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Learn About Rancho Cordova, CA

Are you planning to visit Rancho Cordova, CA, but have no idea what to expect or where to start? In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to this vibrant city in California, including its history, culture, attractions, and activities. We will also give you insider tips and recommendations to make your visit unforgettable.

History of Rancho Cordova

Rancho Cordova is a city in Sacramento County, California, located on the eastern outskirts of Sacramento. The city has a rich history dating back to the 1800s when it was initially a railroad station. In the early 1900s, the town became a hub for agriculture, primarily grapes and dairy. The area’s development continued into the 1940s with the establishment of Mather Air Force Base, which contributed significantly to the region’s growth. In 2003, the city was officially incorporated, making it the 478th city in California.

Location and Geography

Rancho Cordova is located on the eastern side of Sacramento, just 12 miles from the city’s downtown area. The city is situated in the Central Valley and is surrounded by natural beauty, including the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east and the Sacramento River to the west. Rancho Cordova’s location makes it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with numerous hiking and biking trails, water sports, and parks in the area.


Rancho Cordova has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The summer months are typically dry and hot, with temperatures reaching up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters are mild, with temperatures averaging around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The best time to visit Rancho Cordova is during the spring or fall when the weather is mild and pleasant.

Getting to Rancho Cordova

Rancho Cordova is easily accessible by car, with major highways including Interstate 80 and Highway 50 passing through the city.

Where to Stay in Rancho Cordova

Rancho Cordova offers a wide range of accommodation options, including hotels, motels, and vacation rentals. Some popular hotel chains in the area include Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt, among others. For budget-friendly options, there are also several motels and inns in the area. Some of the top-rated hotels in Rancho Cordova include the Hyatt Place Sacramento/Rancho Cordova, the Courtyard by Marriott Sacramento Rancho Cordova, and the Hampton Inn Sacramento/Rancho Cordova, among others.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Rancho Cordova is during the spring or fall when the weather is mild and pleasant, making it ideal for outdoor activities. If you prefer warmer weather, summer is also a great time to visit, although it can be hot and dry. Winter is the least popular time to visit as it can be cold and rainy, although there are still plenty of indoor activities and attractions to enjoy.

Top Attractions in Rancho Cordova

Rancho Cordova has numerous attractions and activities to offer visitors of all ages. Here are some of the top-rated attractions in the city:

1. Nimbus Fish Hatchery

The Nimbus Fish Hatchery is a state-run facility that breeds salmon and steelhead trout for release into the Sacramento River. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the facility and learn about the fish breeding process.

2. American River Parkway

The American River Parkway is a scenic 23-mile parkway that runs along the American River. It offers numerous recreational activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and horseback riding.

3. Hagan Community Park

Hagan Community Park is a 40-acre park that features picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, and a skate park. It’s an ideal spot for families with kids.

4. Mather Golf Course

The Mather Golf Course is an 18-hole championship course that offers a challenging and rewarding experience for golfers of all skill levels. The course is open to the public and offers scenic views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

5. Sacramento Children’s Museum

The Sacramento Children’s Museum is an interactive museum that offers hands-on exhibits and activities for children. It’s a great place for families with young kids to spend a day learning and having fun.

6. The Mills Station Arts and Culture Center

The Mills Station Arts and Culture Center is a community center that hosts various events and exhibitions throughout the year, including art shows, concerts, and workshops.

7. Sacramento State Aquatic Center

The Sacramento State Aquatic Center is a recreational facility that offers a variety of water sports, including kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding.

8. California State Capitol Museum

The California State Capitol Museum is a historic building that houses exhibits on the history of California and its government. Visitors can take guided tours of the building and learn about the state’s rich history.

9. Fairytale Town

Fairytale Town is a children’s theme park that features play areas, storybook characters, and interactive exhibits. It’s an ideal spot for families with young children.

10. Old Sacramento State Historic Park

Old Sacramento State Historic Park is a historic district that features restored buildings from the 1850s and 1860s. Visitors can take guided tours of the area and learn about California’s gold rush era.

Outdoor Activities in Rancho Cordova

Rancho Cordova is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with numerous parks, trails, and waterways in the area. Here are some of the top outdoor activities to enjoy in the city:

1. Biking and Hiking Trails

Rancho Cordova has several hiking and biking trails, including the American River Bike Trail, which is a 32-mile trail that runs from Sacramento to Folsom. Other popular trails in the area include the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail and the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

2. Water Sports
Rancho Cordova is situated near several waterways, including the American River and Lake Natoma, which offer a variety of water sports, including kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing.

3. Golf Courses

Rancho Cordova has several top-rated golf courses, including the Mather Golf Course and the Cordova Golf Course.

4. Parks and Recreation Areas

Rancho Cordova has several parks and recreation areas, including Hagan Community Park, which offers picnic areas, sports fields, and a skate park, and the American River Parkway, which offers numerous recreational activities.

Shopping in Rancho Cordova

Rancho Cordova has several shopping centers and malls, including the Rancho Cordova Town Center, which features a variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment options. Other popular shopping destinations in the area include the Folsom Premium Outlets and the Sunrise Mall.

Dining and Nightlife in Rancho Cordova

Rancho Cordova has a diverse dining scene, with numerous restaurants and eateries offering a variety of cuisines, including Mexican, Italian, and American. Some popular dining destinations in the area include Casa Ramos, Cattlemens, and La Fiesta Taqueria.

For nightlife, there are several bars and nightclubs in the area, including Stoney’s Rockin’ Rodeo, which features live music and dancing, and the Club Car, which offers a laid-back atmosphere and a variety of drinks.

Events and Festivals in Rancho Cordova

Rancho Cordova hosts several events and festivals throughout the year, including the California Capital Airshow, which is a popular airshow featuring aerial performances and demonstrations. Other popular events in the area include the Rancho Cordova Fourth of July Celebration and the Grape Festival.

Day Trips from Rancho Cordova

Rancho Cordova is located near several popular destinations, making it an ideal base for day trips. Some popular day trips from Rancho Cordova include a visit to Lake Tahoe, which is a popular destination for skiing and other winter sports, and a trip to San Francisco, which is home to several iconic landmarks and attractions.

Insider Tips and Recommendations

If you’re planning to visit the American River Parkway, be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as there is limited shade along the trail.

For a unique dining experience, check out the Delta King, which is a historic riverboat that has been converted into a restaurant and hotel.

If you’re a fan of craft beer, be sure to visit the Burning Barrel Brewing Company, which is a local brewery that offers a variety of unique and delicious brews.


Rancho Cordova, CA, is a vibrant city with a rich history, diverse culture, and numerous attractions and activities to enjoy. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or foodie, there is something for everyone in this beautiful city. We hope this guide has helped you plan your visit and make the most of your time in Rancho Cordova.