Sunnyvale, California




Sunny Days: 260
84100 Affordability
95100 Schools
68100 Diversity
86100 Safety

Protovision, I have you now. (David Lightman/WarGames)

The Best Thing About Sunnyvale?

It’s The ‘Burbs

Sunnyvale is most notably a great suburb. It’s quiet and filled with families, many of whom work in tech. Everyone is pretty focused on raising their kids and making it all work in an extremely expensive area. Expect well-educated neighbors, very safe streets, good public schools, lots of access to amazing outdoors and pretty close proximity to San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland if you’re bored at home.

Summary of the benefits of Sunnyvale from a local:
Tons of nature. Hiking preserves all along the west side of the bay. Walking trails everywhere. Beaches within an hour, snow in Tahoe, best weather. Big time foodie culture. Lots of adult sports leagues for young childless folks. The bay is one giant metro area. I don’t know why commenters talk about Sunnyvale like you stay right here. There are several downtowns with 20 minutes. It’s only 45 mins to much of SF so I’d count anything in the bay as an accessible perk. Incredible food, Boston and Seattle can’t compete. Employers are literally 0-5 minutes away??

For more reviews of what living in Sunnyvale is like from locals check out: The Buzz

The Worst Thing About Sunnyvale?

ZZZZZZ + $$$$$$

You pay an awful lot for a home or apartment in Sunnyvale just to live a quiet existence. Most people understand why you have to pay the price for living in SF or NYC but dang, the they hit you up for a pretty penny here as well. The homes are nice but it feels a bit like you should get a bigger and spicier downtown in exchange for those big bucks.

Here's a local with a balanced pov on Sunnyvale:
I lived in Sunnyvale once and liked it. I really like Sunnyvale. However, you will need a car. But yeah, everything is very expensive compared to other places because the average person the bay area is very wealthy. It's not uncommon to see couples where both the man and the woman are making like $200k a year.

It's very suburban-y. I think a young couple would get bored in a suburb compared to Boston. But because the weather is nice there is a lot of fun stuff to do outside if you like hiking and walking. Also, due to Coronavirus, living in cities is less fun than it used to be. Sunnyvale has a lot of good Indian restaurants.

Lifestyle of Sunnyvale

First, avoid Sunnyvale if you’re young and single. It ain’t happening here. Assuming the singles have moved on let’s talk about the family lifestyle of Sunnyvale. Most of the city is suburban housing with good homes, small-ish yards and sidewalks for the kiddos to ride their bikes. The weather is nice all year round so expect to be able to get outside to walk, hike, bike, visit parks, go to the ocean or head down to San Jose or up to San Francisco for a more active scene.

If you want to see what's happening in Sunnyvale check out the calendar of events:

Work Life of Sunnyvale

The borders of the various ‘burbs around here are nondescript and not important to your work life so expect to move between Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Cupertino, Santa Clara and the rest on a daily basis. Each are filled with different tech businesses and lots of insane traffic if you need to get on a freeway to get to Apple or Google or Cisco or wherever you’re working. The workforce is extremely educated and ambitious about rising in their respective corporations and while the vibe is very chill there is a more quiet competitiveness to the culture than you’d expect given you’re in “Cali”. Salaries are very high in the area but stupidly expensive homes come along with those salaries so don’t expect to convert that compensation into a mega-home - at least in the short term.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Sunny & Pleasant Tech

If you’re in the tech biz, have a family, and want year round pleasant temperatures in an extremely chill suburb then check out Sunnyvale.

Neighborhoods in Sunnyvale

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Young Professionals

While we wouldn’t advocate Sunnyvale for young professionals given the small downtown scene we also recognize that long commutes in the area are the worst. So, if you work in Sunnyvale or close by and want to live a short drive from work then check out the apartments in the downtown area. There are some decent restaurants and pubs a short walk from the living options and you’re not far from bigger cities with much bigger social scenes so it can work.

  • Downtown

Heritage District


The whole city is built for families so there are a lot of neighborhood options. Start with the Heritage District, it has a richer culture and a downtown area of its own. It has a strong sense of community with plenty of weekly and annual events like Saturday Farmer’s Market and Art and Wine Festivals that pull everyone together. There are also two great parks, with ballfields, and general play areas for the kiddos, young and old. The school districts are excellent and the homes, originally very modest but nice single-story houses are mixed now with bigger homes and condo and townhomes for smaller families and couples.

Birdland is another cool option for families. Named for the colorful, bird-names of the streets, Peacock, Quail, Parrot among them. The neighborhood is close to the upscale Santana Row shopping and restaurant area, as well as the big rebuilt Westfield Shopping Mall so you don’t have to hit any traffic to shop or play. The homes are bigger here as well as the yards and the school district is excellent, so of course pulling in lots of families eager to educate their kiddos.

  • Heritage District
  • Birdland
  • Cumberland
  • Sunnyvale West