At SafeWise, we’re on a mission to help you create a secure environment for your family. Finding a safe California city to live in is the very first step, and we’re right by your side to lend a hand.
We’ve examined data from the most recent FBI Crime in the U.S. Report and married it with our own thorough research to produce a comprehensive list of the 50 safest cities in California, with 20,000 residents or more, as of 2011.
If you’re considering relocating to America’s most populated state, we hope you find our California safe city resource to be an invaluable asset. And if you want to share this with your website audience, scroll to the bottom of this article to get the embed code for the “50 Safest Cities” badge.
Perfect for workers who need respite from the energy of nearby Silicon Valley, Saratoga is a welcoming, relaxing, residential community situated in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. With a well earned reputation for outstanding schools, creative dining and a small-town ambiance, Saratoga offers just about everything a family needs. Plus, it also has the honor of being the safest city in California. The most recent FBI crime report reveals that less than 20 violent crimes and two robberies were reported in law enforcement in 2011, which is commendable. Overflowing with opportunities for community engagement, recreation, and a strong business vibe, it’s no wonder once families move to Saratoga they tend to stay.
2. Rancho Santa Margarita
The master-planned city of Rancho Santa Margarita was incorporated just over a decade ago, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of Orange County’s most desirable places to live. Situated in the foothills of the stunning Santa Ana Mountains, and just 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the young, affluent city of Rancho Santa Margarita offers a diverse inventory of planned communities. A number of wilderness parks, a skate park, dog park, and state of the art Bell Tower Regional Community Center all provide endless recreation opportunities. Families relocating to Rancho Santa Margarita will be glad to learn that the most recent figures from the FBI Crime Report show less than 10 robberies and 18 motor vehicle thefts were reported to authorities in 2011. That’s remarkable for a town of nearly 50,000.
3. Los Altos
The resident of Los Altos must feel safe knowing their city is the third safest and that the most recent FBI Crime Report notes less than 10 incidents of aggravated assault were reported to authorities in 2011. Safe streets and a median age of just 34 also make Los Altos a desirable destination for transplants with children. Los Altos’ Tiny Tots play-based preschool program, youth theater and variety of camps make working and living in Los Altos stress free. Fueled by life-long learning and health and wellness, the petite city of just 6.4 square miles boasts nearly 20 park and recreation areas. Rest assured, every member of your family is sure to find stimulating, healthy entertainment in Los Altos. Creative types should know there is a thriving art world in Los Altos. In fact, 29 art sculptures are scattered throughout the tight-knit community, infusing it with creativity and imagination.
4. Aliso Viejo
Creative and contemporary are just two words that describe the master planned community of Aliso Viejo; safe is another. According to the latest FBI Crime Report, less than 10 robberies and just two arsons were reported to law enforcement in 2011. Home to a number of large corporations, and award-winning schools, Aliso Viejo also offers families an extraordinary blend of modern neighborhoods, parks, community facilities and shopping.
The city provides residents with easy access to the Orange County trail system and the amazing Wood Canyon Wilderness. Boasting over 30 miles of trails, a profusion of rare and endangered plants, and programs like yoga hikes and tot walks, you can count on spending many weekend afternoons at the wildlife sanctuary. Pack your bags for Aliso Viejo and your family will never run out of new and exciting experiences to enjoy.
5. Temple City
A free citizen’s academy, strong Neighborhood Watch program and the comprehensive “Connect-ed” community magazine help the government and citizens work in tandem to keep Temple City’s streets safe. We weren’t surprised to learn that even though Temple City is located in populous Los Angeles County, it earned a respectable fifth place ranking on the SafeWise safest cities in California. In addition to Temple City’s safe environment, newcomers can also expect to enjoy an assortment of community-wide events and programs. The ever-popular Camellia Festival, sport clinics for youth, educational programs geared toward seniors, and activities specifically for little ones, fill the list of things your family will love about Temple City. If you’re looking for boundless recreation, and a city with small-town appeal, you may have just found your new home.
6. Laguna Niguel
Offering a vibrant Chamber of Commerce and the potential for one million square feet of new office and commercial development to be constructed over the next decade, small business owners and entrepreneurs will want to take advantage of Laguna Niguel’s thriving business climate. They’ll also appreciate the opportunity to take part in the city’s innovative crime prevention program, Business Watch, and other cooperative programs like Neighborhood Watch.
And thanks to the nearly 500 new homes that are expected to be built in the coming years, there’s no doubt your family will find the perfect abode to settle in. The master planned community of Laguna Nigel takes pride in the fact that over one-third of the community is designated as open space. A proud community full of pioneering safety and security programs, and plentiful green-space, it’s no wonder families from across the nation are moving to Laguna Niguel, California.
Just 50 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, you’ll find one of the 10 safest cities in the Golden State. But Moorpark is not only safe, it’s also pro-business and strategically located. Moorpark has been honored more than once as one of the top ten least expensive cities in California to conduct business in, according to the “Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey” and its robust Economic Development Division provides business owners with information and training classes that help them set up shop and thrive. Situated just 35 miles from the Burbank Airport, and 50 miles from the Los Angeles Airport, travelling to and from Moorpark is a breeze. But it’s unlikely you’ll want to leave the state when Disneyland and Dodger Stadium are just a short drive away.
Located in the metropolitan area of Sacramento, Lincoln is “small community with big ideas” that greets newcomers with open arms and a wealth of relocation resources. And it’s also safe place to raise a family, according to recent FBI Crime Report statistics that disclose less than 30 violent crimes were reported to law enforcement in 2011. A former winner of the coveted All-America Cities Award, given by the National Civic League, Lincoln’s Historic Downtown Area offers budding business owners the chance to secure affordable office and retail space. And its notoriously strong labor pool make it possible to find the perfect talent. With a population that grew 144 percent from 2000 to 2005, and doesn’t appear to be slowing, it appears lots of families are taking advantage of Lincoln’s many benefits.
The town of Danville offers the ideal combination of small town charm and upscale living that rewards residents with an amazing quality of life. Located just 30 miles east of bustling San Francisco, the quaint town of Danville welcomes newcomers with open arms and a powerful sense of community. Highly rated schools and an array of contemporary homes make it particularly attractive to families. You can expect to enjoy street fairs, a vibrant farmer’s market, and neighborhood holiday celebrations in Danville. And recreational opportunities are plentiful; from family nature hikes to playdates at one of the town’s many modern playgrounds, or a daily trip to the dog park, Danville’s 167 acres of parkland mean the active family will never run out of things to do. Best of all, Danville ranks as one of the SafeWise 10 safest cities in California.
10. San Ramon
Although San Ramon’s population is nearly 75,000, it boasts a remarkably low crime rate. A suburban city located near the San Francisco Bay Area, San Ramon has an unemployment rate of just 3.1 percent, and bountiful resources for new and existing businesses. It also offers LookLocal, an innovative and free app that helps residents find local products and services to keep more money in the community to benefit the local economy. San Ramon also offers Bishop Ranch, an employment center that includes several Global 500 companies and over 21,000 workers. An additional 16,000 jobs are expected to be added to the employment hub over the next 15 years. San Ramon rewards its hard working citizens with a comfortable year-round climate, a highly rated school system, and top-notch recreational programs.
At the heart of the gorgeous Salinas Valley, you’ll find the historic city of Soledad. Located in a popular wine-growing region, those who call Soledad home have easy access to over 20 vineyards and wineries. And nature lovers will appreciate that Pinnacles National Park is just a short drive away. What really makes Soledad special is its focus on volunteerism. Offering citizens a number of volunteer programs to be involved in, Soledad does an amazing job of fostering a sense of community pride. That could be one reason why the city’s crime rate is exceptionally low, earning it the honor of being named the 11th safest city in California.
Just west of San Jose, you’ll discover the lovely city of Cupertino. If you’re looking for a city that exudes community cohesiveness, you’ve found it. With a number of progressive community involvement programs, like its block party program, the nearly 60-year-old city encourages its citizens to get to know one another. Cupertino’s block leader program is another forward thinking program that’s helped the city develop a harmonious, incredibly strong community and powerful communities are great at fighting crime and keeping the bad guys at bay.
Situated in the hills west of the San Fernando Valley, Calabasas is a prosperous city that offers residents a wonderful mix of activities for mind and body. Calabasas is also an educated city, with over half the residents having earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. And it’s safe; according to the latest FBI Crime Report, just three robberies were reported to authorities in 2011. Calabasas boasts an active arts council that takes cultural art programming to unheard of levels.
Moreover, those moving to Calabasas will undoubtedly be impressed with its multitude of green initiatives and truly amazing selection of family-friendly things to do. From enjoying a sunset concert at Calabasas Lake, to hitting the court at the dynamic Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center, or packing a picnic and heading to one of the city’s stunning parks, every member of your family will find just what they’re looking for in Calabasas.
14. Agoura Hills
A state-of-the-art civic center sets the tone for the variety of innovative policies and programs you’ll discover in Agoura Hills. An affluent city in Los Angeles County, Agoura Hills will win over your family in no time.
From pee-wee yoga, fencing, Kindermusic, and senior socials, Agoura Hills makes every effort to offer its citizens a wide variety of affordable programs. That could be one reason why its crime rate is impressively low. The FBI’s Crime Report states that authorities were made aware of just three robberies in 2011. Agoura Hills is surrounded by no less than five colleges and universities and also offers a unique program that honors its citizens who serve in the armed forces.
15. Lake Forest
Situated in the heart of picturesque Saddleback Valley, historic Lake Forest guides its growth with the motto “Remember the past, challenge the future.” It’s a philosophy that supports its rich heritage while taking a contemporary approach to development that serves its citizens well. Newcomers will discover Lake Forest has small town appeal with the convenience of a much larger city. Commuters and business owners will appreciate Lake Forest’s location near transportation corridors that offer easy access to both Los Angeles to the north and San Diego to the south.
Plus, the Orange County Airport and Amtrack are just a short drive from the city’s center. Mild weather, distinctive master planned neighborhoods, and a variety of community programs will help your family fit right in. Take advantage of Lake Forest’s temperate climate by enjoying one of its 27 public parks, including the 2,500 acre Whiting Ranch Regional Wilderness Park. And you’ll feel good knowing that according to data from the FBI Crime Report, Lake Forest has the honor of being one of the state’s safest cities despite the fact that it has nearly 80,000 residents. The Report states authorities were alerted to only 89 violent crimes in 2011.
16. Yorba Linda
Yorba Linda is famous for the Nixon Library and the president’s boyhood home, but it also has a well-deserved reputation as a wonderful family-friendly city bursting with activity. Located adjacent to the unspoiled beauty of Chino Hills State Park, just eight miles from Angel Stadium, 10 miles from Disneyland and only 12 miles from notorious Knott’s Berry Farm, kids of all ages will be pleasantly surprised with the activities and entertainment this town of approximately 65,000 people offers.
Golfers will want to head to the well groomed fairways at Black Gold Golf Club, which was recently rated 4.5 stars by “Golf Digest” and honored as one of the top two best municipal golf courses in Southern California by “Southland Golf Magazine.” And horse lovers will be glad to know Yorba Linda is overflowing with equestrian activities. In addition to its 30 horse trails, the city also offers three equestrian arenas that boast every imaginable modern amenity. If all this isn’t enough to fall head over heels for Yorba Linda, the city’s students consistently place near the top of Orange County schools in standardized academic achievement tests. If you’re looking for the good life, you may have just found your new home.
There’s little doubt that Walnut’s 90 acres of park and open space, as well as its commitment to community programming, are two reasons why it was recently recognized by “Money Magazine” as the 49th best small town in the country to live in. The prosperous city also made the list in 2009 and 2011. The fact that Walnut has a low crime rate might have helped too, as FBI Crime Report notes that less than 50 violent crimes were reported to law enforcement in 2011.
In addition to an array of family-friendly events, like the Family Festival, Walnut also offers an abundance of affordable classes for all ages. Its Teen Center does an exceptional job of making sure youth have a fun, safe place to mingle, offering activities that range from cooking classes to photo workshops, homework help to fabulous Friday night events and excursions. And the Walnut Gymnasium is the place to head for indoor recreational fun.
18. Mission Viejo
With the motto “Make Living Your Mission” you can bet your family will live life to its fullest in Mission Viejo. Mission Viejo’s unique committees and commissions support a strong community bond and offer citizens with a variety of ways to get involved in the community. A few of the city’s most notable are its Community of Character Program, Senior Citizen Activities Committee and its Marines and Sailors Adoption Committee. Walking trails, a handful of recreation facilities, tennis centers, and a modern skatepark round out your family’s weekend activity choices.
Mission Viejo also offers a variety of classes for body, mind and soul. Try baby boot camp, jewelry making, guitar lessons or a class that promises to make you the Master of your iPad. While your family is hopping from event to event, you’ll feel good knowing that Mission Viejo is also a safe city. In fact, less than 80 violent crimes were reported to law enforcement, according to the most recent FBI Crime Report, which we think is extraordinary for a city of nearly 100,000 residents.
19. Foster City
The median household income in Foster City is nearly twice the state average, and its unemployment rate is just 4.2 percent. Foster City has a strong economy and safe neighborhoods. With just two robberies reported to authorities in 2011, it’s no wonder Foster City ranks in our top 20 safest cities in California. Foster City has also been recognized more than once by “Money” magazine as one of America’s “Best Places to Live” and in 2009, Forbes ranked the city number 10 on its list of “America’s Top 25 Towns to Live Well In.”
Move your family to Foster City and you’ll enjoy family-friendly festivals, like the annual Polynesian Festival, free family enrichment workshops, and a teen center that your kids will beg to visit. The Vibe Teen Center welcomes kids in 6th to 12th grade, and offers a slew of supervised activities. Sports tournaments, dances, and other special events are always on the calendar at Vibe. When the weekend rolls around, it’s time to take advantage of the city’s lagoons. Pack a picnic and enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming, or you can try a new sport, like standup paddleboarding or windsurfing.
20. Chino Hills
Chino Hills has a lot going for it. In addition to that fact that it has the 6th highest median household income in the U.S., the prosperous suburb of Chino Hills offers residents a beautiful rural setting that’s bursting with family-friendly things to do. Active families will enjoy taking advantage of the city’s 3,000 acres of publicly owned land that include an amazing 39 miles of trails and 41 modern parks. Rent a gazebo for your toddler’s birthday or relax under the stars and catch a family themed Friday night movie.
Tweens and teens are treated as special citizens in Chino Hills. A Mobile Recreation program offers fun after-school activities and homework help, and a robust summer volunteer program provides teens with important work skills, while encouraging community participation. America’s Promise Alliance named Chino Hills as one of the “100 Best Communities for Young People” for 2012 and “Money” magazine ranked the city 34th on its annual “100 Best Places to Live.” The wealth of activities and opportunities in Chino Hills may be one reason why it also has a low crime rate with less than 50 aggravated assaults reported to law enforcement in 2011. For a city of nearly 80,000 that’s a particularly impressive figure.
21. Rancho Palos Verdes
If oceanside picnics, free outdoor theater, and ranger guided night hikes through an amazing ecological preserve sound like your family’s idea of fun, you’ll fit right in at Rancho Palos Verdes. Bordered by the beautiful Pacific Ocean, the city’s Abalone Cove Shoreline Park ensures the stunning views don’t go unappreciated. The park offers two beaches, tidepools, a network of trails, and contains a state ecological preserve. Citywide events, like the fun filled “Whale of a Day” festival, further celebrate ocean life.
Your toddler won’t want to miss the stories, activities and rhythm offered by the city’s popular Little Critters Afternoon Tales program and you might want to enroll your ambitious teen in the Chamber’s pioneering Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Fido will beg for a run at the Rancho Caninos Dog Park and business owners will be greeted with open arms by Rancho Palos Verdes’ Chamber of Commerce. The citizens of this friendly seaside town also enjoy safe neighborhoods with little crime, with only 11 robberies were reported to authorities in 2011.
If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, you’re going to fall in love with Goleta. That’s because not only is Goleta a safe place, but it’s unequivocally pro-business. Located near the University of California Santa Barbara, surrounded by an ever increasing number of incubator companies, and boasting a 3.3 percent unemployment rate, there’s no doubt the business culture in Goleta is thriving. And its promising economic development strategy will only strengthen the powerful business community. Best yet, Goleta participates in the Green Business Santa Barbara County initiative that offers businesses various assistance and incentives when they implement policies to protect the environment.
Nestled on the coast of the powerful Pacific Ocean, between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay, you’ll discover the charming town of Pacifica. As a resident of the town, that was founded in 1957, you’ll enjoy a rewarding quality of life that includes an abundance of community related family programs and events. Search the Coastside Farmer’s Market for ingredients to make your family’s favorite meal, or catch dinner fishing from the Pacifica Pier.
Spend date night taking in a live play or art show, or pack a picnic dinner and head to the beach to watch the perfect sunset. Personal enrichment classes and a plethora of volunteer opportunities ensure you’ll never be left wondering what to do. And wait until your kids hear about Pacifica’s world class skatepark, family swims, monthly teen dances and Pacifica’s unparalleled school music program. All this, plus residents enjoy safe streets. According to the FBI Crime Report, authorities were made aware of only seven robberies in 2011.
Situated along the stunning coast of San Pablo Bay, Hercules is located in the eastern region of the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s known as a wonderfully diverse waterfront community and residents are exceptionally proud to call home. The city was voted by Forbes.com as the “Most Livable Metro-Area Suburb.” Boasting 950 acres of open space and trails, strong before and after school care programs, and first-class preschool programming, your kids will stay active in Hercules. The city’s strategic location also makes it a cost effective and convenient place to do business. And nearly one million additional square feet of retail and commercial space are in the planning or development stage. Think a move to Hercules might be right for your family? Start exploring the neighborhoods in Hercules right now with this informative neighborhood map.
25. Simi Valley
Considered part of the greater Los Angeles area, Simi Valley is close to big city amenities yet far enough away from the hustle and bustle to feel decidedly peaceful. And Simi Valley newcomers will be happy to hear it’s one of the state’s safest cities according to data provided by the FBI’s Crime in the U.S. Report. In 2011, fewer than 50 robberies were reported to authorities. That’s a notable figure for a city of 125,000 residents.
An ideal city to both work and play in, business owners choose Simi Valley for its affordability, variety of housing options, ambitious and educated labor force, and a positively pro-business vibe. A robust cultural arts center, golf courses and more than 5,600 acres of open space round-out reasons why you’ll want a Simi Valley address. Your kids can look forward to splash pads, public swimming pools, and loads of progressive programming. How does drop-in ultimate Frisbee, dodge ball, and organized game nights sound? When it’s time for your teen to prepare for her first job, she’ll want to take advantage of the city’s free Youth Employment Service.
26. San Juan Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano’s reputation as a great place to live and work is well deserved. Located in southern Orange County, less than 25 miles south of Santa Ana, San Juan Capistrano is a city that values its rich cultural history. In fact, its motto is “Preserving the Past, to Enhance the Future.” To that end, the city offers architectural and historic walking tours, an annual historic preservation week celebration, and the well preserved Los Rios Historic District that boasts three 18th century adobe homes as well as a number of other historic buildings.
Families will enjoy exploring the city’s historic nooks and crannies, making weekly trips to the downtown farmer’s market for a taste of the local harvest, and heading to the Zoomars Petting Zoo and Bird Park for a peek at some friendly animals. And every member of your family will find value in the Camino Real Playhouse. From full scale theatrical productions to drama classes for kids and adults, playwriting festivals and children’s shows, Camino’s calendar of events is packed full.
27. San Clemente
Tucked along the stunning California Coast midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, you’ll find San Clemente, the historic and alluring Spanish village by the sea. Dramatic rugged hills, beautiful beaches, clean air and approximately 342 days of sunshine might be a few of the reasons why the residents of San Clemente have a reputation for hospitality. Safe neighborhoods are another. Just 15 robberies were reported to authorities in 2011, according to the FBI Crime Report. Even though the city has grown from a quaint village covered in Spanish architecture to one that has nearly 65,000 residents, it hasn’t lost that small town feel.
The tightly-knit community of highly skilled and well educated residents go to great lengths to ensure the prosperity and safety of their neighbors. Tiny tots will enjoy learning and growing in the stimulating and safe Tierra Grande Play Center and families will capture the fresh ocean breeze while hiking the popular San Clemente’s Coastal Trail. No doubt everyone will enjoy the city’s pioneering art program that transforms unsightly traffic control cabinets into vibrant, original pieces of art. And because the ocean plays an important role in the San Clemente lifestyle, the city invites residents to join the Neighborhood Beach Watch program, which offers free training on how to recognize ocean hazards and assist swimmers in distress. Brilliant!
Poway is a city that takes a proactive role in expanding existing businesses and encouraging entrepreneurial activity. In fact, the San Diego County gem was ranked the 6th best city in California to have a business, according to “Outlook Magazine.” Excellent freeway access to Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange Counties, and a state-of-the-art, 700 acre business park help Poway earn its pro-business reputation. City residents work hard, but they can also play hard, thanks to Poway’s focus on an active lifestyle.
Known as “The City in the Country,” Poway is proud that over half of its 39.4 square mile area is preserved as open space that includes over 55 miles of trails. And with an average high temperature of 79F, your family can take advantage of outdoor activities year-round. Poway also encourages its adult residents to come together and enjoy healthy entertainment like open play basketball, badminton, and women’s soccer. The city’s assortment of youth sporting opportunities ensures every child finds the perfect activity. Here’s another reason to love Poway: it boasts the lowest overall crime rate of the cities in San Diego County, and just one arson was reported to law enforcement in 2011, according to the FBI Crime Report.
Camarillo residents tend to describe their Ventura County city as “unspoiled, friendly, and safe.” Conveniently located between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Camarillo is the perfect place to settle if you’re looking for the ideal blend of big city life and small town ambiance. Plus, it’s a great place to do business. A streamlined permitting process, modern industrial buildings and a highly educated workforce are just a few reasons why business is booming in Camarillo. Affordable housing, an excellent school system as well as shopping and dining opportunities are abound. From chic boutiques to the Camarillo Premium Outlets, quaint eateries to popular restaurant chains, Camarillo has everything your family wants and needs.
Endless recreation, access to six institutes of higher education, a pro-business climate and a low crime rate are just a few reasons why families who relocate to Windsor rarely ever leave. Residents of Windsor pay less per capita for police services than almost all other Sonoma County citizens, yet enjoy some of the lowest crime rates in the county. The FBI Crime Report states authorities were alerted to less than 50 burglaries in 2011.
Newcomers will be pleasantly surprised by Windsor’s variety of quality housing and top-ranked schools that have won a host of regional and national accolades over the last decade. And in the heart of downtown, there’s always something happening at the 4.5 acre Town Green. Dotted with centuries-old oak trees, the open space is where family and friends gather to enjoy festivals, live music, and cultural events of all kinds.
31. Diamond Bar
An affluent city located in eastern Los Angeles County, Diamond Bar ensures its citizens have a wealth of things to do, and a safe community to do them in. When your family settles in Diamond bar, you’ll not only be surrounded by breathtaking San Gabriel Valley, you’ll also be treated to a wealth of diverse community activities that will help you feel at home in no time. Parents can join one of the city’s basketball leagues, or enjoy a pick-up game of table tennis or volleyball.
If mom and dad have creative flare, they’ll enjoy taking part in Diamond Bar’s Through My Lens Photo Contest, Holiday Home Decorating Contest, or the city’s festive Candy Cane Craft Fair. When the weekend hits and your family is itching to get out and about, Diamond Bar invites you to save yourself the stress of driving. Simply hop on a motor coach and, for a nominal fee, your family will enjoy a city sponsored excursion to a nearby museum or other family-friendly destination. As a parent you’ll feel good knowing Diamond Bar takes care of its teens. Your teen will develop a strong sense of respect and volunteerism thanks to Diamond Bar’s DB4YOUTH program, where kids help plan food drives, cultivate gardens and even volunteer at the city’s elementary schools.
When you call Sunnyvale home, you’ll enjoy a quality of life that’s difficult to surpass. Located at the heart of Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale offers a collection of some of the world’s most respected companies, including Yahoo!, and access to nearly a dozen institutes of higher learning. Less than an hour drive to the picturesque Pacific Ocean and a short drive to the famous Redwood Forests and beautiful Lake Tahoe, when it’s time to head out of town you’ll have a diverse selection of destinations. But you may find you’re happy to spend most of your downtime right in Sunnyvale.
Whether it’s dining at Murphy Avenue, a unique and historic business district, hitting one of Sunnyvale’s 51 tennis courts, or just heading to the park for a few hours of well deserved R&R, Sunnyvale offers plenty of things to do. Those with toddlers, tweens and teens will enjoy the city’s commitment to family events that focus on music and the arts, including the Art and Wine Festival, Summer Music Series, and Hands On the Arts, a multicultural arts festival designed specifically for children ages 3 to 12. Are you ready to relocate? You’ll want to take advantage of the city’s comprehensive relocation guide.
33. Thousand Oaks
Have no doubt, Thousand Oaks has earned the kudos that make it worthy of your family. Located just 35 miles from downtown Los Angeles the progressive community of Thousand Oaks offers an assortment of important Go Green initiatives, plus top-notch entertainment. The Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza opened nearly a decade ago, and has served as the hub of community ever since. Consisting of a three acre park and two theatres, over 5 million patrons have enjoyed folk and modern dance companies, touring Broadway musicals, and an abundance of award-winning children’s programs.
Thousand Oaks also boasts a unique and impressive budget transparency tool that helps citizens understand just where their tax dollars go. The tool reveals that law enforcement is the third most funded department. That could be one reason why despite the fact it has almost 130,000 residents, Thousand Oak remains one of the state’s safest cities. In 2011, 34 robberies and 12 arsons were reported to law enforcement according to the FBI Crime Report.
An impressively low crime rate and a burgeoning business climate are just two reasons families who relocate to Murrieta couldn’t be happier about their new address. According to the FBI Crime Report, Murrieta is not only the 8th safest city in the nation for cities over 100,000 population, authorities were alerted to just 34 robberies and 10 arsons in 2011. Outstanding schools, a variety of housing, excellent medical facilities and an amazing brand-new 6,000 square foot Youth Center round-out the reasons you’ll be tempted to call Murrieta home. If you’re an entrepreneur you’ll be glad to hear that Murrieta offers a growing market, a skilled labor force and a strong economic development strategy that includes the innovative Murrieta Regional Technology Innovation Center. With the average age being just 32, Murrieta is also a youthful community where evening bike rides and neighborhood cookouts make meeting new friends a cinch.
Pack your bags, you may have just discovered your new abode. Dublin, California is going to impress you. Named after the city of Dublin in Ireland, we’re not surprised this dynamic Golden State city is the second-fastest growing in the state. From sprawling single family homes to luxury apartments,
Dublin has a variety of housing that ensures you’ll find the picture perfect home. In addition to a number of extraordinary shopping experiences, your family will enjoy getting to know the neighbors at one of the community’s many festivals and events, like the popular Saint Patrick’s Day celebration or ArcFest, the city’s annual film festival that draws thousands. Kids of all ages mingle with teen volunteers at the Lego Club, where creativity thrives. If an outdoor adventure is more your family’s style, then head to gorgeous Alamo Creek Park and take part in a community-wide family campout event. Wherever your family roams in Dublin, you’ll feel good knowing it’s a safe city according the recent FBI Crime Report. In fact, just 16 robberies were reported to law enforcement in 2011.
The prosperous city of Irvine enjoys a well deserved reputation as a pleasant place to live, work and raise a family. Its crime rate is also remarkably low, especially for a city of nearly 230,000 residents. For eight straight years, Irvine has had the lowest per capita violent crime incidents of any U.S. city of 100,000 or more. In 2012, the violent crime rate in Irvine was 49 per 100,000 people. In addition to low crime, Irvine offers a slew of activities as advertised in its comprehensive recreation guide “Inside Irvine,” so every member of your family will feel right at home.
And business owners will appreciate that Irvine is conveniently located near John Wayne Airport, and also offers a terrific selection of business friendly initiatives. Attention parents: you’ll be happy to hear that Irvine’s graduation rate is 96 percent and the average SAT score is a respectable 1808. Plus, 66 percent of Irvine’s residents hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, ensuring the community’s focus on education never wanes. Safe streets, a pro-business climate and dedication to educational achievement are just a few reasons why you’ll find the quality of life in Irvine unbeatable.
37. Santa Clarita
Santa Clarita is the third largest city in Los Angeles County, covering a whopping 47.8 square miles, but that hasn’t stopped it from enjoying a respectable safe city ranking. Low crime is just one of the benefits of living in this progressive community. A focus on a healthy and creative lifestyle are two more reasons why residents are proud to call Santa Clarita home sweet home. It has hosted the Amgen Tour of California professional cycling race a whopping six times and this spring Santa Clarita will proudly host the internationally acclaimed Wings For Life World Run.
The annual Santa Clarita Marathon takes full advantage of the city’s bountiful multi-use trails. Its annual bike to work challenge and fully funded safe routes to school program encourages parents and kids to get to work and school in a safe and healthy way. When the weekend rolls around, plan on heading to a concert in the park or to one of the city’s perfectly planned seasonal events, like the Cowboy Festival. And if you value art, you’ll be as impressed with Santa Clarita’s arts education for youth. Going way beyond the basics, Santa Clarita’s extraordinary focus on the arts inspires every member of your family to get creative.
38. San Gabriel
The petite 4.1 square mile city of San Gabriel exudes small town ambiance that’s unmistakably alluring to families. It also benefits from a low crime rate. The FBI’s Crime Report states just one arson was reported to law enforcement in 2011. In San Gabriel, energy and history combine to produce a diverse and dynamic city that’s bustling with commercial activity. Want to start a new business or relocate an established one? You’ll be in good hands in San Gabriel.
Located just 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles, easy freeway access and support like Tools for Business only add to the business friendly vibe of City Hall. Pleasant parks, responsive emergency services, and diverse cultural interests will help your family feel welcomed in San Gabriel. Plus, the city offers an assortment of ways for you and your family to join with your neighbors and give to those less fortunate. Head to historic and vibrant San Gabriel and it won’t take you long to see why over 40,000 lucky residents call the quaint city home.
No city is immune to crime, but you won’t have to be overly concerned about your family’s safety when you call charming Lafayette home. Lafayette joins just two other cities on our list with no arsons reported in 2011. In addition to being a safe place to move to, Lafayette is surrounded by glorious rolling hills, boasts an unemployment rate of just 2.7 percent and offers lots of activities for kids and adults that foster community togetherness. Head to the community garden to harvest with your neighbors, take part in the popular Jazz Workshop, or jump on two wheels and enjoy a leisurely bike ride on one of the city’s many bike paths. When your belly grumbles, head to Lafayette’s famous Restaurant Row where you’ll find every sort of cuisine your taste buds desire.
In addition to its stellar safety record, Benicia also boasts a unique history, having once served as the state’s capital. Situated along the Carquinez Strait (part of San Francisco Bay), Benicia is unequivocally picturesque and offers an eclectic collection of things to do. From its Heritage Home Tour to Arts in the Park and the Downtown Farmers Market, when you call Benicia home you’ll never be left wondering what to do. And its warm summers and moderate winters mean outdoor activities thrive year-round. Entrepreneurs and business owners will be glad to hear that Benicia invests heavily in developing its local economy, and the city’s Office of Economic Development offers a website that serves as a comprehensive guide to starting and growing your Benicia business.
Despite the fact that it’s one of the state’s youngest cities, Oakley exudes the charm of more established communities. With safety on its side, and a landscape that abounds with rolling hills, orchards and vineyards, it’s no wonder Oakley regularly welcomes newcomers looking for a suburban oasis. Oakley is serious about growing a strong local economy too. If you’re a business owner considering a move to the blossoming city, you’ll want to take advantage of the resources offered in its New Business Guide.
And you won’t want to miss the wealth of classes offered through the city’s ED2GO online program. From computer applications to personal development, and even certification programs, Oakley takes your desire for enrichment seriously. If your kids want to start working on their interpersonal and work skills, Oakley’s Junior Recreation Leader Program is the perfect opportunity.
Located in the heart of California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley, the agriculturally diverse city of Corcoran has developed a community cohesiveness that’s difficult to replicate. That just might be why its residents enjoy a relaxed lifestyle that’s impressively safe. In fact, transplants will be thrilled to discover that it’s one of the Golden State’s safest cities according to data provided by the recent FBI’s Crime Report, with zero arsons reported to authorities in 2011. Helping keep its youngest citizens active and out of trouble, the city’s police department offers a police recreation league (P.A.L.) where police officers and community members volunteer to help kids get involved in quality activities that build self-esteem, develop discipline and foster mutual respect.
Petaluma is the home to the Rancho Petaluma Adobe, a National Historic Landmark and the 2012 Little League World Series title, but it also takes pride in safe neighborhoods. A distinctively low crime rate may have something to do with the fact that Petaluma goes to great lengths to keep citizens involved in their government and involved in their community. For example, its attractive and well preserved historic city center is the result of countless hours of volunteerism, and the city offers citizens nearly a dozen committees to take part in, from historic and cultural preservation to technology and public art.
When it’s time to get cooking, Petaluma residents don’t have to head far. A trip to the Petaluma Farmers’ Markets offers a bounty of Sonoma County produce and unique, handmade arts and crafts. Live music, face painting, and pony rides are just some of the activities that will keep kids busy while mom and dad load up their baskets. And from a handful of summer camps, to preschool programs that include Tiny Tots and KinderReady, to swimming classes at one of the city’s two aquatic facilities, working parents will undoubtedly appreciate Petaluma’s youth programs.
44. La Cañada Flintridge
La Cañada Flintridge is an 8.6 square mile, prosperous city located in Los Angeles County and surrounded by the magnificent the San Gabriel Mountains. Residents of La Cañada Flintridge enjoy an above average median household income (almost $140,000) and nearly 70 percent are college graduates. Best yet, almost one third of the city’s citizens have a commute of less than 15 minutes.
Easy access to Burbank airport, and just twenty minutes from downtown Los Angeles, you could say that those lucky enough to call La Cañada Flintridge home have it all. And there’s even more good news. Your kids will receive a top-notch education because La Cañada Flintridge’s public schools consistently rank in the top five percent of all California schools. There’s no doubt the city’s sense of shared family values and high rates of volunteerism have helped keep crime at bay. La Cañada Flintridge takes pride in the fact that its citizens offer up more than 250,000 hours of time each year for important community causes. Move to La Cañada Flintridge and you’ll also enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine annually.
One thing you can’t help but recognize about Pleasanton is the pride its citizens take in the community. You can bet the city lives up to it positively upbeat name. A suburb of the San Francisco Bay Area, those who relocate to Pleasanton will be welcomed into a community that boasts a low unemployment rate of just 3.9 percent and a pro-business government. In addition to the fact that Pleasanton is located in a strategic part of the state, there are a number of reasons why building a business in Pleasanton is a smart move. Plus, its schools enjoy a well earned reputation for academic achievement and extracurricular opportunities. Kudos to Pleasanton for dedicating time to develop police-community partnerships that include a Police Explorer Program and a Teen Academy and for maintaining a special unit that focuses specifically on youth and community services. Pleasanton proves that when the community and government unite, criminals don’t have much of a chance.
If alluring views of San Francisco Bay, tree covered hills and stretches of open space sounds appealing, Belmont could be your next home. Perfectly situated between San Francisco and San Jose, the affluent 4.63 square mile city is at the heart of California’s culturally and technologically rich area. Rest assured, Belmont understands the strength of community connections. Known as a relaxed, quiet residential community, Belmont is a place where neighbors are on a first name basis, and newcomers are welcomed with open arms.
When you’re ready to meet new friends, you’ll find a number of clubs to get involved with. From Rotary to Cub Scouts, community theater to 4-H, there’s an organization for nearly every interest in Belmont. When Sunday rolls around, take the family to the Belmont Farmers’ Market for a taste of California’s freshest harvest, plus fresh flowers, baked goods and entertainment. Or, head to the Twin Pines Senior and Community Center for a variety of classes (including hula), free movies, seminars, exercise programs, and even day trips. Want more ideas? Take a peek at the Belmont Activity Guide.
47. La Mirada
Located in the heart of Southern California, La Mirada a distinctive city that offers residents an exceptional place to live and work. In fact, it’s home to several corporations, like U.S. Foodservice and Staples, and also home to Biola University, the area’s largest employer. Business owners benefit from La Miranda’s development-friendly government, low project costs, fast-track scheduling and low taxes.
It’s also a growing community that offers a rich, diverse workforce. La Mirada provides entrepreneurs and veteran business owners with the “Business News” newsletter that ensures everyone is aware of La Miranda’s business trends and opportunities, and its Business Watch program promotes healthy communication between businesses and police to improve safety. La Mirada is serious about local businesses, but it’s also a city that knows how to have fun. Community concerts under the stars, kids’ carnivals, a father-daughter dance and the polar bear plunge are just a few of the city’s most anticipated annual events. La Mirada’s award winning theater is bursting with entertainment. From musicals to Broadway shows, teen targeted productions to concerts, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts is a gem.
Maywood is a small town with a big heart. That could be why once families move to Maywood they rarely leave. At just over one square mile, Maywood is Los Angeles County’s third-smallest incorporated city but that hasn’t stopped it from earning a reputation for lovely parks, pools and other community amenities, including a new multi-purpose facility and industrial complex. If you’re considering opening a business in Maywood, you’ll want to explore the resources outlined in the city’s informative new business guide. While you’re working, you’ll feel good knowing that your little ones are in a safe nurturing environment offered by the Maywood Police Activity League’s popular afterschool program.
Recognized as the 5th fastest growing city in the state, and boasting the highest median household income in Riverside County, you can bet there’s good reason why families are moving to Eastvale. Diverse housing options, award winning schools, over a dozen parks and more than 50 recreational programs for kids of all ages only add to the fact that it’s one of California’s 50 safest cities. Eastvale’s progressive citizen policing programs may be to thank for its low crime. Concerned community members can join the sheriff department’s Citizen Volunteer program or its popular Reserve Deputy Sheriff Program. Youth can enjoy learning the ins and outs of law enforcement through an active Explorer Program. When they’re not helping keep the streets safe, Eastvale residents can lend their skills to the Eastvale Community Foundation. A nonprofit community organization of volunteers who dedicate themselves to raising money for programs and scholarships, the Eastvale Community Foundation is a powerful force in the community.
50. La Puente
At just 3.48 square miles, La Puente is small, but its community programming rivals that of much larger cities. An active Community Center and Youth Learning Activity Center help keep every member of your family safe and healthy. And its progressive Volunteers On Patrol (VOP) program help ensure neighborhoods stay crime free. You might be surprised that a city of 41,000 residents, located only 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles enjoys a low crime rate. Offering safe neighborhoods, community gathering places, and easy freeway access, there’s no wonder La Puente has earned a reputation as a great place to establish family roots.
These great cities secured a spot on our 50 safest cities in the entire state of California. No matter where you live in California, it’s best to do your part to keep your home secure. SafeWise recommends a monitored security system to get the best protection possible. To discover which system is right for your home, check out the SafeWise security system finder.
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