An equally convenient commute from both the California capital of Sacramento and the Nevada border, Cameron Park, Calif., is an oasis of placid lakes, mature, leafy neighborhoods and a year-round temperate climate. Tucked safely above the fog line and below the snow line, Cameron Park sees snow only once every few years. Situated in El Dorado County and part of the Sacramento metropolitan area, the census-designated place (CDP) of Cameron Park is 32 miles, or just over 30 minutes' drive, from the state capital and 80 miles from Lake Tahoe.
The original inhabitants of Cameron Park belonged to the Niesnan branch of the Maidu Indians. In the late 18th century, the total number of Maidu, including both Niesman and Konkow branches, was reported to be between 9,000 and 9,500. By 1910, the Maidu population had dwindled to 1,100, and by 1930, there were only 93 Maidu, although the numbers increased to an estimated 3,500 by 1995. As of the 2010 census, the population of Cameron Park was 18,228, a roomy population density of only 630 per square kilometer. Housing in the early days was largely semi-underground in large, circular structures around 18 feet in diameter. Floors were often three feet below ground level.
Notable features of the area today include the Rotary Observatory, the Cameron Airpark Estate, where the wide streets double as taxiways for residents to reach the local airport, and Cameron Park Lake, encompassing 10 acres of picnic areas, boat rentals, tennis courts, playgrounds and a well-stocked fishing area.
Public transportation here is provided by El Dorado Transit. Four bus routes connect properties to rent in the area to surrounding neighborhoods via Placerville. Those unable to use conventional buses may take advantage of Dial-A-Ride and complementary paratransit services.
The CDP is fortunate to be served by no fewer than 20 colleges, including both two- and four-year programs and private as well as public schools, within a 50-mile radius. Among the largest are California State University Sacramento, American River College and Sacramento City College. For a studio apartment, you can expect to pay rent in the neighborhood of $650 to $1,000.
If you're looking to rent an apartment in the area and join the local workforce, you'll appreciate that the neighborhood is rich with employment prospects. Some of the major employers include Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe, Blue Shield of California in El Dorado Hills, and El Dorado County Sheriff in Placerville.