Is Sacramento the Best Place to Live?

Riding scooters by the Sacramento River on the Tower Bridge overpass walkway.

Ever dreamed of living in California? The Golden State beckons with its beautiful beaches, stunning natural landscapes, and racy cities. But California living can be expensive, especially in thriving business hubs like San Francisco or San Diego.

However, there’s a new contender for the title of dream city in California: Sacramento! According to a recent Forbes ranking, Sacramento has been crowned the best place to live in the entire state.

Rival cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco are known for their museums, theaters, fashion scenes and nightlife, not to mention direct access to beaches, leading some to question whether Forbes is really on the money here.

However, the ranking is based on responses from people already living in California, so when the real estate market asks if Sacramento is truly the best place to live, the answer has to be a resounding yes.

Sacramento does indeed offer ample job opportunities, cultural attractions and outdoor activities, with the added bonus of relative affordability. It’s a city on the rise, attracting young professionals, families, and retirees alike.

While the “best” place to live is ultimately subjective and depends on your individual needs and preferences, Sacramento certainly makes a compelling case. Let’s dive deeper into the reasons why it is such a desirable location.

What Makes Sacramento So Appealing?

Sacramento boasts a winning combination of factors that contribute to a high quality of life. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Affordability: Compared to the iconic California giants like San Francisco and Los Angeles, Sacramento offers a much more affordable cost of living. Housing costs, in particular, are significantly lower, making home ownership a realistic dream for many residents. This affordability attracts a diverse population, fostering a strong sense of community.
  • Thriving Job Market: Sacramento is the state capital of California, and the government sector plays a significant role in the local economy. However, the city boasts a diverse job market with opportunities in healthcare, technology, education, and more. This diversity endows the city with economic strength, ensuring stability and growth potential.
  • Strong Cultural Heritage: Sacramento may not have the international fame of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and tramways, but it has its own cultural gems. The city is home to world-class museums like the Crocker Art Museum, the California Aerospace Museum, and one of the world’s largest railway museums, the California State Railroad Museum.The Old Sacramento district conjures up the Gold Rush era with its well-preserved buildings and cobblestone streets, and venues like the Sacramento Theatre Company and the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts cater to a wide range of interests.
  • Outdoor Paradise: From the majestic Sacramento Delta to the rolling hills and vineyards of the surrounding wine regions, there’s something for all nature-lovers. Within city limits, there are many excellent bike and pedestrian trails in recreational areas such as the oak woodlands of Effie Yeaw Nature Center. For water sports enthusiasts there are not only two rivers passing through the city, but also Folsom Lake only 40 minutes’ drive from downtown Sacramento. Being further inland than the coastal megacities, Sacramento also has privileged access to prime outdoor destinations like Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountains.

What are Sacramento’s Best Residential Areas?

Sacramento is a sprawling city with a diverse range of neighborhoods, each with its own character. The “best” area depends on your priorities and personal taste, but here are a few popular choices to consider:

  • West Sacramento: This revitalized area is just across the river from the downtown Sacramento business district. It has a trendy vibe with new apartments, restaurants, and breweries, as well as numerous parks and scenic areas. It’s perfect for young professionals who crave a walkable, urban environment.
  • Land Park: Known for its namesake park, Land Park is a family-friendly neighborhood with excellent schools and a strong sense of community. It offers a mix of historic bungalows and newer homes, and its central location puts residents close to everything Sacramento has to offer.
  • East Sacramento: Upscale and charming, East Sacramento boasts tree-lined streets, historic architecture, and a vibrant nightlife scene. It’s a popular choice for young families and professionals who appreciate stylish living in close proximity to the downtown area.
  • Elk Grove: Located south of Sacramento, Elk Grove is a rapidly growing suburb known for its excellent public schools and affordable housing options, plus superb connectivity with surrounding areas, such as the Bay Area. It’s a great choice for families seeking a peaceful suburban environment with plenty of amenities.

Remember, these are just a few of the many sought-after neighborhoods in Sacramento. Consulting with a local real estate agent can help you find the perfect fit based on your specific needs and budget.

Considering Safety

Safety is a major concern when choosing a place to live. While crime rates can vary across neighborhoods, Sacramento County as a whole has a lower violent crime rate than the national average.

You can research crime rates in specific Sacramento neighborhoods by studying local police department websites and crime mapping websites like Trulia and Neighborhood Scout.

Most police departments publish crime statistics online for their entire area of coverage, while the purpose-built crime monitoring websites drill down to specific neighborhoods.

Or why not reach out to real estate agents or residents in your target neighborhoods to get a feel for each area and address safety concerns in person?

Finding Your Perfect Place in Sacramento

Sacramento is a city that’s gaining attention, and it’s no wonder Forbes recognized it as the best place to live in California. With its welcoming atmosphere, diverse offerings, and growth potential, Sacramento and its inhabitants are assured a bright future. Ready to make the move? Armstrong is here to help with your relocation – Contact us today for a personalized moving plan and experience a seamless move.