Daly City, California

Fog City



Sunny Days: 260
70100 Affordability
80100 Schools
80100 Diversity
88100 Safety

The Best Thing About Daly City?

Filipino Culture

There’s a lot to like in Daly City. The homes are way less expensive than other cities nearby. It’s an easy commute into the city and people are chill and friendly. Perhaps though the best thing about the city is the rich Filipino culture that permeates Daly City. With 33,000 Filipino American residents it has been called “the Pinoy Capital of the United States”. The result is a tight-knit community, great food, and a family-friendly vibe that makes it safe and a great place to raise a family.

The Worst Thing About Daly City?


There are many locals who say that global warming has made Daly City a bit less foggy but regardless you need to prepare yourself for the cold and fog that sits on top of the western side of San Francisco and south down through Daly City and Pacifica. Some grow to love the cooler air and some (particularly those who move from SoCal) who flee the cold for warmer, sunnier climes. The most important thing is to be sure to tour the city and see the homes on a foggy day so you don’t get tricked into thinking things are mostly sunny here.

Lifestyle of Daly City

Daly City is a suburban, bedroom community. There are a couple shopping areas but no real downtown and so unless you get in your car you don’t have immediate access to a traditional city commercial district. The lifestyle here is built around the family. Kids going to school, soccer, baseball and volleyball leagues. Going in to SF for bigger nights out. Families hitting up parks, the beach (surfing is legit in this area), the zoo in SF that is really close and generally just enjoying the fact that when you live in Daly City you are on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and the border of one of the most culturally interesting cities in the world.

Schools in Daly City

Daly City has an odd structure for schools. Some of the city is in the South San Francisco School District and some are in the Jefferson Union District. It grades out at an average B+ on niche.com which means a number of schools come in as A’s, and are considered excellent options and some drop down to C’s. If you’re eyeballing the neighborhoods for better schools look to the West and South for the higher performing schools. It seems the closer to the Pacific and Pacifica/San Bruno borders you get the higher the ratings but there are exceptions so just keep an eye out for the high-performers if that’s one of your criterion’s for choosing.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Foggy Families in a Groovy Place

Making it work in the Bay Area can be tough. The costs are high and the competition can be fierce. Living in a tight-knit family-centric community that shares in the weight and pleasure of the fog and the ocean can feel really supportive. The secret sauce of Daly City for many though is how valuable these homes are now and much they could increase in worth as mid-century architecture appreciates. If you want to make a bet on America's continuing obsession with groovy design then put Daly City on your shortlist.

Neighborhoods in Daly City

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If there is a downtown of any kind in Daly City then it’s probably the Westlake neighborhood. The Westlake Shopping Center is here and it draws locals due to its combination of big-box stores, some smaller chain restaurants and a slew of cool boutique shops and restaurants, including Joe’s of Westlake, that acts as a city-center of sorts. The neighborhood is famous for for its mid-century modern architecture that draws both families and hipster-ish types that crave the retro-futuristic designs of the post-WWII homes.

The families here also get to enjoy the Westlake Park Community Center, a great facility for events, playgrounds, sports fields and general kiddo and doggo play. Overall, it’s a great choice for young families looking to move into a tight-knit community that appreciate the direct access to services in the neighborhood and easy access to the ocean and San Francisco.

Southern Hills

Young Families/DINKs

Southern Hills
One of the most interesting neighborhoods in Daly City is Southern Hills. It has the most sunshine throughout the year and it has some of the best views in the entire bay area. It sits high up on the San Bruno Mountain (which holds a major state park with miles of wildlife and scenic trails that overlook many parts of the bay area). Facing North the neighborhood overlooks pretty much all of San Francisco. Living in Southern Hills means you see the city but live on the edge of the mountain-side nature. Many think of it as offering the best of both worlds as you feel a bit more like you live in San Francisco here but you get the reprieve from city-chaos by being up on the hills.

The housing includes single family homes but also plenty of townhomes, condos and apartments. Some couples and singles live here for convenient and more affordable access to the 101 and the tech/biotech businesses in South San Francisco. Many young families also flock to the townhomes and condos here as starter options for first purchases while the kiddos are still little.

St. Francis Heights

Families/Young Professionals/Retirees

St. Francis Heights is on the southern side of the city, nestled between San Bruno Mountain State and County Park to the east and the Westlake neighborhood to the west. It’s primarily residential, with mostly families but also a growing number of younger professionals, and retirees.

Much of the housing is single-family homes, some in the mid-century style of its more famous Westlake neighbor, and the rest in ranch and bungalow styles. There are also lots of townhomes and newer apartment buildings for those looking to rent and take advantage of the easy commuting via 101 or 280. Median home prices are around $1m, which is of course crazy expensive but to find cheaper you’ll need to cross over to the East Bay.