Living on America’s west coast is seen as something desirable all over the world. It’s the home of Hollywood and still has some of that original frontier spirit that made the area great.
But within the region, there are some gems that stand out; the creme de la creme, if you like. So where are they, and what are they like?
Orange County, CA
If you only formed your opinions of the place based on these fictional and semi-fictional depictions, you might not want to live there. Living among jealous, dysfunctional and outright nasty neighbours might not sound all that great.
However, the original Orange County bears no resemblance to how it’s depicted on the box. It consistently ranks among the top places on the west coast to live. But why?
The primary driver of the desirability of the area is the low unemployment rate. Unlike vast swathes of America, most people in Orange County have jobs. This makes for wealthy, functional communities that are tightly knit, even supportive.
What’s more, the county plays host to some stunning amenities and has excellent weather most of the year.
With Washington state to the north and California to the south, Oregon is often the neglected third child on the west coast. But it too is home to some of the region’s best places to live. Portland itself is a cosmopolitan city with a cluster of super-high-tech firms. And in the surrounding state, there are many little gems.
One is Tualatin, OR. This small town of around 20,000 people is frequently ranked high on the desirability scale. Again, it’s thanks to its low crime, low unemployment and excellent facilities.
Plus, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump from some of the most stunning natural beauty available anywhere in America.
Like Orange County, Irvine has something of a reputation. But despite this, the crime rate is very low, relative to the rest of California, and it also boasts excellent facilities. Like the rest of the state, Irvine has great weather.
The only downside is that you need to be quite well off to live there. Because of the number of wealthy people, prices are bumped up 45 percent than the national average.
San Carlos, CA
San Carlos is a rich town. Here the average household income is $111,000. Great jobs are available across the San Mateo County and people are doing well.
The area also boasts a low crime rate, low unemployment, and high quality of life.
The city is about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. The town explicitly aims for a “small town” feel. It’s happy with who it is and nurtures and encourages a European-like downtown area, littered with cafes and boutiques.
Though it’s a town of only 21,000 people, it boasts a museum and its schools are some of the best in California.