Fontana, California

Where Angels Get Their Wings



Sunny Days: 281
41100 Affordability
80100 Schools
60100 Diversity
17100 Safety

Best Part About Fontana?

Housing Prices

So much of California housing is out of range in pricing for middle-class and working class families looking to buy (or rent for that matter). Fontana, which is part of the Inland Empire region, has much lower prices than the regions north, south, and closer to the coast. Plenty of people have fled the coasts to the IE (Inland Empire), and Fontana in particular, to make home ownership a reality.

Here are a few pros from a local who enjoys living here:
The beach is a hour away. Californians will insist that this is light years from the beach. Clearly they have never tried going to Clearwater on a Saturday. It’s not close—you’re not going to be going to the beach every other day—but don’t get the impression it’s super far.

The IE is surrounded by massive massive mountains that have endless hiking & mountain biking trails, parks, several lakes, and a few ski resorts

THERE ARE SKI RESORTS! Try getting that in FL. The best part is, it only snows up in the mountains so while you have access to the snow, you don’t have to live in it. But say you hate the snow, it is super super pretty to see all the snow capped mountains wherever you go. Like I had a complete out of body experience when I’m looking at snow capped mountains and it’s 70F out.

Worst Part About Fontana?


So, we put a question mark at the end of crime because so much of this issue will depend on your perspective. If you move here from LA or San Francisco then you will laugh at the idea that Fontana has a big issue with Crime and/or Homelessness. If on the other hand you move from some quiet little suburban burg then sure, there are neighborhoods and areas of Fontana with Homeless and typical urban crime. Needless to say these are areas to be avoided. Generally the north and west areas of the city are the safest and the center/downtown areas are the least safe.

Here are a few notes from a local about living here: I lived in the Southridge area for a couple years. I now live OC. What part of Fontana will you be in? The north side is pretty new and mostly nice. The central part is a bit blighted and poor. The Southside is older suburbia and majority latino families. The wind can be annoying as it blows every single day. A big upside is the proximity to the mountains. A big downside are the very poor communities directly to the south and east.

Lifestyle of Fontana

Fontana is a hardworking town with strong ties to the automobile, motorcycle, racing and mobility cultures. NASCAR’s Auto Club Speedway is the premier attraction in Fontana and it brings in tens of thousands of fans and plenty of money into the city each year. While most of us won’t get to drive in NASCAR, the Allen Berg Racing School gives novices a shot at open-air car classes on the Speedway.

Fontana is also the birthplace of the Hells Angel’s Motorcycle Club so you can imagine the cycling culture here. Additionally, the Fontana Car Show is a major ongoing event, taking place one Friday each month throughout spring and summer.

Finally, it is important to remember that Fontana is at the intersection of three freeways that lead to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego. A stunning amount of traffic moves in and out of the city and that culture of mobility permeates the city (and most of California). Overall, much of the lifestyle of Fontana involves taking advantage of the central location between these big cities and staying on the move among them.

If none of that floats your boat there is plenty of Art happening here via the Art Depot, a Fontana institution, that possesses a gallery, classes for all skills and ages, open studios and constant events that brings in both the artists and the voyeurs. The city is also connected via the Pacific Electric Trail to cities to the west and east by a smooth bike trail that is used recreationally and for commuting between the cities. It also is located quite near three major ski resorts: Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead and Mountain High so winters or summers you can get your fill of the mountains.

If you want to see what happens in Fontana check out the calendar of events:

Workstyle of Fontana

The fact that Fontana is at the intersection of three major freeways connecting Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles and the Central Valley means it is a heavily trafficked regional hub of the trucking industry and this drives a chunk of the regional economy. It’s home to product distribution centers for a number of large national companies including: Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Sears, Target, Avery Dennison and Home Shopping Network. As with the lifestyle of Fontana, much of the workstyle here centers on mobility and the fact it is a crossroads city.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Downsize Your Budget

Fontana generally draws people who are looking to downsize their budgets but remain in California. This includes young families who want to buy their first home, empty nesters looking to reduce the size of their home and have a convenient launching pad for frequent travel, and retirees looking to save some bucks but aren’t ready to go all the way to Arizona.

Neighborhoods in Fontana

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The Area

Fontana is part of San Bernardino county on the western side of the Inland Empire region. This is a massive stretch of land that is larger than ten states and stretches from just east of Los Angeles to the borders of Nevada and Arizona. It was originally much like its Central Valley neighbor to the north, dedicated to agriculture and filled with produce and dairy farms. Over the years however, agriculture declined in the face of rising populations and development, primarily driven by affordable housing opportunities east of the coast.


Young Professionals

Fontana tends to pull in families more than young professionals due to the quieter social scene but lower housing prices and remote work may be pulling in more over time. Additionally there is development happening in Downtown and if housing is a component the youngsters will choose that area.

  • Downtown


Young Families

Young families target West and North neighborhoods Fontana due to the strong school districts and great neighborhoods. The Etiwanda School district in the north is one of the best in the state and that has great appeal although housing prices move up with the quality of the school district of course. The north has additional appeal due to proximity to Rancho Cucamonga, and the San Bernardino mountains - Big Bear and Arrowhead. Start north, see if you can afford and move west as you continue your search. Neighborhoods like Rancho Fontana which are on the southern side of the northern neighborhoods are good places to look as the homes are a bit smaller but still have great schools.

  • Etiwanda
  • Rancho Fontana
  • Citrus Heights

Sierra Lakes

Established Families

As noted in Young Families, North Fontana is a big pull due to the school district, beautiful homes and being at the base of the mountains. Sierra Lakes is a golf club community in the north that of course has the added benefit of big new construction homes lining the fairways and all the amenities a club provides. Summit Heights,

  • Sierra Lakes
  • Etiwanda
  • California Landings



Fontana has made a big push over the last 20+ years in revitalizing the downtown area for seniors. This includes the building of numerous affordable senior housing developments that benefit from proximity to medical facilities, a community center, the Center Stage Theater, restaurants and public transport from the Metrolink rail station and Omnitrans bus system. Fontana is unique in the ways it has developed its central downtown with seniors in mind.

  • Downtown