The capital city of California is actually only the fifth largest in the state. It is a culturally diverse city, with a population of 452,000 people. It is a city well known for its high quality educational options, including California State University, Sacramento, and the very well regarded UC Davis Medical Center research hospital. Sacramento State is a large school, and draws more than 28,000 students to the city every year. The UC Davis Medical Center is also part of the University of California system, and services as the primary referral center for more than 7 million Californians. As the capital city, the State of California is the most important local employer.
Sacramento doesn't have a solid peak apartment-hunting season. However, looking during the winter months probably isn't going to yield as many high-quality options as looking during the summer. If you can avoid the apartment hunt between December and March, you'll probably have more luck.
When you're dealing with a Sacramento landlord, try to remember that you're completing what is essentially a business transaction. It is easy to get emotional when housing is involved, but the act of signing a rental agreement is a business one. If you come across as honest and professional, you greatly increase your chances of getting the deal done.
For a California city, Sacramento has exceptional access to public transportation. Regional Transit operates a bus service throughout the city, as well as a light rail system. There are also good connections to other bus systems that can take throughout the surrounding communities. Bicycle is a great way to travel here as well. The access to bike lanes, free parking, and the good weather make the city a cyclist's paradise.
The Capitol building and surrounding park is one of the most scenic attractions in Sacramento. Visiting the old town is a great way to see what Sacramento was like when it was jus starting to flourish, with lots of shopping and dining within an easy walk. The best bars tend to be downtown. For cheap drinks and a college-aged crowd, try the Press Club.