8 Best Places To Live In California

California is the most populated state in the US, and as such, it has a lot to offer in the way of lavish living and fun things to do. The state provides many attractions for tourists to enjoy, including beaches, mountains, and beautiful parks for hiking and camping. All of these things are great for the soul as well as the body. The weather is also great, which is excellent for vacations or for staying home.

Of course, it is not a secret that this place had a bad run in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, economic fallout, and even a severe wildfire season. 

Despite these ordeals, California remained resilient. It is still a dream destination for those who are seeking stardom or career opportunities. In fact, you may even get a job in Apple, Salesforce, or Google if you got what it takes to land on them! 

But for others, California living is all about the beaches and having the best time of their lives!

Furthermore, California has a superb standard of living. This state is the tenth place in Sharecare’s 2019 Well-Being Index, which indicates that most of its residents have a sense of satisfaction and purpose in their lives. Leisure and entertainment are flourishing in this area. Your life will never be dull here. 

In this post, I will list down all the best places to live in California. If you have plans to settle in the West, the following California cities are worth checking out!

8 Best Places To Live In California

Santa Rosa

One of the most significant advantages of Santa Rosa is its meager unemployment rate. Most residents here have stable jobs or businesses, which eventually helped its economy grow over the recent years. 

Despite this, Santa Rosa remains calm and idyllic. It has a laid-back atmosphere, which is unique given that it is situated in one of the busiest states in the country. Here, you will not find skyscrapers and towering buildings. There are no subways either. However, its small-city vibe makes it a top destination for individuals who want to retire or start a family. 

Santa Rosa is also known for its wineries. In fact, some of the best wines in the world are found here!

Specifically, this city within Sonoma County is located 55 miles from the north of San Francisco. It has a small population but features large household incomes. It also offers plenty of amenities and services. The local flavors of Santa Rosa are definitely world-class. There’s no need to leave this place just to taste exquisite cuisines and delicacies. 

Of course, since Santa Rosa has a limited number of local employers, you may need to extend your employment search. The good thing is, transportation isn’t a problem here. It’s good climate all year round is also in your favor!

Yuba City

If you want to live in California, I really recommend that you check out Yuba City. Now, I understand if some of you are not familiar with this place, given that it is only a small town within Sutter Country. It is roughly 50 miles to the north of Sacramento. Meanwhile, it has around 70,000 residents as of 2020, making it one of the smallest places in California in terms of population. 

One of the reasons I included this place on this list is its low housing costs. Keep in mind that its median home value is only $197,000, which is lower than the national average. At the same time, it is incredibly cheap considering that the city is within an expensive state. 

Furthermore, there are a lot of employment opportunities that you can stumble upon in this town. It also has a progressive economy, resulting in households having sufficient or more income in their tables. 

I do admit that Yuba City doesn’t have the same bustling liveness as Los Angeles and San Jose. However, it has been thoroughly compensated for by its wide selection of world-class restaurants and natural attractions. The Ellis Lake, Bok Kai Temple, and Sutter County Museum are some of the small-time wonders you can explore in this town.

If you want a city in California that offers an affordable cost of living, Bakersfield is definitely the choice for you! Why? You see, there’s no need for you to be extremely wealthy for you to be able to reside here. It has a decent median home price, starting at $280,000 as of December 2020. Considering that it is a metro state, such a price tag is truly appealing. Even its rental rates are not that expensive as compared to other cities in the state. 

Many people want to seize this fantastic opportunity that Bakersfield offers when it comes to its housing prices. Furthermore, you may also want to take advantage of its growing economy. Its primary economic backbone is its oil industry, but it also flourishes in other job markets, such as in finance, retail, and healthcare. The city’s biggest hospitals–Memorial Hospital, Mercy Hospital Downtown, and Mercy Hospital Southwest–are also its most prominent employers. 

For the record, the nightlife in this city isn’t as jovial and ecstatic as other cities in California. But at the same time, Bakersfield offers a thriving art and culture scene. Just visit the Bakersfield Museum of Art, Kern County Museum, and California Living Museum, and you’ll know what I am talking about.

It is also an excellent residential venue for those who want to experience California’s outdoor magnificence. You can even try whitewater rafting and kayaking in this city by heading to American River Recreation, H20 Adventures, and Forebay Aquatic Center. 


I have to inform you that Murrieta is not as affordable as Bakersfield and Yuba City when it comes to housing prices. Specifically, the median home value here is at $310,000, which is higher than the national average. 

However, its main selling point is the fact that it has a low crime rate. In 2017, the 24/7 Wall Street gave Murrieta the recognition of being the safest city in America. Hence, this place is a good deal if you want to start a family or retire. 

Furthermore, it’s not a secret that residents here have plenty of money in their pocket. Its median household income is $75,000, which is definitely higher than the country’s average. Employment is booming here, and fresh graduates have a lot of opportunities for employment. Starting a business is relatively easy, too, as the city’s requirements aren’t that stringent. 

The traveling distance between Murrieta and Los Angeles is just 100 miles. So if you think that the amenities and services in this city are not enough, then you can just hit and drive to the City of Angels!

Of course, Murrieta is a beautiful city. Its suburban vibe is mixed with a genuine tropical atmosphere. Trees and greeneries surround the city, with most of its houses exhibiting an iconic Spanish architecture style. Matching that is the presence of multiple wineries such as the Falkner Winery, Miramonte Winery, and Callaway Vineyard and Winery. 

San Jose

San Jose - 8 Best Places To Live In California
San Jose – 8 Best Places To Live In California

Many people dream of moving in and residing in San Jose, and that’s pretty understandable. You see, some of the most prominent employers and companies in the world have their base of operations here–specifically, at the Silicon Valley. Among these are tech giants such as SAP, eBay, Cisco, and Adobe. Individuals who specialize in IT, computer engineering, and programming are very much welcomed here!

These industries are the driving forces why San Jose offers one of the highest salaries throughout the entire state. The median household income in the city is $109,000, which is pretty stunning. Meanwhile, it has a low unemployment rate, too, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. As of May 2021, its unemployment is only at 4.7 percent. 

Of course, there’s a tradeoff here. The housing prices in San Jose are definitely high. A typical home in the city costs $1.2 million, which is among the highest in the entire country. The home values in this city have increased by 21.8% from 2020 to 2021. Hence, San Jose may only be ideal if you have the cash to pay for its real estate. 

But if you can afford these price tags, then San Jose is more than willing to welcome you. It has a diverse set of attractions–from man-made to natural scenery. You are also free to wander around; after all, it is a safe city with low crime rates!

Los Angeles

You may have thought that Los Angeles would top this list, given its popularity and glamorous atmosphere. But you see, other places in California have better living standards than LA. 

Many of you already know that Los Angeles is a city of celebrities and numerous businesses. It’s a metropolis being overwhelmed by traffic on a daily basis. Of course, it is not a surprise as it is the second-biggest metropolitan area in the United States. It has a large population, too, which may not be favorable for those who want a quiet and simple life. 

Despite this, many still dream of living in Los Angeles. After all, it still lives up to its promise of making your dreams come true. Many careers have been built here. Employment is not a problem as many businesses are willing to take you in. If you are into entertainment, you’ll find a lot of opportunities here.

Furthermore, Los Angeles has an opposite atmosphere to Santa Rosa. While the latter is laid-back, Los Angeles is high-spirited. People are always on the move. In fact, you can say that the city never sleeps. 

Surely enough, this city is not just an urban jungle. It still has the largest green parks throughout the country. Moreover, it offers miles of beachfront and towering canyons that are waiting for you to explore. Also, let me tell you that Los Angeles is the destination of the 2028 Olympics!

Read more: 9 Best Places To Live In North Carolina

San Diego

You’ll definitely love to reside in San Diego if you are planning to start a family. It is one of the cities in California that showcases a low unemployment rate and high educational attainment. Employment opportunities are always present here as long as you have sufficient qualifications. Furthermore, the city has higher salary rates as compared to some cities on this list. Its median household income is $75,000 on average.

Many residents of San Diego stayed in the place because of its commuter-friendly transportation system. You can reach your destination with little to no delays. The city is also pedestrian and bike-friendly; that’s a plus point already. 

The 32nd Street Naval Station, the second largest surface ship base in the country, is in San Diego. It is a local attraction and a testament to the city’s booming economy. As a matter of fact, the government is San Diego’s biggest employer. If you want to stay corporate, companies like SeaWorld, General Dynamics, and Kaiser Permanente have their door opened for you. 

Nightlife in San Diego is genuinely reverberating. It is never bland as it has a gamut of nightclubs and bars in the Gaslamp neighborhood. But at the same time, housing prices in San Diego are pretty steep. Its median home price as of 2021 is $750,000. 


Sacramento is the first on our list, making it the best place to live in California. One reason for this is its moderate real property price. Despite having the same economic liveliness as Los Angeles and San Jose, its median housing price sits only $400,000. It is cheaper by a large margin as compared to some metro areas in the state. It’s a bargain that you couldn’t miss. 

Development in Sacramento is fast and non-stop, with government offices and agencies being its top employer. If your career is inclined in healthcare, renewable energy, and life sciences, you will find a place in this city.  

The inland capital of the state is quite popular for its streets teeming with trees. Transportation here has been pleasant throughout the years. Moreover, it has a diverse food scene. Beers, wines, and other delicacies are pretty abundant here. Furthermore, you will have a good time here if you are into concerts, festivals, and art walks. 

Since it has a modest standard of living, its costs of basic amenities and essentials aren’t that expensive. Coupled with the fact that its median household income is $69,000 as of recent, locals here have more than enough on their plates!

And that completes our list! Subscribe and turn on notifications so that you’ll never miss any of my videos. I’ll see you next time. Take care and stay safe!

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