raising a family in southern california (1)

There are many factors to consider when choosing where to raise your family, but the overall quality of life for children is most important. Large cities are just as close as the rural areas, allowing easy access to both work and play. There are many different climates in this region, so there’s no need to worry about missing out on any seasons! The beaches make it an ideal destination year-round, with warm weather throughout winter.

Southern California has plenty of great cities for raising a family with good schools, safe neighborhoods, and plenty of activities, so parents don’t have to worry about their kids being bored or in danger. However, it’s hard enough being a parent without having to add extra stress from living in an unsafe city or dealing with terrible traffic every day. So here are our top 15 picks!

1. Redondo Beach, California

This beautiful beach town is one of the most family-friendly areas in southern California. The elementary schools are top-rated and located near parks and other recreational activities. In addition, it’s a short drive to downtown Los Angeles for convenient access to public transportation or more significant city events. Still, it’s also close enough to the beachfront that kids can go outside and enjoy themselves without worrying about busy roads at all times.

Redondo Beach has a crime rate of 2.6 per 1,000 people, which is very low compared to the state’s average of 4.7 and the country’s average of 3.8. In addition, the beachfront is a short drive from Los Angeles and is not near any busy roads.

2. Ladera Ranch, California

Ladera Ranch is a great place to raise a family because it combines all the benefits of living in a small town with the amenities and convenience of a larger city. In addition, it has been ranked as one of the safest cities in California, being just outside the top 10 percent for low crime rates.

The schools are part of Saddleback Valley Unified School District, including five other elementary schools and two middle schools near this location, and another high school across town. This area was voted by Sperling’s Best Places to be among the top 100 best places to live in 2014!

3. Yorba Linda, California

Yorba Linda has been around since 1821 and is known for its high-quality public schools. There are currently two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school in this city’s education system. In addition, a new sixth elementary school is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of next year.

Yorba Linda has one of the lowest crime rates in Orange County at 2 per 1,000 residents annually, making it an ideal place for families with children to settle down. In addition, access to major roads like I-5 provides quick commuting times into Los Angeles or Anaheim while maintaining a quiet community vibe away from busier areas.

4. Newbury Park, California

Newbury Park was named Ventura County’s best city to raise a family back in 2010 due to its low poverty levels and unemployment while still offering several amenities. This city is also located in an area considered by Sperling’s Best Places to be the safest in California, with only two violent crimes per 1,000 residents each year! In addition, it has a poverty rate of 6 percent compared to the state average of 16 percent and the national average of 14 percent.

The schools are part of Conejo Valley Unified School District which also serves Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village. The school board recently re-envisioned their education system’s layout for increased student safety with all schools less than three miles apart from one another. There are currently six elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, and four alternatives “learning centers.”

5. Aliso Viejo, California

Aliso Viejo has experienced an average population growth of 6.5 percent each year since 2010, one of the highest in the state compared to other cities’ slightly slower or even slightly declining growth rates. The city’s strong economy tends to attract professionals with families looking for safe, quiet neighborhoods away from busier areas while still being conveniently located near all major freeways and entertainment centers like Disneyland and Los Angeles.

The schools are part of Capistrano Unified School District, which contains two other elementary schools, one middle school and one high school without rivalries due to each school’s size, location, or competitiveness. Parents appreciate that their kids won’t be forced to deal with bullying or cliques when they can focus on their education and socializing with friends during school hours.

6. Yucaipa, California

Yucaipa is a great place to raise a family because it has one of the lowest crime rates in the state and meager unemployment rates and poverty levels, even though its median household income remains slightly lower than the state and national averages.

The city’s K-12 public education system is part of Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District, serving Calimesa and Mentone, so parents won’t have to send their kids across town for high school like they would if they lived in most other cities near Los Angeles or San Diego. The district ranked among the top 1 percent in California for the number of advanced placement courses offered during the 2010-2011 school year.

7. Truckee, California

Truckee is one of over 100 cities in California to have a maximum speed limit of 25 miles per hour on the most significant roads within its borders. It has an average crime rate lower than most major cities in America, so it’s no wonder that this city is considered by many to be the safest in all of California!

Truckee offers several primary and secondary education options for parents with public schools, including two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. The surrounding cities are known for their highly competitive public school systems, so it’s nice that Truckee doesn’t have to deal with the same pressures when it comes to education.

8. Oakley, California

Oakley is a city full of safe neighborhoods and friendly people who are happy to raise their families here. Crime rates in this area are low compared to other cities, so parents can relax when they let their kids play outside without always having to watch them every second. And the local economy is thriving even in this unstable economic time which means that family income levels remain high compared to the state and national averages. In contrast, poverty levels remain very low in Oakley.

The schools utilize a single unified school district where all students go to one high school located right downtown with no current plans for expansion due to population size or overcrowding concerns. Parents also appreciate that the crime rate remains low during school hours, so teachers and administration don’t have to worry about safety issues as much as they would if the district had more urban locations.

9. Hayfork, California

Hayfork is a small town with a population of just under 3,000 people. However, it’s still growing fast due to its excellent location surrounded by natural beauty, including plenty of national parks and hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts looking for recreational activities during their free time. In addition, the city has a meager crime rate compared to other cities in California, which makes it even safer for families with kids to raise them right here without worrying too much about school lockdowns or endangered students at risk of being taken by strangers passing through town.

The only public education system available is part of Happy Camp Union Elementary School District. Students attend one of three elementary schools, all located within the city limits, so parents won’t have to send their kids on long bus rides or worry about crossing busy streets during peak times like they would if they lived in other small cities.

10. Willits, California

Willits is yet another small city that provides quality living with low crime rates and higher than average family incomes, resulting in deficient poverty among its residents even though it’s not considered an incredibly wealthy community. In addition, the public school system is part of Willits Unified High School District, where students attend either Willits High School (grades 9-12) or Pioneer Valley High School (9-12). As a result, all 12 degrees can be found under one roof instead of most other public schools, which have to split the grades with multiple campuses throughout the city.

Because Willits is located in a rural area, it’s not considered an excellent place for those looking to enjoy all that the big city has to offer, including shopping malls and entertainment venues that typically bring in out-of-state tourists or visiting locals who spend their money at these places instead of around town where it helps keep businesses afloat during the slow season. Living in Willits means living away from the most significant distractions, including distractions that could cause safety issues like gang violence and street crimes like robberies.

11. Grass Valley, California

There are no immediate plans for new school construction or renovation because all students attend one elementary school (grades K-5) and one high school (grades 9-12). In addition, some of the classes at this public school are tiny and require teachers to teach two separate steps in a single classroom. Hence, parents know their kids get plenty of individualized attention from instructors even though there’s no private or parochial option for them if they can’t deal with that.

Grass Valley is surrounded by natural beauty, including the picturesque Sierra Nevada mountains, which provide excellent views year-round. Parents appreciate that they get to enjoy these views while living in safe neighborhoods where it’s easy to protect their kids from strangers when they’re not around because crime rates are low compared to other cities located nearby by comparison.

12. Dulzura, California

Dulzura might have a population of just under 2,000 people, but it’s still growing due to its fantastic location near the border of Mexico. Students attend Dulzura Elementary School, where all grades are taught in one building instead of being split or placed on different campuses around town.

The economy here is stable enough that living expenses are not too expensive for families even though they would be considered high if this was located in an area with more tourist attractions and other distractions capable of drawing them away from home. In addition, parents want to make sure their kids get the attention needed to succeed academically to enjoy better job opportunities later on, which helps keep the unemployment rate low compared to other cities nearby.

13. Wheatland, California

If you’re looking for small-town living with excellent schools that are part of one of the best school districts in the nation, Wheatland should be at the top of your list. Unfortunately, the public school system is only responsible for providing education to students up through grade 8. Still, there are plenty of private and parochial options available so families can select a learning environment that’s best suited to their beliefs and family needs.

Parents say this is one of the safest towns to raise their kids, mainly because it sits near rolling hills covered with tree-lined neighborhoods, which shield them from outsiders who may pose potential threats, including strangers walking around late at night. In addition, parents love the small-town feel, which makes it easy to get to know other parents without worrying about problematic situations like bullying on school grounds because everyone knows each other, so it’s easier to intervene before things escalate.

14. Twain Harte, California

This town is smaller, with a population of just over 4,000 people. Still, it’s growing, which has made some parents worry that big city problems will follow them here like they do everywhere else, but that fear is unjustified based on recent crime reports. This quaint mountain community goes above and beyond to keep its students safe by requiring all employees (including teachers) to pass background checks as part of their employment requirements, which ensures only the most qualified instructors are hired onto campus.

The economy in this area is stable enough that living expenses aren’t too high for families who don’t mind sacrificing more luxurious amenities for better schools. In addition, parents here say they love watching their kids learn new things and interact with other students in a community where everyone knows each other. It makes for a much safer environment overall compared to big cities nearby.

15. Citrus Heights, California

The excellent school system located within Citrus Heights is responsible for teaching over 10,000 students who live in the city limits and those residing near surrounding communities, including Fair Oaks, Orangevale, and Antelope, among others. There are over 20 public elementary schools available, as well as five public junior high schools and four public high schools, which all work together to make sure every student has the same opportunity to succeed even if they don’t have a robust support system at home.

Parents appreciate that their kids won’t be subjected to standardized testing or other unnecessary requirements that don’t benefit them in the long run because they’re taught using the latest materials and technology available. It’s also possible for students who excel academically to receive additional tutoring with their regular classes to make sure they stay on track throughout high school, which will help them get into colleges of their choice with ease.


Every parent wants their kids to get the best education possible to grow up and find a job where they’ll be able to save the world one day if that’s what they want. It’s essential to select the right school where your child can meet friends they can rely on for decades to come so they have someone to lean on when life gets too hard or if something tragic happens.

We hope this list has helped you narrow down your search for the perfect town where your family can grow up happily ever after!

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