California is typically known for its beautiful weather, entertainment, sandy beaches, and vast nature preserves. It is also infamously known for its extremely high living costs. However, there are certainly cities in California that are great places to live, and surprisingly affordable!


Stockton is a city about 1.5 hours away from San Francisco and 70 miles from the coastline. The summers are hot and dry and winters are mild. In 2020, US News names Stockton as America’s most diverse city. Each year, there are a plethora of large outdoor festivals celebrating the cultural background of the city.

Jump on a riverboat at the Marina for a day on the water, then head downtown and listen to some live music while you window shop. You can snag a home in this town for around $320K. 

  1. EUREKA 

Eureka is in Humboldt County, near the northern end of California in the Redwood Empire area. The town has a quaint feel with the hundreds of beautiful unique homes of Queen Anne architecture. Enjoy your day on a ferry boat tour, watch fishermen reel in their catch, and have a wine tasting in Old Town. Plan a day trip to Sequoia Park; California’s oldest zoo, then take a trek through the tremendous Redwood forest. An average home in this city will cost you about $304k.


Fresno is an agricultural city located in the center of California. It is the fifth-largest city in the state, and quite affordable with the average home selling for approximately $248k. Fresno is about a two-hour drive to Los Angeles, and a short jaunt to some of California’s most popular national forests such as Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon. Enjoy your time at the many museums and art galleries Fresno offers. Then have a drink at a local winery or craft brewery and even catch a show at the famous Save Mart Center Arena at Fresno state!


Bakersfield, approximately two hours away from Los Angeles, is located in California’s Central Valley. It is a large hub for agriculture as well as energy production. Be prepared for a hot desert summer climate with mild winters. Grab your tent and go away for the weekend to one of the many magnificent lakeside campgrounds. Or visit the notable Wind Wolves Preserve. If you want a more urban experience, check out the museums in the arts district, and satisfy your palate at one of the many Basque restaurants. You will be surprised at all the things Bakersfield offers, especially being able to purchase a home for only around $242k!


Clearlake is a small town situated about 2.5 hours north of San Francisco. It is known for having the largest freshwater lake in California; Clear Lake. Local residents enjoy fishing for a wide variety of fish, hiking, canoeing, and swimming. Real estate is very affordable with an average home selling only around $176k. So whether you spend the day outdoors in the nature, or wining and dining in the historic downtown area, you are sure to enjoy this unique area.

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