Despite its many selling points — historic architecture, beautiful views, impressive museums and thriving nightlife — a harsh reality of living in San Francisco is, well, the cost of living.
There’s no single contributing factor to this issue, and almost any San Franciscan you meet will have their own hot take on why it’s so prohibitively expensive to live here. Chalk it up to regulations that limit the height of buildings in a city surrounded by water, an influx of high-earning residents and an overall shortage of housing means owning a home often goes to the highest bidder — literally. The median home price in San Francisco just hit a whopping $1.6 million, a 24% jump from last year.
Thankfully, there’s no rule that says you have to live within city limits to enjoy everything San Francisco has to offer. We’ve compiled a list of alternatives that are geographically close to San Francisco while holding their own as great places to live. The median home prices in these cities are not cheap by any means, but they do offer Bay Area living for a fraction of the price of SF proper.