Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Citrus Heights, CA

  • Published 2023/02/06

Citrus Heights is a city in Sacramento County, California, known for its residential neighborhoods and proximity to Sacramento.

Because of its location, Citrus Heights is a fantastic addition to your trip to Sacramento, as it has a lot of city parks and nature spots.

Best of all, most of these places in Citrus Heights are free of charge, giving you financial flexibility during your trip.

Besides being close to Sacramento, the city has many other neighboring areas that are home to many excellent free attractions.

To start your trip to Sacramento County, check this list of free things to do in Citrus Heights, California.

Kick Back and Relax at Tempo Community Park

One of the main reasons to go to Citrus Heights is to relax from the hustle and bustle of nearby Sacramento.

What better place to do it than Tempo Community Park?

As a spacious and quiet city park, this place is the perfect location for a tranquil walk as it’s teeming with greenery.

Many trees give it plenty of shade, and the city’s Arcade Creek also goes through here, adding to its serene atmosphere.

There are a couple of facilities for the family, such as playgrounds, picnic areas, and a few tennis courts and soccer fields.

Tempo Community Park is an excellent stopover for a relaxing afternoon if you’re coming from the busier cities of California.

Explore the Stock Ranch Nature Preserve

Stock Ranch Nature Preserve is one of the best attractions you can explore for free in Citrus Heights.

It’s known for its vast prairies and woodlands that are home to many animals, giving it a picturesque aesthetic that you can enjoy via its paved walking trails.

One of its best features is its wooden boardwalk, which provides an excellent photo opportunity for family or landscape photography.

There are a couple of information boards here about the ecology of Stock Ranch Nature Preserve.

This nature preserve is easily accessible at the city’s heart along Auburn Boulevard.

Play Sports at Rusch Community Park

Rusch Community Park is perhaps the most popular and visited park in Citrus Heights because of its sprawling amenities geared toward families.

Headlining all of these is the Rusch Skate Park, a great skate area full of concrete ramps and rails for both skaters and BMX enthusiasts.

Besides its skate park, Rusch Community Park also has a basketball court, pickleball courts, and baseball fields.

The park also has a swimming pool that has reasonable rates, in case you don’t mind spending a couple of bucks to ward off the California summer.

Found along Antelope Road near the bustling business districts of Citrus Heights, Rusch Community Park is a must-see during your stay.

Visit the Historic Rusch Home and Gardens

A must-see historical landmark, the Historic Rusch Home and Gardens, is located on the western end of Rusch Community Park.

The Rusch Home dates back to 1916 and was owned by the Volle family, who established a ranch here, becoming one of the pioneers of Citrus Heights.

Previously a 480-acre ranch, the Historic Rusch Home and Gardens can now be enjoyed publicly as a historical landmark and a scenic location in Rusch Community Park.

You can take photos of the quaint but historically significant house here, and the surrounding gardens are teeming with all sorts of botanical life.

There are old-growth trees, primarily oak, adding a unique serenity to this spot that you won’t find anywhere else in the city.

Spend Quiet Time at Sylvan Oaks Library

Sylvan Oaks Library is Citrus Heights’ go-to public library for locals and guests looking for a neat stopover.

Conveniently found along Auburn Boulevard, you can visit this library and spend a couple of hours reading a book or entertaining the kids during your trip.

They have a nicely sized kiddie area where children can read various books and play games.

There’s also free computer access, and the general areas are all well-lit and spacious, makings it a great all-around public library.

Sylvan Oaks Library is a great place to visit if you need some work out of the way or a quiet indoor spot.

Take a Stroll at the Twin Creeks Open Space Site

In the neighborhood areas of Citrus Heights along Starflower Drive lies Twin Creeks Open Space Site, a wild place where you can walk close to nature.

Twin Creeks Open Space Site is an exciting spot to see one of the creeks that go through the city, Cripple Creek.

The place also has unpaved terrains, making it a perfect place for you to bring your dogs for some sniffing and exploration.

There are plenty of locals who walk their dogs here as well, making it a great chance to socialize with your pet.

It’s also a great place to do some biking because of its trails and scenic location.

Bring Your Folks to the Arcade Creek Park Preserve

Arcade Creek Park Preserve is one of the best parks in Citrus Heights, largely thanks to its modern playground area.

Known for its safe and sturdy zipline ride, the Arcade Creek Park Preserve will show your family a good time for an hour or two at no cost.

Besides its zipline, the playgrounds are an excellent area for young children to wick off some pent-up energy.

Arcade Creek Park Preserve also has tons of wildlife you can learn about through its innovative informational boards.

One board has a footprint of each animal in its woodlands.

Exercise equipment and sprawling walking trails into the woods complete the experience.

You can access Arcade Creek Park Preserve in Bonham Circle, just a few minutes south of Tempo Park.

Bring Your Dog to C-Bar-C Park

C-Bar-C Park is an excellent place to let your dog off-leash, as it’s a public dog park with large fenced fields and other amenities.

Some of these amenities include water buckets that are handy for the bigger dogs that need to hydrate or cool down during the hot summer months.

There are also some kiddie pools with water hoses for the dogs, a great spot where breeds like retrievers can enjoy a refreshing soak.

Besides, C-Bar-C Park has a playground if you’re bringing children, along with a baseball field, some nature trails, and information boards.

Found along Oak Avenue, C-Bar-C Park offers a lot for fur parents, making this a must-visit if you’re bringing your furry friend.

Other Free Things to Do Nearby

Go Sightseeing in Downtown Sacramento

Buildings at Downtown Sacramento

corbinhenderson / Shutterstock.com

Sacramento, California, is only 20-25 minutes from Citrus Heights, so it’s a no-brainer to visit this renowned California city during your trip.

One of the best places to start in Sactown is in Downtown Sacramento, brimming with culture and heritage.

Simply strolling around and appreciating its architecture and aesthetic won’t cost a single penny.

A bridge at Downtown Sacramento

Chris LaBasco / Shutterstock.com

Sacramento is one of the best cities to take a scenic stroll in California, as the pavements are spacious and surrounded by lush trees that accentuate its beauty even further.

There are also tons of iconic attractions here that you should take photos of, like Old Sacramento Waterfront and Golden 1 Center.

If you’re lucky, you can also enjoy some good live music playing in the parks in downtown Sacramento.

Golden 1 center at Downtown Sacramento

Merge Digital Media LLC / Shutterstock.com

Enjoy the Sacramento River at Tiscornia Park

Besides its culture and love for the arts, Sacramento is also famous for its river flowing throughout the city.

It is best enjoyed at Tiscornia Park, just a 20-minute ride from Citrus Heights.

Unlike the more touristy areas along the Sacramento River, Tiscornia Park offers a quieter respite along the river.

One of the best spots here is its sandy beach, which gives you excellent access to the wavy waters of the river.

You can go fishing, even swim here, or wait for the scenic sunset views from this park.

While separated from Downtown Sacramento, Tiscornia Park is still a strategic location as it’s close to a few attractions like museums that you can add to your adventure.

Attend a Free Concert at Vernon Street Town Square

Vernon Street Town Square is a cultural epicenter of the neighboring city of Roseville, California, only a ten-minute drive from Citrus Heights.

One of the best times to go here is spring or summer, as it’s famed for its public splash pad that features strong water jets for kids and adults to enjoy.

However, the bang-for-buck feature of this square is its free concerts called “Concerts on the Square.”

It’s one of Roseville’s most highly anticipated community events, featuring tons of food trucks, beer, and a vibrant atmosphere.

If you can’t make it to the concerts, Vernon Street Town Square is still a great stopover, as it’s both scenic and fun for the family.

Visit the California State Capitol Museum

Exterior of the California State Capitol Museum

Cassiohabib / Shutterstock.com

Within Downtown Sacramento lies the California State Capitol Museum, which will only take you a 25-minute ride from Citrus Heights.

You can enter the California State Capitol Museum for free and do a self-guided tour of it, as each corner is brimming with history.

One of its best areas is its museum sections, where you can see many exhibits and historical information.

Interior of the California State Capitol Museum

Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Of course, don’t forget to take photos of its interiors, famed for its vintage atrium and staircases that make it look like an old theater.

When you go outside, you’ll see many corners that make for great photo opportunities, as California State Capitol Museum’s facade is as beautiful as its interiors.

Senate chamber in the California State Capitol Museum

Iv-olga / Shutterstock.com

See the Local Artworks at Blue Line Arts

Another Roseville attraction you may want to check out is Blue Line Arts, an art gallery just seven to ten minutes away from Citrus Heights.

It’s free to enter, and the staff is more than willing to show you around the eclectic artworks here done by many rising local artists.

Each trip to Blue Line Arts is remarkable, as the gallery has rotating and temporary exhibits year-round.

The rooms are spacious, and the layout entices you to explore every nook and cranny, making it a haven for art enthusiasts.

There are also a couple of events that happen here year-round, so check out Blue Line Arts if some are open and free to the public.

Smell the Flowers at Jensen Botanical Garden

Jensen Botanical Garden is another scenic area in Sacramento County, located just 10 minutes south of Citrus Heights in Carmichael, California.

With flowers, trees, and shrubbery, Jensen Botanical Garden is a picturesque place perfect for couples.

The garden’s layout is well planned here, offering a bit of variety in every corner that highlights different flora.

After strolling along its paved walkways, you can do picnics here, making Jensen Botanical Garden a wonderful afternoon visit.

Both tranquil and intimate, this hidden gem in Sacramento County will show you a good time.

Enjoy Yourself at Maidu Regional Park

The grounds of Maidu Regional Park

ray_explores from Sacramento, CA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Roseville is home to a vast recreational area called the Maidu Regional Park, only five to ten minutes from Citrus Heights.

Spanning over 150 acres, Maidu Regional Park is a vast area with sporting facilities, such as baseball fields, batting cages, basketball courts, soccer fields, and a skate park.

The place is sprawling with biking and hiking trails, making this a great addition if Citrus Heights’ outdoor courses are not enough for you.

Besides these, Maidu Regional Park also has a library and a museum that you can visit for a small fee.

Maidu Regional Park can easily cover a whole day during your trip, so consider it if you have vacancies in your itinerary.

Final Thoughts

Citrus Heights may not be known as a tourist destination, but it’s a great add-on to any itinerary featuring Sacramento.

It is a peaceful residential area just 20 minutes from Sactown and full of interesting outdoor places like Stock Ranch Nature Preserve and Rusch Community Park.

Enjoy the free things to do in Citrus Heights, California!

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