What exactly makes Rancho Cucamonga, CA such a wonderful place to live? Downtown Los Angeles is just a few hours away while Las Vegas is half a day’s drive. But this affluent suburb has managed to retain its retiring and unassuming character despite its enviable location and low-key affluence. Find out what makes this city one of Southern California’s best-kept secrets.
Rancho Cucamonga is a city in the western portion of San Bernardino County, California located roughly 37 miles east of Downtown L.A. with an estimated population of 174,305. Nestled at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, the city’s picturesque setting and quality of life attracts buyers from all walks of life, particularly worldly and well-heeled buyers in search of prime real estate and a luxury lifestyle.
The city consistently ranks among the best places to live in the United States and is the 13th wealthiest neighborhood in SoCal.
Rancho Cucamonga is best known for its scenic backdrop – the San Gabriel Mountains punctuates the horizon. Its icy peaks of the mountains can be seen from the city in the winter. Because of its location, the city provides access to several nature trails and lush parks in the midst of the California desert. The sunny Southern California weather also lends itself well to various outdoor activities like hiking and biking.
The nearest major airports include:
- Ontario/San Bernardino (ONT)
- Los Angeles (LAX)
The city is accessible from L.A. via
- Union Station
- Montclair Transit Center
Popular landmarks include:
- John Rains House
- Archibald Library
- Chaffey-Garcia House
The city goes all the way back to the mid-1800s. The core of old Rancho Cucamonga was located along the Old Spanish Trail that extended from Cajon Pass and all the way to San Bernardino.
Some sources believe that the name comes from the Cucamongan Native Americans, also known as the Tongva and Gabrielino, who settled the region before Mexican rule. Others believe that the name comes from the Shoshone word for sandy place.
A local vintner named Tubercio Tapio is widely considered to be its founder, having purchased and nurtured over 13,000 acres of land that made up his vineyards. Others recognize John Rains as the city’s founder, having purchased Cucamonga Rancho from Tapia’s daughter in 1858.
Prospectors and railroad lines came to town in the late 1800s with the Santa Fe Trail and Butterfield Stagecoach Route connecting Rancho Cucamonga to the rest of California.
With the invention and wide spread use of automobile cars, the byway on Foothill Boulevard became a distinctive part of the National Old Trails (N.O.T.) Association Highway, running along the northern edge of the Santa Fe Railroad and linking major cities in the West and East Coast.
The city witnessed its population grow from just over 44,000 in the 1980s to more than 140,000 in the 2000s. It offers a modern and sophisticated lifestyle for residents who want to seize all the opportunities California has to offer.
Rancho Cucamonga exemplifies the casual elegance for which Southern California is known. Despite its proximity to Downtown L.A., the city has a slower and more relaxed pace of living and is not as trend-conscious as its neighbors.
Residents congregate in coffee shops and parks during the day and in sophisticated cocktail lounges and taprooms at night.
It has stayed true to its agricultural roots despite its rapid growth and development. It has a suburban feel with master planned communities and well-maintained recreational facilities. It is still home to a handful of esteemed wineries and breweries that continue to honor Rancho Cucamonga’s vintner roots and its glorious past as a top wine producer in the region.
Luxury Homes in Rancho Cucamonga
Overview of the local real estate market
Rancho Cucamonga, CA real estate is known for strong property values and a balanced and healthy market. Home values have consistently increased year-over-year while homes on average sell for approximately the asking price. The high rate of homeownership brings stability to the community.
Prevalent property types and architectural styles
The housing stock consists mainly of single-family homes and condos. The city is known for large detached homes on oversized lots. The most popular architectural styles include Mediterranean, Spanish Revival, Ranch, and Contemporary. The most sought after properties have four to six bedrooms in addition to expansive driveways, outdoor pools, and landscaped yards.
Where to find luxury homes in Rancho Cucamonga
The city is home to several neighborhoods, including:
- Alta Loma
- Southwest Rancho Cucamonga
- North Etiwanda
- Terra Vista
- Southeast Rancho Cucamonga
The most coveted luxury homes can be found in planned communities like Haven View Estates and Rancho Etiwanda Estates. These homes offer thousands of square footage of indoor and outdoor space in addition to high-end appliances and luxury finishes. Find the perfect home in Rancho Cucamonga with the help of a top Realtor like Julian Lopez today.
Living in Rancho Cucamonga
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Rancho Cucamonga is generally higher than the national average but lower than L.A., with housing being the largest factor in residents’ living expenses.
Buyers are willing to pay a premium for the high quality of life, prime real estate, and access to world-class amenities including shops, restaurants, cafes, parks, and recreational facilities.
The higher cost of living is offset by the median income, which has increased by 31% since 2000 and by 9% since 2010 even as national median income averages declined or stagnated in other areas.
Schools and education
The Cucamonga School District serves approximately 2,443 students in the cities of Rancho Cucamonga and Ontario. It is among the four K-8 elementary school districts in Rancho Cucamonga with students feeding into Chaffey Joint Union High School District, a 9-12 school district located in San Bernardino County.
Schools that fall under the district include:
- Cucamonga State Preschool
- Cucamonga Elementary School (K-5)
- Los Amigos Elementary School (K-5)
- The Ontario Center School (K-5)
- Rancho Cucamonga Middle School (6-8)
Other schools in and around the city include:
- Coyote Canyon Elementary School (K-4)
- Caryn Elementary School (K-5)
- David W. Long Elementary School (K-5)
- Perdew Elementary School(K-5)
- Grapeland Elementary School (K-5)
- Carleton P. Lightfoot Elementary School (K-5)
- Terra Vista Elementary School (K-5)
- John L. Golden Elementary School (K-5)
- Floyd M. Stork Elementary School (K-6)
- Banyan Elementary School (K-6)
Economy and employment
Major employers in and around Rancho Cucamonga, CA include Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inland Empire Health Plan, Mercury Casualty Insurance, Southern Cal Edison, Macy’s, Target, Wal-Mart, Chaffey Joint Union High School District, and Etiwanda School District.
The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) is in charge of the oversight of transit services in Rancho Cucamonga and other cities in the county, distributing funds for public transit service.
Residents have access to safe and efficient public transport, including:
- Metrolink Transit
- Omnitrans Buses
The following Metrolink stations provide access to and from the city:
- Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink Station
- Upland Metrolink Station
- Ontario – East Metrolink Station
- Riverside – Downtown Metrolink Station
- Pomona – Downtown Metrolink Station
- Montclair Metrolink Station
- Fontana Metrolink Station
- Claremont Metrolink Station
Weather and climate
Rancho Cucamonga gets an average of 287 sunny days and 15 inches of rain each year with warm summers and cool winters. Temperatures can reach up to 95 degrees in July and dip to 44 degrees in January. Fall and spring are pleasant and comfortable, making them the best time to visit.
Residents can find major retailers and independently owned brands in shopping malls throughout the city including Victoria Gardens, an open air shopping center with more than 100 stores and sit-down restaurants and an AMC movie theater. Shop popular brands like Anthropologie, H&M, and Forever 21 and enjoy casual dining at Brio Italian Grille and Johnny Rockets.
Other retail hotspots include Terra Vista Town Center, Foothill Village Shopping Center, and Rancho Cucamonga Village. Residents can also shop for day-today essentials at Day Creek Marketplace and Foothill Marketplace.
Rancho Cucamonga has an exciting dining scene, with restaurants and cafés serving New American, French, Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean, Spanish, Japanese, and more. Residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to fine dining and classic steakhouse fare.
Many restaurants cater to a variety of dietary requirements, from plant-based to gluten-free – just talk to any of the servers and they’ll be happy to accommodate you.
Pair your meal with a wonderful glass of wine. A few wineries continue to thrive in the city, including Joseph Filippi Winery and Rancho De Philo Winery. Drop by for a wine tasting session and relive Rancho Cucamonga’s glory days as a wine producer.
The city’s enviable location at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains gives residents ready access to natural trails and preserves that offer hiking and biking opportunities. The 18.4-mile Pacific Electric Inland Empire Trail is a local favorite. As the name suggests, this recreation trail follows the path of the Pacific Electric Railway. It features a concrete path for bikes and a decomposed granite path that’s more suitable for running, jogging, hiking and horseback riding.
Another popular outdoor attraction, North Etiwanda Preserve, is home to rare and threatened plant and animal species. Its core spans 763 acres of protected land that offers hiking, nature photography, and bird watching opportunities. Highlights include the Etiwanda Falls, Etiwanda Falls Trail, and North Etiwanda Falls and Preserve Loop.
Those who enjoy playing sports will have a good time at the Rancho Cucamonga Epicenter Entertainment & Adult Sports Complex, a massive, state-of-the-art sports complex with extensive recreational facilities and views of the San Gabriel Mountains. At 52 acres, it features a baseball stadium, three softball fields, two soccer fields, and a Little League field.
Historic structures such as the Chaffey-Garcia House, Norton-Fisher House, and John Rains House date back to the mid- to late 1800s, offering a glimpse into the lives of the individuals who helped Rancho Cucamonga grow into the city it is today. Take a tour of these historic homes and learn more about the city’s past.
The city has a vibrant art scene with Victoria Gardens Cultural Center as the focal point. The center hosts live performances, exhibits and private events. It is also home to the Lewis Family Playhouse, which is known for its world-class productions, and the Paul A. Biane Library, which features an extensive collection of books and digital media.
The Valverde School of Performing Arts offers acting and dancing classes for personal enrichment and skills development. The school also stages plays, musicals, recitals, and other productions featuring homegrown talent.
Events and community activities
Seasonal celebrations and community events like the Annual Ballin’ in the New Year, Grape Harvest Festival and Costume Parade Week at the Valverde School of Performing Arts bring residents together and create opportunities to meet new people.
Personal enrichment and skills building classes covering a wide range of topics from cooking and coffee tasting to stand-up comedy and search engine optimization (SEO) are available throughout the year.
The surrounding communities of Riverside and Claremont also host food festivals, arts and crafts fairs, and Sunday farmers markets.
If you’re ready to experience the Southern California lifestyle in Rancho Cucamonga, contact Julian Lopez of Sell Smart Real Estate here. You can also reach him at 909.996.4470 and SoldByJulianLopez(at)gmail(dotted)com.
With 20 years of professional experience, Julian Lopez helps buyers and sellers secure the best real estate deals. His background in social media marketing and negotiations make him an asset in transaction. He’s been a top 1% producer since 2010 – experience makes a huge difference. Your business is in good hands when you work with Julian.
His real estate philosophy is simple: Save money, sell smart. He provides marketing assistance via 3D tours and professional photography to bring sellers and buyers together for a fruitful transaction.
Call him today to find the perfect home in Rancho Cucamonga.
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