15 miles northeast of California's capital, the plains of the Sacramento Valley begin their gradual rolling ascent to the Sierra Nevada foothills. For 19th-century pioneers, the sight of the gently folded landscape meant they had arrived at the promised land. The Transcontinental railroad and the Lincoln Highway later brought new waves of travelers through our area. Today, Interstate 80, the main transcontinental highway connecting New York and San Francisco, serves businesses and the 89,000 residents who call Citrus Heights home.
Remaining predominantly rural through the 1960s, Citrus Heights began its emergence as a regionally important retail destination in the 1970s with the opening of the Sunrise Mall and Birdcage Walk shopping centers. The seismic stability of Citrus Heights that distinguishes it from much of coastal California, undoubtedly contributed to its growth and maturation. After existence as an unincorporated area of northeastern Sacramento County for nearly 100 years, Citrus Heights became an independent city offering local municipal services in January 1997. Unchanged, however, is our traditional Citrus Heights hospitality.
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