The state of California isn’t short on things to do for families: big city attractions, rich history and immense nature are scattered throughout the state.

  • Folsom, Palo Alto and San Ramon rank in the no. 3 spots as the best for families in California.
  • Oakland, Huntington Park and San Bernardino ranked in the bottom three for families.
  • San Francisco ranked in the no. 179 spot overall but tied for the no. 1 spot for attractions.

The state of California isn’t short on things to do for families: big city attractions, rich history and immense nature are scattered throughout the state.

WalletHub recently released a list of the best California cities to raise a family based on family life, fun, education, health and safety, affordability and socioeconomic environment.

According to the WalletHub ranking, Folsom is the best city for families in California. With a total score of 75.31, the city’s highest categorical ranking was for affordability, sitting in second place behind El Dorado Hills.

Folsom ranked no. 25 for socioeconomic environment conditions, as well as a no. 19 for family life and fun and no. 23 for education, health and safety.

Palo Alto, San Ramon, Pleasanton and Eastvale rounded out the top five best cities.

South Gate in Los Angeles County had the no. 1 ranking for family life and fun, yet ranked no. 206 overall because of considerably low scores for the other three categories. Sacramento came in the no. 2 spot for family life and fun, Coachella ranked no. 3, Palo Alto no. 4 and Roseville ranked no. 5.

Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Monterey Park and Montebello ranked at the bottom of the list for family life.

Education, health and safety rank the highest for Danville, Palo Alto, Rancho Palos Verdes, San Ramon and Foster City. This category’s lowest ranking cities include Oakland, San Bernardino, Palm Springs, Stockton and North Highlands.

Source: WalletHub

Families can find the most affordable homes in El Dorado Hills, Folsom and Manhattan Beach, the report says. Affordability in Huntington Beach, Bell and Bell Gardens, however, can be out of reach for a lot of families. These cities rank in the last three spots for affordability.

The best cities for socioeconomic conditions are Cupertino, San Ramon and Foster City. Merced, Fresno and San Bernardino have the worst socioeconomic conditions, according to WalletHub.

WalletHub also ranked the best and worst cites for family-friendly activities and amenities like playgrounds, attractions, large family population and more.

According to WalletHub, Elk Grove, Roseville, Palo Alto, Petaluma, Eastvale and Dublin are tied for the most playgrounds per capita. As far as attractions go, it’s the usual suspects: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento and Anaheim all tied for the no. 1 ranking.

Families who want to be around other families may want to consider Eastvale, which ranked no. 1 for the city with the most families with kids.

Email Kimberly Manning

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