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Living in North Highlands | What to Know Before Moving to North Highlands

Ultimate Living in North Highlands Guide 🏘 | What to Know Before Moving to North Highlands CA

Last Updated on: 9th April 2024, 06:48 pm

Get the lay of the land in North Highlands! North Highlands CA is a census-designated place that is becoming one of the most popular neighborhoods in Sacramento. North Highlands CA was initially an undeveloped area, but it has developed in recent years to become a vibrant, family-friendly neighborhood with great kid-friendly attractions.

Is North Highlands a nice place to live? Yes, North Highlands is a nice place to live, especially if you’re looking for affordable real estate and unique things to do. But before you start moving to North Highlands CA, you should learn about living in North Highlands. Here’s what you should know about this Sacramento neighborhood.

Where Is North Highlands California?

Where is North Highlands California? North Highlands CA is in northeastern Sacramento. What county is North Highlands in? The neighborhood is in Sacramento County. The neighborhood is 12.5 miles outside of Downtown Sacramento, creating a commute of roughly 20 minutes. Antelope, Foothill Farms, Carmichael, Arden Arcade, and McClellan Park border North Highlands. The area of North Highlands is 8.8 square miles, making it one of the largest neighborhoods in Sacramento, and the North Highlands zip code is 95660.

Most of North Highlands is residential, with dense and compact cul de sacs with a few businesses and attractions sprinkled amongst them. You can visit a few commercial centers along the southern border of North Highlands, so you have options for shopping. The northwestern tip of North Highlands CA is more sparse and industrial, with a few undeveloped lots.

Interstate 80 runs through the southern and eastern parts of North Highlands, providing access to Downtown Sacramento and cities near Sacramento. You can access the Sacramento Regional Transit (SACRT) system while living in North Highlands. North Highlands has two light rail stations, Watt / I-80 and Watt / I-80 West. Both of these stations are on the Blue Line, which connects North Highlands to Downtown Sacramento and Southern Sacramento. Residents also have access to bus services. Route 19, Route 26, Route 84, and Route 93 have various stops in North Highlands; you can use the SACRT system map to see where these stops are. Many residents use buses instead of trains to get around the community and while moving to North Highlands.

Map of North Highlands Sacramento

You can use this map of North Highlands to find the best things to do in North Highlands and restaurants in North Highlands CA.

North Highlands History and Overview

The Nisenan people lived in North Highlands for thousands of years before Spanish settlers arrived in the early 1800s. Americans acquired the land in 1844 and used the area for horse ranches and farms. The community remained largely agricultural and rural until the 1960s, when Sacramento annexed the area. Developers started building homes, commercial buildings, and industrial depots in the area, and the community began to expand, becoming the vibrant and family-friendly community it is today.

Notable people from North Highlands CA include Scott Galbraith, Brian Lewis, and Jimmy Zavala. Here are the demographics for North Highlands:

  • North Highlands population: 49,327
  • Household income: $62,156
  • Educational attainment: 84.5% of residents older than 25 have graduated high school, 13.7% have a bachelor’s degree
  • Median age: 34
  • Foreign-born population: 28.7%
  • Racial and ethnic composition: 57.6% White (46.0% non-Hispanic), 30.5% Hispanic or Latino, 13.6% two or more races, 9.9% Black or African American, 8.2% Asian, 0.9% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.3% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

Sacramento North Highlands is a diverse community. Its foreign-born population is ten percentage points higher than the average from the Sacramento metro area. It also has a higher rate of Hispanic or Latino people and people who identify as two or more races than the county average. 8.1% of the North Highlands population is under the age of 5, and 26.0% is under the age of 18.

What’s It Like Living in North Highlands?

Many people consider North Highlands to be one of the best neighborhoods in Sacramento. Sacramento North Highlands may cover a large area, but most sections of the community are walkable. Most sections have sidewalks, street lights, and trees in yards that provide shade as you’re walking during the day. Street signs are at eye level, so you always know which street you’re on. Streets are relatively smooth and flat, though some sidewalks need repairs.

North Highlands is a very family-friendly neighborhood, and many families live in the community. Their children attend several schools in and around the neighborhood, with buses getting them to school on time each day. North Highlands has a few LGBTQ-friendly spaces, including North Highlands Planned Parenthood and A Church for All.

North Highlands is not a hip area or well known for having nightlife, though some restaurants in North Highlands CA are open late. This makes North Highlands desirable for people looking for a quiet neighborhood after work. While the community is very popular amongst families, singles can also live in the area. 54% of residents over the age of 15 are single, and 27.9% of residents have never married.

The neighborhood has a competitive and surging economy, making it a great community for young professionals and entrepreneurs. 21,358 people have jobs in North Highlands, up by 22.6% since 2016. Retail trade, health care, and construction are the three biggest industries for North Highlands jobs, and each industry has median earnings of over $50,000 a year.

Things to Do in North Highlands

You can find so many unique things to do in North Highlands, including cool and casual restaurants and free and unique attractions. Here are some of the best things to do in North Highlands Sacramento.

Restaurants in North Highlands CA

Lou’s Drive In is the most popular restaurant in North Highlands Sacramento. Lou’s Drive In is a drive-up hamburger stand that has served North Highlands for over 60 years. It has a reputation for friendly customer service and affordable hamburgers, with nearly all menu options costing less than $10.

If you prefer a sit-down restaurant, you can go to Adalbertos or El Parian Restaurant. Both are casual Mexican restaurants that serve classic dishes like chimichangas, burritos, and tacos. Adalbertos also offers breakfast items like huevos rancheros, making it a good place for a quick breakfast.


You can shop at various stores in North Highlands, most of which are locally run. FoodMaxx is a discount grocery store with various options, and Que Huong Market is one of the leading Asian grocery stores in Sacramento. If you’re looking to buy a car, you can go to various stores in the neighborhood, including Future Chevrolet.

North Highlands Sacramento is a hub for depots and warehouses that sell various goods at low prices, helping you reduce the cost of living in Sacramento. Appliance Warehouse is a top spot for used and affordable appliances, including dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators.

Things to Do

Scandia Fun Center is the most popular attraction in the neighborhood and one of the top points of interest for kids in Sacramento. It is a unique Scandinavian-themed amusement park, with roller coasters, a tower swing ride, and two mini-golf courses. It’s open throughout the year, though it’s most popular in the summer.

Sky Zone Sacramento is another popular kid-friendly attraction. It’s an indoor trampoline park with various attractions, including a basketball court, dodgeball arena, and Ninja Warrior course. You can host fun birthday parties at the Sky Zone and become a member, receiving discounts on admission.

Hamilton Street Park is one of the largest parks in Sacramento, covering 18 acres. It’s well known for its trees, and you can lounge and picnic beneath them. The park contains a half-mile walking trail, making it a good place for walking your dog or quick exercise.

Here’s where you can find these North Highlands things to do:

The North Highlands Recreation and Parks District maintains North Highlands parks and plans programs and special events in the neighborhood, including field trips to art museums. You can use the North Highlands Recreation and Parks events calendar to see when these programs take place.

Schools in North Highlands

The Twin Rivers Unified School District serves all students living in North Highlands. 13 different elementary schools serve students in North Highlands; you can use the Twin Rivers Unified School District map to see where these schools and their boundaries are. Notable elementary schools in North Highlands include Sierra View Elementary School. 41% of Sierra View Elementary students test at or above the proficiency level in mathematics, 12 percentage points higher than the district average.

Seven middle schools serve students in North Highlands CA; you can use the Twin Rivers Unified School District map for middle schools to see which one your kids will go to. Highlands High School is the only high school for students living in North Highlands. Highlands High School has several unique programs for its students, including digital music production and game design.

You also have options for charter schools. US News considers Creative Connections Arts Academy to be the top school in North Highlands Sacramento. Creative Connections Arts Academy is a K-12 charter school focused on the arts, with students working with visiting artists on a range of projects. Students regularly go on field trips and volunteer in their communities.

North Highlands does not have any private schools. American River College is in southern North Highlands. American River College is a community college that offers associate degrees and certificates. It’s well-known for its literary magazine, The American River Review, which has won awards from the Associated Collegiate Press.

North Highlands CA does not have a library; the nearest one is the North Highlands-Antelope Branch of the Sacramento Public Library system.

Is North Highlands Safe?

Is North Highlands safe? Here are the latest North Highlands crime rates:

  • Overall North Highlands crime rate: 4,698 offenses per 100,000 residents (37% higher than the Sacramento crime rate, 102.2% higher than the national average)
  • Violent North Highlands crime rate: 826 crimes per 100,000 people (20.9% higher than the Sacramento rate, 112.9% higher than the national average)
  • Property North Highlands crime rate: 3872 offenses per 100,000 people (41.1% higher than the Sacramento rate, 97.8% higher than the national average)

While North Highlands has high crime rates, there are safe places to live in the neighborhood. A Sacramento crime map reveals that most blocks and streets in North Highlands CA report no crimes, and crimes that do occur are non-violent property offenses. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office (SAC Sheriff) provides law enforcement services in North Highlands. The SAC Sheriff office employs 18 command staffers and dozens of deputies who respond to all emergencies.

North Highlands CA Real Estate

The North Highlands CA real estate market is large and diverse, including many options for homes for sale. According to Redfin, the median cost of homes for sale in North Highlands CA is $411,000, with a cost per square foot of $341.

North Highlands has a mixture of single-family homes and condos and multi-family properties, as well as a mixture of architectural styles. You can find ranch-style homes with spacious backyards and manicured landscapes and humbler mid-century homes with small yards. Most properties in North Highlands were built between 1940 and 1970, but they’ve renovated and updated with modern features like solar panels and attached garages.

According to RentCafe, North Highlands apartments cost $1,448 a month on average, $402 lower than the Sacramento average and $270 lower than the national average. The community contains a few homes for rent and small apartment complexes, including Bent Tree Apartments. Bent Tree Apartments offers one and two-bedroom apartments with 600 to 800 square feet of space starting at $1,250 a month, making it a good place for young professionals and singles to live in.

Living in North Highlands is ideal for everyone! You can enjoy kid-friendly things to do, beautiful parks, delicious restaurants, and high-paying jobs in North Highlands.

You can figure out moving to North Highlands today. Mother Lode Moving’s team of North Highlands movers has served over 200,000 customers. Call 916-631-4285 for a free estimate.


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