Best Cities to Live in California – Top 5 Best Places
California has been widely considered one of the coolest states in the United States. This idea has been quickly changing in the opposite direction recently as Californians flee the state in larger and larger numbers. California remains a beautiful state, and many people choose to move there.
The beaches have stunning views. You can ski, surf, and sandboard in the desert all day.
It is no surprise that many would like to move there. It is the most populous state in the U.S. and has the largest economy.
According to a U.S. News & World Report, California’s education and healthcare are among the most excellent in the country.
California was ranked 23rd after considering all the other factors, including crime and corrections as well as the economy, infrastructure, opportunity, and government. The latter two are major contributors to the decline.
California is an appealing place that most people can’t resist.
Then, it becomes a question: Where is the best place to live in California?
1. San Diego
San Diego is a melting pot of cultures and is widely considered one of the world’s most beautiful places.
The Weather Channel rated it the best climate for summer in America. Wallet Hub ranked it the seventh-happiest area to live in America. This global tourist hub is famous for its nightlife, particularly in the Gaslamp Quarter.
The cost of living is expected to be high. This deters most people. The median home value in the United States is $463,300. Compare this to the national average of ($178,000.) Rents are an average of $1,377.
The rate of rent can fluctuate depending on the suburb. There are many stunning ones along the coast and inland. Each one has its own unique personality.
However, the employment prospects in this area are better than most others because of the diverse industries. The median household income is $66,116. This is significantly higher than the $53,889 national average.
San Diego is a great place to live if you have the means. It perfectly combines all the best aspects of a large city with idyllic weather and world-famous attractions.
This is a great choice for families with young children, college students, and beachgoers.
Irvine, California’s smallest city, has a population of 240,000. It will be difficult to find a city with such an impressive CV, no matter how small or large.
Irvine, located in sunny Orange County, is one of America’s wealthiest and most secure cities. It is often found on reputable Best places to live lists. This is because it has everything.
The economy is strong. There are many jobs available, and they pay well. Nearly 200 Fortune 500 companies are located in the area, providing most jobs. A rail system also connects the town with other important centers such as Los Angeles.
From kindergarten through college, the education quality is excellent. People travel to prestigious institutions like Irvine Valley College, Concordia University, the University of California, and the University of California. Nearly 97% of high school graduates go on to university.
Irvine was also recognized for its commitment to cleaner environments, which has earned it the title of one of America’s greenest cities.
Irvine’s homes are some of the most expensive in the country, at $688,200. It is difficult to afford them. Single-family homes tend to be in the seven-figure price range. However, foreign investors continue to buy properties in this area.
3. Palo Alto
California’s small town has just over 66,000 residents. It is home to some of the most talented minds in the world.
The public schools in this area are ranked among the top in the country. There are also some great restaurants in the Bay Area.
Palo Alto isn’t all work and play. Although it is a small community, Palo Alto feels alive and vibrant. There are plenty of bars and clubs to suit everyone’s tastes, whether you’re a college student or a more laid-back person.
However, small towns are not cheap. The average home price is $1.5 million. However, the median income for a house is above $136,000, which is more than twice the national average of $53,889.
4. Mountain View
Mountain View is the home of Google, one of the world’s most well-known tech brands.
San Jose is the largest city in Northern California and is home to just 80,000 people. It is Silicon Valley’s cultural, political and economic epicenter. The average home here is $880,000, which is in line with the high prices in this area.
You pay this price to get a 30% lower crime rate than the national average and excellent schools. These are two great features that make this a great place for families.
The town is a tech-oriented city and has many parks and recreation spaces.
Rent is on average $1,700 per month. However, the cost of living is offset somewhat by high-paying jobs in tech which have pushed the median household income to over $100,000
5. Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach, a small California town with 35,000 residents, is in Southern California. The town was established in 1912. Although the population is small, it has been around since 1912.
This is the place for the elite.
The average household income is $143,500. Houses in Manhattan Beach fetch a staggering $1.4 million. You would expect such high prices to come with top-notch amenities, which is exactly what you get at Manhattan Beach.
Within 15 miles of the city, you will find exceptional public and private schools in this small coastal town.
The area, despite its small size, is filled with recreational facilities. These include beautiful hotels that draw crowds year-round and parks that offer a lot of to-dos.
A small community has many advantages. It provides residents with a safe environment. The 25% national crime rate is an example of this.
Rental properties average $2,122. Steep, yes. The benefits are well worth it.
Davis, a small community located near Sacramento, has a population of approximately 66,000. Although it is small, Davis is home to one of California’s largest campuses. Technically, it is a college town.
Apart from the university campus, the suburb has a solid education system. It is home to a high percentage of high school students graduating and a high percentage of high-school graduates who take college preparatory courses. This makes it one of the nation’s most educated and smartest cities.
Families have 400 acres of park space for themselves, allowing them to enjoy various activities.
There is always something to keep everyone entertained or occupied. Local theatre. Outdoor concerts. Shopping (there are many thrift shops in the area). Cycling. The Davis Farmers Market is undoubtedly one of the most authentic markets.
Picnic in Park is a summer event bringing the entire town together for music, food, and a market.
7. Lake Forest
Lake Forest is located south of Irvine. It can be described as offering a similar lifestyle but at a fraction the cost. The median home value in Lake Forest is $543,600 lower than the southern counterpart. However, the average household income slightly exceeds that of its southern counterpart.
What would you do if you decided to move here?
According to NerdWallet, it is among California’s top 10 most sought-after cities. According to state data, the graduation rate is 95.8%. Many Lake Forest schools scored above 8 out of 10 according to the Great Schools website.
This program is available to students in the suburb of 19,375. It includes day trips, after-school help and information about volunteering opportunities.
Families with young children will enjoy a visit to the Pretend City Children Museum, or Omar’s Exotic Birds. You can also find plenty of activities at the parks more than dozen other locations.
You might consider moving to Sacramento if some of these places seem a bit out of reach because of their high prices.
California’s inland capital is known for its tree-lined streets and vibrant food scene. It is a great place to call home if you are looking for a California residence.
The housing is also affordable in comparison to other areas of the state. Maybe there is a benefit to being outshined in the coastal areas. The Sacramento median home value is $238,500. This price is still affordable to most people.
Sacramento is home to just over half a million people. It perfectly combines the excitement of urban life with the tranquility of suburban living. Many would prefer it that way.
Although it doesn’t have a coastline, plenty of outdoor activities can be enjoyed. There are rivers and streams everywhere. There are parks all around the city. Some foothills can be used for hiking. Folsom Lake is a great place to swim, waterski, and sunbathe. Tahoe is about an hour and a half away. Napa and Sonoma are also close by, both famous for their high-quality wines.
Redlands, California, is another California area that offers affordable housing. This small community of 70,000 people has a median home worth $310,200 and average rent prices of $1,155. This is slightly higher than the national average of $928.
Redlands has a high education level compared to the national average. The public school system is excellent, with Niche.com rating it a solid A.
Most town dwellers are professionals, service providers, sales and office workers. In most major cities, the ratio of blue-collar and white-collar jobs is not overwhelmingly towards one.
Redlands is a family-oriented community, as residents are eager to admit. This is a positive outcome, as everything, from the amenities to the crime rate to the education system, is good. Various parent groups work to maintain this status quo.
Murrieta, a California town of one hundred thousand residents, is located in Riverside County. This is a great place for families who are looking for affordable housing with plenty of opportunities to get involved.
Median home value in Murrieta is $310,000. Although this is higher than the $178,000 national average, it is still lower than the California pricey standard. The housing prices make it so attractive for individuals and businesses.
The median household income in the city is $74,000, which is also higher than the national average. This is a city that is well-known for its beautiful surroundings and natural beauty. This has made it easier to market rentals.
It’s located within 100 miles from Los Angeles. If safety is a priority, you will be glad to know that 24/7 Wall Street ranked Murrieta second in America for safest cities in 2017.
11. Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara County is a beautiful place to call home. It is home to 435,000 people. Santa Barbara, however, is home to 99,000.
It is home to some of California’s most beautiful scenes, which is why it was named the American Riviera.
Apart from the stunning harbor, the southern and western areas are dotted by spectacular coastal plains. The world-famous mountainous region, which includes the Santa Ynez Mountains (Sierra Madre Mountains) and the San Rafael Mountains, is also located here.
It is not surprising that the southern coastal plains are densely populated. On average, a rental home will run you just $1,400 per month.
The median home value in the county is $465,000. However, this does not mean that you won’t find lower options. This average is inflated by beautiful mansions, some of which Hollywood stars own.
Living costs are generally high. If your household income is below $60,000, it may be difficult to make ends meet. The median household income is $63,985. This is something to keep in mind as you search for a California home.
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar.
Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications.
Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: email@example.com