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Elk Grove, CA (Population: 136,318)

Elk Grove, California is situated in Sacramento County and is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States with a current population of 136,318. Located 15 miles south of historic Sutter's Fort, Elk Grove was founded in 1850 as a stage stop. It quickly became a crossroads for business, mail service and entertainment. Many gold miners from nearby communities called Elk Grove home during the California Gold Rush. Once a predominantly agricultural society, the city's current economy has added technology, commercial and retail to their repertoire.

The current population has shifted over the years, in part to adjust to the convenience of interstate highway access. The area of the original settlement still exists, known today as Old Elk Grove. A combination of historical buildings, small businesses and antique shopping makes this historic area an appealing destination for visitors. Local events of note include the Elk Grove Western Festival, the Community Harvest and Giant Pumpkin Festival, the Dickens Fair and the Strauss Festival.

Elk Grove is surrounded by several popular natural attractions. Stone Lake Refuge, which consists of 3,000 acres along the Pacific Flyway, has recently been named a National Wildlife Refuge. The Consumnes River Preserve, a riparian habitat, is a popular site for birdwatching as is the Laguna Creek Parkway which also offers fishing and trails for walking or riding. Those seeking activities in the beautiful outdoors need not stop here, the city has something in the neighborhood of 50 parks as well as several golf courses and driving ranges.