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California Trails

California Cleans Up on U.S. Happiest Cities List

Eight of the top 25 towns are in the Golden State.

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In case you missed it: According to surveys by National Geographic and Gallup, California is a happy place indeed. Eight of its top 25 happiest U.S. cities are here, with Santa Cruz/Watsonville (#2) and San Luis Obispo/Paso Robles/Arroyo Grande (#5) scoring particularly high. The research links happiness to factors like healthy eating, civic engagement, financial security, and high rates of exercise.