Imagine finding the perfect location. What features would it have? Gorgeous year-round weather with bountiful sunshine and mild temperatures? How about beautiful rolling hills, massive shade trees, and a winding river? Or perhaps a plethora of outdoor activities ranging from horseback riding, hiking, and white-water rafting to camping, picnicking, and bike riding? Should it be perfectly located and have a great economy and affordability? A community dotted with parks and open green space – a pastoral, charming landscape – but still just a few short miles to a major city? That small-town feel – yet with plenty of major businesses to provide ample job opportunities? A true live-work-play community? Yes? Well, such a place does exist, so if you want all of the above, check out Rancho Cordova.
Relatively speaking, Rancho Cordova is a very young city – it wasn't incorporated until 2003. But in that time, this charming city located just east of Sacramento has won some impressive awards. It was named an All-America City in 2010, a Great Place to Work in 2012 and 2013, a Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) City, and it was named a Playful City, USA. It is a model city in the area of budgeting and finance – the city has finished with a budget surplus every year since its incorporation. And it is considered the largest employment sub-center in the Sacramento area.
Rancho Cordova is situated along the American River, one of California's most popular whitewater rafting and kayaking destinations. The American River Parkway spans 23 miles along the river and includes Rancho Cordova's River Bend Park, a large 444-acre park with river access. The American River Parkway Trail extends 30 miles along the river, from Folsom Dam to Sacramento. This popular trail is ideal for bicycling and horseback riding. The American River Parkway also includes several beaches and picnic areas. The park is the Sacramento area's most popular green space, attracting over five million visitors every year.
With nearly 40 additional parks, no matter what neighborhood you choose for your apartment in Rancho Cordova you'll be close to at least one – and each is unique. From the small, shady oasis of Gold Station Park located on the Gold River to the popular White Rock Neighborhood Park, there's something to fit your every mood. The White Rock Neighborhood Splash Park is one of the largest free-access facilities of its kind in Northern California. It includes two waterslides, dump buckets, water jets, and interactive spray cannons.
From touring deep caverns at the nearby Black Chasm Caves to playing at the Sacramento Children's Museum to sampling wine at area vineyards, you'll never run out of new places to explore in the Rancho Cordova area. Shoppers will appreciate the Folsom Premium Outlets and the Arden Fair Mall. Spend an afternoon at the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary or the Folsom History Museum. Or, for something truly unique, head about an hour north of Rancho Cordova to the Empire Mine State Historic Park – site of one of the state's longest, deepest, and oldest gold mines. In addition to 367 miles of abandoned and flooded mine shafts, the park features eight miles of hiking trails.
From slightly scary (hello, Folsom Prison Museum!) to the slightly dusty (off-roading at Prairie City SVRA!) Rancho Cordova is a city like no other. Add in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills and the spectacular California weather, and this terrific city will jump to the top of your great-places wish list.