Best Places

Best Unconventional Cities in California

beautiful night san francisco view
Written by Nadia Hopkins
california flag featuring a bear

California is located in the western part of the US and has a population of 39510000 residents. It borders Oregon to the north, the Mexican state Baja California to the south, and Nevada and Arizona to the east. California, aka the Sunny State, is known for being the largest avocado producer in the world, and every year, Fallbrook holds an avocado festival to celebrate.
California is one of the most popular destinations in North America because of its sunny beaches, warm weather, and numerous tourist destinations like the Golden Gate Bridge, Coachella, Disneyland, and Hollywood. The capital of the Sunny State is Sacramento, while the most popular city is Los Angeles. Regarding culture, California is a unique state because, besides the universal USA mentality, it also includes other cultures, including Spain, Mexico, and Asia, meaning it integrates languages, food, and tradition worldwide. California is one of the most popular states in the country, and because of that, many dream of moving here.
So, if you are planning or considering moving to the Sunny State, read the following article on the best unconventional cities in California.

Best Cities in California

  • Santa Clarita
  • Mission Viejo
  • Palm Springs
  • San Diego
  • Irvine
  • Riverside
  • Cupertino
  • Davis

1. Santa Clarita

a sunny day photo of santa clarita train station surrounded by trees with a sitting bench in front
Santa Clarita Train Station

Santa Clarita is known for its booming film industry and globally famous natural spices. Additionally, Santa Clarita has numerous top-notch restaurants, breweries, and wineries. It’sIt’s one of the best destinations in California, with a population of around 220000 residents. Although fun, it’s a very relaxed place to live in. So, if you are wondering what is the best choice when considering relocating to a mid-range city, Santa Clarita is our top pick.

2. Mission Viejo

city of mission viejo surrounded by mountains

Although unconventional, Mission Viejo is another great choice to move to. With a population of 96000 residents, it’s known for parks, cultural attractions, golf courses, and restaurants. Being close enough to California’sCalifornia’s most renowned beaches, Money Magazine mentioned Mission Viejo as the best place to live in the US. Since home prices are more than affordable, and the job market offers numerous opportunities, Mission Viejo is ranked second on our list of the best mid-range cities in California.

3. Palm Springs

palm springs streetview

Palm Springs is another popular destination for California, with a population of around 45000 residents. It’sIt’s known for tennis and golf since Palm Springs is the world’s golf capital. Also, the medical care and housing are very affordable, so anyone living in an expensive big city should consider Palm Springs since it still has all the luxury amenities you need.

4. San Diego

sunset in san diego featuring a beach and palm trees in orange and black colors
San Diego Sunset

Although San Diego is a big city with a population of 1410000 residents, we listed it here because of its idyllic climate, fantastic beaches, and overall excellent quality of life. The most popular attractions in San Diego include San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, Legoland, and SeaWorld.
So, if you are looking for a bigger city with lots of fun activities, San Diego is the place to be.

5. Irvine

corporation building in irvine

Irvine is known as one of the safest cities in the US. With a population of 274000 residents, Irvine is considered a paradise for gamers, especially since it is the home to Blizzard Entertainment, the producer of games like Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo. Besides gaming, acting is the largest employer in the city. Those that are interested in affordable cities that offer jobs in acting or gaming should consider moving to Irvine.

6. Riverside

a beautiful old house in riverside

Riverside has a population of 327000 residents and is known for being the largest city in the county and for citrus production. Riverside’s climate and landscapes are one of the city’s top associations. Besides, the community here is very kind and welcoming.

7. Cupertino

cupertino on a sunny day

Located 42 miles south of San Francisco, Cupertino has a population of more than 64000 residents. Cupertino is a beautiful city and one of our top recommendations because of its lovely community, beautiful nature, and employment options.

8. Davis

a photo of university of california's earth and science building with bicycles parking in front of it
Earth and Physical Science Building, University of California

Davis is an exquisitely friendly place with an amicable community. With a population of more than 65000 residents, you could say that Davis is a mid-sized place. Furthermore, Davis is a safe place and has a strong bicycle culture.

<a href="" title="Best Unconventional Cities in California"><img src="" alt="Best Unconventional Cities in California" border="0"/></a>

best unconventional cities in california badge

About the author

Nadia Hopkins