Top 10 Best Places to Live in California with the Best Quality of Life - 2022
California is among the most significant states in the nation, both in terms of land size and population, so it offers a vast region for people to live in. It is a great place to be a nature-lover and an outdoor enthusiast and one of the best places to consider moving to. It has the biggest public university system in the country, with a nearly endless variety of job opportunities for new residents. California is also one of the most expensive places to move to in America, and some of its cities are noted for high crime rates. However, we compiled this list of the top 10 best places to live in California in 2022 with low crime rates and affordability. While these cities may not be the biggest or most popular, they have been chosen based on their quality of life.
(*Smart Asset & Embrace SomePlace)
“Best” being a subjective word, below is our methodology to compile the best places.
Using our existing ranking of the safest and cheapest places to live in California, we based our ranking on 3 criteria: safety, affordability and access to recreational facilities and parks.
Safety is measured based on the 3 following criteria: the violent-crime rate, the property crime rate, and the total crime rate (the sum of both property and violent-crime rates). Statistics come from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. As a reference, the United States of America recently registered an average rate of 308 violent-crimes per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 1958.
Affordability takes into account the prices of housing and renting. Statistics come from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER).
Finally, we used the following data to rank the 10 best places to live in California while also taking into account their quality of life. Health, pollution, green spaces and recreation, climate, education and employment are the criteria involved to determine the quality of life.
MovingWaldo’s list of the 10 best places to live in California - 2022
Best for raising a family
Irvine has been ranked one of the best cities to live in California and named the second-best city to raise a family because of its high marks in health, socioeconomics, and education. It boasts an excellent education system. The University of California at Irvine is one of the country’s best schools. It is the safest city of its size in the US, their waste management is excellent, and recycling is enthusiastically encouraged.
One of the main reasons is that Irvine hosts several large employers within its city limit as a result of the economy there being robust and vibrant. If you are a young professional looking for growth opportunities, then moving to Irvine is a step in the right direction.
2. San Diego
Best for young professionals looking for career growth
San Diego is nicknamed America’s Finest City and one of the best places to live in California. It offers world-class dining, professional sports, and entertainment options typical of a large metro area. Living in San Diego is more affordable than in another large metro city, the unemployment rate in San Diego is lower than the state average, and the city’s average wages are higher than the national average. This city has so many incredible areas to live in. Suppose you’re looking to bring your family to San Diego (or start a family once you get there), in that case, you’ll have plenty of excellent educational opportunities from the several school districts serving the city. San Diego has also ranked one of the safest cities in California.
(*PODS & Extra Space)
San Diego, CA
Best for quality healthcare and schools
Clovis’s economy is fueled by retail sales and services and light manufacturing. It is also famous for its quality hospital care, responsive safety services, a mild climate, excellent schools with modern facilities, varied recreational opportunities, strong community identity, and affordable housing. The Clovis Unified School District is a prestigious establishment which provides exceptional quality education to the Clovis community. All these make it one of the best cities to live in California. You can find a house in Clovis, California, for $263,500. While the rent in Clovis is an average of $1,093 per month.
4. Palo Alto
Best for nightlife and outdoor activities
Palo Alto is a gorgeous city known to be one of the best cities in California. This city provides a safe, friendly environment for all its residents. The city is known for pleasant weather, active nightlife, and various outdoor activities. Palo Alto provides a comfortable culture and desirable lifestyle for all their residents and is known to have plenty of fantastic neighborhoods. Many parks and shops are nearby, making it a fun place to raise kids. The excellent schools in Palo Alto attract many people to the area. All of these schools are highly complimented on their diverse environment, student progress, and students’ high test scores.
Palo Alto, CA
Badge top rated schools
Holtville, formerly known as Holton, is a city in Imperial County, California. In this city, you can find many restaurants, bars, and stores with everyday essentials. If you have children, you will be glad to know that public schools in Holtville are excellent as they are rated above average. If you plan to live in the area, the average home price in Holtville is around $150,900. As for an apartment, the average price of rent in Holtville is around $716 per month. Holtville is definitely one of the most affordable places to live in California.
(*AreaVibes & Niche)
Best for tranquility
Pensacola is one of the best places to live in Florida. Here, residents enjoy the city’s warm climate and desirable setting. Pensacola offers a small-town charm with rich historical heritage, emerald-colored Gulf waters, and affordable housing. Pensacola is a great place to live in, especially if you love the outdoor life because the city is filled with many public parks and access to brackish bays and expansive beaches. Additionally, fresh seafood anchors the city’s food scene, with many area restaurants. Pensacola has a climate ideal for everyone because the temperature remains mild even during the coldest months of the year. Top employment sectors in the Pensacola area include tourism and hospitality, medical and healthcare services, education, retail, and professional services.
Best for affordable cost of living
Palm Bay is central Florida’s secret gem filled with natural resources for those adventurous enough to explore. It is located southeast of Orlando in east Central Florida, nestled between Jacksonville and Miami. As one of the best places to live in Florida, Palm Bay offers residents elegant dining, scenic waterfront views, and unique shopping experiences. The Fred Poppe Regional Park, formerly Palm Bay Regional Park, was built in the 1990s, and it’s the largest in the city. Palm Bay also offers affordable accommodation. If you plan to live in the area, the average home price in Palm Bay is around $110,000. As for an apartment, the average rent in Palm Bay is around $949 per month.
8. Santa Clara
Best for young professionals looking for career growth
Santa Clara is one of the best and wealthiest cities in the United States, with fantastic weather. The unemployment rate in Santa Clara is below average and it ranks well in a combination of education, crime, cost of living, diversity and has something for everyone. In addition, Santa Clara has lower utility bills since the city owns and operates its own water/electricity. It has bars and restaurants within walking distance. Also, It has great benefits for families, such as family-friendly neighborhoods, reputable public schools, fun entertainment options for all ages, and is one of the safest cities and counties in the country.
(*Up Homes & Citytistics)
Santa Clara, CA
Best for raising a family
Sacramento is among some of the best places to live in California and some of the most affordable. The city’s cost of living is lower than the state average. Sacramento is now among the top U.S. cities for job seekers, as the area is one of the best metro areas for job creation. It is home to multiple sports teams; there is no shortage of games to watch and groups to support. On the weekend, you may enjoy Capitol Park, shopping, and restaurants to unwind. Families with young children are happy to know that their school system is among the best, as many opportunities and resources are available for students and excellent recreational activities for children.
(*Up Homes & Extra Space)
10. San Juan Capistrano
Best for safety
In San Juan Capistrano the property crime rate is 8.2 per 1000 people, which is 64% less than California’s average property crime rate. On the other hand, the total crime rate is 9.94 per 1000 people, which is 63% lower than the average total crime rate, making it one of the safest cities in California. In San Juan Capistrano, there are a lot of coffee shops and restaurants where residents enjoy Mediterranean dishes and world-class Mexican cuisine. The city has one high school, which is highly rated, although many students attend high schools in neighboring cities.
San Juan Capistrano, CA
California is among the best states to live in regarding the quality of life. While the average cost of living and property prices are significantly higher in California than in other US cities, there is also the potential for higher-than-average salary costs. It is a great place to be a nature lover and an outdoor enthusiast. There are plenty of great reasons to live in California considering the affordability and safety. With this ranking of the best places to live in California, you should be able to make a choice on your next move! Are you moving soon? Find out the best Los Angeles movers!
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