10 Safest Neighborhoods in California

Updated On December 28, 2023

Surprisingly, you’ll find nine out of ten of America’s safest cities in 2022 and 2023 in California.

Logically, the safest neighborhoods in California exist in its safest cities.

In addition to crime statistics, the effectiveness of schools, employment availability, access to health services, and housing affordability also affect a neighborhood’s overall safety.

In California, safer communities cost more.

Consequently, higher prices prevent most blue-collar workers from living there.

Nevertheless, numerous affordable yet safe places to live remain within reach.


Safest Cities

According to Money Geek, the safest United States cities with over 100,000 residents include Irvine, San Diego, San Jose, Riverside, and Anaheim in their 2024 top 15 list.

The Ventura County Civic Alliance report lists Camarillo, Moorpark, and Ojai as the safest California cities from violent crime.

According to FBI crime data, for 2019, the cities of Rancho Santa Margarita, Moorpark, and Danville tied three ways for the lowest crime rate.

Of the three, Danville also topped ADT’s 2020 safest city list.

1. Irvine

Although Irvine has about 85 violent crimes per person, that’s nearly six times fewer than San Diego and four times fewer than Chula Vista.

All three have similar total populations.

According to Irvine Police Department crime data, the three safest neighborhoods in Irvine include Northwood Point, Turtle Ridge, and Stonegate.

UC Irvine, Shady Canyon, the Great Park neighborhood, Portola Springs, and nearly everything northeast of Irvine Boulevard also have relatively low crime rates compared to cities of similar size.

Northwood Point, bordered by Portola Parkway to the northeast, Culver Drive to the west, and Hicks Canyon Trail to the south, has a zero vacancy rate.

Forty-five percent of its residents hold advanced degrees, and nearly 49 percent come from countries other than the United States.

On the other hand, Turtle Ridge has a 17.3 percent vacancy rate, sixty-four percent of the homes here are circa 1999 or newer, and residents have higher net wealth than 99.5 percent of the remaining United States.

2. San Diego

San Diego calls its neighborhoods planning areas, of which it has 52.

Among its three safest, you’ll encounter Barrio Logan East, Midway District Southeast, and Rancho Encantada.

In Barrio Logan East, 35 percent of residents work for the military, and almost 34 percent walk to work.

3. San Jose

Which of San Jose’s 18 neighborhoods reported the fewest reported crimes within a one-mile radius between December 11 and 17, 2023?

That would be Alviso.

Alviso lies at the northernmost edge of the city and reported only four crimes that week.

Almaden Valley listed 12. Willow Glen made 24 reports, while Evergreen had 33.

Alviso is San Jose’s former port and the home of Bayside Canning Factory, which used to be the third largest in the United States.

Almaden Valley boasts the 4000-acre Almaden Quicksilver County Park, Mount Umunhum, known as The Cube, an old radar tower, and the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum at Casa Grande.

Willow Glen features trolley rides, the Saturday Farmer’s Market, Waterworks Aquatics, and numerous festivals and parades throughout the year.

In Evergreen, you can head to the concrete slides in Brigadoon Park, relax at the village square, or pass through the Friendship Gate into Overfelt Gardens Park Chinese Cultural Garden to admire the statue of Confucius.

4. Riverside

Orangecrest’s overall Niche score of A-minus tops the list of safest neighborhoods in Riverside.

Its amenities include the 30-acre Orange Terrace Community Park, 13.4-acre Thundersky Park, and 5.5-acre Bergamont Park, all with wheelchair-accessible entrances and parking.

Although Thundersky and Bergamont don’t have restrooms, Orange Terrace does.

Also, in Orangecrest, you’ll find Mistress Yvonne’s Annual Free Haunted House.

5. Anaheim

Anaheim has 18 neighborhoods, and its safest, The Summit of Anaheim Hills, features the 16-acre Ronald Reagan Park.

However, with minimal public transit options and few bike lanes, The Summit’s 14 walking score and 15 biking score leave everyone dependent on motor vehicles.

6. Camarillo

Which of Camarillo’s 14 neighborhoods is safest?

University Glen/ California State Channel Islands.

The area boasts two pools, two fitness centers, a toddler-to-teen playground, a community garden area, a dog park, and a sports park.

As for its walkability index, 22.4 percent of UG/CSCI residents walk to work daily, and 24 percent work from home.

Moreover, row homes constitute 30 percent of UG/CSCI residences.

7. Moorpark

Strickland runs from east to southwest and is Moorpark’s safest neighborhood.

Moreover, Strickland’s residents enjoy the 15th highest income in the US.

In addition, 41.8 percent of this area’s residents own four or more cars per household.

Interestingly, residential owners occupy most of Strickland’s housing, and only 6.1 percent remain vacant.

Thirty-eight percent of Strickland’s workforce commutes between 30 and sixty minutes daily.

8. Ojai

Meiners Oaks/Mira Monte, Ojai’s safest neighborhood, includes a portion of the Ventura River Preserve along its western border.

You and your children can hit the Oso Trailhead at Meyer Road, part of the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy.

Then, your group can hike the Upper Loop from there or ride your bike if you have a bicycle bell.

However, you cannot camp, use drones, ride motorized vehicles, or light fires anywhere in the OVLC.

Thirty-five percent of MO/MA workers serve as executives or in other managerial roles.

Thirty-eight percent of MO/MA householders commute less than 30 minutes daily.

Unfortunately, 67 percent drive to work alone, increasing air pollution and causing heavier traffic.

9. Rancho Santa Margarita

Neighborhood Scout ranks the Dove Canyon/Trabuco Highlands neighborhood as the safest in Rancho Santa Margarita.

Less than one percent of US neighborhoods have higher net wealth than DC/TH, and slightly more than 28 percent work remotely.

Running north to south from Dove Canyon, about a third of its length lies along the western edge of the Ronald W.

Caspers Wilderness Park. RCWP’s 8000 acres include the beginner-level West Ridge Trail, along which you can hike, bike, or ride horseback.

You may also camp in tents, RVs, or with your horse.

10. Danville

Blackhawk, the safest neighborhood in Danville, includes Morgan Territory Regional Preserve and the Los Vaqueros Reservoir and Watershed within its limits.

Just 2.2 percent of US areas have more net wealth.

Additionally, more than 17 percent of Blackhawk’s residents face at least an hour commute to work each day.

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve, part of the East Bay Regional Park District, charges no fees for parking or dogs.

You can hike, bike, ride horses, camp, and picnic in the park’s 5,323 acres.

The Los Vaqueros Reservoir and Watershed’s nearly 20,000 acres shelter bald eagles between December and March and golden eagles all year.

The San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) also lives here.

To control wildfires and protect the kit fox, LVRW allows livestock grazing.

Rancho Santa Margarita
Rancho Santa Margarita

Safety Tips

In Northwood Point, anyone living along Hicks Canyon Trail should watch for bicyclists because many of them fail to brake when they pass pedestrians.

Hikers and riders may experience altitude sickness and dehydration, so drink small sips of water throughout your hike and head downhill if you feel nauseous, overheated, or exhausted.

As for Barrio Logan East, the EPA says that its household members have an 85 to 95 percent higher risk of lung cancer thanks to diesel fuel fumes.

Evergreen residents who allow their families to use the concrete slides in Brigadoon Park should have at least one adult supervising.

Since Strickland denizens own so many cars, vehicle versus pedestrian accidents top the hazard list.

In Danville, homeowners near the Los Vaqueros Reservoir and Watershed should be alert to rattlesnakes.

California Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: California Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes North Point safer than other Irvine neighborhoods? 

Northwood Point has a zero vacancy rate, making it less vulnerable to arson or burglary.

Which hazards do residents of the Dove Canyon/Trabuco Highlands neighborhood of Rancho Santa Margarita face?

Wildfires, mudslides, and flooding could damage utilities and endanger elderly and disabled residents the most.

Are University Glen/California State Channel Islands homeowners healthier than those in other neighborhoods?

Yes, because 22.4 percent of UG/CSCI residents walk to work daily,

Do public transit options and the dearth of bike lanes affect The Summit of Anaheim Hills?


Householders in The Summit have fewer chances to improve their health by walking or biking.

What problems do Orangecrest homeowners face at Thundersky and Bergamont parks?

Neither one has restrooms.

On the other hand, all three accommodate wheelchair users.

Why might residents of Barrio Logan East suffer a vehicle versus pedestrian incident?

Almost 34 percent of them walk to work every day.

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