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Best Places To Live In California 2021

Nearby Areas With A High Livability Score87
  • Los Altos, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 30,238
  • I grew up in Los Altos and spent a lot of my time walking around the town and finding out the "secrets" of the town. Los Altos is a sleepy old town with lots of history, but it is sleepy for sure: there…[read more]
87
  • Lafayette, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 25,381
  • Lafayette is an incredible small city across the bay from San Francisco. It is tucked in between many small parks that are very fun to spend time in, no matter what time of year it is. The Lafayette…[read more]
87
  • Saratoga, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 30,830
  • I grew up in Saratoga. Unlike many of the people I grew up with, I stayed. There is definitely a bit of a sleepy small town feeling here, but I personally find it enchanting. I delight in seeing the main…[read more]
87
  • Los Gatos, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 30,491
  • My husband and I moved here with our two sons in 2000. We came from West San Jose. Our WSJ home had Cupertino schools, but ZERO charm. So the schools were a HUGE draw for us. We love the friendly "small…[read more]
87
  • Solana Beach, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 13,312
  • I've lived in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Hermosa Beach, Venice Beach, San Luis Obispo Encinitas & Carlsbad SO i've been around! Solana Beach has a down to earth vide, art scene, big events, variety of…[read more]
86
  • Mill Valley, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 14,318
  • At the foot of Mount Tamalpais is Mill Valley. Accurately named for long-ago lumber milling operations, the town remains fairly eclectic. You can find money stuffed executives living next to pauper…[read more]
86
  • Contra Costa Centre, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 6,190
86
  • Manhattan Beach, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 35,573
  • After living in and around Manhattan Beach for nearly a decade, I think that this beach city is filled with great things to do at all times of the year. The neighborhood features great restaurants and…[read more]
86
  • San Anselmo, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 12,623
  • San Anselmo, California is a industrial urban town of more than 12,000 residents. The cost of living is expensive, however the quality of homes are worth the pay. The job market here is blooming, jobs…[read more]
86
  • Hillsborough, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 11,312
  • I’ve lived in Hillsborough for 10 years. The cost of living is extremely expensive in Hillsbourough, but the low crime rates and safe neighborhoods make it well worth it in my mind. The weather is…[read more]
86
  • Danville, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 43,758
  • I lived in Danville California for the better part of my childhood, and I still travel there to visit my parents and grandparents during holidays. The city is a very calm place, and in my opinion a great…[read more]
86
  • San Ramon, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 74,366
  • And a San Ramon native I for one can vouch for the fact that it is single-handedly one of the most beautiful places in the Bay. With a very mild climate and beautiful atmosphere, San Ramon is also a…[read more]
85
  • Laguna Beach, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 23,204
  • Laguna Beach has been my home my whole life and I absolutely love this city! The beautiful sunsets on the amazing beaches are like no other. The weather is so amazing especially in the summers. The…[read more]
85
  • Larkspur, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 12,268
  • Larkspur, California is the best place to call home in the entire state! We have a great community full of friendly people. There are several different things to do here, the weather is spectacular, and…[read more]
85
  • San Carlos, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 29,596
  • San Carlos is a small town - but it’s a nice one. There isn’t much going on when it comes to nightlife, which is why you’d need to head into San Francisco if you wanted anything to do with that (and…[read more]
85
  • Saranap, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 6,211
85
  • Tamalpais-Homestead Valley, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 10,605
  • Imagine finding a town with all the beauty that California has to offer, great people who are more than just neighbors and friend, a solid economy with an active job force, great schools to educate your…[read more]
85
  • Cupertino, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 60,297
  • My husband and I lived in Cupertino for five years while my husband had a job in the area. Since then, we have moved to another part of the country and miss some of the features Cupertino has to offer.…[read more]
84
  • Pacific Grove, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 15,546
  • I retired here to Pacific Grove, California 7 years ago and I love it here. This place offers me everything that I need to enjoy by leisurely days. The neighborhoods are quiet and the people are…[read more]
84
  • San Marino, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 13,324
  • Living in San Marino, CA was very fast paced and a little stressful. I say stressful and past paced because of the cost of living. Living here was very expensive. The cost of living only continues to…[read more]
84
  • Dublin, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 54,523
  • I have lived near Dublin, California in the East Bay Area for several years and it is an absolutely lovely place to live, if you have the money of course. Dublin is a very expensive part of the East Bay…[read more]
84
  • La Cañada Flintridge, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 20,477
  • If you have over a million dollars and want a wonderful location, safe neighborhood and great schools, this is the town for you. La Canada is near everything but the beach. You can reach Downtown La, The…[read more]
84
  • Marina del Rey, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 9,782
  • I live near there and visit someone there a lot. It’s cool but small lol. A a a a a a a a a…[read more]
84
  • Kensington, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 5,602
84
  • Palos Verdes Estates, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 13,582
  • I have relatives that have lived in Palos Verdes Estates for a long time and have visited the city often and know it very well. This is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in California, perfect for…[read more]
84
  • Fairfax, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 7,598
84
  • Foster City, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 32,967
  • Foster City is a good city. It has good parks, it is very safe and it's very diverse. But there are problems with it. There really is nothing to do here in Foster City. It's just a bunch of parks and…[read more]
84
  • Sierra Madre, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 11,067
  • The city of Sierra Madre is one of the best destinations for couples, a family or even for any person willing to get a new experience. The town is based at the foothill of San Gabriel Mountains. For the…[read more]
84
  • Tiburon, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 9,170
83
  • Ladera Ranch, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 27,121
  • Ladera Ranch is the kind of place that you see on television shows and movies. It’s a small suburb of Los Angeles that tends to cater to families. While there are plenty of single people who live here,…[read more]
83
  • Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 42,412
  • For your Rancho Palos Verdes Real Estate needs visit www.SouthBay4Sale.com From the beautiful coastlines, Trump Golf Course, to Terranea Resort Rancho Palos Verdes how so much to see and do. he…[read more]
83
  • Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 49,038
  • RSM gives us the small town feel of running into someone you know everyday at the grocery store, gas station or restaurant, while having 10 minute access to big city Irvive amenities. We are 1/2 hour…[read more]
83
  • Piedmont, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 11,201
  • Living in the city of Piedmont is an amazing, yet expensive experience. When I lived in Piedmont, there was never a dull day. This city is full of life and excitement. There is always somewhere to go…[read more]
83
  • Laguna Woods, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 16,347
  • I absolutely loved living here with my Grandparents. It's a warm suburban area that I will always remember as my home. I enjoyed the nightlife, the excellent destinations and the diverse assortment of…[read more]
83
  • Pleasanton, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 77,046
  • I used to live here for few years. At first I thought it was quiet and peaceful. The city was clean and I had all shopping centers nearby. But the whole place's attitude changed once the recession set in…[read more]
83
  • Hermosa Beach, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 19,726
  • I absolutely love almost everything about the beach city of Hermosa Beach. There are dozens of fantastic restaurants, with great attractions and opportunities to have a great time. This city is a family…[read more]
83
  • Redondo Beach, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 67,664
  • Redondo Beach is one of the most gorgeous cities in California. I absolutely adored my visit to this great city. The beach was one of the cleanest that I have ever visited. I was stunned by how glamorous…[read more]
83
  • Los Altos Hills, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 8,376
83
  • Encinitas, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 62,160
  • Stopping in Encinitas on a trip a year or so ago, I was amazed at how much the city offered in terms of sports - especially water sports. The residents of Encinitas focus on one main form of recreation…[read more]
83
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 66,649
  • I have visited Palo Alto twice for business in recent years. I have found it to be a fun trip each time. It has many things to offer for entertainment and fun. One of my favorite places to go to is…[read more]
83
  • Mountain View, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 78,827
  • Living in Mountain View is absolutely incredible thanks to its central location in California as well as being home to America's bright technological future. As a software engineer, I am passionate about…[read more]
82
  • Corte Madera, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 9,694
82
  • Montecito, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 9,193
82
  • Alamo, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 16,078
  • I've lived all over the beautiful state of California and I can honestly say that Alamo is one of the best areas in the whole state to call home. Living in Alamo (a suburb of San Francisco Bay/East Bay)…[read more]
82
  • Burlingame, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 30,118
  • I've found my forever city in Burlingame, CA! I'm coming up on my 4th year living in Burlingame, and I couldn't be happier. We get great weather all year round, and are close to everything we could…[read more]
82
  • Millbrae, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 22,522
  • The title says it all,predominantly an Asian community which explains the low crime rate and staggering property values pricing out the majority and the air port 8 minutes…[read more]
82
  • Loomis, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 6,690
82
  • Folsom, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 74,960
  • I can't wait to move here once I can afford it. It's got everything! Great schools, very low crime, the lake, the American river, camping, walking/biking trails, tons of trees, old timey feel but kept up…[read more]
82
  • Cypress, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 48,978
  • After I got out of the service I moved with my wife and kiddos to Cypress, California. It wasn't my first choice but I had a good job offer there and wanted to move closer to my in-laws who lived in…[read more]
82
  • Arcadia, CA
  • (City)
  • Population: 57,755
  • I have lived in Arcadia, California for about 15 years and I can say that it is certainly a magnificent place. It is a perfect place to visit or to live in and excellent for the whole family as well. One…[read more]

California: Dreamin'

California is like a nation within a nation. If the Golden State were a separate country, its economy would be one of the top ten largest economies in the world. In fact, California’s economy is equal to that of Great Britain and larger than the economies of France, India, Italy, Brazil, and Canada. Hi-tech, agriculture, aerospace, tourism, and Hollywood are the industries that drive California’s economy. California’s diverse economy, plus its diverse geography and culture, attracts many people to move and live in this state.

California is the third largest state in the U.S. with an area of 163,707 square miles, and it’s the largest state by population with just under 40 million residents. Four of the top 15 largest cities in the U.S. by population are in California, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco. To the west is the Pacific Ocean, which provides California with the third longest coastline in the U.S. at 840 miles long. Oregon is to the north, and Nevada and Arizona are to the east. The Colorado River forms a natural border between California and Arizona, and the river is a vital source of water for Southern California and the southwest desert region. To the south, California shares an international border with Mexico.

In general, California has a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters, but the state has distinct climate regions. Most of Southern California has a desert or semi-arid climate with a Mediterranean climate along the coast. Northern California primarily has a Mediterranean climate with pockets of alpine and semi-arid weather. Snow falls in the mountain regions, and snow rarely falls at elevations below 2,500 feet. Most of California’s average total rainfall occurs in Northern California and in the mountain regions. California is also prone to droughts, especially in Southern California.

California is truly an international place as millions of people have come from all over the world to call the Golden State home. Almost half of all Californians speak a language other than English at home, and Spanish is the most popular language spoken. In the Los Angeles region alone, around 185 different languages are spoken. Mexican culture is prevalent throughout California, but Native American and various Asian cultures have also had an impact on California’s cultural heritage.

California offers something for everybody. Yosemite National Park, Redwood National Park, Death Valley, the beach cities, Hollywood, Disneyland, Lake Tahoe, and the Golden Gate Bridge are just some of the interesting places to visit. The state is also home to several professional baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer teams.

Housing and rent prices throughout California are some the highest in the nation. In fact, many of the wealthiest cities in the U.S. are in California. This doesn’t mean affordable housing can’t be found. Whether it’s Northern California or Southern California, AreaVibes can help you find the best places to live in California. You can create a customized list of the best places to live in California that meets your criteria. AreaVibes makes it easy to find your home in California.