The Central Valley of California is a wonderful place to visit, but it’s an even better place to live. It offers a perfect combination of natural beauty, small-town charm, and convenience. Families and individuals looking to settle down can read on to find out about the top benefits of living in Central Valley, CA to learn why current residents love it so much.
Plenty of Small Town Charm
The towns that pepper the Central Valley tend to be smaller than those found in the Bay Area or Southern California. They have active main streets and tight-knit neighborhoods where newcomers and lifelong residents alike can get together to enjoy a sense of community that is lacking in cities. Locals show up to cheer on the school sports teams and look forward to running into each other in the grocery store to stay caught up.
Low Cost of Living
Young families working on tight budgets can thrive in the Central Valley thanks to its comparatively low cost of living. They can find new houses for sale that fit both their budgets and their needs, a goal that is out of reach in most parts of California. The costs associated with grocery shopping, eating out, entertainment, and other daily needs tend to be lower in the Central Valley, as well.
Close Proximity to Natural Attractions
The entire state of California is known for its natural beauty, and the Central Valley is certainly no exception. Residents can drive just a few hours and find themselves in redwood forests, stunning mountain scenes, refreshing lakes, or rivers perfect for rafting. Outdoor adventurers and nature enthusiasts will never run out of things to do and see in this part of California.
Day Trips to Yosemite
The Central Valley of California is very close to Yosemite National Park. In fact, Merced, CA is sometimes referred to as the Gateway to Yosemite. This offers residents not just a wide array of nature-watching opportunities, but also plenty of outdoor recreation activities within easy driving distance. Plan day trips to Yosemite with the family or out-of-town visitors to help them get in touch with nature.
The Central Valley may be peppered with charming towns, but newcomers to the area shouldn’t let that fool them. It’s also close enough to nearby cities, including Sacramento, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco, that those who find themselves missing the excitement of big city life can still indulge in nights out on the town.
While residents will feel welcome to go take in the sights and sounds of nearby cities when they want, they also won’t be hurting for things to do right in their home towns. There are plenty of cultural and entertainment options in Merced and other Central Valley towns and all the convenient amenities like grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping centers that Californians have come to rely on.
Delicious Local Produce
The Central Valley isn’t just home to natural beauty and charming towns. It also boasts some of the choicest produce farms in California. Residents can get quick, easy access to fresh and delicious avocados, almonds, tomatoes, citrus fruits, pitted fruits, and other delicious goodies at the area’s plentiful farmer’s markets and roadside farm stands. The close proximity of bountiful farms also contributes to the exceptionally high quality of the area’s restaurants.
Get an Education
Merced, located right in the heart of the Central Valley, is home to the newest University of California campus. This school offers both graduate and undergraduate degree programs that span a diverse array of interests. Adults can go back to school to continue their educations, and parents won’t have to worry about where to send their kids to college when they finish high school. They can stay at home and attend one of the state’s best schools.
For first time home buyers, purchasing properties in larger cities can place a huge strain on the family’s budget. Most buyers wind up settling for homes that just don’t quite fit their unique lifestyles. Since housing is so much more affordable in the Central Valley, even young homebuyers can afford new build homes designed specifically to meet their families’ needs.
In the Central Valley, people from all different backgrounds come together to form cohesive, resilient communities. City-dwellers tend to ignore this fact, assuming that rural areas of the state are cultural monocultures, but that just isn’t true. The Central Valley is home to genuine diversity that reflects its residents’ complex identities and the area’s storied history.
Warm Mediterranean Climate
Those moving in from out of state from areas burdened by severe winter weather will love the Central Valley’s warm Mediterranean climate. Sunny days are common throughout the year, and problems with blizzards, hurricanes, and other severe weather events associated with East Coast living are unheard of here. Temperatures can get hot in the southern parts of the Valley during the summer months, but they rarely exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit except during heat waves.
Small, rural towns aren’t usually known for their stellar transportation systems, but those found in the Central Valley are the exception. Residents will have no problem getting around town and can even take advantage of the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) to get in and out of Yosemite National Park. Students at Fresno State University living in the city or nearby towns can also take advantage of free transportation with a valid BullDog card.
The Central Valley offers the best of all worlds, even in comparison to other parts of California. It’s easy to find up-and-coming housing communities and builders willing to go out of their way to ensure that new residents have the homes they need to help their families thrive. There’s an abundance of natural beauty and outdoor recreational activities within a day’s drive, and three of California’s most popular cities are equally close by. Residents who want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city will also find everything they need to live fulfilling lives close to home.