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Located about 13 miles southeast of Sacramento, Elk Grove is a relatively small but thriving city in the heart of central California. It was founded in the year 1850 when James and Sarah Hall built a brick stage stop and hotel. That building served as the “center” of Elk Grove in its formative years.
Interestingly, the center of Elk Grove moved two more times after 1850: once in 1868, after the town had grown and expanded northwards, and once more in 1876, after the Central Pacific Railroad had finished its line from Sacramento to Stockton and the townspeople decided to move their center back south in order to be closer to the train station.
How did Elk Grove get its name?
It all goes back to James Watson Hall, the builder, and owner of that first stage stop and hotel. Evidently, Hall painted an elk’s head on the hotel sign and named it the “Elk Grove Hotel,” as a way to honor the Missouri town he’d previously lived in that shared the same name.
However, another account has it that Hall gave his hotel its name after he’d discovered some elk horns in a nearby grove. Whatever the case may be, the first official use of the name “Elk Grove” dates back to an 1851 Sacramento County tax assessment, which lists one James Hall as living in “Elk Grove.”
For most of its history, Elk Grove has been considered a town. However, in 2000, exactly 150 years after it was first established, Elk Grove officially became a city in California.
What are some fun things to do in Elk Grove?
Elk Grove may be quite a bit smaller in size and population than its neighbor to the northwest, Sacramento, but that doesn’t mean it has any shortage of fun, interesting, or relaxing things to do! Here are just a few of the cool sites you can visit and the neat things you can do:
1. Explore the city’s history at the Elk Grove House and Stage Stop Museum
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Elk Grove, then you’ll enjoy visiting this “gem” located in Elk Grove’s Heritage Park. You’ll get to explore old pictures of the town and the townsfolk, trace the development of Elk Grove over the years, and gain a deeper appreciation for the city that you see today.
2. Take a leisurely stroll around Elk Grove’s Regional Park
Once you’re done visiting the House and Stage Stop Museum, you can take a nice, relaxing stroll around the Regional Park. This spacious retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life covers 122 acres and features almost 1.5 miles of multi-use trails. You can walk, jog, or run around the park, or participate in various sports and recreational activities, like volleyball, softball, and baseball.
If you are just looking for a little peace and quiet, sit by the scenic lake, or bring your fishing gear along for a slow day of catch-and-release. The park is open from sunrise to sunset, and it’s free to the public.
3. Attend the annual Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival
The first weekend of October is always a special time in Elk Grove because that’s when the Giant Pumpkin Festival kicks off the fall season at the Regional Park. Each year, thousands of pumpkin enthusiasts flock to the city in order to compete, mingle, and marvel at the giant gourds that are displayed.
In 2021, champion pumpkin grower Leonardo Urena brought home his 4th trophy, along with a $7,000 cash prize and his gigantic, 1,623-pound pumpkin! It was an unforgettable event, but you can join in the fun this coming October.
4. Test your knowledge and problem-solving skills in Exit Strategy Games
We all have an inner detective that comes out now and again – but why not put that detective’s skills to the test with Exit Strategy Games’ array of escape rooms? You can choose from several different adventures and spend time with your friends and family members solving puzzles, keeping an eye open for clues, and (hopefully) escaping before time runs out!
As of this writing, Exit Strategy Games offers two unique escape rooms, with a third coming soon: the Torture Chamber room (where you have to escape before a serial killer comes back), Pet-Snatched (where you have to find and rescue your beloved dog Fluffy), and Spy vs. Spy.
Exit Strategy Games’ escape rooms are loads of fun and a great way to spend some time with those nearest and dearest to you.
5. Work on your golf swing at the Emerald Lake Golf Course
Elk Grove’s premier golf course is renowned for its aesthetically pleasing and functional design and the beautiful, pristine lakes surrounding it. Whether you’re a golfing novice, an avid enthusiast, or a dedicated professional, Emerald Lake delivers a challenging but pleasant experience.
Like many golf clubs, Emerald Lake also offers other services not related to golf, such as providing a venue for weddings and other events. It also features sumptuous dining facilities and an assortment of refreshing beverages available at the clubhouse. How could you say no to that?
6. Unleash your inner kid with Rockin’ Jump’s Trampolines
If you like to jump and bounce around, and want to give your kids an outlet for their energy, then Rockin’ Jump’s Trampolines is the right place for you! This “ultimate trampoline park” is full of fun, action-packed activities to enjoy. If you (or your kids) get the chance, don’t forget to soar in the air for a slam dunk, climb a rock wall, or sling dodgeballs around like a crazy person (in the appropriate arena, of course).
As you can tell, there are plenty of fun things to do in historic Elk Grove, CA. And if you need to take care of some important chores and business tasks, Elk Grove has that covered too. For instance, fleet owner-operators and semi-truck drivers in need of quick service can stop at LubeZone (also known as “Profleet Truck Lube Center”) right off of Highway 99, just southeast of the Elk Grove Regional Park. Stop into LubeZone in Elk Grove for an oil change for our local trucking customers. Our team of professionals can handle all of your basic maintenance and inspection needs with a minimal wait time.
So if you haven’t already, plan to visit Elk Grove soon! You’ll be glad that you did.
LubeZone is the fastest growing dedicated semi-truck service in the United States with locations in Texas, California, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Georgia. Our preventative maintenance solutions are designed to get the professional driver back on the road FAST.