looking for the perfect California town to raise our 5 children (San Diego: rental, waterparks)
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Here in northern Humboldt county, surrounding Humboldt bay is a community of small towns. The main highway access is 101 with side shoots to the valley through 299 to Redding and 36 to Redbluff. We are an hour south of the Oregon border and 4 1/2 north of the bay area. Eureka is the largest at 28,000 and McKinleyville and Arcata are in the 16,000 plus-minus range. Their is a large amount of rural property much like the Pittsburg/Antioch area used to be like in the early 60's. The schools in the Arcata/McKinleyville area rank in the top ten for the state. The median home price is about $300,000 and that will buy you a 3 bed/2 bath new home. Large executive , 4 plus bedroom homes with an ocean view and access to the beach run in the beginning $700,000 range and up. McKinleyville itself has a nineplex theatre, 2 large grocery stores and hardware stores, a big K, and it is a very walkable town with a network of trails crossing town and the main trail trough town from Arcata to Trinidad is part of the Pacific Coast Bike Route called the Hammond Trail. All three towns have access to the ocean and beach's. I moved here from the Berkeley/Oakland area in 1992 after I lost nine garden jobs in the Oakland/Berkeley hills fire. It is a beautiful area with clean skys, water and low crime rate, especially here in McKinleyville and Arcata.
rancho bernardo is a great place to raise children !
Originally Posted by michlars
Does that exist? We would like to move to Cal. for many reasons but are nervous about the schools, materialism culture, and stressful lifestyle of driving. We can pretty much live anywhere and money isn't an issue, although I prefer to live in an economically diverse (but safe) area. I prefer the simple life and like my children to walk to school and most activities. Any ideas for us? I looked up the best schools in California and as usual they are in the priciest areas. Are there some in between areas that have great properties, great people, and walkable?
Rancho Bernardo is north san diego and is upscale and diverse. Cost of living here is high....we live in a 1800 sqft house and it cost 600k last year. We're on a cul-de-sac and we love it. Schools are in walking distance elem, middle, and high all within walking under a mile. The school system isone of the best in california" poway unified school system. " The airport is 30 min. away and overall right in the mix of shopping and entertainment.
Yorba Linda is a great city. Very safe. Yorba Linda and Brea are the only 2 cities that do not have any gangs. This information is from Orange County Law Enforcement.
Brea was featured in Sunset Magazine as one of the best places to live. Metallica started there (that's not exactly a plus, but it was a different age then). My sister and her husband raised their children there through high school and I couldn't believe my niece, who refused to drive the old Mercedes because her friends had new Mustangs (this was three years ago). My nephews were in sports and did well, but one has sort of fallen into a gamer-cafe crowd and we worry a lot about him. Yorba Linda is billed as "The Land of Gracious Living" and it is indeed lovely. But once you get out of your nice neighborhood you still have to put up with all the traffic and people that get crabby, especially as they fight the 91.
I'd love to know which city you decide upon!
I lived in Northern CA for 40 years. (just so. of that now)
Walnut Creek has the nicest downtown, has people from many walks of life, great restaurants, has some beautiful homes, is culturally diverse, and surrounded by lovely terrain, plus it has a multitude of enrichment activities for children and families. A place like this would probably spell happiness. Just find your best neighborhood.
Orinda CA was the best for schools, & safety, school buses pick up kids, though schools aren't far. I found it upscale and people were friendly but it's a bedroom community.
Alamo I found great schools but not walkable and people nice as long as you fit the profile. There's an undercurrent of snobbery. Sorry, friends, but you know it's true.
San Ramon is close to Danville and Pleasanton where there are quaint downtown areas, enjoyable to walk, lunch and etc. and there are huge box stores and malls nearby, there are some great homes but I would check on the recent local stats for any place.
All-in-all, Walnut Creek has all of these amenities and is closer to airports. Oakland Intl. is 30-45 min and SFO about 45min-1hr.
I would like to suggest you look into Monrovia. It is super family friendly, we love it here. We love the elementary schools and it is VERY walk friendly. That is part of the charm. Walk to town, to school, etc. I can't say enough about it. Search the LA forum for it as I've posted about it a few times. As for the airport, it is 30 minutes to Ontario and about 30-45 to Burbank (depending, of course, on traffic). You can get to LAX in 35 on a great day, but generally I plan for at least an hour in traffic to get there.
Hope that helps!
I'm sure the civic planners considered all things but in reality, its not 1950s (or even the 70s) anymore around here. Almost all families want a detached home if possible and don't want to give up their cars. Also due to the high prices, many are choosing to drive the addtl time to live spaciously and not cramped. There might be occasional exceptions but everywhere I went, in and out of the US, there is surburban sprawl.
Yeah, that's pretty much what it's like here in the Sacramento area. There's a school every couple of miles in the area (stay in the northern suburbs, like Roseville, Rocklin, Folsom), and there are people of all ages and nationalities, and it's generally very safe.
However, if you're looking for rural, it's not here.
Truckee is the single best place in California to raise children. Small town, only two Elementary schools, one middle school and one high school of about 750 kids who dominate small high school sports in Nevada, which is the state the high school athletics are part of. For girls, fashion is secondary to how good an athlete you are. Same with boys.
Local kids ski for $5.00 at Squaw Valley. Hike, camp, mountain bike all summer, ski all winter.
A dynamic town full of people who made the choice for an active outdoor life for themselves and their children. Lake Tahoe is nearby. Reno has everything you need or want to buy. Reno Tahoe International provides a portal to the world.
The snow in Truckee can be very difficult to get around in in the winter though. My family has a cabin in Soda Springs (slightly lower than Truckee) and it gets completely covered in snow (over the roof) in the winter, you have to pay to get the roads plowed, and driving to Truckee for groceries and whatnot can be a bear. It sure is beautiful though!
If you can handle one month of killer summer heat then Redding is a great place for a family. Still affordable California housing. Suburban to rural lifestyle with a zillion things for kids to do outside the house. Lots of different educational opportunities (as a general rule California schools are not ranked the best in the nation, too many immigrants, too many gangbangers, too many lil darlings) and your kids wont be going to school with what I listed .
Reddings property values continue to make it one of the best bargains in California, especially if you want open space.... 350k will give you many residential opportunities.. from a new house to a rural house with small acreage
Great medical facilities and hospitals Redding Medical Center/Mercy Medical
Excellent county fair( Shasta County District fair)
Awesome lakes, mountains, and wilderness (Shasta, Claire Engle, Whiskeytown, Trinty Alps Wilderness, Mount Shasta, Mount Lassen Volcanic park)
Many historic towns closeby (Weaverville,Lewiston, Mt Shasta) less than an hour going west north or east will find you into smaller mountain communities (Shingletown, Lakehead, Round Mountain).. going south is gets flatter..dryer.. more horse country
3 hrs to the coast (Eureka, Crescent City).. doable for a nice day trip in the hot summer.. the coast here can be quite cool.. even in the middle of summer
About 1 1/2 -2 hours to Oregon(Ashland, Medford)
Solid service based workforce... not much industry
Huge building boom but huge spaces to work with as well
Decent ammenities and shopping (Redding is approaching 150k)
There are some very nice communities... if you are interested please let me know via PM and I will give you further
The smaller towns near Redding sound perfect for me (Redding's too big for my liking)..... except for two things:
1) the heat - is there anywhere within driving distance of a hospital there that is cooler? I'm coming from the Sac area and one of the main reasons I want out of here is the horrendous heat (like the 108 degree days we're having now, and on the news they said Redding hit 111 today).
2) the fires - what do you mean by "live somewhere smart"? It's especially scary after the recent Tahoe fires!
How about Redding, CA? Median home price is $280,000. Excellent schools, beatiful scenery, close to the mountain skiing, surrounded by lakes and rivers, low crime, no gangs, just all around a wholesome place to raise a family. People exaggerate about our hot summer, that's all they can remember. They don't live here. We do have HOT days in July and August (well over 100 degrees) but you adjust considering the other 10 months are just beautiful with mild winters, cool springs and beautiful fall weather.
Best wishes to you!
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