These Are The 10 Best Suburbs In California For 2018


We used science and data to determine the best suburbs in California for you to live.

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Are you sick of being a city slicker?

Do you long for life in suburban California? Where you can drive your overly-large vehicle to the store for groceries, and schlep the kids around to practices and appointments without worrying about a parking space?

We do too.

Public transportation is…icky at times. When you have to call an Uber to get to urgent care on a Friday night, that gets old after a while.

So, the question is, if you wanted to move out to the suburbs of Sacramento, where would you go? And how would you decide on the ranking factors to help you pick which California suburb was best?

No worries. We got it all figured out here.

These are the 10 best suburbs in the Golden State:

  1. Los Altos (Photos)
  2. Los Altos Hills (Photos)
  3. Atherton (Photos)
  4. Piedmont (Photos)
  5. Hillsborough (Photos)
  6. Tiburon (Photos)
  7. Aliso Viejo (Photos)
  8. Cupertino (Photos)
  9. Mill Valley (Photos)
  10. Saratoga (Photos)

Los Altos is the place to be when it comes to being a soccer mom in suburban California.

So if you’re thinking of packing up your mini van and making a move to a quiet place to live in California, we’ve got you covered.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology. Or, check out the best places to live in California and the best places to raise a family in California.

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How do you determine which suburb is the best in California anyways?

To give you the best suburbs in California, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s a “best city” and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the suburb numbers for the Golden State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of California, we looked at every town between 5,000 and 200,000 residents, and within 30 miles of a city that’s over 200,000 people (In other words, suburbs).

We paid particular attention to:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher is Better)
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Commute Time
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We ranked each suburb in California across a number of criteria from one to 283, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the town posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Suburb To Live In California”.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and awesome places to live in California

Read on to see why Los Altos is the ‘burb with the most, while Hemet is probably not the best place to live in California.

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1. Los Altos

Los Altos, Ca

Population: 30,238
Median Income: $187,656
Median Home Price: $2,000,000
Los Altos is located 12 miles west of Fremont.

2. Los Altos Hills

Los Altos Hills, Ca

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,376
Median Income: $243,701
Median Home Price: $2,000,000
Los Altos Hills is located 13 miles west of Fremont.

3. Atherton

Atherton, Ca

Source: Public domain

Population: 7,127
Median Income: $250,000
Median Home Price: $2,000,000
Atherton is located 14 miles west of Fremont.

4. Piedmont

Piedmont, Ca

Population: 11,201
Median Income: $202,083
Median Home Price: $1,572,700
Piedmont is located 3 miles north of Oakland.

5. Hillsborough

Hillsborough, Ca

Population: 11,312
Median Income: $216,292
Median Home Price: $2,000,000
Hillsborough is located 16 miles south of Oakland.

6. Tiburon

Tiburon, Ca

Source: Public domain

Population: 9,170
Median Income: $149,510
Median Home Price: $1,847,800
Tiburon is located 15 miles west of Oakland.

7. Aliso Viejo

Aliso Viejo, Ca

Population: 50,219
Median Income: $103,261
Median Home Price: $539,000
Aliso Viejo is located 7 miles south of Irvine.

8. Cupertino

Cupertino, Ca

Population: 60,297
Median Income: $147,929
Median Home Price: $1,214,300
Cupertino is located 12 miles west of San Jose.

9. Mill Valley

Mill Valley, Ca

Population: 14,318
Median Income: $149,336
Median Home Price: $1,201,600
Mill Valley is located 19 miles west of Oakland.

10. Saratoga

Saratoga, Ca

Source: Public domain

Population: 30,830
Median Income: $169,579
Median Home Price: $1,742,900
Saratoga is located 11 miles west of San Jose.

There You Have It – The Best Suburbs In California

Here’s a look at the worst suburbs in California according to the data:

  1. Hemet
  2. Wasco
  3. Victorville

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Suburbs In California

City Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Los Altos 1 30,238 $187,656 $2,000,000
Los Altos Hills 2 8,376 $243,701 $2,000,000
Atherton 3 7,127 $250,000 $2,000,000
Piedmont 4 11,201 $202,083 $1,572,700
Hillsborough 5 11,312 $216,292 $2,000,000
Tiburon 6 9,170 $149,510 $1,847,800
Aliso Viejo 7 50,219 $103,261 $539,000
Cupertino 8 60,297 $147,929 $1,214,300
Mill Valley 9 14,318 $149,336 $1,201,600
Saratoga 10 30,830 $169,579 $1,742,900
Belmont 11 26,918 $120,169 $1,074,600
Coronado 12 24,852 $92,413 $1,332,500
San Ramon 13 74,366 $134,188 $810,700
Palo Alto 14 66,649 $137,043 $1,702,100
Palos Verdes Estates 15 13,582 $200,766 $1,609,500
Danville 16 43,758 $146,603 $919,500
Orinda 17 18,936 $178,704 $1,125,000
Manhattan Beach 18 35,573 $144,868 $1,537,200
Sunnyvale 19 149,596 $109,799 $859,100
Menlo Park 20 33,319 $126,045 $1,581,700
Rancho Palos Verdes 21 42,412 $120,668 $1,003,300
Mission Viejo 22 96,178 $104,886 $608,100
Rancho Santa Margarita 23 49,038 $104,556 $584,000
Lafayette 24 25,381 $142,977 $1,127,400
Los Gatos 25 30,491 $127,278 $1,338,400
Solana Beach 26 13,312 $100,352 $1,045,900
Sierra Madre 27 11,067 $95,256 $861,200
Newport Beach 28 86,813 $115,845 $1,584,900
Hermosa Beach 29 19,726 $121,345 $1,166,800
Moraga 30 16,977 $136,336 $971,700
San Marino 31 13,324 $139,792 $1,518,400
Rolling Hills Estates 32 8,206 $129,728 $1,096,400
Clayton 33 11,655 $136,946 $629,200
Villa Park 34 5,922 $131,386 $1,030,800
Mountain View 35 78,827 $109,249 $973,000
Yorba Linda 36 67,362 $119,697 $728,300
Laguna Niguel 37 64,984 $97,894 $712,000
Agoura Hills 38 20,689 $114,313 $699,200
Santa Clara 39 122,725 $102,533 $734,500
Redondo Beach 40 67,664 $103,782 $775,300
Calabasas 41 24,091 $111,111 $926,800
Folsom 42 74,960 $102,692 $433,300
Pleasanton 43 77,046 $130,170 $828,900
Larkspur 44 12,268 $91,848 $1,117,800
Pacifica 45 38,844 $103,545 $680,500
Poway 46 49,675 $98,859 $583,100
Lake Forest 47 80,658 $92,415 $550,600
Scotts Valley 48 11,824 $104,150 $654,600
San Clemente 49 65,082 $97,210 $801,100
Encinitas 50 62,160 $100,698 $820,400
Burlingame 51 30,118 $102,443 $1,447,400
Corte Madera 52 9,694 $125,915 $1,061,700
Campbell 53 40,788 $103,704 $804,500
Dublin 54 54,523 $128,403 $693,900
Fairfax 55 7,598 $99,438 $733,800
San Mateo 56 102,224 $95,667 $850,200
Laguna Hills 57 31,127 $92,690 $628,800
Sausalito 58 7,115 $116,325 $1,163,500
Camarillo 59 66,630 $88,125 $493,800
Cypress 60 48,978 $84,469 $540,900
South Pasadena 61 25,936 $84,593 $876,900
Moorpark 62 35,594 $100,457 $567,300
San Anselmo 63 12,623 $107,818 $914,400
Torrance 64 147,307 $80,862 $652,600
San Carlos 65 29,596 $135,220 $1,107,600
La Habra Heights 66 5,406 $110,329 $893,200
Thousand Oaks 67 128,623 $101,045 $637,100
Dana Point 68 34,009 $83,913 $780,300
Albany 69 19,420 $85,458 $697,600
Laguna Woods 70 16,347 $39,201 $228,700
San Bruno 71 42,736 $89,000 $668,700
South San Francisco 72 66,587 $85,076 $644,500
Huntington Beach 73 198,724 $85,312 $659,700
Woodside 74 5,496 $223,934 $2,000,000
Carlsbad 75 112,008 $97,145 $674,400
Milpitas 76 73,447 $103,623 $635,300
Fountain Valley 77 56,670 $84,763 $626,600
Beverly Hills 78 34,627 $100,630 $1,900,500
Simi Valley 79 126,126 $91,196 $472,700
Davis 80 66,886 $57,683 $565,700
Livermore 81 86,493 $104,223 $595,500
Rocklin 82 60,509 $84,121 $381,000
Hercules 83 25,011 $103,044 $422,200
Novato 84 54,790 $83,895 $625,900
Walnut 85 30,026 $97,345 $679,700
Martinez 86 37,544 $93,874 $462,300
Benicia 87 27,780 $87,011 $475,500
Millbrae 88 22,522 $98,533 $1,037,400
Placentia 89 52,168 $80,668 $554,500
Laguna Beach 90 23,204 $100,506 $1,390,500
Ripon 91 14,971 $79,354 $352,500
Walnut Creek 92 67,568 $82,848 $647,400
Diamond Bar 93 56,456 $89,845 $593,100
Truckee 94 16,231 $79,971 $492,400
Carpinteria 95 13,553 $72,901 $605,200
Claremont 96 35,827 $94,005 $581,100
Lincoln 97 45,675 $76,354 $363,300
Santee 98 56,839 $77,460 $363,000
Arcadia 99 57,755 $83,958 $920,700
Morgan Hill 100 41,839 $100,900 $678,900

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