Best San Francisco Neighborhoods For Young Families

Moving to the Bay Area is exciting and something you should look forward to. Best known for its hills, the fog, and the Golden Gate Bridge, the city has so much to offer when it comes to food, arts, sports, entertainment, and culture. Despite just being over 40 square miles, San Francisco is divided into several areas, each with its distinct characteristics, and it can be difficult to choose the next home for you and your family.

With your children, you’ll have to consider three things: safety, proximity to schools, and a good community. You will also have to balance these with the cost of living, real estate prices, and accessibility to public transport or parking.

No need to worry though as we’ve already done the research and the hard work. Here are the best neighborhoods in the city that are perfect for you and your little ones.

Bernal Heights

The pandemic which brought about strict lockdowns has led to a heightened sense of community among the Bernal Heights residents where neighbors are always willing to lend a helping hand no matter what the circumstances are.

Even before 2020, the neighborhood, also sometimes called Maternal Heights, is already family-centric with several children-friendly restaurants, shops, and playgrounds including Holly Park and Precita Park. Now that movements are limited, the community has been creative in holding fun scavenger hunts and musical performances and has established Six Feet of Separation, a children’s newspaper, to keep the young ones entertained.

Cole Valley

Relatively small and close to Haight Ashbury, Cole Valley has become popular to families due to its proximity to big open spaces, wide sidewalks, and a tight-knit community that is also extremely-welcoming to your furry friends.

Lined with Victorian homes, real estate is priced higher here due to limited availability with median prices going as high as $1.5 million for a single-family while rent starts at $2,000 for a studio. Luckily, the neighborhood’s low crime rate and children-friendly activities more than make up for its steep housing costs.

Residents genuinely care for their neighbors so you’ll immediately feel at home. There are also plenty of small businesses and local shops. Don’t be surprised if they start calling you by your name whenever you pop in for a visit. Plus, your children and your dogs can also frequently enjoy the outdoors by going to the nearby parks, Golden Gate Park, Tank Hill, or Interior Greenbelt. Finally, don’t miss the annual Cole Valley Fair every September where you and your entire family can eat, dance, and play all day.

Noe Valley

One of the most desirable neighborhoods in the bay area, Noe Valley is also known as the stroller valley because of the numerous young families who have moved in this always-sunny and hilly area. Where else can you find a fitness class combining exercise with babies?

A quick stroll to 24th street and you’ll find yourself amid cozy cafes, hip boutiques, and trendy eateries. For outdoor activities with your children and pets, you can check out the playground and sports areas at the Upper Rec Noe Center, hike at Twin Peaks, or enjoy a fun picnic at Dolores Park.

Although you’ll be subjected to the student assignment system, you’re lucky to have a few good nearby schools in this neighborhood to choose from such as James Lick Middle School, Alvarado Elementary School, and Mission Education Center Elementary School.

Outer Sunset

Voted by 7×7 as the best neighborhood for families, the Outer Sunset is a perfect base for families thanks to its low cost of living compared to areas near downtown and plenty of children-focused activities.

For active kids, the Ocean Beach is close by, the Golden Gates Park is a few minutes away and the San Francisco Zoo is just a short drive away. A handful of parks and playgrounds are also easily reachable. On weekends, you can also bring the entire family to Sunset Mercantile, an open-air weekend farmers market with around 40 to 80 vendors offering fresh produce, artisanal food items, arts and crafts, and live entertainment.

As for education, highly-rated schools are located within the neighborhood. When making your choices, consider looking at Lawton Alternative Elementary School, Key (Francis Scott) Elementary School, or Giannini (A.P.) Middle School.

What to Know Before Moving to Sacramento

Nice weather all year round, tree-lined sidewalks, and proximity to fun weekend destinations such as Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, and Yosemite National Park are just some of Sacramento’s most notable characteristics.

Previously the center of the Gold Rush economic activities, the State Capitol takes pride in its rich history and culture. Currently, it has become one of the most sought-after California cities for those who can’t stay away from the hustle and bustle but who also like a lower cost of living.

Whether you’re still thinking about it or are already at the initial stages of the move, Cheap Movers Sacramento has rounded up the most important and exciting things you have to know before setting up your new home.

It’s not cheap, but it’s more affordable than other big California cities

The California capital ranked 22nd in the list of most expensive cities compared to other big cities in the U.S. Although monthly expenses average more than $2,000, with median rent prices almost at $1,500, it is still around 85% cheaper than San Francisco.

Your move can’t come at a better time. The city’s booming real estate industry continues to grow with several ongoing housing projects meant to attract people looking to live in more affordable cities.

You’ll be safe from the big one

You know about California and its frequent shakes and tremors. In Sacramento, however, earthquakes are nothing to worry about. Because of its location, the city does not have many active fault lines, unlike the nearby bay area.

Although it is sometimes affected by wildfires and flooding, it remains a safe city that’s less susceptible to natural disasters caused by climate change. It helps that the city also has a Climate Action Plan that promotes carbon footprint reduction and sustainability.

There are plenty of good schools to choose from

Whether you decide to stay right in the center of the city or one of the suburbs of Sacramento, you’ll realize that each neighborhood has reputable schools that are perfectly suited for your little ones.

Land Park has Crocker Riverside Elementary School, and Washington Park has Bromwell Elementary School. Meanwhile, Folsom and Roseville are also ideal suburbs if you’re looking for a friendly community and excellent schools to help raise your kids.

Trees are a big deal here

With over 23 percent tree canopy coverage, Sacramento, without a doubt, deserves its moniker, “City of Trees.” It’s the greenest city in the US and ranks third among the major cities worldwide, next to Vancouver and Singapore.

If you enjoy long and leisurely walks, you can take advantage of the greenery by heading to the city’s many parks, including Capitol Park, McKinley Park, and William Land Regional Park. Autumn is an incredibly beautiful time to see the breathtaking leaves change in color.

On your walk, take the time and have fun identifying the different trees from oak, elm to maple. You can also join the Sacramento Tree Foundation and volunteer in their many tree-planting programs.

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining

Another nickname the city is proud of is “Farm-to-Fork Capital of America.”  Surrounded by large farms, Sacramento is home to fresh produce quickly turned into sophisticated dishes. Seasonal and fresh ingredients are the foundation of the city’s top restaurants, so you can expect menus to change regularly.

If you would like to sample what the city has to offer, take your pick from The Chef’s Table, Grange Restaurant and Bar, or The Farm Table. You can also get in touch with Local Roots and Sactown Bites, which offer farm-to-fork food tours and showcase the most delicious food and drinks in town. Plus, the annual Farm-to-Fork Festival is always something to look forward to every September.

7 Tips For Moving From San Francisco to San Diego

Known as California’s birthplace and the state’s second-largest city, San Diego is perfect for both singles and families. It’s an excellent place to move to if you want to escape San Francisco’s steep hills and even steeper cost of living.

In the battle between the two cities, the forever-sunny San Diego wins with its stunning beaches, a competitive housing market, delicious dining options, and a more chill vibe. Here are seven helpful tips to make your move from San Fran to America’s Finest City a breeze.

1. Get your tan on

If you hated the Bay Area’s chilly summers, then you’ll love San Diego’s warm weather all year round. You can replace your usual walks and hikes in the park with frequent trips to the beach. Find your favorite from a long list of beautiful sandy shores and learn how to surf or just enjoy the sun and the sea.

2. Expect a healthy job market.

If you’re lucky to work remotely and keep your job in San Francisco when you move, you’ll have plenty of extra cash to go around. If not, there are many career opportunities to explore in the city as there is less competition. Companies are also starting to move to the more attractive San Diego market, including several tech start-ups.

3. Get used to paying less for things.

Although still higher than the national average, the average monthly expenses in San Diego is less than the bay area by 58%. You will generally spend over $1,900 in rent and $300 on food. However, if you’re looking to buy a house, it’s best to schedule your move during winter and avoid the peak summer season to get better rates.

Your new home will also highly depend on the neighborhood you choose, whether it’s a quiet and family-friendly area or something hip and trendy.

4. Find the best school for your kids.

One of the biggest challenges of moving to a new city when you have children is finding the right school. It’s a good thing that San Diego has excellent schools, including universities with a top-notch reputation.

Unlike the usually confusing and random lottery system of the San Francisco Unified School District, your little ones get to go to a school within your neighborhood but also have the option to attend other nearby school districts if they want to.

5. Eat all the tacos you want

Both the bay area and San Diego have a fair share of amazing Mexican restaurants, but being closer to the border, the latter has a slight advantage.

What’s something you have to try? Fish tacos, for sure. First made famous by Rubio’s Coastal Grill, it’s now widely offered in the city from food trucks, fast-casual spots to sit-down eateries. If you get one, make sure you pair it with some tequila or mezcal for a complete Mexican experience.

6. Build a strong network

Making friends in a new city can be both intimidating and exciting at the same time. You can find people you like at work, but if you’re one of the many people working from home right now, you’ll need to try harder. Start by asking your friends if they know anyone you can meet over coffee. You can also join a group class or attend an event based on your interests, whether it’s sports or arts. There are apps and online platforms such as Bumble BFF or Meetup that can make searching similar-interest groups easier.

7. Hire a reliable moving company

Separated by almost 500 miles, San Diego is not an easy drive and you don’t need the additional stress from packing to shipping all your precious items. You can leave all the hard work and heavy lifting with the professionals like those at Cheap Movers San Diego, so you can focus on the important things—enjoying your exciting new city and home.