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West Sacramento

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About West Sacramento

Despite its name, West Sacramento is much more than just a small region of Sacramento, California. The city of West Sacramento has a character and appeal all its own, and is one of the top four employment centers in the region. Though West Sacramento is located just 2 miles from Sacramento, the two cities are separated by the Sacramento River.

The History of West Sacramento

Native Americans inhabited the West Sacramento area for centuries before Europeans arrived in 1844. Flemish farmer John Schwartz was the first Euro-American on record to settle in the area, constructing a small house on the western banks of the Sacramento River. The river proved to have a rich population of salmon, and Schwartz and his brother established a successful salmon fishery.

When gold was discovered at the neighboring Sutter's Mill in 1848, the resulting California gold rush contributed to the community's growth. The widowed Margaret McDowell mapped and divided over 150 acres of the land in the area, naming the new development "Town of Washington." Restaurants and saloons began springing up in the Town of Washington, and the community transformed from a quiet rural town to a bustling city. The area continued to nurture its agricultural roots, raising plentiful crops of corn, pumpkins, melons, sweet potatoes and more. The livestock and dairy industries also became an important part of the local economy.

Eventually the town was renamed Broderick and included in a region referred to as West Yolo. The area continued to grow throughout the 20th century, eventually joining with two neighboring communities and earning incorporation as West Sacramento in 1987.

Living in West Sacramento

In recent years, West Sacramento's population has exploded, growing by nearly 50 percent. One thing that many people like about West Sacramento is its central location. From the city, it's only a two-hour drive to San Francisco, where you can go to enjoy the cool coastal air and all of the attractions in the City by the Bay. It takes less than an hour to get to Stockton, and Modesto isn't far away, either.

However, you don't have to leave West Sacramento to enjoy a variety of amenities. There's plenty of convenient shopping in the city, including many national-level grocery and big-box stores. West Sacramento also has a handful of local parks and a family-friendly community center.

Many West Sacramento residents are commuters, heading into Sacramento for work on a daily basis. If you're going to be looking for work in the area, it may be helpful to know that government jobs may be available, and agriculture and transportation are key industries in the area. Although the unemployment rate in West Sacramento is higher than the California average, recent job growth has been positive. The largest employers in West Sacramento include the U.S. Postal Service, the state of California and UPS (United Parcel Service).

West Sacramento Schools

Washington Unified School District oversees the schools in West Sacramento. The district also offers a number of specialized programs, including early childhood, alternative education and adult programs. There are also a few charter and private schools in West Sacramento.

Resources for Moving to West Sacramento

Here are a few handy resources for organizing your transition to West Sacramento:

  • Utilities: Major utilities providers in the area include the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Pacific Gas & Electric.
  • Garbage and Recycling: Waste Management Inc. collects trash, recyclables and organic waste on a regular basis.
  • Transportation: Sacramento Regional Transit facilitates a network of public bus routes in West Sacramento and the greater metropolitan area.

West Sacramento Housing

Living in West Sacramento is slightly more expensive when compared to the nearby city of Sacramento. The median home price is well above the national average, and is expected to rise significantly in the next several years. A large portion of the residential area of West Sacramento is made up of single-family homes, but you can also find apartments and condominiums in the city.