12 Cities Near San Francisco to Buy or Rent in this Year

12-cities-near-san-francisco-to-buy-or-rent-in-this-year

San Francisco, CA, home of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Fisherman’s Wharf, is a one-of-a-kind city in Northern California that has drawn people to move to the area for centuries. Whether you have a job at one of the major tech companies, have lived there your whole life, or are a fan of the San Francisco Giants or the San Francisco 49ers, there are countless reasons why you may want to live in the city by the bay.

And while there’s no question that San Francisco is a great place for many to live, it may not be right for you. So even if your job is in the city, that doesn’t mean you’re tied to living in San Francisco. There are many great cities near San Francisco that you may want to buy or rent in this year.

We’ve gathered 12 of those cities near San Francisco so you can decide on the best place for you to move to. 

view of san francisco from cities near san francisco

#1: Daly City, CA

Miles from San Francisco: 8
Population: 107,000
Median home sale price: $1,120,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $2,545 
Walk Score: 66
Bike Score: 52
Transit Score: 34
Homes for sale in Daly City, CA
Apartments for rent in Daly City, CA

Daly City is a great place to live that’s just south of the city. With a strong sense of community and a variety of parks and recreation facilities, there are numerous reasons why you may want to rent or buy a home in Daly City. 

There are plenty of things to do in Daly City that don’t require a trip to San Francisco. For starters, you can check out Mussel Rock Park or Thornton State Beach for a walk along the ocean or a picnic on the sand. If you’re interested in learning more about the area’s history, you can visit the Daly City History Museum. And of course, no day in Daly City would be complete without exploring some of the city’s delicious restaurants, which offer everything from traditional American fare to authentic Filipino cuisine.

#2: Oakland, CA

Miles from San Francisco: 12
Population: 423,000
Median home sale price: $922,500 
Average 1-bed rent: $3,022 
Walk Score: 75
Bike Score: 57
Transit Score: 65
Homes for sale in Oakland, CA
Apartments for rent in Oakland, CA

Oakland is home to a number of professional sports teams, as well as a vibrant arts and music scene. The city is a great place for both indoor activities and outdoor recreation, so you’ll always find something new to check out. 

There are 46 museums in Oakland, making it the perfect place to explore on a much-welcomed rainy day. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are plenty of parks to enjoy, like Redwood Regional Park, Joaquin Miller Park, and Morcom Rose Garden. If you’re looking for a great meal, Oakland has many popular restaurants, like Shan Dong Restaurant, Geta Japanese Restaurant, and Tay Ho Restaurant & Bar. No matter what you’re interested in, you’re sure to find something to do in Oakland.

#3: Alameda, CA

Miles from San Francisco: 14
Population: 80,000
Median home sale price: $1,330,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $2,910 
Walk Score: 68
Bike Score: 42
Transit Score: 77
Homes for sale in Alameda, CA
Apartments for rent in Alameda, CA

Alameda is located on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay, just south of Oakland. The city is centered on Alameda Island but extends into nearby Bay Farm Island. So no matter where you live, you’ll never be too far away from the Bayfront views in Alameda.

There are many great activities to do in the city, from enjoying local art, dining at some of the best restaurants in town, or spending time at a park. Home to 9 museums, Alameda is a great place to visit. Some of the most popular museums include the USS Hornet Museum, the Pacific Pinball Museum, and the Alameda Naval Air Museum. Altarena Playhouse is just one of the many performing arts venues in Alameda. There are also many parks and green spaces, such as Shoreline Park, Franklin Park, and Washington Park. If you’re looking for a great meal, be sure to check out East Ocean Seafood Restaurant, Mint Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant, and or Asena Restaurant.

berkeley california views of downtown and over toward the bay

#4: Berkeley, CA

Miles from San Francisco: 14
Population: 123,000
Median home sale price: $1,625,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $1,524 
Walk Score: 85
Bike Score: 60
Transit Score: 83
Homes for sale in Berkeley, CA
Apartments for rent in Berkeley, CA

Living in Berkeley means that you’ll always have something to do, whether it’s hanging out at one of the many parks or exploring the eclectic downtown area. The Berkeley community is also very friendly and welcoming, whether you’re catching a local art show or a concert at The Greek Theatre.

There are many things to do in Berkeley, including visiting the University of California Berkeley campus, attending a show at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, exploring the Tilden Regional Park, and or grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many delicious restaurants. Whether you’re looking for vegan food or a taste of the Bay Area you’ll find something for every palette.

#5: Richmond, CA

Miles from San Francisco: 17
Population: 110,000
Median home sale price: $659,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $1,488 
Walk Score: 59
Bike Score: 43
Transit Score: 52
Homes for sale in Richmond, CA
Apartments for rent in Richmond, CA

Richmond is a beautiful city located in the East Bay, just north of Berkeley. The city is known for its strong industrial and manufacturing history and is home to a number of major corporations. Richmond also has a rich cultural heritage and is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and historical sites. You’ll find the weather in Richmond is mild, with wet winters and warm, and dry summers.

Some popular things to do in Richmond include visiting the Rosie the Riveter National Historical Park, the Richmond Art Center, the Richmond Museum of History, and the Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. There are also a number of parks and trails in the area for anyone who is a fan of the outdoors.

#6: San Leandro, CA

Miles from San Francisco: 22
Population: 90,500
Median home sale price: $876,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $2,182 
Walk Score: 65
Bike Score: 46
Transit Score: 63
Homes for sale in San Leandro, CA
Apartments for rent in San Leandro, CA

San Leandro is a charming town in East Bay, known for its abundant cherry harvests and vibrant neighborhoods. The town has temperate days ideal for golfing, as well as walking tours of quaint historic architecture. San Leandro residents enjoy close proximity to the best of Bay Area living without the high home prices or congestion often found in larger cities.

There are a number of things to do in San Leandro. You can find a variety of parks, including Aquatic Park and Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline, featuring sprawling views of the bay. There are also a number of museums in the city, including the San Leandro Museum and the Children’s Museum of the East Bay.

view of mt diablo from east bay

#7: Walnut Creek, CA

Miles from San Francisco: 25
Population: 70,000
Median home sale price: $985,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $2,369 
Walk Score: 41
Bike Score: 25
Transit Score: 49
Homes for sale in Walnut Creek, CA
Apartments for rent in Walnut Creek, CA

Walnut Creek is a beautiful, modern city located in the San Francisco Bay Area. The weather is mild year-round, making it a great place to live. There are plenty of parks and outdoor spaces to enjoy, as well as a variety of shopping and dining options.

There’s plenty to do and see in Walnut Creek, including visiting the Lesher Center for the Arts with its many art galleries and performances. Take a stroll through Ruth Bancroft Garden, a stunning 3-acre garden with over 1,500 types of succulents. Have a picnic in Heather Farm Park, a 30-acre park with a playground, tennis courts, and a pool. And make sure to shop at Broadway Plaza, an outdoor shopping mall with over 100 stores. For outdoor enthusiasts, visit the Contra Costa Canal Trail, a 22-mile-long trail perfect for hiking, biking, and running.

#8: Hayward, CA

Miles from San Francisco: 27
Population: 159,000
Median home sale price: $822,500 
Average 1-bed rent: $2,155 
Walk Score: 57
Bike Score: 42
Transit Score: 53
Homes for sale in Hayward, CA
Apartments for rent in Hayward, CA

Hayward is located in the East Bay, just southeast of San Leandro. This city is known for its affordable housing options, proximity to both Oakland and San Francisco, and is home to a number of major corporations.

There are many things to do in Hayward. Some popular attractions include the Hayward Japanese Gardens, the Hayward Plunge, and the Meek Mansion. There are also many parks and recreation areas in Hayward, like the Don Castro Regional Recreation Area and the Garin Regional Park.

#9: Dublin, CA

Miles from San Francisco: 34
Population: 64,000
Median home sale price: $1,275,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $3,060 
Walk Score: 36
Transit Score: 56
Homes for sale in Dublin, CA
Apartments for rent in Dublin, CA

Dublin is a city with great weather, a welcoming community, and not to be confused with Dublin, Ireland. With 260 days of sun per year and roughly 64,000 residents, Dublin has a small-town feel. The city’s Irish roots are always on display with shamrock street signs, park adornments, and a yearly two-day festival and parade for St. Patrick’s Day.

There are plenty of shopping and dining options, as well as a variety of activities and attractions in Dublin. For example, you can visit the Dublin Heritage Park and Museum, the Dublin Civic Center, and or The Wave. You can also enjoy a round of golf at the Dublin Ranch Golf Club or go hiking or biking in one of the many parks.

view of san francisco from a hill during dusk

#10: San Ramon, CA

Miles from San Francisco: 36
Population: 81,500
Median home sale price: $1,377,500 
Average 1-bed rent: $3,709 
Walk Score: 24
Transit Score: 37
Homes for sale in San Ramon, CA
Apartments for rent in San Ramon, CA

Just north of Dublin is San Ramon, another great city near San Francisco. The area is home to many tech companies, and you’ll find there’s nice weather year-round. If you’re looking for something more active, you can try your hand at golfing or go for a swim at the San Ramon Aquatic Center.

#11: Pleasanton, CA

Miles from San Francisco: 40
Population: 80,000
Median home sale price: $1,637,500 
Average 1-bed rent: $3,718 
Walk Score: 42
Transit Score: 58
Homes for sale in Pleasanton, CA
Apartments for rent in Pleasanton, CA

Pleasanton is home to many high-tech companies, such as Workday. You can find a variety of parks in the city, such as Augustin Bernal Park and Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, which feature hiking and biking trails, as well as horseback riding. There are also a few wineries showcasing the region’s wine culture. 

#12: Petaluma, CA

Miles from San Francisco: 40
Population: 61,000
Median home sale price: $945,000 
Average 1-bed rent: $2,853 
Walk Score: 47
Bike Score: 29
Transit Score: 54
Homes for sale in Petaluma, CA
Apartments for rent in Petaluma, CA

Petaluma is a small town located in Sonoma County, about 40 miles north of San Francisco. Petaluma is known for its small-town charm, and rural setting, and is home to many wineries and vineyards.

There are a variety of things to do in Petaluma, whether you want to spend the afternoon outside or go wine tasting. There are several parks and recreation areas, including Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park and Shollenberger Park. Visitors can also enjoy the Petaluma River, take a historic walking tour, and or visit the Petaluma Museum of Antiquities.

Methodology: 

All cities must have a population of more than 50,000 and be less than 50 miles away from San Francisco. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during August 2022. Average rental data from Rent.com during August 2022. Walk Score, Bike Score, and Transit Score from Walkscore.com during August 2022. Population data sourced from United States Census Bureau.

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