2017 Best Places to Raise a Family in San Francisco Metro

Explore the best places to raise a family based on public schools, crime rates, cost of living, and family-friendly amenities. Ranking based on data from the U.S. Census, FBI, BLS, CDC, and other data sources.

See how this ranking was calculated
  • National
  • By State
  • By Metro
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Los Altos Hills

    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 1 review
  2. 2


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 5 reviews
    Niche User:Even though I come from a small town south of San Francisco, there is a great community of people where everyone is interested in helping each other.
    More about Hillsborough
  3. 3


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
  4. 4


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 2 reviews
    Nearby Resident:Beautiful upscale town. Nice mom and pop shops. It is an enclave all unto itself.

    However, it is not very diverse (racially, economically, or otherwise). Nevertheless, the people are friendly in public and although every affluent, the at not snobby
    More about Ross
  5. 5

    West Menlo Park

    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
  6. 6


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 27 reviews
    Current Resident:Many residents grew up in the area and returned when they had children. It's very family oriented, vs. young singles (In terms of housing there really aren't any apartments here). Public schools are excellent, there are both many good affordable pre-schools and local colleges so one can find good childcare.
    Public transportation to Orinda is excellent, it's only a 35 minute ride into SF. By car it's less than 30 minutes to the Oakland airport (or one can take BART, which stops and all takes less than an hour). Berkeley is 10-15 minutes away, Walnut Creek as well - and both are reachable using BART.
    There are great community activities for all ages and lots of places to easily hike or bike.
    We get very few days of fog and in the summer it's warmer than the bay area, but less hot than Walnut Creek.
    More about Orinda
  7. 7

    San Ramon

    • Town in California
    • 69 reviews
    Current Resident:I have lived in San Ramon for twenty-five years. There have been enormous changes to the city that I feel have not always been positive.
    The good is the large increase in resources for families and the increase in diversity.
    The bad is the doubling of the population leading to traffic and general congestion in the city.
    The ugly is the new town center that is being built that completely changes the face of our city from friendly and welcoming to ultramodern and sleek.
    San Ramon has been a wonderful place to bring up my family, and I always thought that I would retire here. However, with the changes over the past twenty five years that San Ramon has seen, I am seriously considering relocating to a destination that will let me take a deep breath and slow down.
    More about San Ramon
  8. 8


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 23 reviews
    Niche User:It is a great place to live when people have kids in the schools or are elderly. It is a nice safe pleasant environment. I may live there again but currently am not. I enjoyed living there and feel its one of the better and safer areas where I have lived.
    More about Piedmont
  9. 9

    Monte Sereno

    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 2 reviews
    Niche User:I feel safe most of the time, could definitely use some more street lights though.
    More about Monte Sereno
  10. 10

    Presidio National Park

    • Neighborhood in San Francisco, CA
    • 1 review
  11. 11

    Los Altos

    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 39 reviews
    Current Resident:Living in Los Altos has shaped me into the person I am today. Even though there isn't a lot of diversity in Los altos, I feel like I wasn't necessarily sheltered. Being in such close proximity to cities like San Jose and San Francisco helped expose me to different cultures and identities. Los Altos has always been a safe community where I know I can walk outside alone or forget to lock my car and everything will be okay.
    More about Los Altos
  12. 12


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 29 reviews
    Niche User:Moraga is one of the safest places to live. We don't get a lot of outsiders because we're completely separated from the freeway. Unfortunately, our comfortability has been taken advantage of more and more in the last year. There has been an increase in car and house break-ins because people don't bother locking their doors!
    More about Moraga
  13. 13

    Palo Alto

    • Town in California
    • 13 reviews
    Nearby Resident:Palo Alto is one of the most versatile communities I have ever lived in. Restaurants range right Japanese, Thai, Indian, Italian and French cuisines, and the weather is perfect year round. Thriving bike culture is a plus, and I would definitely recommend a stay in Palo Alto and the trying the famous boba or bubble tea!
    More about Palo Alto
  14. 14


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 34 reviews
    Current Resident:Albany is a small town and feels like a nice community and the schools are very safe, sweet places, though lately there has been a bit of drama with a bullying incident at the high school which is why I do not want to give it more than three stars for the time being. Albany is a small town, most people go next door to Berkeley for more exciting nightlife and Berkeley is definitely a more diverse place than Albany. I do not know much about the real estate market because I am a teenager, I also do not have a job, though many students at my high school do work locally so I am guessing that job opportunities, at least for millennials. I also do not need to commute in and out of Albany because I live only thee blocks away from my high school. Most of my schoolmates also walk to school because Albany is so small, most of us do not meed to commute.
    More about Albany
  15. 15


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 21 reviews
    Works Here:Lafayette gives you that hometown feel. Almost like Gilmore Girls. Although Lafayette is high priced and full of snobs, there are always those who make the difference. Many people in the community give back and that's one of the things I love most about it. People are supportive of each other, which creates that special hometown feel that I love.
    More about Lafayette
  16. 16


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
  17. 17

    Mountain View

    • Town in California
    • 60 reviews
    Current Resident:Mountain view is a small city in the Bay
    Area in California. The weather is great with lots of sunny summer days and mild winters. There are lots of great parks and trails for recreation. Google headquarters are located here! Houses and apartments are very expensive, but there are lots of jobs to help out. People are friendly and come from all over the world to live and work here. I would recommend this city.
    More about Mountain View
  18. 18


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 2 reviews
    Former Resident:It is a cute small town. It is not small town like a farm town but still a special town. It is beyond safe. Growing up we would leave the garage door open or the front door open and the cars unlocked. We were never afraid of other people. Although it is extremely expensive, it was worth growing up there. Most of the stores are locally owned and operated.
    More about Kentfield
  19. 19


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 33 reviews
    Current Resident:I am a current resident, although I still live with my parents (high school senior!). But, I've lived in Saratoga nearly my whole life and I love the small town. I generally feel safe, although in the past few years there have been some robberies. The schools around here are fantastic and the houses are beautiful. There's not a ton to do for "nightlife," although there are plenty of places to grab food and/or shop. There's a lot of ethnic diversity, but not a lot of socio-economic diversity (which I guess makes sense, but I thought was worth adding). I can't really say for commute time or job opportunities, although many of my friends work part time jobs at local cafes and boutiques. Overall, it's a wonderful suburb and I'm glad to have been raised here!
    More about Saratoga
  20. 20


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 1 review
    Niche User:Expensive to live in. Nice shopping and downtown.Great community.
    More about Saranap
  21. 21


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 11 reviews
    Current Resident:Alamo and the surrounding area is known to locals as the "bubble". Growing up here is very safe and education is fantastic, and the community is strong. There is very little diversity however, there is a predominantly white population. Starbucks is the gathering place of Alamo, where you are expected to order a very specific customized drink. Alamo plaza has a Safeway, Panera, 5 guys and other various restaurants which is nice. We are right next to Walnut Creek, which has lots of shopping. The iron horse trail provides an outlet for excercise or family walks, as do the hills of Las trampas. All in all, Alamo is a very safe and great place to grow up, but I look forward to experiencing the "real world"
    More about Alamo
  22. 22

    Mill Valley

    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
    • 1 review
  23. 23


    • Town in California
    • 59 reviews
    Former Resident:I lived in Cupertino for 10 yrs. I love it because it’s safe and diverse. I graduated elementary to high school in Cupertino. Many students in my high school are the same students from the elementary school. Families barely leave the area before graduating high school since the education is well-developed. Especially, the ESL program is solid. The teachers at public schools are supportive. The district provides great programs for students who need Special Ed. My brother had a hard time in school because of his social disorder. The district helped him since middle school to high school, so he can have an equal chance in learning. The downside of Cupertino is the cost of living. The monthly rent is high, about $4,000 per month for 2 bedroom apartment. The minimum wage is rising, but it isn’t enough to pay for food and bills because of the rent. The city is quiet at night since there aren't too many nightlife, but the downtown San Jose and SF are nearby, so it isn’t too bad.
    More about Cupertino
  24. 24


    • Town in California
    • 30 reviews
    Current Resident:A quiet and wonderful city to grow up in. Having been here over 20 years of my life, I can safely wander around downtown without having a single worry about crime. The people are very friendly as if the entire city is a single nieghborhood! Highly recommend bringing your young families here. Public transporation is easily accessible via the BART system that runs right through the city. With two stops within the same city, getting anywhere around the Bay Area is quite easy!
    More about Pleasanton
  25. 25


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA