SFCED | San Francisco Center for Economic Development

24 Best Places to Live and Work

To compile our list of the West’s Best Places to Live and Work (6 top winners and 18 runners-up), Sunset editors interrogated urban experts about what makes a great place to live in 2014. We hit the road (and the phone) to talk to the real authorities who know these places best: the people who live there. Once we found our semifinalists, we asked Sunset readers to vote on their favorites—and got more than 19,000 responses. One of these places is just right for you.

San Francisco, CA 

Winner: Best Place to Launch a Career

Young hopefuls have swarmed to San Francisco for the Gold Rush, for the Summer of Love, and now for the new Tech Boom. The tech industry shifted in recent years from Silicon Valley up to S.F. proper, as giants like Salesforce, Twitter, Pinterest, Zynga, Dropbox, and Yelp established headquarters in the city. (Google and Facebook have growing branch offices there as well.)

Last year, there was more venture-capital investment in S.F. than in any other place in the country, including Silicon Valley.

Read more: Sunset 24 Best Places to Live and Work