Let's face it, the west sac strip (w capitol ave) isn't exactly the french riviera. Since the city gov. inexplicably tried to 'revitalize' the area by forcing every business to scrap their historical 1950's era neon signage (are they insane?), there's even less reason to go there unless you're homeless and looking to live in a motel, or visiting and looking to stay as cheap as possible.
My fiancee and I were in town for a night and dutifully went motel to motel looking for any vestiges of the glory days when johnny cash and sinatra stayed here. Apart from some fun shag rugs and the odd splash of retro wallpaper, there was nothing to make us say "yes!" and plenty to make say "you're charging how much for this dump?"
The southport inn was a real exception. Surrounded by dives that looked like hangouts for meth heads and a couple of supremely shady proprietors who tried to gouge prices from behind bulletproof glass, the southport was spotless (recently renovated in fact), had a comfortable office offering free coffee, the walls covered with cute inspirational plaques. Behind the counter were wonderful couple (Mr. & Mrs. Gomez) who were friendly and courteous.
Their rooms were spotless, attractive, smelled wonderful, and had a charming touch of victorian style (window trimmings, etc.). Plus, satellite TV, ice cold AC, a clean microwave and a nice fridge. All for the same price as every other place we checked out.
The only thing I could possibly criticise was the slow wifi. But hey, its free, and none of the other motels seem to have ANY wifi at all.
The only place I would stay or recommend in this town. Don't even waste your time with the others. Seriously.