While Southern California often gets a lot of the attention for its coastline and movie stars, Northern California boasts beautiful lakes, state parks, idyllic wine country, mountains and iconic stops. If you choose to live in one of these 10 cities near Sacramento, you'll be able to take advantage of everything this vibrant capital provides.
All located within 35 miles of the city center, you're sure to find a great place to call home among the following:
Just under 20 minutes from downtown Sacramento you'll find the unincorporated suburb of Carmichael.
Its can't-be-beat central location makes it a breeze to get to area attractions like the American River, the state capitol, museums and lots of great restaurants.
With Carmichael's affordability, number of amenities and peaceful vibe, it's an attractive locale for both single adults and families. Take a picnic to beautiful Ancil Hoffman Park, featuring hiking trails and an award-winning golf course.
When you reside in Rancho Cordova, you're a hop, skip and a jump away from all of the fine dining, bars, arts and culture in Sacramento's downtown area.
Families will love the nearby Sacramento Children's Museum, where you can have a hands-on learning experience or host a fun birthday party with pals. Or you can opt to splash around at Swanston Park's interactive water feature.
For a night out on the town, meet friends at the Starlet Lounge at Harlow's on lively J Street in Sacramento.
Travel 20 minutes from downtown Sacramento and you'll land in the welcoming suburb of Elk Grove.
Offering great schools, a ton of beautiful of parks and a real feeling of community,
Elk Grove is also close to the Delta wine country. Family-owned McConnell Estates Winery has been making vino for two decades on their historic 700-acre property. Stop by for a glass of their popular 6 Gen Zin.
Plan to stay all day at Elk Grove Park, whose lakeside views, ample picnic tables, biking, fishing, dog park and sports fields offer something for everyone. You won't want to miss the free concerts in the summer.
If you desire to live in a friendly village where everyone (just might) know your name, Fair Oaks fits the bill. It has the lowest population on the list and offers a short commute if you work in Sacramento.
The Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District puts on many seasonal events like the popular Chicken Festival in the fall and Comedy Under the Stars in the summer. If you can't wait for the festival, Fair Oaks is known for its wild chickens that roam around town.
Be sure to stop by local fave Sunflower Drive-In for yummy, vegetarian comfort food.
Located west of Sacramento and only 15 miles away from the city center, Davis is a compact college town with an abundance of coffee shops, cafes and pubs.
Home to the University of California, Davis, this laid-back city is pedestrian- and bike-friendly, with 60 miles of beautiful greenbelt. Over 50 percent of the population are students, so you shouldn't have a problem finding someone to share the rent if needed.
The year-round Farmers Market in Central Park is a huge draw. Fresh produce, artisan foods and colorful flowers grace the stalls. Grab a bite from a local food truck and hang out on the large lawn. You won't earn a degree, but you can choose from a dizzying selection of local craft beers at the University of Beer on 3rd Street.
One of the more affordable towns near Sacramento, Citrus Heights is perfect for those who want to spend a little less on rent while still enjoying the perks of being close to a larger city. Residents can shop 'til they drop at Sunrise Mall and dine at popular chains like Texas Roadhouse and Olive Garden.
If you're looking for a fun, old-school activity, head to Sunrise Rollerland and skate to music on a classic wood floor. For outdoor adventure, Arcade Creek Park Preserve has nearly 10 acres of playground, walking trails and fitness equipment.
With first-rate schools, parks and so many places to go, it's no surprise both young professionals and families choose to make Roseville their home.
Job opportunities abound with top companies like Apple, Blue Shield, Intel, CalTrans and Kaiser, all located in Roseville. On your day off, you can spend hours perusing the over 150 stores at the Westfield Galleria at Roseville. Across the street, enjoy unique shops and restaurants at Fountains, an upscale outdoor mall.
You can't miss the big castle visible from the freeway. People of all ages have a blast going down waterslides, playing mini-golf and celebrating birthdays at Golfland-Sunsplash.
Just 10 minutes past Roseville is Rocklin, about half the size of its larger neighbor but near all of the same awesome attractions.
Rocklin definitely has a young vibe, with the median age of its residents at 37.5 years. Whether you're on a date, out with friends or looking for an outing with the kids, you'll have no problem finding something really fun to do.
Trade wine for beer tasting at the many breweries like Moksa Brewing Company on Pacific Street. If a heart-pumping adventure is more your speed, Quarry Park Adventures has zip lines, rock climbing and a 60-foot descending rappel.
Two words come to mind when we think of Folsom: charm and water.
Charm, because the historic district or “Old Town" has a Gold Rush history and boasts over 80 antique stores, mom and pop shops and quaint cafes.
Water, because of its two lakes, Folsom and Natoma, as well as the nearby American River. From kayaking to fishing, your aquatic needs will surely be met.
Head east on Highway 50, and before you know it, you'll be enjoying the Amador wine country. Here you can enjoy a Napa Valley-like experience without the price tag.
Vacaville is the furthest from Sacramento on our list, but this pleasant city deserves careful consideration. Located off the busy Interstate 80 corridor between Sacramento and San Francisco, family-focused Vacaville boasts rolling hills and tranquil countryside along with abundant dining and shopping options.
Home to the iconic Nut Tree road stop where you'll find your favorite retail stores, cafes and an amusement area complete with the beloved Nut Tree train. If you still have the energy to shop, the Vacaville Premium Outlets are a stone's throw away.
Kaiser Permanente and biotech giant Genentech employ many residents. This suburban gem gets high marks for schools, public transportation and outdoor activities.
You can stroll around the idyllic Lagoon Valley Park, featuring miles of biking, hiking and equestrian trails. Be sure to bring Fido to the large dog enclosure made just for him.
You have a lot of appealing apartment options to contemplate for a move to a city near Sacramento. Affordable housing, attractive amenities like shopping, dining, and outdoor recreation and employment opportunities are all available in this energetic and diverse area.
When you do your homework, you'll discover each of these towns offers something special.