The Most Drivable Cities In California

Monday, September 23, 2019

The Best Places To Experience The Road

We all accept that California is known for its traffic and congestion. The most populated state in all of the United States means that more people are traveling, commuting and out on the road than anywhere else. California is large geographically as well. This helps break up the bigger cities by having miles and miles of open farm land in between. But if you have ever tried to drive from Northern California to Southern California, you know there can be issues as well. The I-5 and 99 Freeways happen to get jammed at certain times of the year. These are times when most families are traveling. Although roadwork is in constant motion and it seems like there are never ending advancements to the traffic flow, we still hit stop and go traffic.

For many Californians, it’s worth sitting in a little bumper to bumper. You get to live in a beautiful state with an abundance of things to do and places to visit. And yes, there are small, out of the way towns where traffic and road rage aren’t an issue. For the most part, if you plan to move to the golden state, you’ll be moving to a city where jobs and housing is in ample supply. Where is that happy medium? What cities can give you a great working environment without the stress of sitting on the road for hours? There are a few towns that seem to steal the spotlight when talking about livability. Along with all of this driving you will need the cheapest insurance you can find. Insurance for your car, for yourself and the house you live in.

Let’s Talk Money

Besides drivability, livability is one key factors for those looking to live in California. San Fransisco is now one of the most expensive cities to purchase a home in the world. Yes you can find an amazing job in the tech industry, but how can you afford that million dollar apartment? There are similar cities such as London and New York, where you can literally spend your paycheck on your house or rent. But there is give and take in an environment like this. One example is the great public transportation available in the city. Many people who choose to spend a large sum of their money on a home, tend to not spend it on cars. And they don’t need to. Getting around using public transportation is smart in places like this.

Other times getting a great deal on a house is what’s most important to you. Not spending every ounce on the mortgage and home insurance, means having extra for a car you enjoy. It’s about preference when it comes down to it. Getting the cheapest insurance for your car can help cut the costs going out as well as protect you on the road. Anytime you have to commute for work, you will need to have your registration, car insurance and drivers license on you. California has very strict laws when it comes to driving and being insured. This is mainly because there are so many drivers out on the road. It is a preventative measure that all drivers must abide. But there are still about 20% of all drivers who don’t carry the proper insurance. This means that if you are it by one of them, you will end up paying out of pocket. Californians might get upset about high registration fees and car insurance premiums, but they protect you.

Cities To Love

There are many different reasons to love a city. Let’s try and focus on those cities that can give you this:

1- A great driving experience. This means little traffic, scenic views and places to go. A place where the cheapest insurance can be found for home, car and life.

2-Affordability (for the most part). Affordability means something different to everyone. But you can bet that most people in California still can’t afford a million dollar home. We will steer clear of these places.

3-Job availability. A place where you can still find a job even if it’s not the one you have now.

When you put these things together, you get a great place to live and work and drive. Are there cities like this in California? You might be surprised how many towns like this exist. Here are some of the best.

Salinas

This might surprise some of you, but Salinas is not just an agricultural town. It has beautiful weather year round, is close to more luxurious cities such as Monterey and Carmel, and is fairly livable. The average price of a house is around 450 thousand dollars. You won’t be hitting a ton of traffic here either. Most of the roads are scenic backroads. Your average commute to larger cities is about 30 minutes.  Salinas isn’t a small city either.

With about 150 thousand residents, you can be assured that there are jobs here and plenty of business opportunities. Salinas is able to keep its prices low because it is not a coastal town, however you do get coastal weather. It is not uncommon for there to be foggy mornings followed by sunny afternoons. This is also great for growing food. Salinas is one of the largest agricultural hubs in all of California. It’s also home to the Salinas Rodeo and other fun outings for the family. It’s quite common to share the freeway with a truck pulling a horse trailer.

West Sacramento

Although Sacramento itself is quite a large city and the states Capital, there are places that make it feel small town. Sacramento is made up of 500 thousand residents directly and about 2 million residents in surrounding areas. West Sacramento is a sub-city of Sacramento and is actually located in Yolo County. You can find lower housing costs in this area, but your average commute to downtown Sacramento is only about 15 minutes. This makes West Sacramento a desirable area that is growing. Located right along the Sacramento River, you get levee roads where you can walk the dog or enjoy the scenery.

Try out the AAA baseball team located right in your backyard. The Rivercats team flows into the Giants empire making baseball a spectacle every season. Driving is so reasonable here that there is only one bridge you must cross to enter into Downtown Sacramento. Even with traffic and parking, your average daily commute both ways should be about 45 minutes. More parking garages are added every year to make flow in and out of the city easier. This gem of a city is often passed over because it is also home to an industrial complex. The average home price in West Sacramento is around 400 thousand dollars.

Temecula

Close to San Diego, this near-the-desert town is more than just a good location. Temecula has everything your heart desires. Including a great driving environment. Temecula is wine country with slightly sloping hills and a great city plan. Part of the reason that traffic flow is so good here is the city planning. You have Old Town filled with 1800’s style buildings, but also a spark of new construction and roads planned perfectly. Your drive to San Diego should only take you about 40 minutes. If you commute for work,  Highway 15 might be your only obstacle. A great zip code means low costs in the cheapest insurance in Southern California.

Business is good here. From a Casino, to a great medical community and vineyards, the job market is steady. With a population of justo ver 100 thousand residents, the town is self-containing. However many residents commute to San Diego for work. Sunshine and a good time is a great way to think of Temecula. From a great film festival to a hot air balloon festival, you can always find something to do. The average housing cost here is about 500 thousand dollars. That is much less than most coastal properties yet it is located about 30 minutes from the beach. A great community filled with just enough country and open space to keep one sane.

Irvine

Irvine might not be the cheapest place to live in California, but it is the most drivable. The roads in this city were specifically planned to decrease congestion and roadblocks and help with traffic flow. With some of the best public schools in the nation, Irvine is also a college town. This not only makes it a fun place to live but a relevant place as well.  With a population of nearly a quarter of a million people, you can count on a great economy and job marketplace. Irvine is located in Orange County which is one of the wealthiest places in California. The average housing price is almost 700 thousand dollars, so you won’t be pinching pennies on real estate here.

Most people find Irvine to be prestigious and people come here from far and wide to place their children in the school system. There are almost 200 of the fortune 500 companies located in Orange County. It takes a certain type of job to live here but you won’t have to worry about commuting. This town has been built around making its residents happy. Getting the cheapest insurance in California won’t be har din this zip code. Living in a safer community usually means cheaper insurance premiums.

Folsom

Folsom is most often known for its famous prison and antiquated looking downtown. But it is so much more than that. Folsom has been constructed into a family-friendly city filled with fun things to do. Yes, there is still the Old Town with saloons and antique shops. But there is also a rodeo, a zoo, plenty of shopping and great schools. Folsom is located on the outskirts of Sacramento, and is away from traffic and hustle. You can simply drive on scenic river roads and backroads to get where you need to be. And you won’r need to go many places other than Folsom. Home to places like Intel, the job market here is flourishing. It is butted up against Folsom Lake and Dam which makes for getting out in the sun fun and cool. You really have everything you need within 20 square miles.

Celebrate life in Folsom by knowing that your car insurance will be low. Rates for car insurance are based on where you live and how much you drive. Unlike other Sacramento suburbs, many Folsom residents do not commute into Sacramento but rather stay in town to work. This means less driving. The average housing cost in Folsom is about 550 thousand dollars. This means that it is about average for the state. California is known for its high housing market. However you can also get the cheapest insurance possible by living in a safe city that has less cars. Folsom won’t disappoint those of you who like a nice weekend getaway. Lake Tahoe and Tahoe Ski Resorts are only about an hour up the mountain. You can gain thousands of feet in elevation in just under and hour.

Drivability In CA

Drivability is one of the most important factors when deciding on a job or where to live. California is hoping to pass legislation that would fund a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Fransisco. This might not happen for years, but the prospect of getting from one destination to another without traffic or a crazy commute is very important to most Californians. Statistics show that the more you are on the road, the more likely you are to be in an accident. The same is true for spending more time in traffic. Your commute might only be 20 miles, but if it takes you an hour to get there, you are losing out. Drivers who commute in heavy traffic are twice as likely to get road rage.

Letting the road get to you might not be good for your mental health, but sometimes for work it is necessary. You have to do what you have to do. Make sure you enjoy where you live and what car you drive if you have to commute. The likelihood of running into traffic is three times more likely in a big city. So if you want to live in the suburbs but work in the city, realize that there is a downside. Cities offer public transportation most of the time.

Worst Cities To Drive

The most drivable cities in California just happen to be cities that are more of a small town feel. You might disagree with what cities are the best for commuting, but there are some cities everyone can agree are the worst. Los Angeles tends to be the leading city for traffic. Not just because of how many people live here but for how many drivers pass through L.A. There are so many major freeways in and around Los Angeles. You will pass through here on your way to Orange County or San Diego as well as on your way to the desert. But we all love the city of angels and many still choose to live here despite the horrible traffic.

San Francisco and Santa Barbara rank high on the traffic list as well. Even though Santa Barbara is not a large city, the geography keeps it from being traffic free. Butted up against mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, the freeway can only expand so much. San Fransisco and the Bay Area in general tend to be very hight traffic areas. This is because most people live just out side of the city and commute in. This area keeps growing every year which doesn’t help with congestion. Love your city and love your drive. Life is too short to live between lanes.

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