The 5 Best Suburbs Of Sacramento, CA

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Despite its reputation as the country’s most costly state, California has many economically viable locations to live. Sacramento, the state capital, is one of them.

Situated in the northern part of the state, in the beautiful Sacramento Valley, Sac is a mid-size metropolis of over 500K people valued for its proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area, Napa Valley, and Lake Tahoe. Locals also love the year-round temperate Mediterranean climate and the growing business sector.

Thousands of relocating families and individuals priced out of the coastal areas of California are arriving in Sacramento every year. Most of them are lured by perks like affordable living costs (by California standards), booming real estate market, high-performing school districts, eclectic mix of neighborhoods, and vibrant community spirit.

If you’re planning to purchase Sacramento real estate and have decided not to live within the city limits, you may pick one of the adjacent communities. The suburbs offer ample amenities, abundant recreation, and quality of life that’s second to none. To help you narrow down your choices, here are the 5 best suburbs of Sacramento, California:

1. Folsom

Just over 30 minutes east of the core of Sacramento, Folsom is an energetic and friendly city named one of the nicest places in Sac to raise a family. Folsom, also popular among retirees, provides newcomers with well-planned neighborhoods, a healthy and balanced economy with low unemployment rates, plentiful amenities & recreation activities, and a multitude of outdoor opportunities due to its proximity to two lakes and a river, and around 60 miles of lush trails.

One of the biggest perks of owning Folsom real estate is that residents can live, work, and play here without frequently commuting to Sacramento. Whether you’re a family looking for a spacious bungalow with room to play, a senior in need of an apartment or townhome in an active 55+ community, or a young professional wanting to move to a sleek condo for sale in Folsom with lake views, you can find it all here. The real estate market in Folsom is quickly heating up, with prices steadily rising as more and more people discover this gem, so if you’re interested, be sure to move fast.

Being one of the best suburbs of Sacramento, Folsom has many leisure and family-friendly activities, from swimming and relaxing under the sun at Folsom Lake in the summer to ice skating near historic Sutter Street when winter arrives. The city has its own zoo, aquarium, live theater, several museums, over 27 parks, and much more. In addition, Folsom is the home of a strong school district, Folsom Cordova Unified School District, and the two local public high schools (Folsom High School & Vista del Lago High School) made it to Newsweek’s list of the best schools in the nation for math, science, technology, and engineering.

Attractions & Landmarks: Folsom Point State Park, Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, Johnny Cash Trail, Folsom Kids Play Park, Willow Creek Recreation Area.

Distance from Sacramento: 22 miles / 34minutes

Median Sale Price: $882K

Zip Codes: 95630

2. Carmichael

Carmichael is an ideal place to live for those who want to enjoy all that Sacramento has to offer while also being able to escape the hustle and bustle of the state’s capital. Highly coveted as a family-centered community and retirement spot in the northern California area, the census-designated place in Sacramento County is one of the best suburbs of Sacramento offering residents a quiet ambiance, ample amenities, and a strong sense of community. Carmichael is located north of the American River and south of Interstate 80 between San Juan Ave and Mission Ave, a short 20-minute drive east of Sacramento’s core.

The Carmichael real estate market is very healthy, with a strong demand for homes and a low inventory of properties for sale. Prices have been on the rise for a while in the area, but affordability is still part of the conversation with the median sale price being $615K. The single-family detached home is the most prevalent housing type in Carmichael, appealing mostly to families, retirees, and established professionals.

Homebuyers looking for their dream suburban house in the area have a wide selection, from smaller California ranch-style homes to spacious Mid-Century Modern-style residences with open floor plans and a minimalist design. For downsizers, seniors, and younger home buyers, the townhomes, large apartment complexes, and low-rise condos for sale in Carmichael are excellent options and can accommodate more modest budgets.

Despite its proximity to the state capital, Carmichael has retained a quiet, relaxed atmosphere, giving rise to the nickname “The Secret Little City Within The City.” Residents can take advantage of several riverfront parks, trails, green spaces, delicious restaurants, cafés, breweries, and shopping areas such as Five Points Shopping Center and Marconi & Walnut Shopping Center. Additional fun awaits at Jensen Botanical Garden, North Ridge Country Club, and Haggin Oaks Golf Complex.

Attractions & Landmarks: William B. Pond Recreation Area, Ancil Hoffman Park, Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Carmichael Park.

Distance from Sacramento: 11 miles / 22 minutes

Median Sale Price: $614K

Zip Codes: 95608

3. Rancho Cordova

Rancho Cordova is a typical Northern California town and one of Sacramento’s most coveted communities. Highly regarded for its proximity to popular tourist destinations like Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park, Rancho Cordova provides safe neighborhoods, scenic beauty, diverse recreation, great schooling options, and urban convenience. Just minutes east of downtown Sacramento, Rancho Cordova is surrounded by parks and open green spaces, particularly around the American River and Lake Natoma, offering residents ample opportunity for outdoor exploration.

The real estate for sale in Rancho Cordova is more reasonably priced than some of the Sacramento surrounding areas, which is a major draw for potential buyers. Houses range from the small cottages and bungalows in communities along the American River to the sprawling ranches and plentiful new construction developments of Sunridge Park Village and Anatolia to the city’s south. Most of the available dwellings concentrate on the western side of town, and the single-family detached home is the most common real estate type, though some low-rise condos for sale in Rancho Cordova are also listed.

As far as recreational opportunities go, the American River is a great place for family fun on the water in Rancho Cordova, offering rafting, kayaking, fishing, and a wealth of birding sites, as well as the American River Parkway Trail. Upriver is Lake Natoma with the Sacramento State Aquatic Center programs designed for all ages, with activities like paddleboarding, canoeing, and sailing available. Rancho Cordova also provides a variety of cultural attractions, including the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, and quick access to the celebrated Sierra Foothills wine region, an excellent place to explore California’s rich viticultural heritage.

Attractions & Landmarks: Sacramento Children’s Museum, Cordova Recreation and Park District, Jensen Botanical Garden, River Bend Park

Distance from Sacramento: 12 miles / 23 minutes

Median Sale Price: $566K

Zip Codes: 95670

4. Elk Grove

Rated by as one of the best suburbs in Sacramento to raise a family, Elk Grove provides a safe, pleasant environment to put down roots in the northern portion of California. The city makes a great starting point for many adventures in the Golden State as it’s just 20 minutes south of Sacramento’s downtown and close to two major highways, the airport, and the Amtrak station. Elk Grove is proud to provide a flourishing business sector, a competitive housing market, over 97 parks and a plethora of recreational facilities, and 68 schools under the guidance of the award-winning Elk Grove Unified School District.

Elk Grove has established itself as a sought-after location in the Sacramento metro area real estate market. Most of Elk Grove real estate for sale concentrates on the central and southern portions of the city. The standard home for sale in Elk Grove is one or two-story, meticulously maintained, has four, five, or more bedrooms, and family-oriented features such as large backyards, pools, and two to three-garage spaces.

The Wilton area, east of Elk Grove, is a perfect location for homebuyers craving larger single-detached homes with acreage. This part of town has a rural ambiance and an abundance of horse ranches. A limited number of condos for sale in Elk Grove are available in neighborhoods like Jasmine, most of them 2-beds/2-baths units in beautifully landscaped, low-rise buildings within gated communities.

If you’re moving to Elk Grove, you’ll discover lots of exciting things to do in the area. The city is youthful and vibrant, with many wetlands, parks, trails, wildlife, and golf courses to explore for those who love the outdoors and staying active. For arts & culture enthusiasts of all ages, the live music performances, local galleries, and public art exhibits will be a great bet any time of the year. Elk Grove residents have the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and Aquatics Center at District 56 for kid-friendly entertainment.

Attractions & Landmarks: Heringer Estates, Elk Grove Regional Park, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course.

Distance from Sacramento: 15 miles / 20 minutes

Median Sale Price: $697K

Zip Codes: 95624, 95757, 95758

5. El Dorado Hills

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills, El Dorado Hills is an affluent community of over 50,000 people known for its rolling hills, scenic views, and upscale amenities. Conveniently located about half an hour east of downtown Sacramento, El Dorado Hills provides established families and mature professionals a desirable suburban/rural atmosphere, with spacious single-detached houses for sale, top-notch schools, low crime rates compared to other California areas, and abundant outdoor recreation opportunities in over 462 acres of parks and open space.

The housing market in this part of California is active and pretty competitive, with the homes for sale in El Dorado Hills getting multiple offers and staying just 11 days on the market. Even though the market is moving fast and prices are soaring, 88% of the residents own their homes in this Sacramento suburb. The real estate in El Dorado Hills comprises mostly large, suburban single or two-story houses on comfortable lots with four and five or more bedrooms and family-friendly features.

It’s also common to find luxurious custom-built mansions in El Dorado Hills, many of them with incredible vistas of Folsom Lake and high-end attributes, like rooftop decks, heated pools, saunas, and even their own private vineyards. Some top neighborhoods in El Dorado Hills for homebuyers are Summit Village, Malby Crossings, Crescent Ridge Village, and Winterhaven Village.

El Dorado Hills boasts beautiful views of the Sacramento Valley and Folsom Lake and a plethora of wineries on its doorstep in Amador County. It is also just around the corner from Apple Hill, one of the best places for families to enjoy autumn in all of California, with various local orchards, craft fairs, and pumpkin patches. The residents enjoy strolling through El Dorado Hills Town Center, the all-in-one shopping, dining, entertainment, and community event location. Other popular activities include visiting the local parks, hiking or biking on the many trails along Folsom Lake, and playing a round of golf at Serrano Country Club.

Attractions & Landmarks: Kalithea Park, Promontory Community Park, Browns Ravine Recreation Area.

Distance from Sacramento: 28 miles / 33 minutes

Median Sale Price: $975K

Zip Codes: 95762

The Best Suburbs Of Sacramento, CA – A conclusion

No matter what your lifestyle, you’re sure to find your perfect match in one of these five outstanding Sacramento suburbs. When it’s time to get started with your home-buying process, you’ll want to work with a local real estate agent who can assist you locate the ideal home. It doesn’t matter if you’re home shopping for a sizable suburban property or downsizing from a big house to a condo, an experienced professional can offer additional guidance for a successful transaction.

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