I lived in Elk Grove for five years right after graduating from college. I initially only planned to stay there for a month while visiting a friend. The beautiful climate and regional amenities quickly enticed me to stay longer. After sending out my resume to multiple employers, I was able to find a job in the region easily.
Living in Elk Grove has multiple advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps the most important advantage is the opportunity for easy access to two metropolitan areas. The city of San Francisco is only about an hour and a half away. Sacramento is a mere fifteen miles. Elk Grove is a lot smaller than either place so you have the advantage of living in a relaxed place with a small town vibe that makes it possible to get to know a lot of locals. Some of my favorite places to meet others in Elk Grove are the beautiful new public library that has been renovated and the Boulevard Bistro on Elk Grove Boulevard. The latter offers an enjoyable Sunday brunch. I am particularly fond of the corned beef and the polenta with mushrooms. The place is busy on weekdays as well.
One of the few drawbacks of living here is that housing prices are a bit on the high side. Northern California has a pricey housing market in general and Elk Grove is no exception. Even renting a small apartment can take a larger chunk of your budget than you might anticipate. My own apartment was nice but the rent was very high. However, the area has a lovely climate, easy access to many parks and the city of Sacramento a short distance away so I think living here is definitely worth it.
First of all, it kind of depends on what area of Elk Grove you live. You could drive by million dollar houses with a golf course and in 2 miles be in a somewhat ghetto neighborhood. The Laguna area (zip code 95758) is starting to go downhill as there is a slow but steadfast encroachment of crime and bad people spilling over from the trashy south sacramento neighborhoods.
Secondly, there is a LOT of traffic. It could potentially take you 20-30min to go 2 miles sometimes during high traffic times. Because the whole city is basically one big fat suburban residential neighborhood, you got a lot of people living here and therefore a lot of cars on the road.
Thirdly, because it's just a residential suburb, there's not much to do in the ways of activities. If you like parks, mom & pop restaurants, gyms, and shopping centers, then you'll have a good time, but there's not much else to do like there is in a metropolis like downtown Sacramento.
That all being said, it is overall a great family friendly place to live with a lot of nice and diverse people and open land. Also, it's only about 12-15 miles from downtown Sacramento so at least you're close to where there is a lot of fun stuff to do.
I have to state though that the police in this neighborhood are pretty crummy. They're basically traffic cops only. If you do a rolling stop, they'll pull you over. But if there's a domestic disturbance going on next door and gunshots, be prepared to wait for ONE cop to show up 2 hours later. If they can't make money off the crime like traffic stops, then they don't like to work too hard.
Schools are excellent. Closeness to Sacramento is a plus. Weather's pretty good all year round.
Overall, Elk Grove is a good place for a family.
But if you're single and ready to mingle or a retiree looking to get out there and do more stuff with your life, I wouldn't recommend it.
Great suburban living 12 miles outside of Sacramento, CA. Easy freeway access to Sacramento, San Francisco, Napa, and Lake Tahoe. Many parks and bike trails. Good schools and children activities. It's a good area to raise children, retire or for single living without the night life...except for a couple of sports bars. There are some good restaurants that are not a national chain. There's still a lot of affordable housing and open land. If you're a bird watcher you'll see many different varieties in the wildlife preserves along side of the grazing cattle and horses that use the open land areas. There are no big shopping malls with the large anchor stores like Macy's or Nordstrom's, but those are only a 20 minute drive away. However, there are plenty of shopping malls with a variety of national stores to spend money.
The city is still growing and is always looking to do economic development and add jobs. Every major hospital in the Sacramento area has added large medical facilities in Elk Grove. Hopefully, the large shopping mall with the large departments stores will be coming in the next two years. There is also a plan to attract a semi-pro or pro soccer as soccer is a big in the city.
The Elk Grove police department still tries to add a personal touch to it services like a small town law enforcement with community outreach and proactive police actions. They have worked hard to keep it a safe city.
I went to Elk Grove California on a trip to see my sister's new baby two years ago. Elk Grove is very quiet and safe. The most interesting thing about Elk Grove is the truly historic native tribes that live within this small town. I am a person who looks for excitement so this city was not of much interest to me. I could however understand why my sister chose to move there. She wanted a safe neighborhood for her child to grow up in and this is something she would defenitely get in Elk Grove.
The small hometown feel makes you feel as if you are always welcome. It is nestled in the foothills of Los Angeles county and gets you away from the normal hustle and bustle of city life. The great thing is you are not far away from any of the excitement that Los Angeles offers. I enjoyed my trip, but just sight seeing and shopping didn't give me the excitement that I was hoping for.
The scenery is quiet breathtaking througout the city of Elk Grove and there are many different fine restraunts to dine at. The best part of the trip is being able to feel at home and welcomed.