7.0 out of 10


37.7320079571149 -121.129001139238
Great for
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parking
  • Clean & Green
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Resale or Rental Value
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Public Transport
  • Shopping Options
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers


4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5

"Pizza Plus Nice Town"

So Ripon is another one of these tiny San Joaquin towns. (It is pronounced “Rippin’” by locals, as in, “I had a rippin’ good time in Ripon.”)

Okay so I am hardly a local. My entire knowledge of this quaint little town comes from having lunch at Pizza Plus on their main street, talking to people from nearby towns and a touch of internet research. People are really high on this pizza and so we dropped in to try it out and see what all the hoopla was about. It is very good pizza, and I guess if I lived near Ripon and had nothing better to do, I might drop in to grab some pizza on my way by. Not sure it is worth the trip just on its own, but if you’re on the way somewhere else and happen by, why not?

The “downtown” area is authentically historic, not like a lot of these downtowns where they try to make if feel quaint in a sort of classy way. This actually feels like it has been like this for a while. Which means that it isn’t super attractive, but it is nice. And there are some nicer older buildings.

What I saw of the surrounding residential areas was pretty nice too. Very much like a 1950’s style middle class neighborhood, wide streets, nice lawns. Lots of older Ranch homes. But really nicely kept.

I don’t know if it just when I was there, but the streets felt a little empty. This is not altogether surprising, I mean the total population of Ripon is less than you can fit in the stadium for a College basketball game.

On average homes here sell for $300,000--which is actually higher than I expected for somewhere so far out in the middle of nowhere. (Could it be the pizza?) My BF tells me there are a lot of big newer homes on the outskirts of town which accounts for the high prices. But I still don’t know where people are getting their money out here. The commute to the Bay Area just seems undoable from Tracy, much less from even farther.

In fact, it will take you more than an hour to make it just to Livermore during rush hour. (Sacramento is more than an hour away, too.) So who knows how people manage to rake in $80K living here, but if the census is right, that’s what they make.)

Schools are really strong here too, so that probably has a lot to do with it. Though I think I saw Ripon High on Main Street and it didn’t look like much. (There were also like 3 churches, so you certainly won’t lack in soul saving--you could get yourself saved at least three times over on your way to getting a pepperoni slice.)

Overall, I don’t know if I would recommend Ripon, but I can see why some people would like it.
  • Pizza Plus
  • Nice Older Looking Downtown Residences
  • Nice Newer Houses on Outskirts
  • In the Middle of Nowhere
  • No Real Nightlife
  • Hot in Summer, Foggy in Winter
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers

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