15 Pros and Cons of Living in Santa Clarita, CA

Updated On October 9, 2023
Santa Clarita, CA

I don’t know if I’d live anywhere in California full-time.

However, I wouldn’t mind an extended stay in Santa Clarita, CA for a few months at a time.

It has access to both beaches and plenty of “green space” provided by state and national parks. 

Santa Clarita, CA
Santa Clarita, CA

Pros of Living in Santa Clarita, CA

1. Proximity to Major Attractions

You can drive to Disneyland in Anaheim, California in less than an hour from downtown Santa Clarita.

It’s also possible to travel from Santa Clarita to The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in as little as 39-40 minutes. 

It’s also not terribly unreasonable to spend some time at Disneyland.

Then, travel to the National Recreation Area on the same day if you want to. 

I wouldn’t personally leave Disneyland unless I had a ticket that I knew allowed me back if I were to leave for a while.

I did find out you could leave the park and come pack, and here’s how you can come back to the park the same day if you want. 

2. One of The Safest Metro Cities

Santa Clarita only earned a “C” Crimegrade.

However, the press also recognized it as one of the safest cities with more than 150,000 people in it according to Cheapism in June 2022. 

It doesn’t have as much violent crime in it (about 1.30 per 1,000 people) as it does property crimes, theft, vandalism, etc.

Its murder rate ranks at only about .02 per 1,000 people as updated by June 2022. 

Knowing how few people die from intentional homicide makes me at least think of living in Santa Clara.

The majority of petty crimes and theft, however, happen near major transportation centers and business districts where crowds of people frequently arrive and leave. 

3. Beach Access Less Than an Hour Away

You also have access to several beaches less than an hour away.

One of the closest is Malibu, which you can drive to in about 49 minutes from Santa Monica. 

Long Beach is also less than an hour away from Santa Monica.

What’s more, you can take a scenic route from Malibu to it.

On the way, you can view the coast from Malibu to Santa Monica while you drive.

Malibu Beach sits in Eastern Malibu about halfway from Malibu and Santa Monica. 

4. National and State Parks Nearby

I have already mentioned the Santa Monica National Recreation Area, which you can find north of Malibu.

You’ll find the city of Santa Monica as you drive southeast along the coast from Malibu too. 

If you take the Malibu-to-Santa Monica coastal route, you’ll also pass by Topanga State Park, located east of the National Recreation Area.

All of these spots are only about an hour away from Santa Clarita. 

Santa Clarita also has its own Central Park on Bouquet Canyon Road. It consists of sports fields, a playground, and some picnic areas.

East of Highway 14, you will also find the Angeles National Forest, which extends up to 10 minutes away from Santa Clarita. 

5. Major Cities Not Too Far Away

You could probably live a quiet life in Santa Clarita, CA if you want to.

However, you also have the option of making short trips to Los Angeles, which you can travel to in 38-40 minutes. 

Pasadena also sits only about 38 minutes from Santa Clarita.

I think of this as an excellent opportunity to be near the excitement of LA without having to live in it. 

San Diego is a little further away from Santa Clarita than Pasadena.

However, it still takes only a little more than two and a half hours to drive there.

If you’re in the mood to cross state lines, Las Vegas, Nevada is only about four hours away from Santa Clarita. 

6. Good Restaurants

Santa Clarita has the Smokehouse on Main, for instance.

Here, you can enjoy craft beers and barbeque foods. 

Otherwise, there’s the Olive Terrace Bar & Grille where they also have live music.

The Olive Terrace features Mediterranean food. 

You might also enjoy the Black Bear Diner.

This place features what some people would describe as “comfort foods.” 

7. Live Music Venues 

It doesn’t appear that you’d run out of places to listen to live music in Santa Clarita and surrounding areas.

Besides the Olive Terrace, you can hear and watch performers at The Canyon, Lucky Luke Brewing (sometimes), Mabel’s Roadhouse, and Drifters Bar and Pizzeria. 

You could also take a short trip to the Hard Rock Cafe in Los Angeles.

That’s always a fun place to find out the history of famous performing artists. 

8. Slightly Cheaper Living Than Los Angeles 

The overall cost of living in Santa Clarita is about 22.6 points below the overall average of 169.7 for the LA, Long Beach, and Anaheim areas.

Santa Clarita grocery costs are only a little more than the national average of 100 and 2.5 points lower than for the LA metro areas. 

Health, housing, and transportation costs are also lower.

Utilities are slightly higher, but Santa Clarita still comes in at less expensive than Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. 

Cons of Living in Santa Clarita, CA

Health, groceries, and transportation also cost more in Santa Clarita than in LA.

At least transportation and utilities cost less in Santa Clarita than in LA. 

1. Long Commutes

In 2019, Tammy Murga, a Santa Clarita Valley Signal publication writer, announced that people here have the sixth largest commute in the nation.

It’s not uncommon for residents 30 miles east of this location to travel frequently back and forth from Los Angeles.

For them, it takes about 85 minutes, and some of them do it every day. 

The average one-way commute in Santa Clarita takes about 34 minutes.

In some cases, it makes you wonder how much you would really save on living costs – either transportation or housing expenses.

It sometimes feels like we “can’t win.” 

2. Theft and Burglaries 

I did mention you don’t have to worry as much about violent crimes or murder in Santa Clarita as you would about property crimes.

Offenses involving property total 9.10 per 1,000 residents overall.

This breaks down to 1.74 burglaries per 1K, 6.06 thefts per 1K, and 1.31 motor vehicle theft crimes per 1K reported by 2022. 

3. Heroin Use

I happened to read comments on Quora referring to heroin use in Santa Clarita.

I took from this that the use of drugs also seems to be one of the most prevalent crimes here. 

Santa Clarita however, receives at least a “C” crime grade for drug crimes, so it’s not necessarily the most saturated drug location but higher than about half of comparable U.S. locations. 

4. Not as Diverse As Los Angeles 

The percentage of people identifying as white has decreased by about 10% since 2009.

A 2022 report says that about 66% instead of 76% call themselves “white.”

However, Los Angeles only has a white population of 48.93% reported by 2022. 

This doesn’t mean that the area doesn’t have any diversity though.

For instance, World Population Review has revealed by 2022 that Santa Clarita is 4.38% Black/African American.  

This means about a 1% increase from a little more than a decade ago.

A small amount of Native Americans and Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders live here too. 

Santa Clarita, CA has also seen upward population growth for most years since the 1980s.

I have concluded this means the area has experienced an increase of Asians, people of two or more races, and other ethnic backgrounds.

Nevertheless, Los Angeles has an 11.78% Asian population reported in 2022.

About 8.78% of the living there are black/African American, and about 6.95% originate from two or more races.

Los Angeles does, however, have a little more Native Hawaiians and/or Pacific Islanders and other Native Americans on it. 

5. High Earthquake Risk 

The risk of earthquakes is much higher than in the rest of California.

It’s also higher than the national average.

On the other hand, tornadoes don’t occur in this location as often as in the rest of California or the nation. 

6. High Sales Tax

The state of California has the highest sales tax rate in the country.

It starts out at 7.25%, and it can equal as high as 10.25%.

That depends on the jurisdiction that a Santa Clarita resident does business in though.

The combined rate is still fairly high at 8.56%, which is the ninth highest in the nation. 

7. Nightlife May Not Be Enough 

The amount of nightlife that Santa Clarita, CA has may not be enough for some people.

At least that’s how they might feel if they have spent any amount of time in Los Angeles.

If they don’t want to have to commute 35-40 minutes to LA, they might not want to live in Santa Clarita. 

Santa Clarita, CA
Santa Clarita, CA

Pros and Cons of Living in Santa Clarita – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Santa Clarita, CACons of Living in Santa Clarita, CA
1. Proximity to Major Attractions1. Long Commutes
2. One of The Safest Metro Cities2. Theft and Burglaries 
3. Beach Access Less Than an Hour Away3. Heroin Use
4. National and State Parks Nearby4. Not as Diverse As Los Angeles 
5. Major Cities Not Too Far Away5. High Earthquake Risk 
6. Good Restaurants6. High Sales Tax
7. Live Music Venues 7. Nightlife May Not Be Enough 
8. Slightly Cheaper Living Than Los Angeles 

Santa Clarita Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Santa Clarita Safety Review

Safety Index:
Santa Clarita

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Santa Clarita, CA most known for?

It’s been called a “movie set mecca.”

In 2022, the horror sci-fi film Nope and drama-romance Purple Hearts were filmed here.

Scenes from Santa Clarita made it into Criminal Minds, The Office, The Addams Family, and a multitude of other productions since the 1990s.

Titanic and Spiderman (2002) also have some settings from this location in it.

According to a list curated by IMDB, the earliest movie ever produced in Santa Clarita was Broncho Billy’s Christmas Dinner from 1911.

Does it snow in Santa Clarita?

It usually rains more than it snows.

The total average yearly precipitation is about 34 inches per year.

Why do people move to Santa Clarita?

They love the idea of more than 280 days of sunshine.

Some neighborhoods also have good schools.

What are the safest Santa Clarita neighborhoods?

The Haskell Canyon Road, Jeffers Lane, and Canyon Country Northeast are some recommended areas.

Other safe locations include Saugus Northwest, Pacific Hills, and Agua Dulce.

3 Comments on 15 Pros and Cons of Living in Santa Clarita, CA

  1. J
    Jimbotron says:

    Weird that the diversity quota and crime rate seem inversely correlated. Is it like that anywhere else?

  2. J
    Janet Zink says:

    Santa Clarita’s proximity to LA provides residents with easy access to job opportunities, entertainment, and cultural experiences in a major metropolitan area.

  3. Living in Santa Clarita, CA offers a great balance of access to major attractions and beaches with the safety of small-town living.

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