As one of the most famous and vibrant cities in the United States, San Francisco is unlike anywhere else. Located in the larger Bay Area in the northern region of the State of California, the city is an iconic metropolis. With a unique cultural history, a bustling nightlife, a booming tech industry, and never-ending opportunities for entertainment and adventure, this city lives up to its reputation. 

As one of the most densely populated cities in the country, San Francisco is a hub for diverse communities to gather together to enjoy the abundant amenities and gorgeous scenery. With a large and proud local community and an endless stream of visitors and tourists, living in San Francisco sure is sure to be an exciting adventure.

If you’re thinking about moving to the City By the Bay, then keep reading! We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about living in San Francisco. From its rich history and culture, to an overview of its facts and figures, to the pros and cons of becoming a permanent resident, we’ve got you covered.

What It’s Like Living in San Francisco

What It’s Like Living in San Francisco

San Francisco (known lovingly as the Fog City by locals due to its cool and misty mornings) is unique in just about every way. With steep hilly roads, an eclectic culture and thriving art scene, plus numerous historical and architectural landmarks, it truly is a one-of-a-kind place.


The culture in San Francisco is so vibrant and diverse, that it’s almost impossible to cover the wide range of communities that live in the city. But the culture in San Francisco is notable for both its quirky social scene and its incredible mark on history. The city is perhaps best known for having been at the center of American counterculture.

Defined by its progressive values, the area became a beacon for a plethora of artists and subcultures, such as the Beat Generation of poets in the 1950s, pioneers in the LGBTQIA+ community, and the hippie “free love” movement. The city was at the center of many important protests and social movements that had a lasting impact on people around the world.


San Francisco is also known for its dynamic and growing economy. With an unemployment rate of 5.4% (below the national average), the economy is best known for its focus on tourism, with an average of about 28 million visitors per year. It’s also a center of technological innovation, home to Silicon Valley with some of the largest tech companies in the world, such as Apple and Google. It’s also home to promising start-ups for young professionals and innovators. There are also dozens of thriving industries outside of tourism and tech, with plenty of opportunities in service, finance, medicine, and manufacturing.

Things To Do

One of the main aspects of San Francisco that makes it such a popular city is that you’ll never run out of things to do. With an endless number of charming restaurants, shops, clubs, museums, and theaters, the bustling city nightlife is the perfect place for young adults to experience culture and art in new ways.

You can also take advantage of the many historical landmarks the city is so famous for around the globe. This could include walking across the Golden Gate Bridge or taking a ferry to Alcatraz Island. There are also numerous tours along the bay or through San Francisco’s remarkable historical sites, wineries, and diverse neighborhoods.

San Francisco by the Numbers

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

There’s a lot about a city that you can only learn by visiting yourself. But it’s also helpful to get an idea of what the area looks like through some of the main facts and figures:

  • San Francisco has a population of 881,549 as of 2019.
  • It has a median age of 38.6.
  • The city is one of the most expensive in the country, with a cost of living index rating of 269.3.
  • The median household income is $112,449 and the per-capita income is $68,883.
  • The climate in San Francisco is Mediterranean with mild temperatures year-round; the city gets an average of 25 inches of rain each year. Its hottest month is September and its coldest is January.

[Source 1] [Source 2] [Source 3]

The Pros and Cons of Living in San Francisco

Moving to a new city is a big change. So it’s important to learn everything you can, good and bad, about what it’s like to live there. Here are the main pros and cons of living in San Francisco, California:


  • The city is extremely racially and culturally diverse. San Francisco is known to be home to diverse communities from all walks of life. 53.6% of the city’s residents are non-white, and immigrants account for 35% of the population. This has provided the area with a ton of multicultural events and celebrations.
  • Excellent public transportation. Depending on how you like to get around, this could be a pro or a con. Because of the many steep hills throughout the city, driving and biking can be difficult. But San Francisco has an extensive public transportation system. With cable cars, ferries, buses, and trains, you can get anywhere in the city in no time at all.
  • There’s so much to do. Living in San Francisco means you’ll never be bored. With so many opportunities for entertainment and community, you’ll get to experience something new every day!
  • Easy access to incredible natural environments. San Francisco is close to many incredible parks, lakes, beaches, and mountains in Northern California. You can have easy access to sprawling and serene landscapes without sacrificing the hustle and bustle of city life. 


  • It’s extremely expensive. With a cost of living index over twice the national average, high tax rates, and housing costs through the roof, San Francisco is the second most expensive US city to live in (second only to NYC).
  • Homelessness is a big problem. Partially because of the incredibly high living costs, San Francisco has a large homeless population. This is far more visible due to how concentrated the city is.
  • Be aware of earthquakes. San Francisco has a long history of earthquakes. If you live in the city, you’re sure to feel a few tremors throughout the year. There have also been a few major earthquakes, including one in 1906 that had a magnitude of 7.9.

Considering Taking the Leap and Moving to San Francisco? West Coast Moving is here to help!

Moving to San Francisco? West Coast Moving is here to help!

San Francisco is one of the most unique cities in the world. With endless opportunities, inclusive communities, and a vibrant art scene, you’ll be proud to call the city home. But no matter where you choose to live, moving can be stressful. At West Coast Moving and Storage, we handle the frustrating logistics of moving so that you can spend time exploring your new home! We have the experience and knowledge to take on any challenge so that your move is smooth and stress-free.

Contact us today to ask about our service and get a free consultation!