10 Safest Cities In California To Live In 2023

Finding out the affordable and safest cities in California is not rocket science after all I have spent my life here. Safe cities mean safe from danger – low crime rate, economically sound, fun activities, good schools, ample job opportunities, and a high standard of living. 

Walking freely at night, leaving the house while traveling, and working at the office without worrying about house safety is everyone’s dream. Therefore, choosing the safest places to live in California from crime is one of the major criteria for relocation. 

Safest Cities In California To Live

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay any extra penny, but I’ll get a small commission that encourages me to deliver more helpful content for you.

That being said, here is the sorted list of 10 safest places to live in California that appeal to everyone and are considered the best places in the Golden State

Characterizes for The Safest Cities in California

Safest cities in California are measured in terms of statistical data about aggravated assault, property theft, burglaries, auto theft, larceny-theft, personal security to life and property and more. 

Is California a safe place to live?

As per the research, in 2021, more than 528,000 crime incidents were reported out of which the property crime rate was 2,071 per 100,000 residents. On the other hand, 274 violent crimes were reported per 100,000 residents. Check out the pros and cons before moving to California.

1. Rancho Santa Margarita

  • Population: 46,993
  • Violent crime rate: 0.40
  • Property crime rate: 5.92

Rancho Santa Margarita (RSM) is a small town located in the hill country around the Santa Ana Mountains, Southern California. RSM is primarily known as a hiking town, with amazing views of Saddleback Mountains, canyons, trails, and an escape ground from the hustle and bustle of life. 

Why is Rancho Santa Margarita the safest place to live in California?

  • Rancho Santa Margarita in 2021 was ranked as the safest city in California with an average median household income of $150,200. 
  • A total of 303 crimes were reported in Rancho Santa Margarita out of which there were 233 theft, 14 vehicle theft, 35 burglaries, and 282 property crimes. 
  • Overall, the Rancho Santa Margarita crime rate is 73% lower than the national average and 76% lower than the state average.

Things to do in Rancho Santa Margarita: 

  • Hike to O’Neill Regional Park and have delicious food at Trabuco Canyon SteakHouse
  • Relax at manmade lake Lago Santa Margarita at the foothills of Mount Modjeska and Mount Santiago tower
  • Go for a walk to Red Rock Canyon
  • Breath and take photos at Santiago Peak, the highest point in Orange County
Safest Cities In California To Live_Rancho Santa Margarita
Rancho Santa Margarita

2. Danville

  • Population: 43,991
  • Violent crime rate: 0.53
  • Property crime rate: 6.20

Danville is a vibrant town that sits 20 miles east of the Bay Area in Tri-Valley, Contra Costa County. Danville oasis is beautifully decorated with tree-lined roads, impressive meal shops, cafes, museums and rich history. The idyllic town has a lot of parks, ponds, and a beautiful dog park called Caine Coral.

Why is Danville Safe?

  • The average median household income for families is around $214,627.  
  • The city has a livability score of 85 
  • Total of 580 crimes out of which violent crime was 21, property crime was 239, 48 burglary cases, and 8 robbery cases. 
  • Danville’s crime rate is 75% lower than the national average
READ NEXT:  8 Magical Hot Springs in Mammoth Lakes, CA in 2023

 Things to do in Danville:

  • Discover the history of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley
  • Unfold the history of Blackhawk Plaza
  • Shock your taste buds at “The Peasant & The Pear – taste their white fish and tomato broth
  • Enjoy and learn gardening skills at Hap Magee Ranch Park, Bounty Garden.  

3. Moorpark

  • Population: 36,186
  • Violent crime rate: 0.47
  • Property crime rate: 6.42

Moorpark is a simple, scenic, spectacular, quirky town in Ventura County with the best neighborhoods named Simi Valley, and Thousand Oaks. It has a lot of awesome parks, which makes it one of the safest places to retire in California. The place is packed with a lot of recreational fun adventures for people of all ages. Sign up your name at the Arroyo Vista Recreational Centre.

Why is Moorpark Safe?

  • The average median household income is $140,500
  • Moorpark has been ranked #191 in terms of liveability in Moorpark in California, which is better than 79% of other areas.
  • You have a 1 in 152 chance of becoming a victim of crime in Moorpark. Moreover, it is ranked as an 86% safer city in the USA. 
  • As per a report by the local law enforcement agency, Moorpark witnessed a 4% decrease in crime rates compared to the previous year. 

Things to do in Moorpark:

  • Spend full day excursion at Malibu wine hike
  • Hike to Peach hill park 
  • Enjoy horseback riding at Oakridge Riding club
  • Pick your own fruits and vegetables and enjoy at Underwood Family Farms

4. Rio Vista

  • Population: 11,254
  • Violent crime rate: 2.40
  • Property crime rate: 12.29

Rio Vista sits at the eastern end of Solano County on the northwestern bank of the Sacramento River between San Francisco and Sacramento. Impressive, lovely green space with sandy beaches, Rio Vista has earned 67 positions in terms of liability, making it 46% better ranked than other areas. 

Why is Rio Vista Safe?

  • Rio Vista is the safest and cheapest place to live in California with a cost of living index of 126 (based on the US average of 100).  This is on average 13% lower than the state average with the average home price being $ 441,000.
  • The employment rate in Rio Vista is 8.45% representing an increased rate compared to 2020. The median household income is on average 7% higher than the USA, marking around $59,050. 
  • In Rio Vista, an individual has a 1 in 69 chance of being a victim, marking it on average 38% lower than in the USA.
  • Rio Vista has reported only 146 crimes out of which violent crime was 24 and property crime was 122. 

Things to do in Rio Vista:

  • Go on a historic trip through Montezuma Hills to Western Railway Museum
  • Splash water at Antioch Waterpark
  • Be young with your student at Pixieland Amusement Park
  • Take a tour at the Jelly Belly Candy factory

5. Mill Valley 

  • Population: 14,148
  • Violent crime rate: 0.42
  • Property crime rate: 22.42

In Marin County of California sits Mill Valley about 4 miles north of San Francisco. Mill Valley is California’s well-known wine country and is surrounded by canyons. Mill Valley is the safest place to live in the Bay Area with an exceptional livability score of 85. The score makes Mill Valley 96% better than other areas.

Why is Mill Valley Safe?

  • Mill Valley records a total of 317 crime incidents reported to the legal authority, 6 were violent crimes and 311 cases were property-related issues.
  •  Mill Valley’s crime rate is on average 5% lower than the US.
  • The average earning of a resident at Mill Valley is around $149,336, however, this is subject to change from occupation status. 
  • The unemployment rate is 1.7% and on the other hand, the poverty level is 3.5%
  • If you are looking for a place in California to live on a budget, Mill Valley is the place for you. You can rent a medium size apartment for only $1,968. 
READ NEXT:  10 Reasons Why I Regret Moving to California

Things to do in Mill Valley

  • Visit Golden Gate National Recreation Area
  • Explore Muir Woods National Monument 
Mill Valley
Mill Valley – PC: Flickr

6. Aliso Viejo

  • Population: 49,930
  • Violent crime rate: 0.54
  • Property crime rate: 7.46

Aliso Viejo city sits south of Orange County in the San Joaquin Hills. In Spanish “Aliso Viejo” means Old Sycamore offering easy access to Wood Canyon Wilderness Park. The best and most impressive thing about Aliso Viejo is it has a high level of livability score of 81 making it on average 90% better than other areas. 

Why is Aliso Viejo Safe?

  • Aliso Viejo records a poverty rate of 5.21% with an average median household income of around $103,261. 
  • Per capita income is around $46,026 again on average 54% higher than the USA.
  • Crime rates compared to the national average are 65% lower. Moreover, over the years, Aliso Viejo is marked as an 83% safe city in the USA.
  • A resident of Aliso Viejo has 1 out of 124 chances of being a victim of crime. Therefore, Alison Viejo has recorded the lowest crime rate in California.

Things to do in Aliso Viejo 

  • Spend some time learning Golf at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club
  • Enjoy at Crystal Cove State Park
  • Have food at Citrus Fresh Grill

7. Laguna Niguel

  • Population: 67,303
  • Violent crime rate: 0.64
  • Property crime rate: 9.04

Laguna is a hidden premier coastal destination nestled between majestic canyons and coves bordering Aliso Viejo.The average salary in the city is $207,196 on average. The poverty rate is 6.6%. 

Why is Laguna Niguel Safe?

  • Laguna Niguel is the safest city in California. You have a 60% on average lower chance to be a victim of crime. 
  • Laguna Niguel receives a 78 livability score making it 82% better compared to other areas. The cost of living in Laguna Niguel is 26% higher than in California. 
  • The medium house value is $712,000, on average 285% higher than in the USA. On the other hand, the medium rent price in Laguna Niguel is $1908. 

Things to do in Laguna Niguel

  • Enjoy the view of Laguna Niguel Regional Park
  • Explore Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness
Laguna Niguel
Laguna Niguel

8. Lake Forest

  • Population: 85,981
  • Violent crime rate: 1.11
  • Property crime rate: 9.95

Approximately 46 miles south of Los Angeles sits the beautiful city of Lake Forest in the heart of Orange County. In the suburb of Irvine sits the town of countless trees and gorgeous lakes. 

Why is Lake Forest the safest place to live in California?

  • It records95 violent crimes, especially assault and robbery. Moreover, on average total crime is 58% lower than the state average
  • The income per capita in Lake Forest is $39,913, on average 34% higher than in the USA. 
  • The enchanting town ranks #175 on the list of liveability in California. This rank is 81% better compared to other areas. 
  • In terms of cost of living, Lake Forest has received an “F” grade. It is 56% more expensive than the USA. 
  • You have a one in ninety-two chance of becoming a victim of crime in Lake Forest.

Read Also: Why is California So Expensive?

Things to do in Lake Forest

  • Learn history at Pretend City Children’s Museum
  • Explore Serrano Creek Park

9. Rancho Palos Verdes

  • Population: 40,657
  • Violent crime rate: 1.04
  • Property crime rate: 8.23

A small town in Los Angeles County, Rancho Palos Verdes is affluent with great beaches of the Pacific Ocean and well known among residents for golf courses. The poverty rate of Rancho Palos Verdes is 3.66% resulting in the cost of living on average 55% higher than in California.

Why is Rancho Palos Safe?

  • The place can cost quite a penny because on average Rancho Palos Verdes a medium home value costs $1,003,300.The medium rent price is $2,348. 
  • The Rancho Palos Verdes median household IS around $120,668. The sound income has resulted in a good standard of living ranking it among 54 ranked cities in California in terms of liveability. 
  • Safety is a focal point you only have 1 in 110 chances to be a victim of crime.
READ NEXT:  The Ultimate Guide: 13 Best Tide Pools in California

Things to do in Rancho Palos Verdes

  • Hike to the point Vincente Interpretive Center
  • Enjoy time at Terranea Discovery Trail
Rancho Palos Verdes
Rancho Palos Verdes

10. San Ramon

  • Population: 76,427
  • Violent crime rate: 0.67
  • Property crime rate: 10.13

San Ramon is a great safe city located in Contra Costa County, 30 miles east of San Francisco. The average household income in San Ramon is on average $134,188. San Ramon is a notably upscale area as the population has increased by 6.76% since 2010.

Why is San Ramon Safe?

  • The city earned its position ranked #23 city in terms of liveability in California, marking it 95 % better than other areas.
  • Of the crime in the city, the most common violent crime is robbery. An individual has 1 in 91 chances to be a victim. 

Things to do in San Ramon

  • Visit Forest Home Farms Historic Park
  • Visit Central Park with your family

Tips for Living in California

  • Hire an expert for searching for a home to live in California because the housing market is very competitive
  • Get a car for yourself because California is huge
  • Develop respectful behavior towards all cultures because California is a place for Asian, African, American, and other population
  • Get prepared with the climate, do not expect winters rather it receives a lot of sunshine, warmth, and little rain
  • Southern California job market is thriving presently, so look for jobs there
  • Establish your residency address soon because California gives 10 days to change your driver’s license and vehicle registration process
  • Seek local help to explore the place or else it can be overwhelming
  • California’s proximity to the finest farmland resulted in the availability of fresh dairy, grapes, strawberries, tomatoes, pistachios, and almonds
  • California is very focused on developing itself by going green so never use any product that is not environment friendly. 


Do not get tensed searching for the safest cities in California. As I got everything covered, you have plenty of choices from the list above. The ranking on our list is based on safety; however, to be safe you have to follow the safety tips laid down by the government. 

Being said, relocating to California needs proper planning and evaluation of your balance sheet. Moreover, you should know how do people afford to live in the Golden State. I am incredibly fortunate to the city administration for enforcing the laws and maintaining high-quality service. So, no obligation, take your time and choose any of the above places in California.

Read Next:

FAQ: Safest Cities in California

1. Where is the most peaceful place to live in California?

A: San Diego is the first spot that comes to my mind when someone says the peaceful place to live in California. The relaxing place is surrounded by clean beaches, parks, and nothing but beautiful nature. 

2. What city in California has the lowest crime?

A: Danville, California in Contra Costa is a delightful escape spot from the busy hectic life and is recorded as the lowest crime place in California. 

3. What county in California has the highest crime rate?

A: Emeryville recorded …Number of violent crimes as well as assaults have been recorded in the past few years from Emeryville. Property rates are high, and a lot of property crimes are there. Therefore, be aware of your surroundings. 

4. What is the best small town to live in California?

A: In Northern California, Arcata in Humboldt County is the best small town to live in. The place is surrounded by redwood groves, a peaceful environment and is popular among nature lovers.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *