A community started as a stage stop along the historic Lincoln Highway in 1850, today’s Elk Grove is a vibrant city situated between California’s capital and the agricultural heartland of the central valley. Elk Grove is proud to return as a host city for the 2018 Amgen Tour of California to offer its unique blend of small town hospitality and urban amenities to the Tour’s riders, sponsors and revelers.
Nestled between the Sacramento and the Cosumnes River, Elk Grove was known for its shady oak trees and acorns which attracted tule elk to this lush environment. These same elements brought settlers, from the Miwok Indians to the Spanish and then Mexican rancheros. The groves and elk were still around when the Gold Rush started in 1848. Almost immediately, hundreds of thousands of prospectors rushed to find wealth in the Sierra Nevadas. To serve the needs of travelers and trade, James Hall built a stagecoach stop and hotel here in 1850, naming it Elk Grove.
For much of its history, Elk Grove remained rural in nature. Even today, the northeastern part of town is busy with small livestock and farms that complement the more modern residential developments that have appeared in the past thirty years. In fact, Elk Grove was the country’s fastest growing city in 2004 and 2005, ahead of Las Vegas. In between these two worlds is Old Town Elk Grove, a National Register of Historic Places Historic District that has always been the heart of this small community. The historic district is a nice collection of late 19th and early 20th century buildings anchored by the classic General Store and 100F Hall, both of which were constructed in the late 1800s.
With nary a hill to be found, Elk Grove offers flat, fast terrain connecting riders to the Delta, wine country, and urban destinations. Elk Grove is the second largest city in Sacramento County with a population exceeding 171,000 residents. With a proud heritage and an even brighter future, the City of Elk Grove was ranked California’s fastest growing city in 2016 and the 11th fastest growing city in the U.S. (WalletHub). Elk Grove is quickly becoming the place more millennials are coming to buy homes and raise their families – ranking second in the country for Millennial Homebuyers (SmartAsset, 2017). And it’s no wonder. Elk Grove’s family-friendly lifestyle includes top performing schools, 95 parks, nearly 30 miles of bicycle and walking trails, and a variety of year-round markets, street fairs, concerts, and festivals. Elk Grove is a lively city that welcomes visitors and new neighbors.
Whatever your interests, Elk Grove possesses an extensive biking network that makes for an idyllic way to experience the town and its diverse attractions. Set out on a scavenger hunt to find all seventeen of Elk Grove’s public art installments. Or stop off at Rain Garden Plaza. Located in the heart of modern residential developments, this is the first comprehensive large-scale rain garden in California, a tranquil open space and garden that serves as a magnet for wildlife while teaching the community about the conservation of our natural resources.
From its Old Town District to the California Northstate University campus, Elk Grove is an eclectic blend of the past, present and future. A mix of Zagat–rated restaurants, hotels, and shopping opportunities provide places to shop, dine, stay and play in Elk Grove. But perhaps Elk Grove’s biggest asset is its people. Travel through the city and you may hear some of the 88 languages and dialects spoken by its residents. The city celebrates its diversity and was recognized as the 7th Most Racial and Ethnically Diverse City in the U.S. in 2015 (WalletHub).
Elk Grove is proud to welcome the 2018 Amgen Tour of California to the place that we call home.