The bay area is located in northern California and has quickly become one of the country’s most sought-after places. The weather is wonderful, and the culture is rich and diverse, full of different people to meet and interact with. The natural beauty is next to none, from the Red Wood Forest to the NorCal shores. There are many things to love about Northern California and the San Francisco Bay area.
If you are considering a move within the Bay area, multiple factors must be considered. Moving can be stressful, but the Bay Area has a lot to offer its locals and visitors. There is so much to do, so much to see, and an assortment of people to mix and mingle with.
The beautiful thing about the Bay area is there is always something new to discover. Whether moving to somewhere in the area for career aspirations or to raise a family the question is not whether you should live there, but instead where you would live in the bay…
San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco is the place to be. The bay area has long been full of history, and San Francisco is no exception. It is considered the north bay in northern California! It is a big city with significant sights to see. The sea is nearby, the streets are full of life, colorful historic homes, and rolling hills can be seen for miles. The gorgeous views are just outside your front door! San Francisco sits on the edge of silicon valley, right across the Golden Gate Bridge. It provides access to the rest of California while maintaining its own unique and VERY iconic identity.
Job & Professional Opportunities
There is a plethora of job opportunities available in San Francisco. Young professionals flock to the San Francisco bay by night and day with the tech boom. There are major tech companies in the San Francisco and bay area with big names such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Netflix, Adobe, Uber, and Tesla to name a few. The tech industry accounts for up to 21% of employment in the area.
Job opportunities in the SF Bay area are not difficult to seek out. The networking community is endless. There is always someone who knows someone in San Francisco. It is not the most affordable place in California; therefore, working hard is a must.
There are plenty of options to grow professionally, and the tech industry does not stand alone—the University of California Botanical Garden, San Francisco State University, and City College of San Francisco are all colleges in San Fran. Higher education is valued and accessible within the community. The food and beverage industry is a thriving piece of San Francisco’s economy. There is always space for new restaurants or coffee shops to open up. The service industry offers many positions and menu options for customers…
Food and Fun
San Francisco is a foodie’s heaven on earth. You could never go hungry, nor would your taste buds get bored. Food brings the community in San Francisco together. The food scene is robust and flavorsome. San Francisco is one of the only places in the US to have Michelin-Starred restaurants! From fancy to food trucks, the north bay has it all.
Fun in the sun is a way of life, and although San Franciscans are known for being laid back, they work hard and play harder. The arts and music scene is huge in the neighborhood. This includes all the lovely threads crafted in the area. There are beautiful boutiques and shopping in downtown San Francisco and the historic Haight-Ashbury district, owned by local designers and creators. You also have Castro street, art galleries, and the science center! It not only pays to support locals, but it is fun to discover all San Francisco has to offer.
Nature is Calling
The beach is a place of serenity and solace for many people, the forest is that place for others – in San Francisco, you have the best of both worlds. Mile Rock and Baker Beach sit next to one another and are incredible places to fish or picnic. This is the north bay area, and the water is not always warm, but you will still see people heading out to catch some rays on a sunny day!
The great outdoors create space for an active lifestyle in San Francisco. The Redwood forest is not too far from San Francisco, offering breathtaking views and a once and lifetime adventure. The redwood trees are some of the most majestic trees you could ever see! The Golden Gate Park is an expansive urban park, more prominent than NYC’s Grand Central Park. The park offers a gorgeous space for walking, biking, rollerskating…whatever floats your boat!
The Land’s End Trail and other hiking trails also provide stunning views of the Golden Gate bridge. San Francisco is full of history. It provides the best of all worlds and is truly a magical place to lay down your roots!
San Rafael is a suburb located just north of San Francisco. They are known for their beautiful weather and rolling hills. It is a diverse and colorful community with the cost of living as slightly higher than the majority of cities in California. There is plenty of good food, schools, and things to do in San Rafael. Let’s get into the good stuff…
Jobs and Schools
San Rafael is a part of the northern bay area and is just a short drive to San Francisco. If you work in the city, the commute is undoubtedly convenient, and many citizens of San Rafael commute for work. The main job opportunities are in professions such as technical services, health, and human services, health care, food, and retail. The average household salary is $87,000 per year!
The schools in the area are known for their high test scores and academic excellence. There are choices between public schools and private schools. Some well-known schools are Dixie Elementary, Miller Creek Middle School, and Terra Linda High School.
Universities and higher education are also accessible. The Dominican University of California is in San Rafael, and City College of San Francisco or College of Alameda is just a short commute. Education is essential, and San Rafael values learning and the evolution of education.
San Rafael is not the most affordable place in California or the bay area, but the neighborhoods all offer their own vibes. Each is different and allows for a change of scenery and a new community to immerse yourself in!
Terra Linda is a large community within San Rafael. There is also a large retirement community here! The homes are of median price and smaller, with plenty of access to medical facilities. There are affordable places in Terra Linda, and although it is a large community, it is home to many and could be home to you!
The West End is a quaint smaller neighborhood. This neighborhood is one of the more expensive in the area. The West End has excellent schools and access to tons of restaurants, recreation, and nightlife. This is the best neighborhood in the area for raising a family!
San Rafael hill
San Rafael Hill is the smallest of neighborhoods in the area. It is most popular with young adults and young professionals as the homes are lower in price, and there are plenty of rental opportunities. There is a lot of outdoor access with parks and trailheads available for hiking or biking. This is a fabulous place to live if you are just starting out and love the outdoors.
All work and no play makes for a dull life. San Rafael has an assortment of fun things and places to visit! The silicon valley and bay area are known for their city life, but there is so much to do outside of that.
San Rafael has access to McNears Beach County Park. It is a beautiful beach where you can swim, play and picnic. There are hiking trails, swimming pools, and basketball and tennis courts accessible as well. The restaurants do not disappoint. There are plenty of places to choose from and an array of shopping centers, restaurants, and coffee shops!
Overall, San Rafael is a diverse city with various neighborhoods to choose from, depending on what best suits you and your family. The cost of living may be a little bit higher, but to live in the bay, is a price worth paying.
When you think of Napa Valley, you probably think of wine, but that is not the only thing Napa has to offer. Napa is home to the bay area and offers a gorgeous view, homes, climate, and essentially anything you could ever need! It is centrally located and is one of the most expensive places to live in the bay. There are pros and cons to living in Napa Valle, and it is up to you to decide which outweighs the other…
Pros of Living In Napa
- Napa is stunning. The weather is excellent year-round, offering the best of every terrain with hills, valleys, green spaces, creeks, and agriculture.
- The culture is regal. There are many local attractions, an ample amount of fine dining and wine, jazz clubs, and comedy clubs. There is also a lot of recreation, such as golf, tennis, and fishing.
- You have access to everything. You can quickly get to any airport, metro area, ocean, mountains, and parks.
- The shopping is incredible! There are tons of little boutique options and chain stores in the area. Anything you need, you can get in Napa.
Cons to Napa Valley
- The cost of living is insane. The housing market is slim pickings, and those available are incredibly expensive. Rent is just as expensive.
- The traffic is terrible. If you want to take a trip to the SF Bay area, you better plan to be stuck on the freeway for a while.
- Wine is big in Napa. It is the primary source of revenue in the area, alongside tourism. The business community is centered around wine and wine only.
- Population growth has seen a decline in recent years. It is slowly but surely decreasing. Depending on the perception, this could be seen as a pro or con.
Napa and its local and cultural attractions allow for outdoor adventure and exploration. Napa is certainly the wine country of the bay area. That harbors a lot of the employment and tourism in the city. It is a safe place with a small-town feel, and although the population is decreasing, that may just be something that suits you and your family or perhaps something closer to the city…
San Jose sits smack down in the middle of Silicon Valley and serves as the gate to the bay area. It is heavily populated and continues to grow yearly, with the current population towering at over 1 million. It is south of San Francisco, neighbors the beaches of Santa Cruz, and is truly a special place to live.
The Cost Of Living Is On The Rise
San Jose is known for being one of the most expensive cities in the US and certainly within the bay area. If you live in the bay, you know its reputation for the cost of living, and there is no way to get around that. Unfortunately, it is a town known for being one of the most expensive cities in the US and certainly within the bay area. Although it is not the cheapest city, it has many perks.
If you live in the bay, you know its reputation for the cost of living, and there is no way to get around that. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for in San Jose. You can still find a somewhat affordable place if you look hard and get lucky.
The median housing price is currently 1 million dollars. The average cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $2800.00. It has increased by over 20% from the previous year alone, and predicted it will only continue to rise.
Many young professionals flock to SJ as it is the epicenter of the tech universe in California. Google, Apple, Adobe, PayPal, eBay, and Intel all have headquarters based out of San Jose, and that is to name a few. There are also many startups in the area. Job opportunities are in no shortage, and there are ample opportunities for anyone in search of excelling in their current career or starting a new one.
The sheer amount of opportunities is prime real estate for any young professional trying to find their footing within the career world. The great golden state is just the place to make your dreams come true and truly is an environment that breeds growth and pushes you to be your best. It is competitive, but who ever said a little healthy competition was harmful? It pays to live in the bay.
Traffic can be a nightmare when you live in the bay. San Jose has an excellent public transport system to avoid that bumper-to-bumper headache. The train runs through the entire city and, again, through the San Francisco area.
If you need to commute to work, you have the option of train hopping instead. It has one of the most efficient public transport systems in the country. The VTA light rail connects suburbs nearby and leads you to Oakland and Palo Alto. It is incredible how simple and convenient they have made mass transit options.
Public transportation doesn’t just allow you to avoid traffic but also saves money. The majority of Americans must budget for gas each month. With gas prices on the ride, more and more people are looking for alternatives for transportation and their daily commutes.
San Jose’s bus and train systems are the alternative. They give you the privilege of getting to know your community and socializing on your way to work. The community in San Jose is what makes the city. It is filled with concrete and buildings. It is a town, so that is precisely what one would expect, but the people are really who make San Jose what it is today.
There Is SO Much To Do
When you are moving to a new place, you may wonder what there is to in the area, what are the best restaurants, what kind of events take place there., etc. There are a whole lot of things that go down in the city. Santa Cruz is only a short drive away, accompanied by the boardwalk, Ferris wheel, rides, and shops.
The infamous Hotel California is right off the strip alongside many critically acclaimed restaurants, some locally owned and operated. The beaches are cold in the later month and nice and warm all through spring and summer. A great place to swim, surf, picnic, or exercise!
San Francisco’s downtown area and parks are less than an hour north, and the Benicia State Recreation area is just a bit further. You are centrally located, close to many different recreation centers, parks, and forests.
Downtown SJ has the SJ Museum of Art, The Tech Interactive, and Santana Row. Fun for you, your friends, and the whole family! There is a little good and bad to San Jose, but overall it is a well-rounded city with options for work and play.
Walnut Creek is a town with rich culture, beautiful parks, and good schools. It is a family-friendly city with some of the best neighborhoods and easy access to the rest of the bay areas.
Walnut Creek is known as the bay area’s jewel it has a prospering economy, adoring amenities, and a growing community. It has been rated as one of the greatest cities to raise a family and could be a great place to move yours.
Walnut Creek is a diverse area with a low crime rate. This is the kind of neighborhood you will feel safe in. Education is highly valued, with good public schools available to its residents and children. The test scores are higher than the national average. STEM education and STEM test scores are also of high proficiency.
There are affordable places in Walnut creek, and it attracts residents from San Francisco and other expensive cities. Compared to the rest of the US, the housing prices are still high but considering California standards…they are more accessible.
There is beautiful scenery with Mount Diablo nearby and extensive hiking trails. Garden of Heather Farm is also in the area and open to the public. Families have different activities to choose from, good schools to attend, highly accessible medical facilities, and affordable places to live in Walnut Creek.
The Not So Good…
There is access to many airports, but the constant air traffic overhead can be a buzzkill. The air is not great, and the good air days are few and far between. The weather is wetter in the area, with higher chances of rain and humidity. If you want to spend some time at the beach, the ocean is much colder than in other regions of California. There are fewer water sports options. The traffic is still a nightmare. If you need to get somewhere, it is best to plan ahead and plan for the traffic.
Berkeley is filled with lovely diverse neighborhoods, tons of restaurants, beautiful views, and of course…UC Berkeley. It is located in the east part of the bay area, known as the East Bay region. There is so much to do in Berkeley with San Pablo Reservoir and Tilden Regional Park nearby, you will never get tired of exploring.
What Berkeley Is All About
The restaurants are unique, with an emphasis on organic ingredients, vegans, and kosher options. It is a green town. Plastic bags were banned in 2012, and the reduction of waste by local institutions and residents is upheld and essential.
Education is For Everyone
You have a few college avenues to choose from in Berkeley. US Berkely is the most well-known, but there is also Zaytuna College, Berkeley City College, and the University of California, Berkeley. Education is highly esteemed, and options are available for anyone who chooses higher education for their path.
Berkeley has its own personality and remains environmentally conscious, with beautiful places to adventure and lots of knowledge to gain. Is Berkeley the right place for you?
Oakland is a historic part of the bay area and has changed dramatically through the decades. Young professionals have shown up in Oaklandmore recently due to the thriving economy and professional ventures available. It is a family-friendly place but also home to many young people. There are a lot of different things to do and places to investigate. Oakland is a fascinating and fabulous city.
Interesting Facts About The Bright Side of The Bay
- The cost of living is high. It is one of the most expensive places in the United States, at 50% over the national average. If you want to live there, make sure you have an annual salary of $95000 or higher as the average home price is out of this world! (Psst…It is still cheaper than San Francisco.)
- Crime continues to be prevalent in Oakland. It has one of the highest crime rates out of all the cities in California.
- The weather is warm and delightful! Temperatures are mostly mild, the high in the summer months is approximately 70-75 degrees. The winters cool down and can be a bit wet and rainy, but overall there are no extremes.
- Public transport is an option for most residents. The city has excellent walkability and is often the better option, given that traffic is atrocious. The BART transit system is reliable and makes it easy to plot your route.
- Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, Lake Merritt, and Jack London Square are just a few of the best places to go and the many things to do. Oakland’s name was inspired by the oak trees everywhere, and alongside the beauty, there are tons of events, festivals, concerts, museums, and shopping centers to visit!
Oakland is in high demand, and there is a cost that comes with that. It is a beautiful city with a lot to offer, and it continues to grow and evolve. It just may be the perfect place for you!
There are so many cities to choose from in the bay, but one thing is sure, they all possess great qualities. It is up to you to decide what is best for you and your family. Moving is a stressful and exciting time.
Pink Elephants On The Move are dedicated to providing a professional moving experience and ensuring your move goes smoothly. If you are moving to the bay area or moving within the bay area, please feel free to contact us today!