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Where to Live in California: Best Cities to Move To

Have you been trying to decide where to live in California? You’ve wanted to move to the Golden State for a while now, but deciding on the exact city or town to call your new home has been a challenge. The whole state simply has so much to offer that it’s difficult to pinpoint a single location you want to spend the next portion of your life in. To make this decision easier for you, we’ve decided to put together a list of the best places to move to in Cali.

Where to Live in California: Best Cities to Move To

Where to Live in California: How to Find the Best Cities and Places

Let us preface this list by saying that the best place to move to will vary from one person to another. That is why we used a number of different parameters to decide which cities and towns make it to our list.

The Best Places in California Depend on Your Personal Preferences

The main factors you should rely on when choosing your new home are your personal preferences. That is, even if you choose a place that is statistically a great option with all the amenities, high living standards, affordable prices and so on, you won’t necessarily end up happy there if it’s not a place you genuinely wanted to move to. So listen to your gut.

Where to Live in California: How to Find the Best Cities and Places

Cities vs. Rural Areas

Yes, the whole state of California is known for its laidback lifestyle and slow pace of life, but its cities are still typical. There’s still a lot of traffic, noise, and a flood of tourists. In other words, the average city and the average rural area in Cali offer significantly different lifestyles. So before you go on a hunt for your new destination, decide on the kind of environment that is best for you.

Do You Want to Live on The Beach

Most people move to Cali because they want to live close to the beach. But the truth is, this state has so much more to offer than that. With more national parks than any other state, you can only imagine the flora and fauna that can be found there.

Do You Want to Live on The Beach

Why Are You Moving

Needless to say, if you’re moving for college, the best thing to do is find a place as close to the school as possible. Likewise, if you got a job offer, you should get a home close to your new workplace. And if you’re looking for a place to retire in, you’ll definitely want to know about the number of medical facilities in the area and the general costs of living. However, if it happens that you are a vegetarian, you would want to research the most vegetarian-friendly cities to move to.

The Weather

Most of the state features a Mediterranean climate. Up north, however, it is somewhat colder and even snows in the winter. Decide what sort of climate suits you better.

The Weather california


Located in the Bay area, Fremont is one of the most popular destinations for moving. Its population is just above 220,000. It is an affluent city with relatively high costs of living.


With a population slightly smaller than Fremont, the city of Irvine is just as high-end. It is located in Orange County and is known for its family-friendly environment. If you want to become a new resident of Irvine, you will need to set aside around $1 million for a house here.

Los Angeles

Needless to say, moving to the City of Angels is a dream come true for many people. If you can afford it, that is. The city is over three times as costly as the country’s average. But it certainly has a lot to offer for the price. The population of Los Angeles exceeds 4 million people.

Los Angeles

Mill Valley

Just north of San Francisco, Mill Valley has a stable real estate market and low crime rates. It is a small city with the current population of only a little over 10,000 residents, which means it will allow you to get away from all the hustle and bustle.

Palo Alto

There are two things that describe Palo Alto perfectly – high costs of living and high living standard. Ask anyone who’s ever lived there, and they’ll assure you that Palo Alto is well worth the price. 

San Diego

With its warm climate and breathtaking beaches, relocating to San Diego is every American’s dream. In fact, it has been named one of the happiest places in the country! It boasts a diverse population, a long list of outdoor activities, and a high quality of life.

San Diego

San Francisco

This is one of those destinations you visit as a tourist and wish you never had to leave. So why not just move to San Francisco? Imagine being able to wake up to the sight of the Golden Gate Bridge every morning. The city also has one of the best public transportation systems in the whole US.

Santa Monica

Santa Monica is the textbook example of what life in California is like. With year-round warm weather and a high level of walkability, it truly offers the laidback lifestyle we all think of when we talk about the Golden State. Needless to say, relocating to Santa Monica comes at a considerable cost.

Santa Rosa

The thing that makes Santa Rosa stand out from all the other destinations is the amazing wine that is produced here. It has numerous restaurants, shops, bars, and other amenities. And what’s more, it is significantly cheaper than most other places on the list! You should be able to find a comfortable home here for around $500,000.

San Jose

With the population of around a million residents, moving to San Jose offers all the amenities that big places have, but it still manages to retain that homely vibe. It has a stable real estate market and the living costs here are on par with the state average.

San Jose