Location: 25 Miles North East of Sacramento | County: Sacramento | Population: 33,960 | Size: 11.646 square miles
From vintage farmhouses to horse properties, Orangevale offers real estate that appeals to new and longtime residents who enjoy a country atmosphere in a prime location. Kirk and Laila Bottomly chose Orangevale because it’s similar to Fallbrook, a community near San Diego where they lived until three years ago. They moved to the Sacramento area when he became pastor of Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church and discovered Orangevale as temporary renters. Through a short sale, they bought a home on a large lot with several fruit trees. Linda Creek runs along the back of their property.
“People said we would like the Central Valley — that it’s a family place,” Kirk Bottomly said. “We came from a rural area, and Orangevale has the same feel.” They also enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, Laila said. And they’re delighted to be closer to their daughter and four grandchildren who live in Davis. The quick access to Highway 50 and Interstate 80 also appeals.
Typically, lots in Orangevale range in size from 1/4 acre to 3 acres. The larger acreage is appealing to horse owners, who also like the proximity to riding trails and Folsom Lake. “We’re a unique community,” said Lisa Montes, who is Orangevale’s honorary mayor. “We have a little bit of everything, and we’re a generational community.” People who grew up in Orangevale tend to stay in there. “We’re still very rural, very equestrian-friendly and have a lot of country traditions, mom-and-pop stores, an interest in the past and country fairs,” Montes said. “We’re a close-knit community.”
Orangevale has much to offer residents, Montes said. The Grange, which is still active, helped develop the library, the chamber of commerce and the farmers market on Thursday nights. Residents needn’t go far to shop for basics, at stores such as Winco, WalMart, Save Mart and several small shops and services. There’s also a selection of fast-food and other eateries. Orangevale is within the San Juan Unified School District and has seven elementary, two middle and one high school, as well as Casa Roble Fundamental and a few private schools.
The Orangevale Recreation and Park District offers a variety of activities and events. The biggest event is Orangevale’s Pow Wow Days, an old-fashioned town fair, held each May. It features a lineup of entertainers, food, a parade and a carnival. The Polar Bear Plunge on Jan. 1 has grown over the years, said Cindy Turner, recreation superintendent. An increasing number of people “come out and jump into the community pool, where temperatures are around 48 degrees that day,” she said. In the summer, the pool is heated to 80 degrees. It’s at Orangevale Community center, site of children’s activities, a preschool, swimming lessons and a swim team. Orangevale also has an active youth sports program.
The community, originally part of a Mexican land grant, was known as Orange Vale because of the many orange groves in the area. In 1895, a map filed with the Sacramento Recorder’s Office showed a network of streets with the name “Orange Vale Colony.” One of the first buildings in the colony was a school, established in 1889. It was moved to Oak Avenue, restored by the group, Serve Our Seniors, and has been designated as a Point of Historical Interest by the State Historical Resources Commission.
The community gradually became known as Orangevale as the number of “colonists” increased. Despite the growth, many of the original oaks and trails remain in the area.” The rural character of Orangevale is still a significant attraction.