Sometimes sipping a cold beer feels great. Sometimes sipping 18 cold beers feels better. Better than that? Joining hundreds of beer fans on the outfield of the Sacramento River Cats' home turf to sample beers from nearly 70 breweries while listening to live music. A joint effort of Raley Field and the Northern California Brewer’s Guild, the 2012 Raley Field Brewfest distills the thrills of a baseball game without the baseball or rabid mascots. Now in its sixth year, the sprawling celebration covers the playing field's quarter-mile semicircle with local craft-brew vendors, including Auburn Alehouse and Knee Deep Brewing Co., touting their frosty, frothy libations. Near second base, live bands bat good-time tunes into the air as hops and barley funnel into thankful gullets. VIPS gain daylight, vampire-free drinking privileges and bubbly bragging rights with early access and eight beers more than standard tickets.
In the last 10 years, Picture It On Canvas's founder and CEO Bob McKeon has applied more than three decades of software-sales-management experience to create six Internet-based companies. With Picture It On Canvas now his primary focus, McKeon strives to appease all clients with approachable customer service and a no-questions-asked return policy. Picture It On Canvas takes customer-uploaded photographs and prints them on archival-quality material such as canvas, metal, and hand-chiseled slate, forging a durable keepsake for customers to hang on their walls or dangle from the grills of their automobiles. Buyers can also blend several images into a collage or divide one photograph into four color schemes with a kaleidoscopic piece of pop art.
Since 1972, Exotic Plants has encouraged locals to improve their interior air and go green with potted plants. The business stocks a range of low-maintenance plants that thrive indoors, including palms, succulents, cacti, and evergreen chia heads. Since other plants, such as orchids and bonsais, can require a bit more effort, the store holds plant-care workshops and even makes house and office calls to keep plants well maintained. The staff helps indecisive owners select plants during design consultations, and the store offers a selection of plants and blooms for short-term event rental. As Exotic Plants also carries bright pots and natural fertilizer made with Icelandic sea kelp, customers can grab everything they need to help their leafy, spiky, and persnickety friends flourish.
First known as the Rochester Royals, the Sacramento Kings' lineage dates back to the NBA's first seasons in the 1940s. They claimed the league title in 1951 and have made more than two dozen postseason appearances since, including a stretch from 1999 to 2006 in which they reached the playoffs every year. As a franchise, the Kings had several homes until the '85–'86 season, when they finally moved from Kansas City to Sacramento after years of slipping all over the court in their wet snow boots.
Home to a vast inventory of beautifully crafted earthenware, Panama Pottery provides vessel-seeking visitors with a stunning spectrum of handmade local treasures and glazed, technicolored imports. Peruse the historic studio space and score an 18-inch terra-cotta fluted leg bowl ($21), sculpted by hand on the premises. Or, save yourself a plane trip and snatch up an authentic and colorful Chinese drip pot ($60 for 20”x16”), perfect for containing falling water, plants, or a smaller Chinese drip pot ($10 for 8”x9”). Today’s Groupon can also be applied to a clay or mosaic class, where artists of all abilities can learn under one of Panama’s ceramic specialists. Guests who score today’s deal will also receive a complimentary bag of potting soil, which allows plants to grow better than encasing them in amber.
Furniture USA's warehouse of home furnishings and décor hosts myriad chairs, beds, sofas, and other living essentials in a variety of styles and finishes. Queen-size bedding sets ($89.94–$289.94) envelope mattresses in a variety of patterns and cozy fabrics, from ornate, baroque floral patterns to bold modern prints of Mark McGwire's face. Spruce up living spaces with an Abbey vintage sofa ($369.94)—sporting an embellished fabric upholstery—or an ornate Beaumont saddle rug ($119.94). A selection of chairs, lamps, and side tables helps populate empty rooms or create impromptu obstacle courses.