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Quiet, safe, good lifestyles….these are all words that you will hear associated with Pleasanton, CA. But where is it and what is it really like? Is it a good city to live in and if yes, for who? Pleasanton is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and it lies 25 miles east of Oakland and 6 miles west of Livermore. It was the wealthiest city in the United States in 2005 and 2007 and today it holds the proud distinction of being the 4th best city to live in the United States. In terms of wealth today it is the 3rd in the country, with a population of about 70,000 people.

Pleasanton, unlike many settlements in the area, did not start off the wealthy city that it is today. In fact, in the early days, before the 1850’s, the area was known as Alisal and its nickname was “The Most Desperate Town in the West.” This was because it was home to bandits and other desperado who were involved in the Gold Rush. According to Wikipedia it was home to some of the common criminal element of that time. “Banditos such as Claudio Feliz and Joaquin Murrieta would ambush prospectors on their way back from the gold rush fields and then seek refuge in Alisal. In the 1860s Procopio, Narciso Bojorques and others took refuge there.” The name from present day Pleasanton came from John W. Kottinger who was the Justice of the peace for Alameda County around 1917, who named it after his friend, Major General Alfred Pleasonton. Its reputation as a bandit town may have led to some of its success today since as early as 1917 the city was the backdrop for the famous film, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. It enjoys typical California weather, with average highs of 113F and lows of 75F.

How is it like to live in Pleasanton?

Let us start by looking at the demographics. Although you will find all kinds of races in this city, it isn’t as diverse as many other California cities. Wikipedia statistics say that it was “47,058 (67.0%) White, 1,190 (1.7%) African American, 226 (0.3%) Native American, 16,322 (23.2%) Asian, 134 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 2,002 (2.8%) from other races, and 3,353 (4.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7,264 persons (10.3%),” as of 2010. That is not to say that life favors one race over another. As a matter of fact, there are equal opportunities for all and people are quite friendly to one another although as you may have already guessed, you have to have a higher than average income to live here.

Although the cost of living in Pleasanton is 33% higher than the California average, the median household is 101% higher. This of course means that the cost of real estate is also higher – 97% more than the state average. At the same time crime is 29% lower, while high school graduation rates are 19% higher. This is a very family oriented community – in fact, nearly 95% of everyone who lives there lives in a household setting.

Couples like to raise their families there not only because there are plenty of good schools and access to higher education, but also because the overall dynamic works for families. Life is more or less suburban, people are friendly, crime rates are low, there is plenty of infrastructure and there are also plenty of public parks. The authorities in this city work with the business community and residents to make sure that they maintain this small town atmosphere, and decisions are as much as possible inclusive. Although the average home will cost more than $1 million, if you work with the right real estate agent they can get you something that is in relatively good shape, in a good environment, that suits your budget.

Why should you live in Pleasanton?

Other than being a good place to raise kids there are plenty of reasons why you should live in this city. To start with, there are excellent opportunities to make different kinds of carriers. The top employer is Kaiser Permanente followed by Safeway, Workday (both headquartered there), Oral Corporation, Valley Care Medical Center, the School District and many others. So long as you have a college diploma there is a good chance that you will make a good living in Pleasanton. That is not to say that if you don’t have one you should despair – the service industry needs people and if you can sort out a reasonable living arrangement you will find life there very reasonable.

Tech is also growing rather fast in this city. According to, “More and more corporate headquarters are calling Pleasanton home, including firms like Blackhawk Network, Patelco Credit Union, Safeway, Shaklee, The Cooper Companies, Thoratec and Workday. Other top employers with considerable operations in the city include AT&T, Cisco Systems, Clorox, Hitachi High Technologies America, Kaiser Permanente and Symantec.”

The city also has a lively downtown scene. There are plenty of shopping malls that offer all kinds of stores, from the every day to those that sell boutique items. According to, “At the intersection of Interstates 580 and 680 is Stoneridge Shopping Center, which meets the retail needs of local residents and the entire surrounding Tri-Valley region. Anchor tenants at Stoneridge are JC Penney, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Sears, and also available to the shopping public in Pleasanton is a robust downtown district with many specialty retailers.”

The city is also home to old style architecture. To quote Wikipedia, “Because of the preservation of Pleasanton’s historic downtown area, many examples of architectural styles dating back to the mid-19th century exist. Buildings in Gothic Revival, Pioneer, Italianate, Commercial Italianate, Colonial Revival, and Queen Anne styles can be found within walking distance of each other. One of the icons of downtown Pleasanton is the Kolln Hardware Building, located at 600 Main Street. It is designed in the Commercial Italianate style, but the prominent five-sided corner tower and a few other features are indicative of the Colonial Revival style. The structure mixes in a little bit of Queen Anne design in the tower and gable. This building was built in 1890 and has always housed a hardware store, first by the Lewis Brothers, then Cruikshank and Kolln. The hardware store has been known as Kolln Hardware since 1933. In 2004, the Kolln Hardware business shut its doors. Bud Cornett, a Pleasanton developer, purchased the landmark and has invested in its renovation and earthquake retrofit. After more than 100 years of serving the community as a hardware store, the space is now occupied by Comerica Bank.”

Eat out in style

If eating out is something that you enjoy doing often there is no better place to move than Pleasanton, CA – it boasts more than 220 restaurants. One of the most outstanding is the Organic Coup, America’s first USDA certified restaurant – everything they serve is organic and they have a broad menu.

As you can see, there is every reason for you to start making plans to relocate to Pleasanton, CA.