One of Sacramento’s outlying cities, Rancho Cordova
functions as a fairly new town that continues to grow in its suburban identity. In a location east of Sacramento, along Interstate 50, residents can hop on the road and get to the city center of Sacramento in less than 30 minutes. Its sedate setting and proximity to metropolitan attractions makes Rancho Cordova appealing to those who want a quiet life close to nature, but not hours away from lively entertainment.
Charming country homes
and winding streets complement the identity of Rancho Cordova as a sleepy town set apart from Sacramento. The town continues to develop its commercial areas to draw in more travelers, and its status as a family friendly and recreational place succeeds in attracting more residents to Sacramento County.
Schools in Outer Rancho Cordova
School data provided by GreatSchools
Restaurants & Nightlife
Rancho Cordova may not have as great a variety of restaurants as neighboring Sacramento, but locals like the local ethnic eateries scattered along the edges of Interstate 50. Residents patronize a few dive bars as well, but more large-scale nightlife options lie to the west, in Sacramento proper.
One of the most popular breakfast places in the area, Brookfields Restaurant, provides gluten-free options for the most important meal of the day. Try a sweet potato pancake in the morning, or come by for lunch to get the French dip sandwich. Finish your meal with a large slice of homemade carrot cake.
Fans of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine like to go to Shahrzad Fine Persian Cuisine. Locals appreciate the restaurant's lamb shank for its tenderness and flavor. Served with a mound of basmati rice, all dishes hail back to authentic Persian fare. Make sure to try the Persian ice cream for dessert, made with rose water, pistachios, and saffron.
Louie's Cocktail Lounge gives locals a chance to listen to new bands every week. Have even more fun by trying out karaoke and tasting fruity drinks, like the tequila sunrise. Rather than going out to a nightclub, consider trying Roots of Happiness, a tearoom and lounge that serves kava, for a relaxing and fun time.
History & Culture
Before its incorporation in 2003, Rancho Cordova’s claims to fame included its status as the site where builders laid the first 12 miles of railroad track in California. Like the rest of Sacramento County, Rancho Cordova’s first settlers arrived on their way to mining gold during the California Gold Rush. Later on, military
families thrived where Mather Air Force Base once operated. Most residents still see the town as a new place for families and professionals to live.
Rancho Cordova’s only local museum, the Sacramento Children’s Museum, gives kids a chance to play and learn with hands-on exhibits. The more historical museums lie in downtown Sacramento.
Art fans seeking culture find more in Sacramento as well, since Rancho Cordova houses art supply stores rather than galleries. Charity events and meetings dominate Rancho Cordova’s events calendar year-round.
The majority of Rancho Cordova residents use cars to get around. The spread-out nature of the suburb — like in many of Sacramento’s outlying areas — makes driving the fastest and simplest way to get anywhere. While many people walk around the American River and its recreational parks for exercise,
most people, especially the residents of the outer neighborhoods, do not choose to walk to go shopping or run errands. Drivers easily get to the center of Sacramento on Interstate 50, the area’s main thoroughfare. From 50, residents can get to Interstates 80 and 99.
The Sacramento Regional Transit District provides a few bus lines through the center of town, and the Gold Line Light Rail runs here as well. Residents of outer Rancho Cordova
have fewer public transit options serving them, so driving becomes the only viable alternative. Locals can hail a cab or utilize the Lyft and Uber ride-sharing services, though Uber’s services do not extend all the way to the southern edge of Rancho Cordova.
Parking is rarely a problem anywhere in Rancho Cordova. Bicyclists can ride many trails and bike lanes, as the city has dedicated itself to making the area more accessible to bicyclists by adding more dedicated bike lanes.
Living in Rancho Cordova entails a slightly higher cost of living than the national average. Rent for a one-bedroom
apartment in the city runs about $790 per month. Drivers spend 4 percent more on gas than the national average, though a one-way ticket on a Sacramento Regional Transit District bus or train costs $2.50. Locals outside of the age range of 19 to 61, however, pay a discounted rate of $1.25. Take a bus to a bar, where locals pay about $3.50 for a glass of beer.
Most shopping options in outer Rancho Cordova sit on both sides of Sunrise Boulevard, where you'll find major chains such as Costco and Home Depot. Those who prefer more extensive shopping go to nearby Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento, where they can shop at Nordstrom, Macy's Sears, and JC Penney. Other stores include Coach, Lego, True Religion, and Apple.
For locally-owned boutiques and specialty shops, nearby neighborhoods deliver with shops like Thistle Dew Quilt Shoppe in Fair Oaks. This quaint store houses silks, velvet, and other fabrics for those who enjoy quilting.
Walmart, Safeway, and Grocery Outlet provide the local grocery shopping, most of which sit in Ross Plaza. Koreana Plaza sells Korean ingredients and beauty supplies in addition to housing its own food court. Farmers market fans can pass by the Sunrise Station Farmers Market for organic cherries, apricots, and other fruits and veggies.
One of Rancho Cordova’s most popular attractions, the American River, gives residents and travelers ample chances to have picnics and enjoy the river when the weather turns hot. The Lower Sunrise Recreational Area houses hiking, biking and equestrian trails. The Upper Sunrise part provides a boat launch, and the Lower Sunrise provides rafting. Kids and even dogs can cool down in the summer by taking a walk with parents or adults along the river.
Nearby River Bend Park functions similarly to the Lower Sunrise Recreation Area. After paying a $5 entrance fee per vehicle, delight in the sights of the river while having a picnic out on the grassy fields. Pay $3 to launch a raft and float down the river, or go on a hike at no additional charge. This park is where locals attend regular events and festivals, like the city’s Fourth of July celebration.