Elk Grove is a city in Sacramento County, California, located just south of the state capital of Sacramento. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2019, the population of the city was estimated at 174,775. Elk Grove was the fastest-growing city in the U.S. between July 1, 2004, and July 1, 2005 and is presently the second-largest city in Sacramento County.
The City of Elk Grove incorporated on July 1, 2000. It is a general law city with a council/manager form of government. One of Elk Grove's most significant aspects is the Elk Grove Unified School District, which is the city's second largest employer.
Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga entered the region in 1808, naming the valley "Sacramento Valley" in honor of Sacramento, the Holy Sacrament in Spanish, giving the northerly city of Sacramento its name. A writer on Moraga's expedition wrote of the region:
"Canopies of oaks and cottonwoods, many festooned with grapevines, overhung both sides of the blue current. Birds chattered in the trees and big fish darted through the pellucid depths. The air was like champagne, and (the Spaniards) drank deep of it, drank in the beauty around them."
Elk Grove was founded in 1850 as a stage stop for travelers coming from Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area, when the Elk Grove Hotel and Stage Stop was opened by James Hall and the town was named after it.