The natural splendor of the Golden State is well-known, and these are the best places to live in Northern California 2023.
Because of its location, which is to the west of the Pacific Ocean and to the east of the Sierra Nevada Range, there is only a limited amount of land available for agricultural use.
Northern California is home to a number of charming little communities, many of which are on the smaller side. A good number of these quaint little communities may be found nestled in and around larger cities like San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento.
This provides you with the best of both worlds, allowing you to live a peaceful existence amidst breathtaking scenery, breathe clean air, and still be close to major cities for access to shopping, entertainment, and other events.
It is not always easy to decide where you want to settle down in Northern California because there are so many wonderful communities to choose from.
Let’s take a look at what this region has to offer in terms of the cost of living, employment market, school system, and real estate to determine whether or not it makes sense for you to consider making northern California your future home.
Best Places to Live in Northern California 2023
According to the research conducted by NerdWallet, Clovis is the best city in Northern California for families… and it’s not hard to see the rationale behind that.
The average cost of a property with three bedrooms is $284,200, which is rather affordable when compared to the rest of California. In addition, Yosemite and the coast can be reached in under three hours by car, which ensures that there will be plenty of opportunities for outdoor enjoyment.
The educational system is good, and the Clovis Unified School District gives a great opportunity for exceptional students to improve via an accelerated learning program. Both aspects contribute to the overall quality of the educational system.
The wonderful sense of community that exists throughout the city is a direct result of the city’s commitment to hosting a variety of events throughout the year, such as annual rodeos and weekly farmer’s markets.
The city of Folsom, located in California, is home to 79,584 residents as of the year 2020. The city of Folsom, which can be found in Sacramento County, is widely regarded as having one of the state of California’s highest quality of life ratings.
The vast majority of people who live in Folsom are homeowners, which contributes to the city’s densely packed suburban vibe. Folsom is home to a diverse selection of dining establishments, coffee shops, and parks.
People in Folsom tend to hold moderate political views, and the city is home to a large number of families as well as young professionals. The public schools in Folsom have a strong reputation.
People who have incomes equivalent to or greater than the city’s median property price of $756,800 should strongly consider relocating to Dublin. Despite the fact that the city has grown significantly in recent years, it has managed to keep its cozy, small-town atmosphere.
Because it is located at the intersection of two major highways, residents of this area have quick and simple access to both San Francisco and Silicon Valley (and, of course, all the excellent job opportunities that afford).
The city’s residents can spend some of their enormous median income of $138,007 at the downtown area’s abundance of shops, bars, and restaurants, while the picturesque Dublin Hills Regional Park offers all of the outdoor activities that nature lovers could want.
4. Los Altos (Best Places to Live in Northern California)
A suburb of San Jose, the community of Los Altos has a total population of 30,504. Santa Clara County is home to the city of Los Altos, which is widely regarded as having some of the state of California’s most desirable real estate options.
Residents of Los Altos enjoy the benefits of living in a community with a dense suburban feel, and the vast majority of homeowners are also the property owners of their homes. Los Altos is home to a diverse selection of dining establishments, coffee shops, and parks.
People in Los Altos are often known to hold moderate political views, as the city is home to a sizeable elderly population. The public schools of Los Altos have a strong reputation.
5. El Dorado Hills
There are 46,593 people living in the suburb of El Dorado Hills, which is located in Sacramento. El Dorado Hills, which can be found in El Dorado County, is often regarded as one of the most desirable places to settle down in all of California.
The majority of people who live in El Dorado Hills own their homes, which contributes to the community’s rural character. El Dorado Hills is home to a number of beautiful parks.
El Dorado Hills is a community that places a strong emphasis on family values and adopts a traditional worldview. The public schools in El Dorado Hills have a strong reputation.
6. San Francisco
For a very long time, the beautiful city of San Francisco, which is filled with historic structures, privately-owned businesses, and residents who establish trends, has followed the beat of its own drum.
The metropolitan region of California, which has been shaped and shaped by its communities, has been the focus of the fight for LGBT rights, the driving force behind the technology revolution, and the epicenter of the bohemian lifestyle.
Today, San Francisco is a complete universe unto itself; from the historic lanes of the Mission Part to the verdant hills of the Presidio to the bustling docks along the Embarcadero, each district of the city exudes its own distinct personality.
7. Roseville (Best Places to Live in Northern California)
Roseville is a desirable location for families as well as people who are single because it is multi-cultural, well-kept, and modern.
The variety of retail options is unparalleled, and the bustling downtown area routinely plays host to a wide range of festivals and farmer’s markets.
The incidence of crime, schools, and the quantity of open spaces are all excellent, despite the fact that the average household income is $81,119.
Rocklin is located in the Sacramento metropolitan area and has a total population of 64,835. Rocklin, a city that can be found in Placer County, is regarded as having one of the highest quality of life ratings for all of California.
The vast majority of residents in Rocklin are home owners, which contributes to the city’s densely packed suburban ambiance. Rocklin is home to a diverse selection of dining establishments, coffee shops, and parks.
The residents of Rocklin are known for their conservatism, and the city is home to a large number of families as well as young professionals. The public schools of Rocklin are held in high regard.
9. Granite Bay
The neighborhood of Granite Bay in Sacramento has a total population of 23,183 residents. Granite Bay, which can be found in Placer County, is widely regarded as having one of the state of California’s most desirable housing markets.
The vast majority of residents in Granite Bay are homeowners, contributing to the town’s rural character. Granite Bay is home to a diverse selection of dining establishments, coffee shops, and parks.
The people that live in Granite Bay have a reputation for being conservative. The public schools in Granite Bay have a strong reputation.
10. San Jose (Best Places to Live in Northern California)
Frequently referred to as the capital of Silicon Valley, the city of San Jose is a multicultural center that fosters an entrepreneurial culture.
Even though it has a distinct downtown area, San Jose is a big metropolitan territory that is recognizable not only by the high-rises in its business sector but also by the outlying neighborhoods and significant technology campuses that it contains.
The proximity of San Jose to other prominent Silicon Valley tech companies, such as Google in Mountain View and Apple in Cupertino, helps to solidify the city’s position as a center for the technology industry.
The metropolitan area is able to maintain its unique character thanks, in part, to unusual tourist destinations such as the Winchester Mystery House, which has 160 rooms and is designed like a maze; a flea market that spans 120 acres and features ponies; and a Monopoly board that is larger than life.
Ridgecrest is a thriving community that features excellent schools, a fair median income of $60,794, neighborly people, arts and crafts festivals, farmer’s markets, gorgeous parks (including a dog park), and a range of activities for indoor and outdoor leisure.
Which aspect is the most important? Because of the house’s very cheap asking price of $169,500, it is a good option for first-time buyers who are interested in getting their foot on the property ladder while still enjoying a high standard of life.
12. Palo Alto
The town of Palo Alto is located in California and has a total population of 66,573 people. The city of Palo Alto, which can be found in Santa Clara County, is often regarded as one of the most desirable places to make a home in the state of California.
The majority of people who live in Palo Alto own their own homes, contributing to the town’s strong sense of community and giving it a feel that’s equal parts urban and suburban. Palo Alto is home to a diverse selection of dining establishments, coffee shops, and parks.
The majority of people living in Palo Alto identify as liberals, and the city is home to a big number of young professionals. The public schools in Palo Alto have a strong reputation.
13. Orinda (Best Places to Live in Northern California)
It has been estimated that there are 19,646 individuals living in the Oakland suburb of Orinda. Orinda, which can be found in Contra Costa County, is often regarded as one of the best places in the state of California to make a home for oneself.
The vast majority of residents in Orinda own their homes, contributing to the town’s distinct lack of a traditional suburban atmosphere. Orinda is home to a diverse selection of eating establishments, coffee shops, and parks.
Orinda is home to a sizeable elderly population, and its residents typically hold moderate views on a variety of political topics. The public schools in Orinda have a strong reputation.
14. Walnut Creek
The population of Walnut Creek, which can be found in California, is 69,567. Walnut Creek, which can be found in Contra Costa County, is often regarded as having one of the highest quality living environments in all of California.
Living in Walnut Creek gives residents with a combination of urban and suburban environments, and the majority of homeowners in the city are also the property owners of their homes. Walnut Creek is home to a diverse selection of dining establishments, coffee shops, and parks.
People who live in Walnut Creek tend to hold moderate political views, as the city is home to a large number of young professionals as well as retirees. The public schools in Walnut Creek are held to high standards.
It is now official that Napa has earned a spot on our list of the best cities in Northern California. This well-known city can be found smack dab in the middle of the Napa Valley, around an hour’s drive north of San Francisco.
Its gorgeous valleys and rolling hills are home to some of the most famous vineyards in the world, making it a favorite vacation destination for anyone who are passionate about wine.
Napa performed an excellent job of providing a wide range of activities for its population of over 80,000 people, including upscale dining establishments, a thriving entertainment and cultural scene, and a downtown area that is relatively small.
Nevertheless, there is a price to pay to live in such a beautiful place. According to the most recent data provided by Zillow, the typical home is currently valued at over $800,000 dollars.
16. Santa Rosa (Best Places to Live in Northern California)
There are 179,701 people living in Santa Rosa, which is located in California. Santa Rosa is located inside Sonoma County.
The vast majority of residents in Santa Rosa own their own homes, which contributes to the city’s distinct suburban feel.
Santa Rosa is home to a diverse selection of eating establishments, coffee shops, and parks.
The city of Santa Rosa is known for its progressive politics and large number of young families and professionals. The public schools in Santa Rosa are significantly better than average.
17. Cameron Park
Extremely high, according to the standards of most states, is a price tag of $385,700 for a house with three bedrooms. By the standards of California, it’s a pretty decent deal.
Cameron is more than just an affordable housing option; with an average family income of $75,313, an educated and welcoming population, a respectable public school system, a charming, small-town atmosphere, and wonderful access to both the beach and the mountains, it is more than deserving of a place on our list. Cameron is more than deserving of a place on our list.
18. Granite Bay
On the list of the best places to live in Northern California is the suburban community of Granite Bay, which is located near Sacramento.
Because of its proximity to Folsom Lake and the abundance of green space all around the city, it is an ideal location for people who are looking to develop a stronger connection to the natural world.
The fact that this town of approximately 20,000 inhabitants is located in a more rural area does not mean that it is lacking in sophistication.
Granite Bay is a popular hangout for a wide variety of famous people and athletes. Eddie Murphy and Chris Webber, who played for the Sacramento Kings in the past, are both former and current residents of Sacramento.
Because of its widespread appeal, real estate prices are significantly higher than average. The average price of a property in Granite Bay is approximately $1 million.
Truckee is a very small town that is situated approximately fifteen minutes away from Lake Tahoe. Because of the abundance of opportunities for outdoor recreation both within the region and in the surrounding area, we consider it to be one of the best cities in all of Northern California.
Truckee is a wonderful base for adjacent skiing, hiking, biking, camping, and rafting.
It also features a lovely historic downtown with outstanding restaurants, cozy cafés, and bustling bars, making it one of the finest cities in Northern California near the Tahoe region to reside.
On the other hand, Truckee is a well-known destination for tourists and is known for its expensive cost of living. It is over fifty percent more expensive than the rest of the United States, with average property prices getting closer and closer to one million dollars.
20. Sacramento (Best Places to Live in Northern California)
The city in the interior of California is most well-known for the tree-lined avenues, expanding cuisine culture, and excellent wine and beer scene it boasts. Nevertheless, there are a number of reasons why it continues to be an intriguing choice for anybody who is looking for a place to live in California.
To begin, the cost of the homes is more affordable here than it is in the vast majority of other parts of the state. After all, there is a possibility that there is a benefit to being overshadowed by its more dazzling coastal equivalents.
The city of Sacramento has an attractive median house value of $238,500, making it within the financial reach of the vast majority of individuals.
The city of Sacramento, which has a population of just under 500,000 people, beautifully combines the excitement of city life with the tranquillity of a quieter existence in the suburbs, and many of the city’s citizens would not have it any other way.
Even though it does not have a shoreline, visitors can still enjoy a wide variety of activities in the great outdoors. Rivers, rivers, and more rivers all around. There are parks in every neighborhood of the city. Hiking in the lower hills of the mountains. Swimming, waterskiing, and basking in the sun are all enjoyable activities that can be enjoyed on Folsom Lake.
Tahoe is only a half an hour and a half away, as are the wine regions of Napa and Sonoma, all of which are renowned for producing wines of exceptional quality.
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