What's the best part of raising a family in NorCal?

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26  Answers

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I feel like I'm in the best part of the state, just a few hours from so many great places to travel. Our weather is perfect and we have a bustling area for activities, beaches, history, culture, and without too much traffic!

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We love the community, diversity, culture, walkability, activity and conscientiousness of the Bay. The great food, art and architecture are just major pluses!

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The best part of raising a family in NorCal is the variety. Waking up every day knowing there is something beautiful to see outside my front door is a blessing. We have gorgeous views, from hills and countryside to the big city skyscrapers. I can drive 45 miles north of my house and run along the Golden Gate Bridge or drive 40 miles south and ride a bike along the scenic route in Monterey. Better yet, I can open my front door and watch deer run up my street as I contemplate dinner at my favorite neighborhood Michelin rated restaurant. Every day is an adventure! From sporting events to theme parks, museums, water parks, amazing food, agriculture and great neighborhoods – NorCal is the best place to raise a family.

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There is something for every interest - tech, outdoors, art, sports, and more. Want to ski and swim in the ocean on the same day? We can do that. Not to mention, the weather is fabulous, and people are friendly, smart, and (mostly) open-minded.

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Although the cost of living has its downsides, I've noticed among my friends that our tiny homes mean we spend a lot of time entertaining our kids beyond our small houses. The world has become our backyard! And there is plenty to explore in the Bay area.

One other thing - The abundance of fresh, local produce! From fantastic farmers' markets in every city to fruit stands lining the coast—you can't go wrong!

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The best part of raising a family in Northern California is that we are so close to so many great activities, parks, museums, theme parks, sports teams, beaches, playgrounds, etc. There is never a lack of family friendly activities to keep us entertained and have some fun! Plus, the weather is so mild we can usually play outside all year round!

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I'm a Bay Area native - born and raised. I love all the many activities where you can be outdoors from walking along the Embarcadero in SF to hiking in Marin to going to the beach in Half Moon Bay. Every little gem in this area isn't that far away to get to.

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I created "Ronnie's Awesome List" because I am so inspired by the wide variety of amazing activities there is every month and I want to share it. So, I set out to create the Ultimate Kids Round-Up in Marin and Beyond and I hope you agree. Many events are free or very inexpensive. Additionally, access to good nutritious organic foods, healthy active outdoor lifestyle, the creative and inventive people, family friendly, and supportive communities. You have the mountains, the ocean, amazing flora and fauna and in the summers you can hug a cloud. It's my Shangri-La and I am so happy raising my family here.

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The beach, the mountains, the museums, the parks, the hills, the valleys — this area is full of beauty, wonder, and things to discover.

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Here in the Bay Area where I live with my husband and two daughters there is always something exciting going on. We're never at a loss for things to do on weekends; amazing festivals, community events, street parties, farmers markets, sports, concerts, theatre...

And then there are all the wonderful places to visit. NorCal abounds with natural beauty and I love the fact that we're only a short drive away from the snow, Lake Tahoe, great beaches, rugged coastline, towering redwood forests...

I love the opportunities that my children have here. The schools are great and there are so many wonderful museums where we can supplement their education through hands-on fun.

The diversity of the Bay Area is another great aspect of living here. I grew up in a tiny country town in Australia with no diversity at all. I love that my children have friends and classmates from so many different backgrounds and cultures.

One more thing... the food here is fantastic!

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I vowed when I was younger that I would never live in California and that San Francisco was just "too windy". All that changed when I met my husband who was born and raised in San Francisco. His love for his city and this part of the country was infectious.

There is so much to do in this area both culturally and out in nature. Within a short drive or walk from our apartment are amazing hikes, museums, art exhibits, restaurants, parks and the wonderful diversity that is such a part of the NorCal fabric.

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Raising a family in NorCal is the best of both worlds. We have small-town living in the suburbs and big city adventure just a train ride away. Our town is filled with micro communities where kids can play in the streets, ride bikes to school or hang out at the neighborhood pool. Casual sports programs bring the micro communities together for friendly competition. Our favorites are the baseball field and championship swim meets.

Living just 35 miles from San Francisco, we get Big City excitement with all the fantastic food, ethnic neighborhoods, beaches and special events like the Blue Angels flying over Golden Gate Bridge or Chinese New Year’s Parade. We are a family of foodies bonding over fried chicken sandwiches in Oakland, dim sum in Alameda, and calzones in San Francisco. We live for great, creative food and are not afraid to drive to get it. If we are in nesting mode, we create our own tasty menu. Any exotic or organic ingredient is easily accessible. We make our own flat bread, chips and fried rice. We love a delicious challenge.

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I love the fact that there's so much to do in just 1-3 hour radius! From young child to young adult, there are plenty of activities and rich cultures to benefit from. With sunshine the majority of the year, plenty of fun and smiles are constantly going around.

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I always say that I'm solar-powered. My mood actually improves when the sun is around. Northern California offers gorgeous landscapes, the freshest food, a healthy lifestyle, and family-friendly communities.

I love how there are innumerable opportunities to spend quality family time together, exploring, or revisiting favorite places in Northern California.

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The absolute best part is the number of activities and adventures we have access to without having to go far at all. Living in San Francisco, we're able to walk a few blocks to explore Lombard Street, drive a few minutes and be on the Golden Gate Bridge, and venture a little further to hike in Marin. There are parks, zoos, museums, and so much more...I love being able to expose my girls to new experiences and living in Northern CA, specifically in San Francisco, allows me to do that with ease.

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There's so many things to love about Northern California; the culture and diversity, the great weather, and the location and distance from so many amazing landmarks and vacation destinations. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, and there's so much to offer to young and diverse families like mine.

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I love everything that NorCal has to offer. We have the beach, the city, the countryside and everything in between. We have wonderful diversity, great restaurants and amazing parks.

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The Bay Area is not only beautiful, it's a diverse, inclusive place. It's close to mountains and ocean, and not so far from Disneyland that you can't make an occasional pilgrimage. Plus, it's a creative place, with business and innovation as part of the culture.

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I am raising my family less than a mile from where I grew up, and I love that! My kids have their grandparents around the corner, regional parks and trails out the back door, diversity everywhere and weather that allows us to play outside most of the year.

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Our family loves exploring the outdoors and if something is available wherever you go in Northern California, it's great adventures. From Gold County whitewater to the waters of the San Francisco bay, from coastal redwood forests to granite peppered Sierras, Northern California features beautiful places for all tastes. For my girls, I love that Northern California offers them a place to grow up where they have every opportunity to do what they want. If they want to invent the green car of the future or build roller-coasters, they can study engineering. If they want to design special effects for Pirates of the Caribbean 18, they can look at animation. If they want to make the best country bread in California, why not? I mean, my girls are still in elementary school but we're looking ahead. As long as they remain true to who they are and take advantage of their French heritage, I want them to grow up happy where the sun shines for them. Oh, and they love books. There's no shortage of great books written by Northern California authors. Maybe they'll write a book some day? Right now, they're just happy being kids and enjoying summer fun with their friends.

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I'd say it's a toss-up between the fabulous weather with year-round outdoor access, the great food, and the relatively laid-back lifestyle. We moved here from the East Coast when I was pregnant with our first daughter, and every time I travel away from the Bay I come back with a renewed sense of appreciation for all that we are accustomed to taking for granted.

Living in Oakland as we do, I also like that my kids are growing up in a seriously diverse world, going to school with kids of all races and socioeconomic situations, which seems to be baking in empathy to people who are different from them.

And of course, music lover that I am, I'm also grateful for the plethora of live music opportunities and venues that we have here in the Bay. My kids have been to shows at the Warfield and Slim's in San Francisco, the Greek in Berkeley, the Paramount and the Fox in Oakland, and I look forward to taking them with me to even more of the theaters, auditoriums, and clubs that make the Bay Area such a mecca for great live music performances.

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I struggle with superlatives, but I'll list a few highlights. Northern California beckoned me, as a young adult, with promises of seaside sunsets, seventy degree weather eight months of the year, and metropolitan perks adjacent to astounding natural beauty and opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Raising a family here is wonderful for precisely those reasons. For instance, an ambitious day can include a scenic hike AND a museum visit. We grow some of our own food (year round!), raise chickens. At the same time, we never have to settle when it comes to dining out. There is almost always an event for kids nearby- a story hour, a play, live music; or we can go camping a couple of hours drive north and feel like we are the only humans around for miles. We can get to beaches, movie theaters, farmers' markets, libraries or cafés in minutes; sometimes walking. Finally, there is a great diversity of age, culture and ethnicity in the Bay Area that I hope will aid my children in developing a comfort level with and compassion for people who may differ from them in physical attributes, customs or values. It may sound like I'm bragging, but I didn't create any of this: I just feel lucky to live in it!

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The weather, the people, the diversity, all of it.

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So much to love about being here! Of course gorgeous weather, the beautiful ocean, redwoods, mountains, and farm land (nothing like fresh produce you can go pick yourself or get at the local farmers markets!). There's a strong emphasis on caring for our environment and also preserving the arts, education, and helping our community members through small businesses. Also, we live in a safe, supportive community with many wonderful educational programs open to my kids so near by; aquariums, nature programs, and more. Love it here!

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The best part about raising a family in NorCal is the diversity! I love that my children are exposed to so many people of different ethnicities and religions. We are a multiracial family, I'm biracial myself, so it means the world to me that my kids are surrounded by diversity. So many different races, all living in harmony!

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One of the reasons I love living in San Francisco is the culture. I grew up in a small town, and didn't have as many opportunities as my children have. On any given day we can go to the zoo, museums, libraries and endless play dates. We are never board around here.

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