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Leaving San Francisco? 5 Best Places to Move from San Francisco

Saying goodbye to San Francisco will not be easy, especially for your memories of the Golden Gate Bridge and the cable cars. But these are the things beyond anyone’s control. After New York City, San Francisco is the second-most expensive city to live in in the US and that might just be the reason why you’re looking up this article. It’s also probably the reason why many people have moved out of the city in recent years. Some of the other reasons for the declining popularity of San Francisco are heavy traffic congestion, high risk of earthquakes, high housing prices, increasing homelessness, and parking.


Whether these are any of the reasons for you or not, here’s a list of places to move to from San Francisco. Each of them has its own perks, so you can make a choice depending on what suits you the best.

5 Best Places To Move From San Francisco

  1. San Diego, California
  2. Fremont, California
  3. Bakersfield, California
  4. Reno, Nevada
  5. Eugene, Oregon

San Diego, California

Dubbed America’s Finest City, San Diego is located below Los Angeles and just above the US-Mexican border with the Pacific Ocean to its west. It’s a dream destination for retirees as well as young professionals who are looking for work with countless opportunities available. San Diego has a cost of living index of 160.1 and although it is significantly higher than the national average (100), it’s still way below San Francisco (269.3). This means that you’ll save considerably more on utilities, food, groceries, and housing.

San Diego experiences an arid-subtropical climate with mild, rainy winters and warm, sunny summers. The pleasant weather throughout the year makes the outdoor experience worthwhile. Finding work will not be difficult in San Diego. The city’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the presence of the military have led to the emergence of defense as the biggest industry. US Navy, Marine Corps, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics NASSCO are the biggest employers in the defense sector. Also, healthcare and education provide a huge number of opportunities with the major employers being The University of California San Diego, Sharp Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, etc.

The city also gives you various other options like professional sports, restaurants, bars, and festivals. San Diego is safer than most of the major US cities. It has a violent and property crime rate of 3.88 and 18.10 per 1,000 residents, respectively. If you want to compare these figures to the national average, it is 4 for violent crimes and 19 for property crimes. All in all, San Diego is a beautiful beach city that offers perfect weather, high quality of life, excellent educational institutions, warm and friendly residents, and scenic beauty, too.

Downsides: Real estate prices and income tax in San Diego are too high. Public transportation is not sufficient and you’ll need your own car to move around. Even after getting a car, you’re likely to face issues like parking and traffic congestion.

Population: 1,429,653

Median Home Value: $969,595

Monthly Rent: $2,756

Median Household Income: $83,454

Unemployment Rate: 3.2%

Best Neighborhoods To Live In: Little Italy, Hillcrest, Ocean Beach, North Park, East Village, Mission Valley, Gaslamp Quarter, San Marcos, and Solana Beach.


Fremont, California

Not too far from the Silicon Valley, the city of Fremont is located southeast of San Francisco and northwest of San Jose in Alameda County. It’s the fourth-largest city in the Bay Area and offers all the amenities and comforts that you would expect from your hometown. The luxurious and family-friendly city is one of the most diverse places you’ll come across with Asians, Whites, Latinos, and Afghans living together. In the cost of living index, Fremont has a score of 227.3 which is more than double the country average of 100 but still less than that of San Francisco (269.3). Your savings will grow nevertheless. The climate of the city can be best described as the Mediterranean type with mild, rainy winters and hot, sunny summers. The people enjoy as many as 264 sunny days a year, 16 inches of rainfall, and no snowfall.

As far as the job market is concerned, there is absolutely no dearth of opportunities in Fremont, especially with the nearby Silicon Valley in place. The best-performing industries include healthcare, technology, architecture, science, engineering, and entertainment. The best employers are Seagate, Tesla, Western Digital, Salesforce, Google, Facebook, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and Lam Research Corporation. Upon reaching Fremont, you’ll also get to know about its jaw-dropping natural beauty, open spaces, great educational institutions, hilltop homes, restaurants, bars, and amazing nightlife. While the violent crime rate in Fremont is significantly low, you’ll have to be aware of property crimes. The city has violent and property crime rates of 1.90 and 25.58 per 1,000 residents, respectively.

Downsides: Although below San Francisco, the cost of living in Fremont is still too high, as are the real estate prices. Most people depend on their personal vehicles and the commute time is longer than usual. The city also witnesses a high property crime rate.

Population: 251,007

Median Home Value: $1,569,327

Monthly Rent: $2,540

Median Household Income: $142,374

Unemployment Rate: 3.9%

Best Neighborhoods To Live In: Northgate, Centerville, Glenmoor Gardens, Niles, Ardenwood, Weibel, Glenmoor Gardens, and Mission Valley.

Bakersfield, California

Located at a distance of just over a hundred miles north of Los Angeles, the city of Bakersfield has the Kern River running across it. A part of the Kern County, Bakersfield sits right next to the Sequoia National Forest in the southern San Joaquin Valley of central California. The city is well-connected to the rest of the state via Highways 99 and I-5. It has a cost of living index of 102.6 and it’s just crossing the national average, but when you compare it with the cost of living in San Francisco, this should become your number one reason to choose Bakersfield as your new hometown. It experiences an arid subtropical climate with mild, rainy winters and hot, sunny summers. There is a total of 272 sunny days a year and seven inches of rain, but no snowfall.

The major sectors in Bakersfield to find work in are manufacturing, agriculture, distribution, healthcare, oil extraction, and government. Some of the biggest employers in the city are Amazon, Grimmway Farms, Bolthouse Farms, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, Allied Universal, Bakersfield City School District, Webster Bank, Hospital of Bakersfield, Esparza Enterprises, and Mercy. Bakersfield is one of the most productive agricultural cities and oil producers in the country. In addition, the city is known for its country music. In fact, it’s often referred to as the country music capital of the west coast. The city has everything that you’d long for - affordable housing, a strong job market, brilliant schools and universities, restaurants, coffee shops, art and culture, nightlife, and most importantly, high quality of life.

Downsides: The property crime rate in Bakersfield (39.34 per 1,000 residents) is way higher than the national average. Due to the dry and hot weather conditions, there is a high risk of wildfires, along with earthquakes and floods. You’ll likely need a car to move around conveniently in Bakersfield.

Population: 391,438

Median Home Value: $368,025

Monthly Rent: $1,368

Median Household Income: $65,687

Unemployment Rate: 8%

Best Neighborhoods To Live In: Seven Oaks, Tevis Ranch, Terra Vista, Downtown Bakersfield, Qualiwood, Amberton, River Oaks, and Olde Stockdale.

Reno, Nevada

Also known as the Biggest Little City in the World, Reno is located approximately 15 miles east of the California-Nevada border with the beautiful Lake Tahoe to its south. Reno is among the fastest-growing cities in the country and it has a history of mining. The super friendly and kind people of the city are ready to welcome you whenever you make up your mind. Slightly higher than the national average of 100, Reno has a cost of living index of 116.2, and once again, it’s half of what you’re experiencing currently in San Francisco. The climate that the city gets can be described as arid continental with cold winters and hot summers. On average, Reno gets 252 days of sunshine, nine inches of rain, and 22 inches of snowfall every year.

You can rest assured that the job market is booming in Reno and the best sectors to find work in are tourism, electronics, financial services, communications, and healthcare. The top employers are the University of Nevada, Washoe County School District, International Game Technology, Atlantis Casino Resort, Renown Regional Medical Center, Peppermill Reno, and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

Moving to Reno will also let you enjoy perks like the city’s scenic beauty, zero state income tax, casinos, restaurants, cafes, nightlife, adventure sports, and public attractions like Lake Tahoe and Tahoe National Forest. Reno’s location at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains gives you a chance of skiing and snowboarding during winters. As for safety, the city has violent and property crime rates of 5.66 and 22.09 per 1,000 residents, respectively.

Downsides: The weather in Reno gets harsh during the cold season. Public transportation options are limited. The cost of living is a little higher than the national average.

Population: 271,966

Median Home Value: $571,719

Monthly Rent: $1,580

Median Household Income: $61,860

Unemployment Rate: 2.8%

Best Neighborhoods To Live In: South Reno, North Valleys, Kings Row, Virginia Foothills, Midtown, Donner Springs, Stead, South Reno, Somersett, and Old Northwest.


Eugene, Oregon

Pretty serious about keeping the environment as clean as possible, Eugene also often gets referred to as Emerald City for the greenery that the city has. The city is located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, close to the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette rivers and around 50 miles east of the Oregon coast. Eugene has a cost of living index of 105.3, which is less than half of San Francisco (do you need any more reasons to move here?). The city experiences an oceanic and Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot, sunny summers. Clouds accompany for most of the year as the number of sunny days is only 155. While there are just three inches of snowfall in Eugene, the city experiences a massive 47 inches of rain which is even more than the national average (38 inches).

People in large numbers move to Eugene because of the job opportunities that are available. The most successful sectors are education, healthcare, technology, retail, manufacturing, hospitality, food, and professional services. The biggest employers in the city are the University of Oregon, Greens Energy, Forrest Technical Coatings, Willamette Valley Company, the City of Eugene, Cascade Health Solutions, and Papé Material Handling.

Although it’s not a major city, there is more than enough for its residents to be proud of like safe and friendly neighborhoods, the fact that it’s a walkable city, clean air, and hiking and biking trails. You also get the benefits of excellent education, a number of museums and galleries, and great places to eat and drink. While the violent crime rate in the city is lower than the national average, the property crime rate is way above. Eugene has violent and property crime rates of 3.92 and 39.64 per 1,000 residents, respectively.

Downsides: The cost of living in Eugene is a little higher than the country's average, and so are the real estate prices. The city receives a lot of rainfall, much higher than the US average. Homelessness as well as high property crime rates are a big issue.

Population: 178,385

Median Home Value: $471,830

Monthly Rent: $1,610

Median Household Income: $52,689

Unemployment Rate: 4.2%

Best Neighborhoods To Live In: Fairmount, Whiteaker, Crest Drive, Harlow, Laurel Hill Valley, Cal Young, Santa Clara, and Churchill Area.

Summing Up

Moving from one city to another is no mean feat and in most cases, people move only when they don’t have an alternative. Most people move for either better job opportunities, for their children’s education, or after retirement. In the case of San Francisco, the high cost of living could very well be a strong reason for people to move out. Whether you’re looking to move within California or outside the state, these five places mentioned above are among the best options if you too are leaving San Francisco.

See also: Best Moving Companies in San Francisco for 2022

FAQs On Best Places To Move From San Francisco

Where Should I Move After San Francisco?

Apart from the ones mentioned in the article, the most popular places for which people leave San Francisco are Seattle, Portland, Austin, Chicago, Phoenix, Denver, Washington, Atlanta, and Houston.

Which City Is Similar To San Francisco?

Some of the cities in the US that are similar to San Francisco are New York City in New York State, Austin in Texas, Seattle in Washington State, Los Angeles in California, and Chicago in Illinois.

Where Should I Live In The Bay Area?

The best places to live in the Bay Area are Walnut Creek, Napa County, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, Castro, and Mission District.