2017 Best Places to Live in San Francisco Metro

Explore the best places to live in the U.S. based on crime, public schools, cost of living, job opportunities, and local amenities. Ranking based on data from the U.S. Census, FBI, BLS, CDC, and other 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

    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
  4. 4

    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
  5. 5


    • 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
  6. 6


    • City in California
    • 40 reviews
    Current Resident:I moved here from Houston, Texas where you need a car to get everywhere. At first, the city does provide a bit of a culture shock because people are so eccentric, and almost too friendly! Over time though, this feeling wears off and you realize how invitng the people fo the city are. The city itself has wonders of food and entertainment for those keen on local treats. The amount of cultural food is absolutely insane and more diverse than any other city I have been to. Unfortunately, the only downside is that the cost of a house of apartment is extraordinarily high. Your best bet is t live near the outskirts of Berekley, away from campus. With this in mind, the bike safety rules are super strict and commutng via bike is safer than any oter city I have visited.
    More about Berkeley
  7. 7

    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
  8. 8

    Rincon Hill

    • Neighborhood in San Francisco, CA
  9. 9


    • 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
  10. 10


    • 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
  11. 11


    • 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
  12. 12

    Monterey Heights

    • Neighborhood in San Francisco, CA
    • 2 reviews
    Niche User:San Francisco, and West Portal in particular, is a family oriented, area of the Bay. I love living here and it is an easy commute to downtown San Francisco and Silicon Vally.
    More about Monterey Heights
  13. 13

    Presidio National Park

    • Neighborhood in San Francisco, CA
    • 1 review
  14. 14

    Central Waterfront

    • Neighborhood in San Francisco, CA
  15. 15

    St. Francis Wood

    • Neighborhood in San Francisco, CA
  16. 16

    Forest Knolls

    • Neighborhood in San Francisco, CA
  17. 17


    • Neighborhood in San Francisco, CA
  18. 18


    • 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
  19. 19


    • 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
  20. 20


    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
  21. 21

    Showplace Square

    • Neighborhood in San Francisco, CA
  22. 22

    Forest Hill

    • Neighborhood in San Francisco, CA
  23. 23

    West Portal

    • Neighborhood in San Francisco, CA
    • 9 reviews
    Current Resident:I love it here! I feel safe, it is diverse and muni, coffee shops, eateries and book stores are all walkable!
    More about West Portal
  24. 24

    West Menlo Park

    • Suburb of San Francisco, CA
  25. 25

    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