Considered the “crown gem of the Inland Empire,” Rancho Cucamonga is a beautiful, growing suburb of San Bernardino. It’s about 37 miles east of Downtown LA and just south of the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains. With a rich heritage in winemaking, and home to famous spots like Joseph Filippi Winery and the hugely popular outdoor mall of Victoria Gardens, this affluent city is considered one of the happiest cities in the US, particularly for single, educated, and young professionals.
Receiving its name from the Native American word kukamonga (or “sandy place”), Rancho Cucamonga mistakenly gets a bad rap for being part of the 909 or San Bernardino area. This stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. Offering low crime, award-winning schools, beautiful homes, family-friendly neighborhoods, and many other great amenities, Rancho (aka RC) is a safe, health-centered, and diverse city close to world-class beaches, mountain resorts, municipalities like Los Angeles, and so much more!
Living in Rancho Cucamonga, CA: What to Know Before Moving to Rancho Cucamonga
Rancho Cucamonga, nestled south of the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, is a city in San Bernardino County of about 177,000. It’s the 19th most populated city in Southern California and the 27th most populous in California. Offering an assortment of attractive selling points – prime location, stellar amenities, and so on – it’s one of the most affluent and desirable places to live in SoCal.
Pros and Cons of Living in Rancho Cucamonga
- Happy city: In 2018, Patch reported that WalletHub named Rancho Cucamonga the #14 happiest town in America (for wellbeing, income & employment, and community & environment).
- Beautiful climate: As with other fantastic cities in the region, RC residents enjoy gorgeous, year-round Mediterranean weather. This stellar climate includes nearly 290 sunny days and no snow.
- Low crime rates: This rate includes a violent crime rate of only a little over 10, which is less than half of the average in both the state of California and the United States.
- Diversity: With a minority population approaching 40%, RC is an economically, ethnically, and culturally diverse city. To boot, it’s very family-friendly with excellent public schools.
- Centrally located: Whether you want to visit Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs, world-class beaches, or snowy mountains, Rancho Cucamonga offers a great centralized location.
- Things to do: From epic hikes on the Pacific Electric Inland Empire Trail to winetasting at Joseph Filippi Winery and shopping at Victoria Gardens, there’s always something fun to do!
- Cost of living: With a cost of living index of around 140, RC is much higher than the national average of 100. Despite this, it’s still cheaper than cities like L.A. (index of over 173).
- Housing market: The 2020 median home value in Rancho Cucamonga is $541,613. This value is higher than the US average of $245,200 and the San Bernardino County average of $309,000.
- Traffic congestion: As part of the Inland Empire, which has some of the worst traffic in the nation, driving in and right outside of Rancho Cucamonga can be quite challenging.
- No distinct seasons: If you’re looking for classic four-seasons living, RC is not the place. That said, what it lacks in seasonal changes, it makes up for with sunny weather.
- Property tax: According to the Overview of Property Taxes by SmartAsset, the average county tax rate is 0.826%. Average property tax is $4,543 (assessed home value of $550,000).
- Sales tax: California has a base sales tax rate of 7.25%. Added with San Bernardino County district tax, the Rancho Cucamonga minimum combined sales tax rate is currently 7.75%.
- State income tax: The state of California currently has ten separate tax brackets. Rates vary from 1% to 13.3. A taxpayer’s rate depends on income and filing status (single or married).
According to Zillow, the median home value in Rancho Cucamonga over $541,600. This median is significantly higher than the San Bernardino County median home value of $362,105. As for renting, the median rent cost is $1,442 per month (or $17,304 per year) for 1BR and $1,804 (or $21,648 per year) for 2BR.
Here are the cheapest neighborhoods to live in Rancho Cucamonga:
- Alta Loma
- Hermosa Ave / 19th St
- City Center
- Vineyard Ave / Foothill Blvd
- Etiwanda Ave / Arrow Hwy
Cost of Living
According to the Cost of Living in Rancho Cucamonga by BestPlaces, the city has a cost of living index of 140.8. This index is quite a bit higher than the nationwide average of 100. However, compared to the City of Los Angeles (with an index of 173.3), the city is relatively affordable.
Here are some examples of individual costs (relative to the average of 100): Groceries (101.9), Health (86.9), Housing (224.3), Utilities (105.2), and Transportation (116.1). The median household income in Rancho Cucamonga is $78,286 per year. This median is higher than the national median of about $53,500.
Average expenses in Rancho Cucamonga (San Bernardino County) for a family of four:
- Housing = $1,124
- Food = $746
- Childcare = $1,055
- Transportation = $1,240
- Health Care = $795
- Other necessities = $755
- Taxes = $698
- Total = $6,413 per month or $76,956 per year
For comparison, let’s check out the monthly costs in LA for two adults + two kids:
- Housing = $1,663
- Food = $830
- Childcare = $1,223
- Transportation = $1,159
- Health Care = $795
- Other necessities = $1,006
- Taxes = $1,016
- Total = $7,691 per month or $92,295 per year
Comparing Rancho Cucamonga to Los Angeles, you can see the potential savings. On average, it’s nearly 17% cheaper to live in the Rancho Cucamonga area!
Weather & Natural Disasters
What can we say? The weather is gorgeous in Rancho Cucamonga!
RC experiences the hottest temperatures between July and August, with August seeing an average high of 94°F and August, a low of 63°F. The coldest months are December and January, with an average high of 67°F and low of 41°F in December.
As for seasonal variation, you’ll have to travel east to the mountains for winter fun – there’s zero snow here. The city receives about 19 inches of rain per year, along with around 287 sunny days.
As for natural disasters, fire, flooding, wind damage, and earthquakes top the list of common risks. To be prepared, check out the Before, During, and After a Disaster in Rancho Cucamonga resource.
Economy & Job Market
Diverse and well-educated, the economic community of Rancho Cucamonga is a healthy mix of blue-collar workers and young, upwardly mobile professionals. The current unemployment rate in RC (as of March 2020) is 3.1% (lower than the US average of 3.9%). The median household income is about $84,000 per year.
Top industries include healthcare & social assistance, retail trade, educational services, public administration, and utilities, along with mining, quarrying, and oil & gas extraction.
Here are the Top 5 largest employers in Rancho Cucamonga:
- CO-OP Financial Services
- Chaffey Joint Union High School District
- Inland Empire Health Plan
- Amphastar Pharmaceuticals
Traffic and Transportation
Looking for public transportation in Rancho Cucamonga? There are a few options for the city. These include OmniTrans Bus and Metrolink Trains. Ontario International Airport is only three miles south, while Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is about 60 miles to the west. As with most areas in Southern Cali, ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are popular options.
If you drive (and commute), you’ll want to get familiar with the major routes. The 210 or Foothill Highway (east-west) cuts through the city, offering quick travel in Rancho Cucamonga to other major cities. The 15 or Ontario Freeway (north-south) runs along the eastern side/border of the town.
According to Walk Score, Rancho Cucamonga scores the following: 40 (Walk Score), 25 (Transit Score), and 46 (Bike Score). The city enacted a program called Healthy RC in 2008, which has sparked continued improvement of bike-friendly and walk-friendly infrastructure.
With San Bernardino and the Inland Empire ranking as some of the worst driving areas, Rancho Cucamonga commuters can’t escape bad traffic (especially when heading towards Riverside). Of course, if you live in SoCal, congestion is just a fact of life. On the bright side, you can catch up on audiobooks.
What to Do
Offering quick access to the San Gabriel Mountains and the City of Los Angeles, Rancho Cucamonga is a modern city with a great balance of natural splendor and urban amenities. If you’re into nightlife – live music, wineries, eateries, breweries, etc. – you’ll love it here. If you’re a nature enthusiast (especially those who are into hiking and camping), you’ll love it here. If you love both, well, you get the picture!
First on the list: parks. The main attraction is the Pacific Inland Empire Trail, which boasts more than 21 miles of fantastic hiking, biking, and scenic views. Another super popular spot is Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains, with a wide variety of recreational activities.
Are you looking for the most popular destinations? Attractions include Victoria Gardens, which is a premier lifestyle center. This outdoor mall offers phenomenal shopping and dining options. If you like wine, you’ll definitely want to visit Joseph Filippi Winery for tastings and tours of the family-owned operation.
RC doesn’t currently have any major pro teams, but if you’re a sports fan, Los Angeles is close by with many professional sports organizations, including the Lakers (NBA), Angels (MLB), and Kings (NHL). Baseball fans will be happy to know that the city is home to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, a minor league affiliate of the LA Dodgers.
As for other popular destinations and activities, Rancho Cucamonga Epicenter Entertainment & Adult Sports Complex is home to the Quakes. For nature lovers, North Etiwanda Preserve features the Etiwanda Falls and Etiwanda Trail. And if you’re a theatre buff, the Lewis Family Playhouse showcases lively musicals, plays, live music, dancing performances, and comedy acts.
Schools and Universities
Central Elementary School District, Etiwanda Elementary School District, Cucamonga School District (K–8), Alta Loma School District (K–8), Chaffey Joint Union High School District (grades 9–12), Upland Unified School District (K–12) primarily serve the Rancho Cucamonga area.
Overall, K–12 Schools in Rancho Cucamonga are highly rated. Top public schools are Rancho Cucamonga High School, Los Osas High School, and Grapeland Elementary School. Top private schools are United Christian Academy, Sacred Heart Parish School, and Alta Loma Christian School.
As for higher education, the city provides convenient access to three institutions: San Joaquin Valley College – Ontario (for-profit college), Universal Technical Institute – Rancho Cucamonga (popular majors in Auto Mechanics and Diesel Mechanics), and Chaffey College (community college).
According to Crime in Rancho Cucamonga by BestPlaces, the city has a property crime rate (including burglary, theft, and arson) of 33.7. This rate is lower than the national average of 35.4 and the California average of 37.1. The violent crime rate – this includes murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault – is only 10.1, which is much lower than the US average of 22.7 and the California average of 37.1.
- Electric service: The primary electricity provider in Rancho Cucamonga is Southern California Edison. To start, visit the electric company’s Turn Your Service On and Off page.
- Gas service: As for natural gas, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) provides service to the city. Schedule service on SoCalGas’ Schedule Service page.
- Water service: Cucamonga Valley Water District provides this service. New customers can call (909) 944-6000 or visit the provider’s Open/Close an Account page.
- Trash pick-up/recycling service: Burrtec Disposal provides trash and recycling services. For more information, call (909) 987-3717 or go online to the Rancho Cucamonga Service page.
- Internet/Cable service: DirecTV (844-872-8154) Frontier Communications (855-386-1691) Spectrum (888-892-4357) and HughesNet (877-464-9363).
Best Neighborhoods in Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Wondering about the best areas of Rancho Cucamonga to call home? Here’s our list of the top neighborhoods.
Alta Loma, with a population of just under 51,000, is an unincorporated area that joined the City of Rancho Cucamonga in 1977. Getting its name from the Spanish meaning for “High Hill,” the neighborhood is located in the foothills of the southern face of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Close to Mount San Antonio and Cucamonga Peak, Alta Loma is an affluent area (especially relative to San Bernardino County as a whole). Many homes sit on alluvial fans – these are triangular-shaped areas formed by water-transported material – and have beautiful lemon and orange trees. This unique geographic feature traces back to the grape vineyards and orange groves that used to cover the area.
As for housing prices, the median home value is over $571,000. Rentals currently range from $1,400 for a studio to $2,100 for a 2BR apartment. As for schools, the neighborhood is home to Alta Loma Elementary School and Alta Loma High School (Carnelian Elementary School is right next door).
As for recreation, Alta Loma offers convenient access to several parks. These include Hermosa Park, Red Hill Community Park, and Lions Park. Love hiking? Cucamonga Canyon Trail, home to challenging terrain and a wide variety of wildlife, is a local favorite.
Downtown Rancho Cucamonga
Downtown, with Ontario Highway on its southeastern border, is where all the action happens. Some question whether there really is a downtown area, but we can assure you that it’s very much real. Formerly the location of a massive vineyard, this now urban center attracts many visitors and new residents.
The main attraction? Victoria Gardens! The premier, open-air lifestyle center offers outstanding shopping, cuisine, and entertainment for all ages. It also features live music sessions in the summer. Additionally, the neighborhood is home to several department stores and Victoria Arbors Park.
As for housing, the median house price in Downtown is around $612,700. Renters pay about $1,625 for a 1BR apartment and $2,800 for a 3BR place. According to City-Data’s neighborhood stats, the crime rate is about 162, which is much lower than the United States average of more than 218.
Are you looking for quality K–12 education? Top schools in the city are Rancho Cucamonga High School, Los Osos School, Grapeland Elementary, Sacred Heart Parish School (SHPS), and United Christian Academy (UCA). UCA is considered the #1 private high school in all of San Bernardino County.
The average household income is $110K, and Downtown offers an urban feel and population density.
We now take a trip to Etiwanda. This upper-middle-class, urban neighborhood of less than 7,200 is home to many management and executive professionals. It borders by Highland Ave (north), Etiwanda Ave (east), Baseline Rd (south), and Rochester Ave (west). The median annual income is over $127,000.
Ideal for those seeking a single-family home, Etiwanda is an unincorporated area that, along with Alta Loma, joined the City of Rancho Cucamonga in 1977. It offers quick access to Foothill Freeway (west-east) and Interstate 15 (north-south), which connects Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
As for housing, the median home price is $523,000. Renters currently pay an average of $1,549 for a 1BR apartment and $2,149 for a 3BR apartment. As for schools, there are several highly rated choices. These include Rancho Cucamonga High School and Etiwanda Intermediate School.
One downside to this neighborhood is that Etiwanda residents tend to have longer commutes, with the average time driving at about two hours back and forth each workday. It also has an overall low walkability rating.
Grapeland, which is bordered by Haven Ave in the west and Rochester Ave in the east, is found smack dab in the middle of Rancho Cucamonga. This well-established community was settled way back in 1869. Most current homes were built between 1970 and 2000. The median income is approximately $114,350, with an urban population density.
As for housing, the median home price in Grapeland is over $471,000. Renters are currently paying $1,332 for a studio and $1,964 for a 2BR apartment. As for schools, the neighborhood is close to Victoria Groves Elementary School, Ruth Musser Middle School, and Rancho Cucamonga High School.
When it comes to recreation, the main attraction is Rancho Cucamonga Central Park. It features a 57,000-square-foot facility, along with playgrounds, a large field, and a community/senior center, that serves as a fantastic venue for weddings, meetings, and business conferences.
Fun fact: Grapeland has the highest concentration of people of Armenian ancestry than any other neighborhood in the United States.
Haven View Estates
Next, we check out one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Rancho Cucamonga (and one of the richest in Southern California). Haven View Estates was ranked #13 among the most affluent communities in SoCal in 2014 by Business Insider. Home to expansive properties, the prestigious neighborhood offers 24-hour gated and guarded security. Most homes range from 3,500 square feet to 8,500 square feet, with a luxurious touch and exquisite design. Haven View Estates provides gorgeous views of the mountains and more!
Offering convenient access to the 210, shopping, and parks, Haven View Estates is just south of Deer Canyon (as well as Deer Canyon Helicopter Pad). It’s also close to the Wignall Museum & Gallery.
As for housing prices, the median sale price in 2020 is $1.64 million. Prices range from $1.13 million to $2.95 million. Renters currently pay $2,077 for a 1BR apartment and $2,254 for a 2BR apartment. Schools that serve the area include Los Osos High School, which is just southeast, and Chaffey College, which is just south.
The population breakdown of this diverse neighborhood is approximately 47% white, 15% Asian, 20% Latino, and 8% black.
Hillside Rd / Amethyst St
Hillside Rd/Amethyst St is one of the most desirable (read: one of the most expensive) neighborhoods in the city. It has a high concentration of midsize single-family homes that are predominately owned versus rented. Overall, it’s a highly family-friendly neighborhood.
As a wealthy neighborhood with a strong suburban feel and low population density, Hillside Rd/Amethyst St also has a high concentration of people with either Yugoslavian or Armenian ancestry. The neighborhood is among the top 15% for income, with an average of more than $120,600 per year. As for housing prices, the median real estate price is approximately $891,600. Renters currently pay about $1,550 for a studio and $1,920 for a 2BR apartment.
The neighborhood is close to Heritage Community Park & Equestrian Center. It offers a 1.2-mile loop trail that is great for all skill levels and ages. Speaking of equestrian, Canyon Creek Boarding Training Ranch conveniently located in the area.
Located to the west of Rochester, we find the neighborhood of North Cucamonga. With Haven Ave to the east of its center and Archibald Ave to the west, it provides comfy suburban living and affordable housing prices perfect for first-time buyers and growing families. The median income here is $90,000.
As for housing, house prices typically range from $375,000 to $589,000. Renters pay $1,550 for a studio and $2,050 for a 3BR apartment. As for schools, the neighborhood is home to Rancho Cucamonga Middle School (RCMS) and Cucamonga Elementary School.
Are you looking for a great recreation spot? Check out Old Town Park, which is right next to the middle school. This neighborhood park offers an exercise course, playground, and picnic area & shelters, as well as several baseball and soccer fields. It’s also close to Golden Oak Park.
Rochester, situated in the southeastern corner of Rancho Cucamonga, is a neighborhood with a lovely suburban atmosphere. It has a high concentration of high-rise apartments and apartment complexes. Approximately 91% of residents rent their homes here.
This neighborhood borders Foothill Blvd (north), Ontario Freeway (east), 4th St (south), and Archibald Ave (west). It’s also home to several notable establishments: Hangar 18 Indoor Climbing Gym, Rancho Cucamonga Epicenter Stadium (home of the Quakes), Abundant Living Family Church, and more.
As for housing prices, the median real estate price is about $591,300. Renters in the area pay around $1,550 for a studio and $2,150 for a 3BR place. As for schools, the local area is served primarily by Cucamonga Elementary School, Rancho Cucamonga Middle School, and Rancho Cucamonga High School.
The median income is $85,000, and Rochester has a typical SoCal suburban population density.
Quality Moving Services from Rancho Cucamonga Movers
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Intrastate & Local Moves
Moving to another RC neighborhood? Maybe a new county? Wherever your Cali move takes you, we excel at finding the perfect fit for an intrastate or local relocation. On top of that, our moving partners offer that extra level of personalized service to make your move much more enjoyable!
Small Load Moves
Moving into or out of a one-bedroom apartment, studio, or college dorm in Rancho Cucamonga? If you think it’s too expensive to hire a moving service, think again! We can find you reputable, small-load movers in your area that will put a smile on your face and take it easy on your wallet.
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Art & Antiques
Your fine art, collectibles or antiques deserve special handling. Whether you need to relocate a personal collection or art installation, we can supply you with highly skilled art shippers. They offer an assortment of specialized services that include everything from non-abrasive packaging to custom carpentry.
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Same Day/Emergency/Short Notice
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