Best Places to Live in California for Young Adults | City Guides | Long Distance USA Movers

What Are the Best Places to Live in California for Young Adults

Are you planning on moving to the Golden State to find work, good education or raise a family? Then you’re probably wondering what the best places to live in California for young adults are. Whether you’re a recent graduate, a professional, or still in college, the State of California has a lot to offer to everyone. All you have to do is make sure you pick the right city.

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How to Decide What the Best Places to Live in California for Young Adults Are

Unfortunately, there is not one single location we can pinpoint as the optimal one. This depends on a long list of factors, as well as your own personal preferences. However, if you are a young adult thinking about moving to California, here are some things you should take into account:

  • The cost of living. Unless you were lucky enough to land a well-paying job right after college, you will likely want to find a reasonably-priced location. For example, moving to Los Angeles alone is not a great idea if your budget is limited, so consider going somewhere more affordable, such as relocating to Sacramento. The best way to figure out whether you can afford to be a resident in a certain location is by using online cost-of-living comparison tools such as Numbeo.
  • Job availability. Unless you are moving for work, you will want to know what the best cities for finding a new job Moving somewhere where the job market is limited is unlikely to kickstart your career. Of course, you should also put in some effort into learning how to get a job in a new city.
  • The population. Although this is not a strict rule, young people usually tend to move to areas populated by residents of their age. Such surroundings simply make it easier to mingle, find things to do, and make friends in a new city.
  • Educational opportunities. Even though you’ve practically just stepped into the professional world, you still may want to go back to school and further your education in the near future. For this reason, you should also take into account the surrounding colleges and universities you could attend and look for the best cities for college graduates.
  • Personal preferences. Of course, your personal needs and preferences are some of the biggest factors, too. Are there cities or neighborhoods you could perfectly picture yourself living in, even if they’re a little further away from your workplace or don’t offer as many amenities? As long as you can still afford to live there comfortably, by all means – go for it!

Now that we’ve gone over what the most important things are when choosing your next home, let us take a look at some of our favorite picks for young adults in California.

San Francisco

At the top of our list, relocating to San Francisco is a great choice for all professionals. With well-paid jobs and an educated workforce, it is a haven for businesses. Some of the fastest thriving industries in the area include biotechnology, hi-tech, medical research, but also trade, transportation, and tourism. The current population here is almost 900,000 residents, with the median household income of over $95,000.

Being popular with tourists, San Francisco offers a lot of entertainment options and pastime activities. From culturally rich content such as theaters and operas to a lively nightlife scene, this place has something for everyone. All you have to do is figure out what you enjoy most.

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A Great Place to Study

Aside from night clubs and museums, San Francisco is a great option for young adults due to the fact that this is where several colleges, universities, and campuses are located. In other words, whether you are moving for school or are planning on improving your education through some evening lectures, this place is a great choice for you.

Santa Clara

Home to Santa Clara University, this community keeps attracting students year after year. Since it is located in the very center of Silicon Valley, it should come as no surprise that a number of hi-tech companies have their headquarters here. Some of the top employers in the area include Applied Materials, Intel, Avaya, and EMC Corporation. Santa Clara has a population of 130,000 residents, and the median income exceeds $100,000. All of this being said, hiring long distance movers from Santa Clara to help you relocate, will put you in a really prospective environment, ideal if you are career chaser.

Things to Do in Santa Clara

Aside from study and career opportunities, Santa Clara offers a number of entertainment options. California’s Great America amusement park is located here, as well as a number of interesting museums and venues, such as the Triton Museum of Art, the Intel Museum, and the Mission City Center for Performing Arts. If you enjoy sports, you probably already know that the famous Levi’s Stadium is located here.


Pasadena has a population of around 150,000 residents. A great number of cultural and scientific institutions call Pasadena their home, some of them being Pasadena City College, the Pasadena Playhouse, the Norton Simon Museum, and the USC Pacific Asia Museum. The Rose Bowl stadium has hosted five Super Bowls so far, as well as the 1984 Olympic Games soccer matches.

Pros and Cons of Living in Pasadena

Located close to downtown LA, Pasadena offers all the amenities that the City of Angels has. It is also a major cultural center and has a well-developed transportation system.

However, there are some disadvantages to living in Pasadena. Most importantly, it is by no means cheap. Sure, living here won’t cost you as much as moving to Hollywood would, but the costs will still be steep.

Huntington Beach

Have you always dreamed of living near the sandy ocean shore? Then Huntington Beach is the place for you! As a bonus, it is only 35 miles away from downtown LA, so you’ll have easy access to all the amenities. This is where Golden West College is located – a school where you could earn an Associate’s Degree or Certificate in a wide range of fields.

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The Industries of Huntington Beach

What makes Huntington Beach stand out is the fact that it is located in an area rich in oil. This accounts for a significant portion of local revenue, followed closely by tourism. Shopping centers and sandy shores attract tourists from all over California, as well as other states, in large numbers. Other industries thriving here include aviation, manufacturing, and trade.

Los Angeles

Of course, the magnificent City of Angels had to have a high spot on our list. If you’re thinking about moving to Los Angeles, we fully support you. Although even the most affordable places to live in LA will still cost you significantly more than some other parts of the country, if you can afford it – California’s biggest metropolis is worth every cent.

As you probably already know, entertainment is the most powerful industry in the area, followed by education, medical care, manufacturing, and tourism.

Where to Live in Los Angeles

Deciding where to live in LA is as difficult as it sounds. There are simply too many options – from the lively and busy downtown area to the peaceful and well-off suburbs of Los Angeles. Of course, you want to find a safe neighborhood in LA, but that’s not enough. If you’re single, you want it to be one of the best places to live in LA for singles, and if you’re not, you’re looking for the best option for raising a family. You can also look into the most affordable places to live in Los Angeles, so you can save money when relocating to a new state.

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Unlike LA, Sacramento comes at a more reasonable cost of living. The capital of California lies on the banks of Sacramento and American Rivers. This is the fastest-growing community in the state, and for a good reason! It has been named the most diverse city in the country, which means it has something to offer to people of all backgrounds, cultures, religions, and languages.

Parks and Recreation in Sacramento

One of the things Sacramento is best known for is its extensive system of parks and green areas. There is a total of more than 5,000 acres of recreational areas in the city. This includes smaller parks in the downtown area, such as Crocker Park and Pioneer Landing, as well as larger and more remote ones, such as American River Parkway.

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Irvine is a place that regularly pops up on top lists of the best cities in California to move to. This comes as no surprise, given the fact that it boasts excellent job opportunities, low crime rate, a number of parks, and countless entertainment options. Some good primary and secondary schools are located here, as well as numerous university campuses. Whether you’re planning on furthering your education or starting a family, relocating to Irvine is a good option for you.

Irvine Isn’t Cheap

As is the case in the rest of Cali, living in Irvine comes at a cost. If you’re planning on becoming a homeowner here, you better start saving up. The median home value in Irvine is more than $850,000. On the other hand, if you want to rent a one-bedroom apartment, you’ll be setting aside around $2,000 every month. The median income in Irvine is a little below $40,000.

San Diego

Last, but not least, San Diego is a true heaven on earth for professionals. The city’s job market is booming, with most people being employed in cellular technologies, education, medicine, and defense. This has also improved the cost of living in San Diego.

However, seafood production and processing are what make San Diego’s market stand out from the rest of Cali. With a significantly low crime rate for a community of its size, moving to San Diego is great for singles and families alike.

Driving in San Diego

If you’re planning on getting an auto transport service and shipping your vehicle here along with ordering moving services, be warned – driving here can be quite a nightmare. Traffic jams are a common occurrence, and this is not limited to rush hour. However, if you would prefer to cycle or use public transportation, both of those are viable options with well-developed logistics.

Choose from These Cities According to Your Own Needs

Before we let you decide where you want to move, we’d like to remind you that taking your own preferences into consideration is just as important as thinking about the cost of living and the commute time.

A place may seem perfect on paper – low costs and high standards, all the amenities you can think of, good road infrastructure, lots of parks, diverse population, low crime – and still not feel like home. Don’t force yourself into a decision you could regret later on just because you ignored your gut feeling. Once you’ve reached your decision, contact your moving company, request a moving quote, and schedule a relocation date that fits your schedule.

Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

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