9 Best Places to Live in California


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Go West, young man! People are still moving to California at incredible rates, and the Golden State has many cities that are solid gold when it comes crime rate, education, scenic beauty, population density, and cultural amenities. While the numbers don’t lie, there is a bit of subjectivity when it comes to what the city has to offer. Some people like seafood, for example, and others don’t. Yeah, it’s not a big deal. These really the state’s best cities to call home.

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foster california

#1. Foster City

With only a 3% unemployment rate, Foster City is among the best in the country, let alone California, for jobs. Add a low crime rate and solid school system, and you can understand why Foster City took the number one spot on our list. The beautiful surrounding Bay Area, and the close proximity to  San Francisco are bonuses as well.

orange california

#2. Orange

Another city with an extremely low unemployment rate, Orange slides in just behind Foster City at #2. The beautiful weather is another reason for the high ranking, as the city stays warm and pleasant almost the whole year round. With plenty of cultural amenities, including a fantastic library system and beautiful, historic Old Town area, it’s a great place to call home.

pidemont california

#3. Piedmont

This small town just outside of Oakland enjoys all the benefits of the area, like beautiful weather and density, without the high crime rates that unfortunately detract from the larger city. In fact, Piedmont is one of the safest cities in California. The median income is also impressively high, making it a sort of diamond in the rough in Northern California.

San Carlos California

#4. San Carlos

In the case of San Carlos, the numbers really do tell the story. The unemployment rate is unbelievably low (2.8%) and the median income high. But you might have trouble finding a home as competition to live in this area is also extremely high/the vacancy rate extremely low. San Carlos has a great school system as well, so it is a great place to put down roots.

placentia california

#5. Placentia

Low unemployment seems to be a trend with California’s top cities, and Placentia is no exception. Residents also enjoy temperate climates, and great amenities like public parks, historic sites, and restaurants. The cost of living, like San Carlos above, is pretty high but it’s a “you get what you pay for” situation. You can’t go wrong buying a home here.

Irvine california

#6. Irvine

Irvine is beautiful. And more importantly, it’s safe. The city’s low crime rates were one of the main reasons for its placement on this list, but the great education system and low unemployment rates don’t hurt either. It also offers great museums, entertainment centers, and parks, and if it is important to keep your aging parents nearby, plenty of top-notch assisted living facilities as well.

cupertino california

#7. Cupertino

Silicon Valley puts Cupertino at the center of the tech boom, and living here you’ll reap plenty of the benefits. You’ll be surrounded by the innovators changing this country, and there are plenty of jobs available. The school system is also fantastic, so children raised here will benefit in more ways than one with a life in Cupertino.

cypress california

#8. Cypress

Great, dry weather and low crime rates are assets of living in Cypress. It’s Southern California location keep things beautiful. The area is popular however, and it does get a little busy (congested), which kept it from scoring higher on this list. Still, there’s plenty to do and few things to complain about when relaxing at home.

La Palma California

#9. La Palma

Rounding out the list is La Palma, a city known for its beauty and weather, as well as for its safe streets. You’ll feel comfortable at home here, but you’ll certainly pay for it: the taxes are among the highest in California. Still, sometimes it’s worth paying a little extra for comfort, safety, and the city amenities, that La Palma has to offer.