Granite Bay is one of the most desirable places to live in all of northern California, with a high quality of life enjoyed by residents that includes a fantastic location, affluent neighborhoods with luxury homes, a strong school system, low crime rates, and easy access to fine dining, golf, and plenty of outdoor recreation.
A Profile of Granite Bay
The beautiful community of Granite Bay is a census-designated place (CDP) in Placer County, California. Spanning a total area of 21.6 square miles, Granite Bay lies in the foothills only 25 miles from the Sacramento capital, an easy commute for those who wish to work downtown.
22,204 residents call Granite Bay home as of 2014, a rise of 13.67% since the 2000 census.
Granite Bay enjoys a reputation as one of the nicest communities to live in both California and the United States. In fact, it just ranked highly for:
Ranked #6 Best Cities for Teleworking - Large Metro Areas
Ranked #7 Best-Rested Cities 2011
Ranked #7 Healthiest Cities
Ranked #8 Stressful Cities 2012
Granite Bay’s Golden History
The community where Granite Bay now sits was first sprung forth in the 1850s as a Gold Rush settlement. In fact, it was first known as “Granite Bar,” a mining and panning community just south of Horeshoe Bar. Roads were developed to connect the camps, and irrigation provided by the North Fork Ditch allowed workers to settle down in the area and start planting almond and olive orchards.
By the 1950s, two large cattle ranches encompassed Granite Bay, enjoying its green pastoral hills and abundant water. Building of subdivisions like Granite Bay Vista started in the 1960s, but the area didn’t get its official name until July 28, 1987.
Granite Bay derives its name from both the area of water in adjoining Folsom Lake and its unique geological origins. In fact, the entire area sits on a foundation of granodiorite from the Cretaceous age. Fossils from ocean sediment dating back 80 million years have been discovered in Granite Bay, often during construction.
Granite Bay is one of the mist affluent communities in Sacramento and Northern California. The average household income is $160,578 and the median is $123,631, well above the U.S. household median of $51,393. The economy of Granite Bay is always thriving, providing a strong tax base for community improvements. The medical industry is the leading employer in the area, accounting for 2.3% of all jobs, with plenty of careers in finance, computer tech, and tech manufacturing.
However, living in Granite Bay comes with a high price tag, as it’s been named one of the 25 American cities in the nation with the highest cost of living, a whopping 97.9% higher than the U.S. average.
Safety and Community in Granite Bay
Granite Bay is considered a very safe, family friendly community with low crime rates. In fact, the overall crime rate there is 36% lower than the national average and Granite Bay is safer than 56% of all cities in the U.S. Crime is actually diminishing, not increasing, in Granite Bay, as the number of total crimes in Granite Bay has decreased by 3% this year.
Part of the reason Granite Bay is so safe and family oriented can be attributed to the positive impact of the Granite Bay Community Association, of GBCA. Established in 1987 by residents who wanted to preserve the rural quality of life of the community, the volunteer organization still is highly active in many facets of life there, issuing newsletters, aiding residents, providing information and developments, and coordinating meetings, gatherings, events in conjunction with local government.
Education and Schools in Granite Bay
Granite Bay is one of the state’s highest performing districts for standardized test scores, with only one public high school, Granite Bay High. Residents of the community are extremely well educated on a whole, with 96.8% of all residents over 25 years old having earned their high school diploma or higher, 54.2 earning Bachelor’s degrees or more, and an impressive 23.5% achieving a graduate or doctoral degree.
Due to the high quality of life in the area and prosperous community, Granite Bay real estate always moves quickly and sells for top dollar. The median home cost in Granite Bay is now approaching $660,000, which is still down from the high point when home values were well into the $700s during the boom. But the market has rebounded nicely, with 24.3% appreciation over the last year.
There are 7,694 households in Granite Bay, with 89.8% owned by the occupants, 12.1% rentals, and 4.1% vacant. While it may seem like many of the neighborhoods in Granite Bay consist of newer, modern homes, in fact, 42% of homes in the area were built between 1970 and 1989, and another 26% between 1990 and 1998.
Granite Bay is a hot bed for luxury real estate and million dollar homes, with approximately 25% of all listings priced over $1,000,000 at any given time, and 1% over the $2,000,000 mark.
There’s no shortage of fun and healthy activities for the whole family in Granite Bay, including visits to Quarry Ponds, Otow Orchards, Rickey Ranch Pumpkin Patch, local farmer’s markets, fun runs and races, and swimming, hiking or boating at Folsom Lake. American River recreation will set you up for a day of rafting or kayaking, and golf enthusiasts can swing away to their heart’s content at the Sierra View Country Club, Granite Bay Golf Club, or public 9-hole Rolling Greens Golf Course
Chez Daniel, Farm Haus Fresh, Back Wine Bar and Bistro, Hawks, Vaiano Trattoria, Source, and Bernardos are just a few of the signature fine dining venues in Granite Bay
Notable Granite Bay Residents
Maureen Reagan - Daughter of Former President Ronald Reagan lived in Granite Bay until her passing
Eddie Murphy – Actor and comedian
John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston - Actors.
Summer Sanders - Multiple gold medalist in swimming at the 1992 Summer Olympics, TV Sports commentator and personality
Steve Sax - Retired MLB baseball player (primarily second baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, and Oakland Athletics)
Tobin Esperance - Bassist of band Papa Roach
Jeff Keith - Singer of band Tesla
Chris Webber - Retired Sacramento Kings power forward and center
Jason Williams - Orlando Magic, former Sacramento Kings point guard
Shareef Abdur-Rahim - retired National Basketball Association (NBA) player and current Assistant GM for the Sacramento Kings
Rick Adelman - former Sacramento Kings head coach
Dusty Baker - Cincinnati Reds Manager, former San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs manager and MLB player
Steve Cook - Former professional ten-pin bowler and member of the PBA Hall of Fame