California statewide sales tax is 7.75% on all goods except food items. It is not included in the prices listed on merchandise but will be added at the cash register.
Tips in restaurants are not included and you are free to leave whatever you want. Usually you leave between 12 and 15%. In a more expensive restaurant or if the service is exceptional you may leave 20% of the bill.
Remember that in the US one can take left-overs in a box. It's perfectly appropriate and many waiters will suggest it. If they don't offer, ask for a box (nobody says 'doggy bag' anymore).
The Sacramento Bee is the local newspaper. If you are just visiting Sacramento, it's a great guide to major events and tourist attractions. www.sacbee.com
The California state fair at Cal Expo takes place every year for 2 weeks and ends on Labor Day week-end (first week-end in September).