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living in tracy

Moving to Tracy? 🌻 | What it’s Like Living in Tracy CA!

Tracy, CA sprang up as a railroad town along the Central Pacific Railway from Sacramento and Stockton to San Francisco in the mid-1800s and was named after railroad director J. J. Tracy. The city was incorporated in 1911 and became a center for agriculture. Tracy hosted the infamous Altamont Free Concert in 1969 at Altamont Raceway Park with a crowd of about 300,000 people. The concert, featuring the Rolling Stones, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, was marred by violence. 

Tracy is known for its historic downtown, the fully restored 1923 Vaudeville Grand Theatre, its many beer and wine offerings, expansive recreational opportunities, and a host of community events it puts on every year, such as festivals, live theatre, art shows, and music concerts. With its central location and proximity to all the major highways in the area, Tracy is a great place to live for commuters to San Francisco and Sacramento.   

Check out what’s waiting for you after moving to Tracy, California!

Where Is Tracy California?

Tracy, CA is located in San Joaquin County and is the second largest city in the county. Tracy is just over an hour's drive east of San Francisco. It’s also about an hour northeast of San Jose. Sacramento is a little over an hour’s drive north. Tracy is uniquely situated inside the “triangle” of Interstate 205 to the north, Interstate 5 to the east, and Interstate 580 to the southwest. The city is bordered by Banta to the east and Lyoth and Carbona to the southeast. 

Tracy Information

  • County: San Joaquin
  • Area: 26.03 square miles
  • Tracy CA zip code: 95304, 95376–95378, 95385, 95391
  • Area codes: 209 
  • Elevation: 52 feet
  • Time zone: UTC-8 (Pacific (PST)) 
  • Closest airport: Stockton Metropolitan Airport (SCK / KSCK), 18 miles away

Tracy Population & Demographics

The population of Tracy is 93,000, according to the 2020 Census, an increase from 82,922 in 2010. Tracy has grown 64.3% since 2000! The racial and ethnic composition of Tracy is 45.9% White (28.0% Non-Hispanic), 5.1% Black or African American, 0.6% American Indian and Alaskan Native, 18.8% Asian, 1.1% Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and 15.0% two or more races. Hispanics make up 41.5% of the population. The median household income of $102,336. Notable people from Tracy include MC Hammer and Steve Perry, the former lead vocalist of Journey.

Tracy Demographics:

  • Population density: 3,600/sq mi
  • Median age: 33.8
  • Sex ratio: 49.3% females to 50.7% males 
  • Median household income: $102,336
  • Educational attainment: 84.1% high school grad or higher, 22.4% bachelor’s degree or higher 
  • Foreign-born population: 26.5%
  • Veteran population: 2,911

Transportation in Tracy

Tracy is located inside a geographic triangle formed by three interstate highways: Interstate 205, Interstate 5, and Interstate 580. Interstates 205 and 580 connect Tracy to the San Francisco Bay area. 

Tracy has an excellent public transportation system. The Tracy Transit Center bus station serves as a bus hub for local, commuter, and long-distance bus services. The City of Tracy TRACER Bus Service offers eleven local routes in Tracy, connecting to downtown, shopping malls, schools, and more. Commuter and long-distance bus services are provided by the San Joaquin Regional Transit District. Commuter buses connect to Sacramento, the Bay Area, and throughout San Joaquin County. The Altamont Corridor Express rail service provides commuter rail transportation from Tracy to the Bay Area and San Jose. 

Cost of Living in Tracy CA

Living in Tracy is expensive. The cost of living in Tracy is 31% higher than the national average, although it’s 9% lower than the California state average. Goods and services (10%), groceries (1%), transportation (3%), and healthcare (9%) costs are all below the state average; utilities are 18% higher. The biggest contributor to the high cost of living in Tracy is housing. Housing costs are 75% higher than the national average. However, they are 19% lower than the state average.  

Typical Tracy Living Expenses:

  • Meal, inexpensive restaurant: $20.00
  • Domestic beer: $5.00
  • 1 gallon of milk: $4.93
  • Dozen eggs: $5.08
  • 1 pound of chicken: $4.34
  • Average Tracy monthly utility bill: $390.00
  • Average Tracy cable & satellite bill: $113.00
  • Average Tracy mobile phone bill: $133.00

Source: Numbeo

EPI's Family Budget Calculator measures the income a family needs to maintain an adequate standard of living. Here is what it would cost a family of four to live adequately in San Joaquin County:

  • Housing: $1,270
  • Food: $815
  • Childcare: $1,105
  • Transportation: $1,283
  • Health Care: $1,250
  • Other Necessities: $755
  • Taxes: $685
  • Monthly Total: $7,163
  • Annual Total: $85,959

Taxes

Property in Tracy CA is taxed at a rate of 1% of assessed value, which is determined by the San Joaquin County Assessor according to the market value of the property. The assessed value cannot go up more than 2% per year unless the property is sold. 

The sales tax rate for Tracy, CA is 8.25%. The breakdown by state, county, and city is:

  • California state: 6%
  • San Joaquin County: 0.25%
  • Tracy city: 0.5%
  • San Joaquin County Local Tax: 1%
  • San Joaquin County District Tax: 0.5%
  • Total sales tax rate: 8.25%

The Income Tax Rate for Tracy is 9.3%.

If you are planning to rent in Tracy, you can expect a relatively high monthly rent, averaging $2,468 a month. 

Tracy CA Real Estate | Average Rent & Home Prices

Housing is expensive in Tracy. Housing costs are 75% higher than the national average, although they are 19% lower than the state average. The Tracy housing market is very competitive. Homes in Tracy typically receive two offers and sell after about 16 days on the market. The median sale price of a home in Tracy is $755,000, up 8.6% since last year. The median sale price per square foot in Tracy is $349, a slight increase of 0.6% since last year. Check out homes for sale in Tracy CA to see how much a home in Tracy might cost you. 

If you are looking for apartments for rent Tracy CA, the average rent for an apartment is $2,468, according to Rent Cafe. The average apartment size is 968 square feet. By comparison, residents in San Francisco pay about $3,336 per month in rent. Here’s how rental costs in Tracy compare to other cities in the area:

  • Sacramento: $1,856
  • San Jose: $3,021
  • Oakland: $2,790
  • Stockton: $1,590
  • Modesto: $1,644

Best Neighborhoods in Tracy

Tracy, CA has great neighborhoods for families, outdoor enthusiasts, and more. Many communities have easy access to hiking and biking in the nearby mountains, parks, restaurants, and shops. Check out some of the best neighborhoods in Tracy, depending on what you’re looking for: 

Pheasant Run | Safe Tracy Neighborhood With Lots of Amenities  

Pheasant Run is great for families with young children and outdoor lovers. The amenities in the neighborhood include a clubhouse, pool, spa, tennis courts, community ponds, horseshoes, a fitness center, picnic areas, miles of walking trails, and jogging paths. With various styles and prices of homes to choose from, Pheasant Run has something for every preference. The Neighborhood Watch Program and regular patrols by the community’s security force help keep you safe and secure. The median price for a home in Pheasant Run is approximately $675,000. 

Northgate | Great Neighborhood to Raise a Family

Northgate has excellent schools and lots of activities for kids and families, making it a great, family-friendly neighborhood. The community is safe and close to shopping, restaurants, and parks. Downtown Tracy is only a few minutes away. Home prices in Northgate typically range from $480,000 to $675,000.

Redbridge | Great for Commuters and Active Lifestyles

Redbridge is a great neighborhood for active lifestyles. The community offers a wide range of recreation opportunities, including several parks in the area, a golf course, and a recreation center. The homes in the neighborhood, built in the early 2000s, are spacious and well-maintained. Redbridge is also close to restaurants and shops. For commuters, several bus routes serve the neighborhood, and drivers have easy access to Highway 99 and Interstate 5. 

Tracy CA Weather & Climate

Many people are moving to Tracy for the weather! Tracy has hot, arid, and clear summers. The winters are short, cold, wet, and partly cloudy. The summer season runs from June 6 to September 28. The hottest month of the year in Tracy is July. Average high temperatures are 92°F, and lows are 61°F. Winter begins on November 24 and ends on February 15. The coldest month of the year is December, with an average low of 40°F and a high of 56°F. The best time to visit Tracy is during the summer months, from mid-June to late September. Tracy doesn’t get a lot of rain, only 14 inches per year. It doesn’t snow in Tracy.

Tracy Restaurants

Tracy offers a variety of dining options for all tastes and budgets. Here are some of the top-rated restaurants near Tracy: 

Tracy Thai Restaurant

For authentic Thai cuisine, head over to Tracy Thai Restaurant. The spring rolls are expertly prepared, and the Chicken Pad Thai is delicious! Tracy Thai Restaurant has an extensive menu, offering soups, rice, noodles, seafood, grilled entrees like crispy duck BBQ pork, and more. The service there is excellent as well.   

1035 N Central Ave, Tracy, CA 95376, (209) 833-9703

Black Bear Diner

The Black Bear Diner is a family-oriented restaurant with a friendly staff and great food. Come for a classic breakfast like waffles, French toast, omelets, and much more. The lunch menu features an array of tasty burgers and sandwiches. Dinner is all about comfort food with chicken fried steak, housemade meatloaf, slow-cooked pot roast, and other delicious entrees.

2351 Toste Rd, Tracy, CA 95377, (209) 835-5600

Magellan's Restaurant

Magellan’s has been a staple in Tracy for 21 years. Open for lunch and dinner, their international menu includes primavera pasta, Salmon rigatoni, Ahi Tuna, Alaskan Halibut, Moscow duck, Swissland veal, and more. Save room for their homemade Crème Brule or Tiramisu, as well as fresh pies and cheesecakes.

15 E 6th St, Tracy, CA 95376, (209) 740-4151

Things to Do in Tracy CA

Tracy offers a wide variety of activities and things to see for all ages. Here are some of the best things to do in Tracy:   

Top Tracy Attractions 

Grand Theatre for the Performing Arts

The Grand Theatre for the Performing Arts offers live performances of all kinds, as well as multi-media presentations and movies. With 37,000 square feet of space, the facility also offers arts education and exhibitions. 

 

Windmill Ridge Winery 

Come taste a variety of award-winning wines at the Windmill Ridge Winery, nestled in the Tracy Hills Appellation.

 

Knight Life Sword Fighting Academy

The academy offers classes in sword fighting, fencing, and combat archery. Plan your next Gellyball, Sword Fighting, Nerf, or Combat archery party there. 

 

Skydive California

Skydive California’s licensed skydivers offer guests tandem jumps and skydiving training so they can become licensed and achieve solo status. They host tens of thousands of jumpers every year. 

Tracy Museums, Entertainment & Arts 

Tracy Historical Museum

The Tracy Historical Museum preserves the history of Tracy and the surrounding area. Learn about the rich history of the area, including the people, places, and events that shaped it. 

 

The Discovery Center

In nearby Livermore, The Discovery Center is a place where kids can explore, be inspired, and learn about science firsthand. 

 

Stockton Art League Goodwin Gallery

The Goodwin Gallery in Stockton provides affordable workspaces for artists and hosts art exhibitions. The Youth Art Program offers art education classes to students ages 6-17. The gallery also brings in artists to host comprehensive workshops in various art techniques. 

Tracy Parks & Outdoors 

Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area

This California state park, spanning over 1,500 acres, is a popular off-road recreation area that features a diverse terrain that includes rolling hills and steep canyons. 

 

Tracy Golf & Country Club

A member owned golf facility offering unlimited and unrestricted use of the championship 18 hole course and all club facilities, including the newly revamped driving range and Golf Shop.

 

Central Community Park

One of the most popular parks in Tracy, this scenic park features playgrounds, sports fields, rose gardens, walking paths, and entertainment such as Music in the Park.

Shopping in Tracy 

Tracy Pavilion 

Tracy Pavilion Shopping Center consists of 47 stores, including PetSmart, Famous Footwear, and Ulta Beauty.

 

West Valley Mall

The West Valley Mall is anchored by Target, Macy's, Hobby Lobby, and a Cinemark movie theater and features other brand name stores such as Hot Topic, Vans, and Best Buy.

Map of Tracy Things to Do

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Sports 

Tracy has no professional sports teams, but due to its central location, you can watch a variety of sports teams in the area. Here are some of the professional leagues near Tracy:

 

 

Tracy Crime Rate

Tracy is a safe city to live in. The crime rate is 20% lower than the national average. Violent crime is 53% lower, and property crime is 13% lower. There were 5 homicides in Tracy in 2019, an average of 5.2 per 100,000 people. By comparison, there were 5.6 homicides per 100,000 people in California. The national homicide rate is 6.5 per 100,000 people. The violent crime rate in Tracy is 181 per 100,000 people. The property crime rate in Tracy is 1,629 per 100,000 people.

Here’s a Tracy CA crime rate comparison with other cities with a similar population:

Overall crime rate:

  • Tracy, CA – 20% lower
  • Yuma AZ – 2% higher
  • Reading, PA – 57% higher
  • Edmond, OK – 30% lower
  • Sunrise, FL – 33% lower

Violent crime rate:

  • Tracy, CA – 53% lower
  • Yuma, AZ – 20% higher
  • Reading, PA – 82% higher
  • Edmond, OK – 64% lower
  • Sunrise, FL – 48% lower

The Tracy Police Department protects the citizens of Tracy with 105 sworn officers.

Jobs in Tracy CA

The average salary in Tracy is $77,000 a year, according to Payscale. Tracy employs 45,000 people, and the most popular industries are retail trade, manufacturing, and health care & social assistance. Many residents commute from Tracy to San Francisco or Sacramento for a variety of job opportunities. 

Major employers in Tracy CA include:

If you’re ready to secure a new job before moving to Tracy, check out Tracy jobs and employment on Indeed or other job search sites. 

Schools in Tracy, CA

Tracy is served by three different public school districts. The largest, the Tracy Unified School District, has seven elementary schools (K-5), 4 K-8 schools, two middle schools, and five high schools. 

Lammersville Joint Unified School District consists of six K-8 schools and Mountain House High. 

Jefferson School District, covering South Tracy, includes Jefferson Middle, Tom Hawkins Elementary, Monticello Elementary, and Anthony C. Traina School. 

The public schools in Tracy are excellent and highly rated. Tracy has very good private schools as well. The top-ranked private schools in Tracy include Bella Vista Christian Academy and Tracy SDA Christian Elementary School.

Within 50 miles of Tracy are 40 institutions of higher learning. The nearest is the University of the Pacific in Stockton, 19.2 miles away. Stanford University, consistently one of the top 3 schools in the country, is the top-rated school in the area. The University of California Berkeley, with 45,036 students, is the largest. Las Positas College in Livermore is the most affordable, with a tuition of $1,104 per year. 

The Tracy Branch Library of the Stockton-Joaquin County Library offers books, audiobooks, movies, and music in various languages, as well as 23 Internet & Microsoft Office Workstations.  

If this beautiful town is calling your name, our Tracy movers can help get you here safely. Contact Grace Moving at 209-551-7772 for a free quote!

Patrick Bolger
Patrick Bolger
We are Patrick and Sally Bolger, and we own and operate Grace Moving Company. We were set-up on a blind date nearly 25 years ago and have been married almost 20 years now! In the early years, Patrick worked at Bambacigno Steel and Sally was the marketing director at a large retirement community in Modesto.
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