bit more obscure.

Hopefully, this list has helped you get to know California's capital city a little better. You might have even found a Sacramento nickname or two you'd like to try out for yourself on your next visit to this city!

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Written by Gabrielle T

ggtraveler1213 FORMER WRITER Gabrielle loves all things travel and culture. She is originally from the USA, but she has lived in Italy for over a decade. She's always ready to pack her bags, grab her passport, and head out on an adventure!

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