Best Places to Raise a Family on the West Coast

Meredith Raico
Last Updated on April 29, 2024
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The West Coast is one of the best places to raise a family. It has the perfect weather, the best schools, and plenty of outdoor activities for kids. In this article, we will explore three cities on the West Coast that are ideal spots for families with children.

The Top 3 Cities for Families on the West Coast

The best part about the West Coast is that each city has its unique personality, natural beauty, and living style. No matter what you’re looking for in a city, there’s undoubtedly one that will suit your family’s needs. Here are some factors that determine whether a city is a family friendly one:

  • Stable economy and vibrant job market
  • Outdoor and family-friendly activities
  • Safe neighborhoods
  • Excellent schools and childcare
  • Affordable cost of living

Excited Family Carrying Boxes Into New Home On Moving Day

#1 Los Angeles

With its beautiful beaches, exciting cities, diverse food cuisines, and rich culture, the Golden State is a popular home.

Economy & Job market: Los Angeles’ unemployment rate has been steadily decreasing, and it has a strong economy with many opportunities for job seekers.

Outdoor Activities: Beach, mountains, deserts, or rivers, California has it all when it comes to terrain. Outdoor activities for families in LA are numerous and varied.

Family-Friendly Activities: There are plenty of inexpensive activities for families in LA, including visiting zoos, botanical gardens, parks, beaches, sporting events, and more.

Safety: The Economist ranked Los Angeles as the 17th safest city out of 60 cities worldwide. There are specific neighborhoods better suited for families, though, as with any city, so do your research beforehand.

Schools & Child Care: LA has the largest school system in California, with six school districts. Public schooling is free, and children attend school with their neighborhood peers. This state earned an “A” from the Fordham Foundation for the quality of its academic curriculum.

Cost of Living: The City of Angels is home to more than 3.8 million people and a diverse collection of ethnicities. Living in LA can come with a higher cost of living but for families with higher income, it’s a dynamic city full of enriching opportunities and activities for children.

#2 San Francisco

San Francisco is known for its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the city’s eclectic neighborhoods, and its diverse population, making it a great place to raise a family.

Economy & Job market: SF can have a high cost of living, but it also has one of the lowest unemployment rates in America.

Outdoor Activities: It’s a family-friendly city with many parks and outdoor activities.

Family-Friendly Activities: You can find many museums, theaters, and performing arts centers in San Francisco. You’ll never lack for fun family activities to try!

Safety: The crime rates in SF are higher than other metro areas, like Washington, DC, but higher than most small towns. Property-based crimes can be a concern. Take precautions and do your research to avoid living in crime-vulnerable districts.

Schools & Child Care: Many Bay Area districts have excellent public schools, including the top one, San Francisco Unified School District. This district has the highest test scores and offers childcare programs for families who need help raising their children.

Cost of Living: The only downside here is that San Francisco has some of the highest living costs in the country due to higher real estate prices and income tax rates. While the city more than makes up for this with amenities, education, and economic opportunity, this is something to consider before moving there.

#3 Seattle

The Emerald City is known for its vibrant economy, abundant parks and green spaces, and high quality of life. Seattle is one of the most livable cities in the US and a top destination to raise a family.

Economy & Job Market: The city has an average living cost and low unemployment rate, making it an ideal place to start a family. Seattle is also home to big companies like Amazon, Starbucks, Nordstrom, and Microsoft.

Outdoor Activities: Seattleites have plenty of outdoor space to explore via bike, trail, rail, on foot, or by car.

Family-Friendly Activities: Seattle is a bustling city with an extensive public transportation system that makes it easy to a diverse range of cultural opportunities and family friendly attractions, like museums, parks, and more

Safety: The city has a low crime rate and is one of the safest in the United States.

Schools & Child Care: The city boasts an excellent public school system, with some of the highest test scores in the nation. Seattle is also home to some prestigious universities, like the University of Washington and Seattle University and some of the best school districts in Washington State.

Cost of Living: Many affordable housing options exist for families in this city, whether you’re considering buying or renting.

How To Pick The Perfect Place For Your Family to Live On The West Coast

The West Coast offers a wide variety of places for families to live. Some cities are more expensive but offer a better quality of life. Others offer affordable homes with great schools and neighborhoods. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for every family. It is essential to consider your family’s needs to find the perfect place for them to live.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on July 19, 2022 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Meredith Raico

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About the SpareFoot Blog

The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
Contact the editor: [email protected]


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