Is Sacramento, CA a Good Place to Live? 10 Pros and Cons of Living in Sacramento

Sacramento, California’s capital, is known for its beautiful riverfront, exceptional farm-to-fork dining, and historical past. But is Sacramento a good place to live? While the city offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities, beautiful winters, and a thriving urban lifestyle, it also comes with its fair share of challenges like its high cost of living. This Redfin article dives into the pros and cons of living in Sacramento, helping you determine if it’s the right fit for you.

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Quick Facts about Sacramento

Median home sale price $490,000
Average monthly rent $2,100
Walk Score 49/100
Transit Score 34/100
Bike Score 67/100

1. Pro: Mild climate

Sacramento has a mild climate with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. This makes Sacramento a good place to live for those who enjoy outdoor activities year-round. The city experiences an average of 269 sunny days per year, allowing residents to take advantage of the numerous parks and outdoor spaces. The American River Parkway, for example, offers miles of trails for hiking, biking, and jogging.

2. Con: Summer heat

While the climate is generally mild, Sacramento can experience extreme heat during the summer months. Temperatures can soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, making outdoor activities uncomfortable and even dangerous. Residents often rely heavily on air conditioning, which can lead to higher energy bills. During these periods of heat, you’ll want to learn how extreme heat can impact your home.

3. Pro: Farm-to-fork capital

Sacramento is known as the Farm-to-Fork Capital of the United States, thanks to its proximity to some of the most fertile agricultural land in the country. This means residents have access to fresh, locally-sourced produce year-round. Every year, Sacramento proudly hosts the annual Farm-to-Fork Festival, a vibrant celebration that spans several days and features farm tours, cooking demonstrations, live music, and a vast array of locally sourced food and drinks

4. Con: Limited public transportation

Public transportation in Sacramento is not as extensive or efficient as in other major cities in California like Los Angeles. While there are bus and light rail services, the transit score is 34, meaning they may not cover all areas or run as frequently as needed. This can make commuting without a car challenging, particularly for those living in suburban neighborhoods.

5. Pro: Rich history and culture

Sacramento is steeped in history, being the capital of California and a key player during the Gold Rush era. The city is home to numerous historical landmarks, such as the California State Capitol Museum and Old Sacramento Waterfront. These sites offer a glimpse into the past and provide educational opportunities for residents and visitors.

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6. Con: High cost of living

The cost of living in Sacramento is relatively high, particularly when it comes to housing. With a median home sale price of $490,000 and an average rent of $2,100, home prices and rental rates have been steadily increasing, making it difficult for some residents to afford quality housing. This can be a significant drawback for those on a tight budget or looking to buy their first home.

7. Pro: Proximity to outdoor recreation

Sacramento’s location provides easy access to a variety of outdoor recreational activities. The city is just a short drive away from the Sierra Nevada mountains, offering opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and hiking. Lake Tahoe, a popular destination for water sports and winter activities, is also within reach. This makes Sacramento a good place to live as it’s the perfect base for those who love to explore the great outdoors.

8. Con: Risk of wild fires

Sacramento faces a growing risk of wildfires, particularly during the hot, dry summer months when vegetation becomes highly flammable. The city’s proximity to forested areas and rural landscapes increases the potential for wildfire threats, posing a significant concern for residents.

9. Pro: Lively arts and entertainment scene

Sacramento offers a vibrant arts and entertainment scene, with numerous theaters, music venues, and art galleries. The city is home to the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, as well as the Crocker Art Museum, which houses an impressive collection of art spanning various periods and styles. The annual Sacramento Music Festival and the Second Saturday Art Walk are just a few examples of the many cultural events that residents can enjoy.

10. Con: Long commute times

Traffic congestion can be a significant issue in Sacramento, particularly during rush hours. The city’s growing population has led to increased demand on its roadways, resulting in longer commute times for many residents. Major highways, such as Interstate 5 and Highway 50, can become heavily congested, making travel frustrating and time-consuming.


Methodology: The median home sale price and average monthly rental data is from the Redfin Data Center. The Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score data is from Walk Score.

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