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7 Best Places to Live in the San Francisco Bay Area

Posted in City Guides on April 23, 2022

The Bay Area has long been known as one of the most prestigious places to reside in the United States – if you find yourself living here, you are lucky. In case you plan to relocate here, you should find out what the best places to live in San Francisco Bay Area are. So, let’s see where you should move to be in one of the best neighborhoods in the San Francisco region.

This part of California is known for countless beautiful small towns and a few metropolises where you can enjoy the big city living. Whatever you’re looking for in life, you can find it near SF. So, when the time comes to organize packing for a move, we’re sure you will already have found your perfect place and wonderful new home. Still, before you get to that moment, you have to do some research on The Bay to find your future home. We can help you with that – check out our top 7 fantastic spots in the SF region.

What Are the Best Places to Live in the San Francisco Bay Area When Moving Across Country?

Deciding where to settle in is one of the key things related to relocation – you can’t even start writing a relocation to-do list before you know where you’re going to move. Sure, you want to reside somewhere near SF – who can blame you? The entire region is beautiful and offers a high quality of life, so it’s clear that you would have countless benefits from relocating there. Still, there are many neighborhoods to choose from, so how to pick the right one for you? Don’t worry – we can help with that. You will soon find an ideal destination and be ready to choose a relocation company that will provide you with outstanding cross-country moving services.

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How to Decide Which Locations You Would Like – What Is the Best Area of San Francisco?

We can’t say there is exactly one best spot for everybody – the top destination for you will greatly depend on what you’re looking for. Naturally, this part of California has all the things you can think of – you just need to know where to go looking for what. Here are some factors you have to keep in mind when planning a relocation, regardless of your reasons to move with reliable long-distance movers.

  • Job opportunities and career development possibilities – SF is part of Silicon Valley, which means the tech industry is booming, and that makes this region extra popular with young professionals. Of course, there are many other professions that do well here.
  • Safety of your chosen neighborhood – Naturally, we all look for the safest parts of the city we plan to move to, and this is something you absolutely have to take into account. So, where is the safest place to live in the San Francisco Bay Area? There are many safe neighborhoods here, but you can also run into some bad parts in the city – things in SF are the same as in any big city. It’s always wise to check the ratings of the neighborhood on websites such as Livability or AreaVibes and take a look at their livability score.
  • Educational opportunities – Maybe you’re relocating to another state for college, or you want to raise a family somewhere where your kids can go to a decent school. In that case, you will focus on finding a neighborhood that has good public or private schools or is near your chosen university.
  • Transportation options – Although you can always hop on BART and quickly get from one corner of The Bay to another, it is still wise to consider other means of transport and ask yourself – how long will you commute from said neighborhood to your work?
  • Various amenities the neighborhood has – From entertainment opportunities, cultural scene, and restaurants to outdoor activities, everything should be a factor when deciding on a new residence.

#1 San Francisco – From Nob Hill to Mission District, SF Has a Lot to Offer to Its Residents

Does SF even need an introduction? We all know that this is one of the best cities in the world, and you will have an amazing time living there. From the cultural scene, fabulous restaurants, hectic nightlife, and amazing career opportunities in almost every industry out there, residing in The Golden City is bound to be a memorable period of your life – especially if you are a young professional. Can you imagine a more beautiful location for living out your 20s and 30s?

SF Has a Lot of Beautiful Neighborhoods – Mission, SoMa, Nob Hill Are Just a Few of Them

SF doesn’t lack beautiful neighborhoods, that’s for sure. Naturally, you will pay attention to the amenities you need and seek a safe part of the city to rent an apartment. If you are looking for family-friendly spots because you are relocating with kids, you should take a look at Inner Sunset, Presidio Heights, Noe Valley (which is also great for singles and young professionals), and North Beach.

If you’re looking for a fun and relaxing lifestyle that can only be achieved when you’re young, check out Marina District, Mission Bay, and Mission District. For those who ignored the benefits of car shipping and now have to get by with public transport, here’s where you should look for a new home – Nob Hill, Downtown, Chinatown. Let us not forget about SoMa, possibly the coolest neighborhood in SF – this is where you go for a hipster life and top parties.

What Salary Do You Need to Live in San Francisco?

Regardless of the part of the city you choose, you have to be ready to pay a lot for a comfortable life in SF. Homes are far from cheap, and every new resident should know that the average renting price is $2,350 – and that’s just for a one-bedroom apartment. Given that the common rule says you should earn at least three times your rent, we estimate that, for a comfortable living, you need at least $7,100.

Row of houses in San Francisco after cross-country moving
Will SF be your future home? It's certainly an excellent choice

#2 San Jose – The Heart of Silicon Valley, a Heaven for Techies

Although it won’t be amazing just for techies, San Jose definitely has an allure that drives plenty of tech professionals to its every great neighborhood. Of course, it’s the heart and soul of Silicon Valley, so it makes sense to relocate here if you want to boost your career. Rest assured that you’re in for a fantastic time – there are plenty of amenities, such as museums, galleries, theaters, excellent restaurants, clubs, and bars (yes, the nightlife is thriving here).

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll be happy to hear that the weather is always nice, and there are plenty of hiking trails and parks all around you can enjoy (especially if you’re relocating with a dog). Still, it’s wise to keep in mind that this part of Silicon Valley is more expensive than various small towns close by.

View of San Jose from air
If you are a young professional, this could be the perfect spot for you to settle in

#3 Berkeley – One of the Most Amazing Places in the US for a College Experience

Berkeley is known as a college town, which means that it offers plenty of opportunities to grow and learn but also have some fun. Indeed, this is one of the top-rated cities in the entire state of California, which makes sense when you know that Berkeley has such a high quality of life that some even say it’s better than SF – can you imagine that? It’s well-connected to the nearby towns, and the community is diverse and welcoming. Berkeley is also known as a great spot for foodies, and you will run into countless fabulous restaurants here. Take a look at the video below to see what is there to see and do in Berkeley.

#4 Menlo Park – One of the Loveliest Suburban Neighborhoods

Are you wondering – what is the safest area in the San Francisco region? Well, one of the spots that should definitely make the shortlist is Menlo Park. This is an excellent choice for families, and if you’re dreaming of moving to the suburbs, this is one of the most beautiful suburban spots in California. Menlo Park is quiet, nice, and relaxing – and it’s very close to SF, so you can quickly hop off and get to experience the urban lifestyle whenever you miss it. San Jose is also pretty close, so you don’t have to worry about commuting time. There are also great professional opportunities in Menlo Park – Meta’s headquarters is located in this small town.

Meta's headquarters building in Menlo Park
Meta is located in Menlo Park, which is one of many great things about this town

#5 Palo Alto – Perfect for Family Life and Education

If you want to make sure your kids have the top education in the country, the answer to the question “Where should I move?” is simple. One of the greatest homes you can choose for your family is Palo Alto – this suburban town near SF is known for its outstanding educational opportunities. Do we even need to mention that Stanford is here? Also, both public and private schools are top-notch. However, before you start packing a moving truck, let us mention this – you will need a big moving budget to relocate to Palo Alto since this town isn’t on the cheap side. Still, if you can save enough money, don’t miss out on this location. It’s beautiful, clean, with lovely nature, and a park at every corner.

An aerial view of Palo Alto
Palo Alto is a beautiful suburban location that is excellent for raising kids

#6 Oakland – Popular Place for Young Professionals

One of the bigger cities in the region, Oakland boasts a wide range of possibilities and plenty of diversity. It’s suitable for both families and young professionals, which means you can find calm and hectic parts of Oakland. This is an eventful community, with plenty of cultural events, galleries, theaters, and restaurants, plus the nightlife is great as well. It’s no wonder that a large part of the population consists of young people who are looking to build a career, as Oakland is perfect for doing just that. Are you already writing your new apartment checklist, looking for cross-country movers, and booking packing services?

View of the buildings in Oakland
With a progressive, empowering vibe, Oakland is a favorite among the young

#7 Vallejo – Warm and Pleasant Region for a Calm Life

Vallejo is another great family-friendly town, quite close to SF. If you got a job in SF, getting a home in Vallejo is wise because you can easily commute by ferry. Plus, the costs of residing in Vallejo are lower than in SF and some other nearby towns. The community is diverse, and it won’t take you long to start feeling at home here – trust us, there won’t be any reasons to feel anxiety about long-distance moving. Vallejo has a lovely climate – the weather is always beautiful, and it’s rarely boiling hot like in some other California towns.

Plants in the field and a suburb in the distance
Lovely nature and great climate are one of the benefits of moving to Vallejo

If You Plan on Moving Cross Country to The Bay, You Will Need Reputable Cross-Country Moving Services to Pull Off the Move

There are many beautiful homes in SF and its surroundings, but before you find yourself in this part of California, you have to organize your move – how will you do that? With help from a reputable long-distance moving company, of course. Don’t waste time – start looking for your cross-country movers as soon as possible. Once you have booked cross-country moving services, the rest will be easy – you will pull off an efficient move in no time.

Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

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