Relocating to the Monterey Bay area? One of the gems of the region is the city of Seaside, one of the best coastal cities in California if you’re looking for relative affordability, good schools, and beautiful beaches.

Seaside, CA is known for its picturesque beach and higher education as the home of the Monterey College of Law and California State University Monterey Bay. This charming coastal community may be small, but it offers a great quality of life. Here’s everything you want to know before moving to Seaside, California!

Seaside, CA Population & Demographics

The population of Seaside is 32,366 according to the 2020 census, down slightly from 33,025. The population density is 3,575 people per square mile. Where is Seaside, California? This small city is in Monterey County, CA on Monterey Bay just two miles east of Monterey. It’s 70 miles from Seaside, CA to San Jose.

Seaside, CA demographics:

  • Median household income: $68,399
  • Homeownership rate: 39%
  • Educational attainment: 81% high school grad or higher; 24% bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Sex ratio: 50% female, 50% male
  • Foreign-born population: 27%
  • Racial and ethnic composition: 55.4% white (30.4% non-Hispanic), 44.8% Hispanic, 9.8% Asian, 7.4% Black or African American, 2.6% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 7.9% two or more races

Is Seaside, CA safe? Absolutely. Seaside is a safe place to live with 45% less violent crime than the national average and 28% less crime overall. The Seaside crime rate is 1,685 crimes per 100,000 people compared to the California crime rate 2,581 per 100,000 people. While living in Seaside, you will be served by the Seaside Police Department.

Cost of Living in Seaside, CA

Is Seaside, CA expensive? If you’re planning to relocate to the city, that’s probably one of your first questions. The Seaside, CA cost of living index is 144 which makes it 44% higher than the national average. That’s slightly below the average California cost of living which is 50% over the national average.

Groceries are about 7% higher than the national average and health care costs are nearly 30% higher. Utilities in Seaside are affordable and 13% lower than the national average. However, high housing costs are what push the cost of living so high.

Seaside, California real estate is expensive with a median price of $780,000 for Seaside homes for sale. That’s up 12% year-over-year. The market is very competitive with more than half of homes selling above list price and the typical home going for 2% over list price. You can see Seaside, CA homes for sale to get a better idea of how far your budget will stretch.

Planning to rent while living in Seaside? Be prepared for high rents. The average rent in Seaside, CA is $2,300 according to RentCafe. That’s well below average for San Jose ($2,740) and close to average in neighboring Monterey.

Best Neighborhoods in Seaside

Want to explore the best places to live after moving to Seaside, CA? You’ll find a variety of options ranging from established Seaside neighborhoods good for families to upscale communities with ocean views.

The Hayes Park neighborhood is the most desirable community in the city with ocean views and the prestigious Bayonet & Black Horse golf courses. Separated from the ocean and Fort Ord Dunes State Park by the Cabrillo Highway, you’ll find a number of developments in the community. The Bay View Community is a popular pet-friendly neighborhood with two- to four-bedroom homes in a park-like setting. The neighborhood is within walking distance of the best beaches in Seaside, CA and shopping centers are within a mile. Want to live in a new home community? Try the Enclave by Shea Homes with 3- and 4-bedroom homes starting at 2,940 square feet and priced from $1.925 million.

The Parks at Monterey Bay, made up of La Mesa Village and Fort Ord Village, is a large military housing community with two- to five-bedroom homes in Seaside.

The Del Monte Heights area of Seaside offers a central location close to schools. Enjoy several small neighborhood parks, churches, and schools within walking distance. This largely residential area has some stores and markets dotting the neighborhood.

If you’re planning to rent while living in Seaside, CA, you’ll find several great options. Seabreeze Apartments is close to downtown Seaside, the beach, and shopping with rent starting at $2,745 for a one-bedroom unit. Del Monte Manor is one of the most popular apartments in Seaside for low-income housing.

Seaside, CA Climate

While living in Seaside, California, you’ll enjoy ideal warm-summer Mediterranean climate with dry summers that are warm but not very hot. The Seaside, CA weather during the summer is pleasant and comfortable with mostly clear skies. Winters are chilly and wet.

The average temperature in Seaside is 44°F to 69°F throughout the year. It’s rarely hotter than the mid-70s or colder than the mid-30s. You’ll get an average of 17” of annual rainfall, well below the national average, and 259 sunny days per year.

The best time to visit Seaside, CA is July through early October.

Things to Do in Seaside

Seaside is a small, coastal community with plenty to offer for outdoor recreation, sports, and entertainment. There’s also convenient shopping at University Plaza Shopping Center, the Edgewater Shopping Center in Sand City, Mal’s Market, Home Depot, Santa Fe Foods, and Grocery Outlet. You’ll find even more shopping, job opportunities, and entertainment in surrounding communities of Sand City, Marina, Salinas, and Monterey. You’re just a few miles from attractions like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Point Pinos Lighthouse, and Asilomar State Beach.

Ready to explore what to do in Seaside? Here are the city’s top attractions!

Monterey State Beach

This protected Seaside, CA beach stretches for miles along southern Monterey Bay from Seaside to Monterey. The Seaside section of the beach is popular for paragliding, but surf fishing, swimming, volleyball, kayaking, and scuba diving are also popular.

Monterey State Beach, Monterey, CA 93940

Laguna Grande Regional Park

This central 13-acre park is located 80% in Seaside and 20% in Monterey and includes Laguna Lake. Community events and concerts are held in the eastern part of the park and there’s a playground, walking paths, and a barbecue area.

Laguna Grande Regional Park, 401 Virgin Ave, Monterey, CA 93940 (831) 646-3866

Bayonet & Black Horse

The Bayonet & Black Horse golf courses on Monterey Bay boast ocean views and incredible playing options. Bayonet features a penal bunkering and narrow corridors and it’s one of the region’s most challenging courses. The Black Horse course is famous for its Pacific Ocean views.

Bayonet & Black Horse, 1 McClure Way, Seaside, CA 93955 (831) 899-7271

Additional attractions in Seaside include:

Restaurants in Seaside CA

From cafes and greasy spoons to authentic Mexican cuisine, Italian restaurants, and popular chains, you’ll find plenty of Seaside, CA restaurants to make your mouth water. Here are some of the best places to eat in Seaside!

Gusto Handcrafted Pasta & Pizza. A popular Italian restaurant with many dishes served family-style. Gusto Handcrafted Pasta & Pizza, 1901 Fremont Blvd, Seaside, CA 93955 (831) 899-5825
La Tortuga. This casual, small Mexican restaurant has a welcoming environment with burritos, tacos, Mexican pizza, and beer. La Tortuga, 1257 Fremont Blvd, Seaside, CA 93955 (831) 899-8429
The Breakfast Club. One of the highest rated Seaside restaurants, the Breakfast Club is a casual greasy spoon diner with biscuits and gravy, French toast, cinnamon rolls, and friendly staff. The Breakfast Club, 1130 Fremont Blvd #201, Seaside, CA 93955 (831) 394-3238

Seaside, CA Jobs & Average Salary

Before moving to Seaside, it helps to understand how much you’ll need to earn and what you can expect in terms of job opportunities. The average salary in Seaside, CA is $69,000 or $19.40/hour according to Payscale with a median household income of $68,000.

Seaside, California was home to the former Fort Ord military base, currently the site of CSUMD, the College of Law, and an office for the Defense Manpower Data Center. Education, tourism, agriculture, and healthcare are the largest industries in Monterey County and the Seaside area.

Major employers in the area include:

  • US Defense Manpower Data Center
  • Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (careers)
  • California State University, Monterey Bay
  • Monterey County (careers)
  • Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
  • Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula

Many people living in Seaside, CA work in surrounding areas. Your commute from Seaside, CA to Monterey, CA is less than 5 miles!

You can start your job search on Indeed or look for City of Seaside jobs.

Schools in Seaside

After moving to Seaside, California, you’ll be served by the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. There are four elementary schools, a K-8 school called the Dual Language Academy of the Monterey Peninsula, and two high schools within the Seaside city limits. The city is also home to the International School of Monterey, an award-winning public charter with an international curriculum and extracurricular activities. Seaside High School has a strong sports program with over 1,400 enrolled students.

Seaside offers higher education and private school options as well. The city is home to California State University at Monterey Bay and Monterey College of Law. There are many other institutions nearby including Monterey Peninsula College and the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

There are more than a dozen private schools in Seaside and Monterey including Santa Catalina School, Auburn’s House Montessori School, Chartwell School, and Monterey Bay Christian School.

Seaside, CA Statistics & Information

  • County: Monterey
  • Area: 8.99 square miles
  • Seaside zip code: 93955
  • Area codes: 831
  • Elevation: 33 feet
  • Time zone: UTC-8 (PST)

Seaside California Map

Pros & Cons of Living in Seaside, CA

  • Pro: The weather in Seaside is ideal with warm, dry summers that never get too hot
  • Pro: Seaside has excellent public schools, a competitive high school sports program, two options for higher education & great private schools
  • Pro: Great parks and the beautiful Seaside, CA beach
  • Con: Living in Seaside is expensive

Ready for what awaits you after moving to Seaside, California? With Southbay Moving Systems, you can rest easy knowing all the details and hard work are handled by our 5-star team of movers. Give us a call today for a free moving estimate!