Roseville was recently named the best city in California to raise a family in. In a report by SmartAsset.com (I can’t say that name without laughing, but anyway…) Roseville scored well in nearly every category of their criteria, including high graduation rates, low poverty and crime rates, solid home values and access to parks and recreation.
As a Roseville resident now for over 20 years, I can attest that it is in fact a great place to live and raise a family. Traffic has gotten worse over the years (if you’ve ever been stuck on 65 as it approaches the 80 interchange you can start to feel like a Roseville resident…even if you’re just passing through from Lincoln) and like any sizable suburb even though crime rates are low, they’re aren’t non-existent. But all in all, yeah, my wife and I love living here, and here are just seven really cool reasons why.
7) The Fountains. I hate shopping but I will go with my wife to the Fountains just because I like the fact that it is outdoors. It’s always full of people, it’s got some great restaurants (Zocolo’s, Mikuni Kaizen, Jack’s Urban Eats, to name a few), and in the summer they hold concerts on a grassy area near the main plaza. Plus, it’s got a Peete’s and the Whole Foods has a craft beer bar with taps!
6) The Fairgrounds and All-American Raceway. Who doesn’t love a county fair? And the Placer County fair is a good one. But most weekends there is always something going on. Plus, there’s an image that Roseville is a sort of yuppie utopia, full of minivans and soccer practices. And while that’s not entirely untrue, we still like to get our redneck on at All American Speedway on summer weekends. A 1/3 mile NASCAR sanctioned racetrack, the track features everything from bomber cars and street stocks to special events like monster trucks.
5) Denios! You like bargain shopping and people watching? Then a visit to Denios will be heaven. A huge weekly swap meet/massive yard sale/farmer’s market at the edge of town, there is nothing quite like Denios and you can find some really cool stuff there.
4) Vernon Street. The main street of “Old Town Roseville”, Vernon has undergone major revitalization the past several years. At Monk’s Cellar, grab a uniquely-brewed (for real; the age-old fermentation process of using open vats is almost unheard of these days) craft beer and some delicious duck fat fries, or Italian wine and a wood-fired pizza at The Place, then browse the artwork in the Blue Line Gallery or Sparrow 5 or catch an event at the Art Deco Tower Theater. There are also regular street festivals throughout the year in the newly created Vernon Street town square in front of city hall.
3) The “other” Old Town Roseville. Old Roseville is unique in that the business district is divided by about a thousand feet of rail yard, and the two are not easily linked (although there is an underpass beneath the rail yard). However, the other old town is worth a visit too, especially on a weekend night. Lincoln, Church and Main streets all have places to hang out for live music, food and a cold brew. Two of the best? The Opera House Saloon–a beautifully renovated turn of the century building with an expansive upstairs dance hall and stage, and the venerable Boxing Donkey Irish Pub, one of my favorite places anywhere.
2) Golf. Roseville has some terrific courses, and most are open to the public and very reasonably priced. Woodcreek, Timber Creek, Diamond Oaks, Morgan Creek…all are great, well-maintained and challenging–but not too challenging. One of my favorites is the 9-hole Sierra Pines inside Sun City. It’s inexpensive, not super well-known and, for a duffer like me, beautiful yet forgiving. Oh, and let’s not forget Top Golf–the driving range/restaurant/bar complex at hwy 65 and Blue Oaks, but plan on a wait…the place is p o p u l a r.
1) Trails and parks, parks and trails. Yes, at first glance, Roseville can and does look like the dictionary definition of suburbia–planned neighborhoods, shopping plazas, wide boulevards with stoplights every hundred yards. But look a little closer and the city has done a very good job of preserving its green spaces. Granite Bay State Park on Folsom Lake has miles of trails great for hiking, running, horse riding and mountain biking. And outside of the park, three of the best are the loop around Maidu Regional Park, which includes some fascinating ancient native American petroglyphs, Miner’s Ravine, a peaceful, 3+ mile multi-use ribbon that parallels tree-lined Dry Creek, and another shorter, but equally nice, multi-use trail near Blue Oaks Blvd that runs along Pleasant Creek.
If you live in Roseville, you probably know most of this already. If not, come on up some weekend. I’ll buy you a beer!