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California's 15 Best Cities for Singles
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California's 15 Best Cities for Singles

Whether you’re traveling alone to get over a breakup or looking to enjoy your newfound freedom, these are the places to be.

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6 min read

May 13, 2021

Livin’ the single life in California is pretty cool, especially if you know which city to call home. Whether you’re looking to mingle or not, the best cities for singles in California have something for everyone. We took into account the median age of the residents, number of recreational opportunities, and liveliness of the social scene to determine which of the Golden State’s cities are best for those riding solo.

Whether you’re traveling alone to get over a breakup or looking to enjoy your newfound freedom, these are the places to be.

The best cities for dating

Santa Monica is an iconic Los Angeles and California destination. It has served as an icon for summer fun on the beach for many years.

Santa Monica

Kicking off the list of best cities for singles is none other than Santa Monica. This beautiful coastal city perfectly balances the calmer seaside lifestyle with the busy feel of Downtown L.A., which singles often find enticing. There is a thriving nightlife scene, a busy beach, and many walkable areas.

Date idea: Stroll through the Third Street Promenade, grab a bite from a local eatery, and enjoy watching the gorgeous Southern California sunset from the pier.

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Manhattan Beach

The laid-back SoCal beach lifestyle is always present in Manhattan Beach—admire the luxurious homes, boutiques, and gorgeous 20-something singles, as you sip on a refreshing drink at one of Manhattan’s many cafes and restaurants. If you’re looking for oceanside nightlife, Manhattan is definitely the place to be. After hours spent sunbathing, dine with the ladies at The Strand House. The ambiance and cuisine will leave you swooning.

Date idea: Hit the waves, play beach volleyball, and head downtown to grab a bite.

San Diego is a great place for singles to call home. With high-paying jobs, universities, nightlife, and lots of entertainment, you won't be bored.

San Diego

High-paying jobs, top-notch college campuses, and incredible day-to-night entertainment options—that’s what you get when living in San Diego. Add plenty of awesome things to do to the mix and you have an abundance of date ideas—this SoCal scene definitely isn’t one of the worst cities for singles.

Date idea: Have a beach date at Coronado and grab fresh bites on Orange Avenue.

Berkeley

Berkeley is one of the best places to meet singles who are educated, thoughtful, and truly wish the best for the world. Keep in mind that a significant portion of the city is liberal and likes to surround themselves with people who share similar beliefs. If that’s not an issue for you, you’re going to love networking and mingling with like-minded residents.

Date idea: Watch a show at the Greek Theatre and wrap up your date by taking in the views at Indian Rock Park.

Did you know that Oakland is the birthplace of the word “hella?” No wonder it's a hella good place to start seeing someone!

Oakland

Brimming with local art, diverse cuisine, and a dynamic social scene, Oakland has the perfect mix of city life and tranquil suburbia. As one of the best cities for singles, this East Bay destination has been gaining traction in the last decade or so for its appealing mix of relatively affordable housing and proximity to other major NorCal cities.

Date idea: Bike through Joaquin Miller Park and reward yourselves with a romantic picnic.

The best places for singles to live

San Francisco has also topped rankings of the happiest and healthiest cities in the country. It's the ideal place to live your best single life.

San Francisco

If you have the budget to enjoy San Francisco, it’s certainly one of the best cities for singles. For starters, it’s nearly impossible to get bored while living here. Whether you’re an avid foodie who enjoys trying a new eatery every weekend, or an outdoor enthusiast who likes to hike, bike, and skate, there’s something for you in the green city of S.F.

Date idea: Stroll along Lovers Lane, then dine at one of the city’s many Michelin-starred restaurants.

West Hollywood

Los Angeles itself is one of the best cities for single women and men. But West Hollywood—also known as WeHo—particularly ranks high for its stable economy and jobs in IT, food, and hospitality services. People living and working in this L.A. area are mostly between the ages of 20 and 40.

Date idea: Watch a movie at the drive-in on Figueroa Street and enjoy delicious Peruvian food at Rosaline.

Santa Cruz is known for its moderate climate, the natural beauty of its coastline, and alternative community lifestyle.

Santa Cruz

Surf City is typically considered to be one of the healthiest and happiest cities in the state. Well, turns out it’s also among the best cities for single men and women. The laid-back town is definitely not one of the worst cities for dating, but the dating culture is more casual than serious. So if that’s not what you’re looking for, you might not find what you need in sunny Santa Cruz.

Date idea: Have yourselves a beach day complete with surfing, seafood, and sandcastles.

Santa Barbara

Similar to San Francisco, living the single life in Santa Barbara comes with a hefty price tag. We’ve included this sunny SoCal city for its consistently high-ranking community colleges—single students rejoice. The pristine beaches, mighty mountains, growing platform for jobs, and safe sense of community are amazing qualities you can’t beat.

Date idea: Walk along Butterfly Beach and enjoy a romantic dinner at one of the seaside resorts.

Hermosa Beach is popular for tanning, playing volleyball, surfing, and paddle boarding. We can't imagine a better way to spend our time!

Hermosa Beach

If you’re looking for a typical Southern California coastal experience, Hermosa Beach is where it’s at. You’ll love the laid-back attitude and lively nightlife—not to mention the beach volleyball courts and skateboarders ridin’ by. Located in the South Bay, Hermosa Beach offers similar perks to Manhattan Beach, but at a more affordable price.

Date idea: Soak in the sun by the beach and cycle along the Strand.

The best places for singles to travel to

Miles of canyon trails, long stretches of sandy shore, and dining opportunities make Malibu a great place to travel to when you're single.

Malibu 

Single or not, a solo road trip to Malibu is an offer we can never refuse. Spend a weekend in the city, cruise along the Pacific Coast Highway, and have yourself a single adventure of a lifetime.

While relaxation is key in Malibu, what really piques our interest is Renew Breakup Bootcamp. Under normal circumstances, the boot camp invites people on a healing getaway in Malibu (or New York) to be their best single selves.

South Lake Tahoe

Another one of the best places for solo travel is South Lake Tahoe. Visit during summer for a laidback lakeside retreat and leisurely hikes, and head over during winter for apres-ski parties and thrilling snow adventures. Whatever your dream single getaway looks like, you’ll make it all come true along the shores of the scenic Lake Tahoe.

A two-hour drive from Los Angeles, Big Bear is a Southern California hot spot for adventure and travel, especially when you're on the road solo.

Big Bear

Tahoe’s SoCal counterpart is the idyllic Big Bear. Book a winter cabin on your solo getaway to the mountainous lakeside enclave and have yourself a dreamy escapade like no other. While skiing at the top SoCal resorts is not to be missed, Big Bear can also allow a fun-filled adventure during the warmer months. Just like South Lake Tahoe, Big Bear looks and feels like a completely different city in the summer. Experience year-round fun in Big Bear while living your best single life. 

Palm Springs is known for golf, beautiful natural scenery, warm weather, mid-century modern architecture, and luxury resorts.

Palm Springs

A getaway to Palm Springs ranks among the best places for singles to travel for many reasons. With adults-only resorts, rejuvenating spas, cool museums, and great shopping and dining options, you can’t go wrong with Palm Springs as a solo traveler. You can even make the most of your stay in Palm Springs without breaking the bank—there are plenty of cool free things to do in the resort city

Huntington Beach

Known for being home to some of the best surf beaches in California, Huntington Beach is a quintessential SoCal getaway that’s best enjoyed solo. Check in at one of the area’s many luxury hotels and admire the breathtaking sunrises during your stay. Ride the waves in this dreamy place and pamper yourself at the local spas. Chances are you’ll run into other single travelers on your journey as well.

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