8) Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa is located in northern California’s Sonoma County about an hour north of San Francisco. Tourism is a major industry and many people work in wineries, brewpubs and on the local farms that fuel Santa Rosa’s focus on farm-to-table dining. Nine high schools have been recognized as top schools. It has also been ranked as one of the “30 Most Fun Places to Live” due to its more than 1,000 restaurants, 120 parks and ample shopping. Other attractions include Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz Museum, Spring Lake Park, Luther Burbank Gardens and Pacific Coast Air Museum. For 2017, Santa Rosa climbed to 52 from 62 on the “Best Places to Live” list. On the downside, Santa Rosa reflects California’s high cost of living, but the average income is only slightly higher than the national average.