The Most Charming Small Towns in California

California is home to some of the largest cities in the U.S., including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and San Jose. But this state is also brimming with smaller towns that delight and captivate. These unsung destinations make the perfect vacation spot or alternative home when the hustle and bustle of urban life become too much.

Strategistco just released its list of the Eight Most Charming Small Towns in California in 2022. To determine the rankings, the researchers analyzed all 1,180 towns across California with a population of 35,000 or less. Each of them were scored based on cost of living; dining and entertainment density; arts and cultural attractions; outdoor attractions; walkability; crime rates; and “overall atmosphere” as determined by visitor feedback. 

These are the most charming small towns in California, according to Strategistco:

  1. Monterey 
  2. Morro Bay
  3. Paso Robles
  4. Solvang
  5. Tahoe City
  6. Windsor
  7. Winters
  8. Yountville

Read about each of these towns and why they made the list here.

List and data were compiled by Strategistco and do not reflect statistics on all cities.