Just an hour’s drive from San Francisco, Sonoma is all about soaking up the relaxed vibe and warm weather. There's a rustic charm going on with down-to-earth locals, farmers, winemakers, and acclaimed chefs at farm-to-table restaurants. The Sonoma plaza is a historic landmark with about thirty restaurants and community festivals all year round. Outstanding Farmer's Market, held at the plaza every Tuesday evening from April to October.
Median home price: $775,000
Elevation: 85 feet
Weather: near-coastal warm summer mediterranean climate
Summer high/low temperature: 80's/50's
Winter high/low temperatures: 50's/30's
Sunny days/year: 300
Destinations: Bike riding, wineries and vineyards, farm-to-table cuisine, day spas, Bodega Bay coastline, hot air ballooning.
School District: Sonoma Valley Unified School District
Napa is a beautiful city that's considered the heart of the wine country. It's a little wonderland boasting beautiful weather, stunning scenery, custom hotels, Michelin-rated restaurants, and world-class wineries. All this with a small town feel.
Median home price: $735,000
Known for: Sitting at the poolside, dramatic vistas, wineries, amazing food, interesting architecture, hot air balloons, golf, biking, hiking, spas
Destinations: Lake Berryessa, Napa Farmer's Market, The Wine Train, Indian Springs Resort and Spa, Skyline Wilderness Park
Elevation: 20 feet
Climate: Mediterranean climate found in only 3% of the world. Warm days, cool evenings, and hot dry summers.
Summer highs/lows: 80's/50's
Winter highs/lows: 50's/40's
School District: Napa Valley Unified School District
Hailed as one of the best towns in the country by residents, visitors, and reputable sources such as Outside Magazine and Men's Journal, Bend is an outdoor enthusiast hub with a bit of urban cool:
Median Home price: $437,000
Known for: microbreweries, mountain biking, fishing, hiking, rock climbing, white water rafting, and golf
Destinations: Mt Batchelor Ski Resort and Cascade Lakes
Elevation: 3600 feet
Climate: high desert climate with cool nights and sunny days
Summer high/low temperatures: 70-80's/40's
Winter high/low temperatures: 40's/20's
School District: Bend-La Pine Schools District
Reno has a unban-suburban mix with a thriving craft beverage scene, trendy dining spots, events, festivals, a month devoted to the arts, shopping and a beautiful riverfront promenade. Great place to experience all that the outdoors has to offer.
Recently, tenacious small-business owners and developers revamped Reno’s downtown and Midtown districts, making way for a fresh new scene.
No state income tax. Tesla opened its Gigafactory in 2016. Apple, Microsoft, and Patagonia have offices in Reno.
Median Home Price: $396,000
Known For: Outdoor recreation... biking, fishing, kayaking, golf, skiing. Foodie paradise. Festivals year round.
Destinations: Mt Rose Ski Resort 14 miles away, Truckee River, Washoe Lake, Pyramid Lake, Tahoe, Arttown Art Festival, Great Reno Balloon Race
Elevation: 4400 feet
Climate: Semi-arid, 300 days of sunshine a year, 6-7 inches of rain annually
Summer highs/lows: 90's/50's
Winter highs/lows: 40's/20's
School District: Washoe County School District
Austin keeps making headlines. Voted the number 1 place to live in America for affordability and quality of life three years in a row. Live music 7 nights a week. Barbecue is a religion...with Tex-Mex for breakfast. Healthy people. Booming tech town. Apple announced plans for a $1 billion campus with up to 15,000 employees. Google, Oracle, and Facebook have offices downtown. No state income tax.
Median home price: $458,000
Elevation: 1000 feet
Climate: long hot summers, short mild winters. Rains 2-3 inches each month.
Summer high/low temperatures: 90's/70's
Winter high/low temperatures: 60's/40's
Neighborhoods: West Side for Porsches and Mercedes. South Side for funky, hippies. Downtown for music, bars, and restaurants.
Destinations: Town Lake, Barton Springs, Zilker Park, Alamo Drafthouse, Franklin and Salt Lick BBQ, food trucks
School District: Austin Independent School District