Johnny Cash helped put Folsom on the map in 1956 when he wrote "Folsom Prison Blues." The prison is still one of the city's largest employers, but companies such as Verizon and Intel run major operations in the area, turning Folsom into a thriving tech community. Ryan Sharp of the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization says that a number of industries are blooming, including finance, high tech, and clean energy. Japanese restaurants should also take note: Folsom houses operations for Gekkeikan Sake and Kikkoman Foods, the world's largest soy sauce provider.
While the inland shift of population from the Bay Area to the Sacramento hub has benefited all of the capital's suburbs, Folsom in particular stands out for its light rail connection to the city. For those who are too crunchy even for public transportation, a 32-mile path runs from Folsom Lake to Sacramento. The city is home to a number of parks, hiking trails, and the vast American River, which draws canoeing enthusiasts and white water rafters. -Mina Kimes