This part of California has been known for a long time as one of the most beautiful and prosperous regions of the US. So, if you’re considering moving to one of the best places to live in the Bay Area soon, we know you won’t regret that decision. As the heart of the region, SF has a lot to offer, but there are so many other amazing cities you should keep as options. Keep reading to discover our favorites and decide which one suits you.

The Golden Gate Bridge, SF
SF is considered the soul of the Bay

You should keep in mind a few factors when choosing a place where to relocate. Are you looking for the safest place for your family? Do you want to know what are the best places to live in the Bay Area for young professionals? Is it necessary to you that there is plenty of outdoor space for recreational activities? Where is the most affordable place to live in the Bay Area? Answers to these questions can affect your choice, so keep them in mind.

What You Should Keep in Mind When Choosing Amongst the Best Places to Live in the Bay Area

If you do thorough research, you will conclude that this is all worth the price. Of course, every place has its flaws, and you must think about many different aspects, such as:

  • Safety of the location in question – What is the safest city in the Bay Area? Well, there are many safe cities, so focus on those and pick the right neighborhood within.
  • Job opportunities for your profession – Tech industry is splendid in this region of the country, and it’s not the only one, there are many jobs available in various branches.
  • Quality schools in your neighborhood – Some have better ones, some have amazing ones, and some aren’t so good, so pay attention to that if you have kids.
  • Transportation options – From bikes to ferries, everything is an option in SF surroundings. If you’re living in SF without a car, focus on places that are well connected by metro, for example, or bike-friendly.
  • Entertainment possibilities – You can find almost anything if you know where to go.
  • Outdoor activities – Parks, hiking trails, beaches with breathtaking views, there’s something for everyone.

How Much Do You Need to Live Comfortably in the Bay Area?

Well, honestly, quite a bit. The best places to live in the SF Bay Area have some of the highest prices of real estate in the country. The chances are that you already know that, but, likely, you’ve also heard of the fantastic opportunities, beautiful landscapes, neighborhoods, and entertainment. Also, it all depends on the city you decide to settle down in, some of them, like SF and San Jose, are on the pricier side, but then again, locals there have higher salaries, so in the end, it is all in balance.

Two girls on the beach
There are plenty of places suitable for young people

#1 San Francisco Has Something for Everybody

SF makes an excellent impression, whether you’re a tourist visiting for the first time or a year-long resident who knows his tenants’ rights well. The mix of cultures, many different ethnicities, practically whatever you can think of. San Francisco can offer you endless possibilities for working and living, and it doesn’t discriminate, plus the SF staycation is also an excellent idea. When asking yourself what are the best places to live in the Bay Area, the answer greatly depends on your preferences. If you’re looking for a family home, think about moving to The Sunset. In case you love pretty views and have a deep pocket, Pacific Heights could be for you. Mission Bay could be the solution for the young and single, and if you need to get around without a car, SF has well-organized public transport. Commuting to Silicon Valley is quite acceptable as well.

San Francisco Is a City Where Everyone Can Fit in

Do you see where we’re going with this? There’s no chance you won’t fit in if you choose one of the best neighborhoods. Niche has given SF an A+ rating, and we hope you will too. If you want to see more of SF and find out what there is to do for fun, take a look at this video.

#2 San Rafael, in Marin County in the North Bay, Is Perfect for You if You’re a Fan of Outdoor Activities

In case you love to spend time outside, San Rafael should make your shortlist, as there’s plenty of fresh air. Marin County has more than a few excellent beaches you must check out, so it is also great if you’re relocating with pets because there are many parks and outdoor areas.

This Is One of the Best Places to Live in the Bay Area for Families

Also, there are plenty of A-rated public schools, making it a good fit for families with kids. Overall, this city is considered family-friendly and safe, and at the same time liberal, with plenty to do for fun. Traffic doesn’t give a headache to an average resident, and the distance to SF isn’t significant.

Stinson beach in Marin County, California
Marin County is known for beautiful beaches

#3 Napa Gives a Peaceful Feeling and Has an Amazing Landscape

Napa gives suburban vibes, and it is a lovely city for families, with more than one great park and public schools that are above average. We can recommend it if you love beautiful sunsets, sightseeing, and a good glass of wine, but this cozy town has some downsides, too.

Moving Around Is the Only Annoying Thing, Residents Say

Any resident would say that traffic is one thing that can destroy the impression of peaceful living. There are not enough parking spots, so it feels a bit overpopulated even though the population is only around 80,000.

A vineyard, grapes in the focus
Napa Valley has countless vineyards and quality wine

#4 Vallejo, Solano County, Has the Climate You Dream of

Vallejo doesn’t feel too hot or too cold. The weather is just right, so if this is an essential characteristic for your new city, look no further. Community is one of the most racially diverse ones in the whole U.S., which gives a real sense of belonging. People often commute to SF by ferry, a reasonable solution for those working there, when you realize that the housing prices are more affordable than the average ones in the region.

Looking for Good Schools Can Be Challenging

Even though there are plenty of family-oriented neighborhoods in Vallejo, schools are not amongst the greatest. However, lately, there are plenty of private ones with amazingly affordable prices and are way less expensive than those in The Golden City.

Woman and man playing with two kids
Vallejo is family-friendly and has excellent private schools

#5 Walnut Creek Is For All Generations

If you’re a shopaholic, this should be your new home. Walnut Creek offers a wide variety of locations for this activity. More and more families are coming here since the public schools are A+, and the site allows quick access to most of the surrounding places.

Both young professionals and retirees can have a life here – you can find almost everything from a nice park to a fancy restaurant, and job opportunities are excellent as well. Mostly, people are homeowners, but in case you’re looking to rent a home, there are some excellent options, and the rent is relatively affordable.

View of buildings in Walnut Creek
Cost of living is not over the top expensive in Walnut Creek

#6 Berkeley Is Considered One of the Best Cities in California

Located in Alameda County, Berkeley is reasonably close to SF. This is one of the most desired towns on the whole Golden Coast. Its qualities come close to San Francisco’s, with some people saying that Berkeley is even better. A large part of the population consists of students, which comes to no surprise knowing that this is the home of the University of California. Young professionals have fantastic opportunities here and generally speaking, the community is one of the favorites amongst younger people.

Living in Berkeley Is Fast and Exciting, Perfect for the Young

Most people say that their experience with Berkeley was a positive one. It quickly starts to feel like home. This is where you can express yourself freely and without fear of judgment. Community is quite a diverse one. Public transport is good, and many cities are close, but it also doesn’t take much time to get to nature. All in all, the general atmosphere in Berkeley is excellent and welcoming.

The UC Berkeley building
UC Berkeley is a hallmark of Berkeley

#7 Oakland Has Everything – From Nightlife to Family Life

Another one in Alameda County, Oakland, is known for having everything you need – from top restaurants, theaters, galleries, excellent nightlife, and many various events. The average price for homes in Oakland is about $700,000, but prices can vary significantly.

Oakland Offers Diversity and Cultural Events

It is one of the bigger cities, with a rich culture and great diversity of people. If you need a family-friendly neighborhood, this is possible to find as well. Oakland has a lot to offer to both residents and tourists so that you won’t have a dull moment there, that is for sure. Another great feature is that you can get practically anywhere in the region relatively quickly.

Buildings and their reflection in the lake
Oakland has plenty of cultural events and places to see

#8 San Jose Is Big and Has a Lot to Offer

With a population just above 1,000,000, this is the most populous place in the region since it has more residents than SF. There’s nightlife, museums, galleries, beautiful parks, fantastic food, you name it, and San Jose has it. Hiking trails are pretty nice, too, if you are an outdoor activities lover, plus the weather is often quite good. The problem that occurs when you want to move here is finding affordable housing. Whether you’re looking to buy or rent a property, prices here are high compared to other Bay Area towns that are close. But, if your budget can cover moving expenses and living in this community, go for it, you won’t regret it.

San Jose State University
A large city with a lot of possibilities, including those for students

#9 Palo Alto Is a Pretty Town With Great Education Opportunities

Close to San Jose, there’s Palo Alto, the cozy little town rated number 4 on the list of best suburbs in the region. It is pricey, no doubt – the current average rent goes over $2,500. If you can afford it here, Palo Alto is a great choice. The town is simply beautiful, and the people are friendly, although not very diverse compared to other towns in the region.

Streets are clean, and residents tend to protect the environment. If the bike is your vehicle of choice, you’d like it here. There are also many parks and great access to nature. Palo Alto is an excellent town to grow up in, and it is suitable for families. Regarding education, the options here are great. Both public and private education institutions are rated A+, and you can be sure to find a good fit for your child. All in all, a highly recommended location.

Stanford University Building
Stanford is one of Palo Alto’s bright lights

#10 Menlo Park Is a Sweet, Quiet Suburban Place Where You Will Feel Comfortable

Another highly rated town close to both SF and San Jose is Menlo Park. The atmosphere here is suburban, and, similarly to Palo Alto, you can easily find a good school. The majority of residents are homeowners. The median value of homes here is about $2,000,000. This location is considered to be quiet, cozy, with a friendly and safe vibe to it. If you are not looking to settle down and have a calm life, it will do you good to skip this and maybe look for homes in a location that offers a broader range of options and activities. But considering that it isn’t a long commute to large centers of the region, this could still be a solution for you, just most likely a bit more complicated.

Freeway from Menlo Park to Palo Alto
Menlo Park and Palo Alto are close

Where Should I Live in the Bay Area?

Now that you know the top 10 picks, you should decide where you want to go. We’re sure you’re going to have a fantastic time wherever you go, but before that, you must find yourself a moving company in Bay Area that will help you navigate through everything and keep your moving stress minimal. After that, it’s time for to-do lists and preparations for an efficient move, such as learning how to pack fragile items or doing research on any number of moving hacks.

We can offer you high-quality services and professional Bay Area movers. Our company is considered one of the trustworthy Bay Area moving companies, and it is for a reason. From residential moving to a wide range of services like commercial relocation, we have everything you need for a perfect Bay Area local moving experience! Save yourself plenty of energy and time – contact us today, and book your move!