Did Your City Make The List? Top 10 Places To Live In California Before You Die

Best of CA
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California is often considered one of the most desirable places to live in the world. Known for its endless sunshine and beautiful people, California are the place with near perfect weather year round and an endless amount of entertainment and activities. With over 40 million people, California is the most populous state in the union and not without reason.

Although California is better known for Hollywood and the surrounding areas, there is much more to the Golden State than simply meets the eye. With nearly 500 cities statewide, there’s no shortage of diverse culture and personalities. Whether you enjoy surfing in the swells of Venice Beach or skiing down the mountains of Big Bear, there will be a little something for everyone.

Love living in California or just dying to visit? Find out if your favorite place in California made the list.

10) Newport Beach

Newport Beach
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If you’re searching for beautiful beaches and upscale living, look no further than Newport Beach.

Newport Beach is located in the heart of Orange County, CA and is a quick, convenient 40-minute drive from Los Angeles and about an hour from San Diego putting it close to all the excitement while still being far enough away to maintain peace and serenity. No matter if you’re dining on the harbor or sailing by the beach, Newport Beach is a good place to visit and a great place to live.

No matter if you’re dining on the harbor or sailing by the beach, Newport Beach is a good place to visit and a great place to live. Just make sure to bring your wallet as this is not a dollar deal city.

9) San Francisco

San Francisco
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For an innovative and a truly urban feel visit the City By the Bay.

Over the last decade, San Francisco has become known for more than just Rice-a-Roni and Full House. Per square mile, San Francisco is one of the most densely populated cities in the country and one of the most innovative. Today San Francisco is an epicenter for technology-based businesses and future tech company start-up hopefuls.

Sports fans will also be pleased by the recent success for both the Giants and the Golden State Warriors.

San Francisco boasts a modern culture filled with plenty of live music, great food, and artistic diversities. If you don’t mind the bustling downtown streets and a little fog, this city’s view of the Golden Gate Bridge alone is enough to make it a must see location when in California.

8) Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara
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Often underrated on most lists, Santa Barbara is a smaller community tucked back in a more secluded part of central California approximately 90 miles north of Los Angeles.

Its university consistently ranks in the top 10 Public Universities in the nation by US World News and the city offers a slower pace of living if you’re striving to live beyond the big city limits.

The sprawling hillsides and gorgeous Spanish architecture provide a visually stunning atmosphere for all ages and backgrounds.

The beaches are only steps away, and the wineries are world class attracting makeshift sommeliers from all corners of the globe.

7)Los Angeles

Los Angeles
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A city of star citing and never ending photo opportunities.

“La La Land” contains a rich history of culture, music, art, and entertainment with a never-ending supply of fun and activities. Go for a hike around the Hollywood Hills sign, walk down the Hollywood walk of fame, or catch the Lakers in prime-time. You can see celebrities in Santa Monica or star search at the world renown Griffith Observatory.

The options are seemingly limitless but so is the traffic and smog conditions. If you don’t mind spending some extra time behind the wheel, Los Angeles may be the perfect place to live for those with a perpetual appetite for excitement.

6) Napa

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Don’t Take A Nap-a, go to Napa.

Napa is the perfect option for those individuals that enjoy living a safe distance away from the constant hustle and bustle of big city life. Enjoy tasting from some of the best wineries in the world as a casual retreat with close friends or use as a destination wedding to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Just a short drive to San Francisco and the surrounding bay area cities, you’re never too far away from where all the action is taking place.

5) Irvine

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Irvine is considered a dream city in the eyes of urban planners everywhere.

Often considered the safest city in America, Irvine takes convenience and family life to the next level with engaging places to visit like the Spectrum Center. With a top rated K through 12 schooling system along with a highly rated public university, families genuinely valuing education will come to love Irvine as a perfect choice for young families.

Irvine is also located in proximity to the beaches of Newport and Huntington and a short drive to Los Angeles.

4) Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz
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The epitome of laid back.

Santa Cruz is widely known for its boardwalk, complete with a seaside amusement park and a laid back vibe. The culture is iconic with a rich history in skateboarding and surfing.

The city also houses one of ten University of California schools widely known as the “ivy league schools of the West Coast” at a fraction of the cost. If you’re looking to live in a slower paced environment with less stress, this is likely the place for you.



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Once considered a place you would not want to be stuck in after dark, this city has now become a Mecca for a new wave of innovators.

Oakland has officially shrugged off its reputation as a rough and tumble town for a more mature status as one of the leading cities for sustainable energy in the country. This up and coming hub of technology is now one of the most coveted places to live for anyone in the Bay Area.

This city is quickly becoming re-known as “the Brightside of the Bay” for its cultural resurgence in art and the new flock of tech start ups all fighting for Oakland area codes.

If you’re hip,forward thinking and ready to make your home in a city that could be number one in a few short years, look no further than “Bump City”.

2) Temecula

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Change your location, and save some change.

Nestled safely between California’s two most populous cities, Los Angeles and San Diego, Temecula provides the flexibility of being close to two major cities at a fraction of the price. The city has grown in the last two decades into one of America’s up and coming places with low crime rates and discounted housing prices.

This area is well known for its wine and air balloon tours that draw people from all the neighboring cities. The sprawling wine country landscapes make for a peaceful backdrop or a quick, quiet getaway from it all.

1)San Diego

San Diego
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With Over 1.5 million people, San Diego is the second most populous city in the state boasting beautiful weather and burritos that are famous worldwide.

The beauty of San Diego is that it is a large metropolitan city with somewhat of a small town vibe. Being close to the Mexican border offers much in the way of a culturally diverse community filled with amazing food and plenty of fun filled activities.

Sports fanatics will be thrilled by the convenience of professional baseball and football leagues, and nightlife enthusiasts will appreciate the wide array of bars and nightclubs. With its MexiCali culture, availability of activities, and relatively safe environment, it’s no secret San Diego reigns supreme as a top California city.


California is one of the best places to live known worldwide. Whether you are enjoying a sophisticated Chardonnay in the hillside, surfing through the swells of famous beaches, or taking pictures with the stars, fun is just a steps away. If you’re looking for a change, look no further than California itself.