Free dating site in california

California—the Golden State, the land of movie stars, and…yes…arguably one of the hardest places to date on Earth. With a population of over 39 million and diversity for days, it feels like it should be easy to find someone special, but it just doesn’t always work out that way.

Luckily, the best California dating apps do a masterful job of cutting through the noise and helping to connect singles just like you with exactly what they’re looking for. Whether you’re in LA, Sacramento, San Diego, Fresno, Bakersfield, or anywhere else in CA, these top options are going to work wonders for you. Dating in California doesn’t have to be as hard as people make it out to be, as long as you’re willing to utilize the resources you have available!

Free dating site in california

If you’re ready, let’s go lights—camera—action on our picks for the best dating apps in California, as well as some information on the singles scene around the state.

Top Dating Apps in California

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RankSiteFree Trial Link 
#1eHarmonyFree Trial
#2Where We MetFree Trial
#3Elite SinglesFree Trial
#4Higher BondFree Trial
#5ZooskFree Trial
#6The LeagueFree Trial

eHarmony Wins the Leading Dating App for California Singles

dating app california log in screenshot

Picking one dating app to serve as the best for all of California is a tall task—but we think we’ve done a pretty good job. Meet eHarmony. The eHarmony dating app is an inclusive environment, is filled with singles from all over California, and produces results—all things that tend to matter to singles from the state.

As the site most likely to lead to happy relationships eHarmony is at least worth checking out. Matchmaking is driven by an algorithm perfected over the past two decades, which means less work for you when it comes to finding someone. Since most people in California are go-getters and have busy schedules, this is a huge win.

Here’s the deal. If you live in California and want something special, give eHarmony a go.

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Additional Resources for California Singles

California bridge in San Francisco

3 Reasons These Are the Best California Dating Apps

With wonders like The Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood, and Yosemite—California is already known for being home to the best of the best. If that’s the case (which it is), why would you ever want to date on a subpar dating app?

Spoiler—you wouldn’t want to! That’s one of the driving forces behind why our team puts so much effort into these rankings and recommendations. I may be the guy writing the article, but we have an expert team driving the ship.

So, why these apps? Here are three of the reasons why.

1. Technology to help you handle the diversity of California.

In a state with over 481 cities or regions, 4 ethnic backgrounds with at least 5% of the population share, and one of the most eclectic list of available hobbies and interests—it’s no secret that a good dating app for Cali residents (and visitors) is one that is set up to handle this level of diversity. This starts with a search function that allows you to put in your wants, needs, personal convictions, and deal breakers. This includes, but is certainly not limited to things like interests, location, age, gender, sexuality, religion, political views, etc.

2. Representation statewide (and not just in places like LA).

Don’t worry; we’re not hating on you LA. What we’re saying, though, is a lot of companies often say they serve all of California when they really just work well in LA and “put up” with the rest of the state. A great dating app option for everyone in the state needs to have representation statewide. In other words, there better be singles where you live!

So, whether you live in a big city like Los Angeles or San Francisco, or you live in a smaller city like Irvine, Anaheim, Stockton, Fresno, Eureka, Sacramento, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Long Beach, Hollywood, etc., you’re taken care of.

Additionally, the apps give you the ability to search by distance and not just city, which is ideal for singles who may live close to another states border (Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona), or who live close to the border of two major cities.

3. On-the-go Functionality (Mobile)

It might seem silly to have to make sure that a dating app is going to work on your phone, but not every site or app is up to the challenge. This becomes way more important in a state like California with beautiful beaches, amazing nightlife, and nature for days. If you can’t keep your matchmaking process going while you’re on the go, that’s a pretty worthless option in our opinion. Thankfully, these California dating apps weren’t cast for that role.

What’s It Like Dating in California?

How much time do you have? Kidding. The joke we’re making is that California is such a massive state with such wildly different cities that trying to cover everything you might see on the dating scene would take us a lifetime.

But! That doesn’t mean we’re not going to try. Our goal is to give you at least a little idea of what you might expect to see throughout the state’s diverse dating scene.

  • Seriously, each city is going to have a different vibe. – Call us a broken record if you want to, but we want to get this point across. The dating scene in LA is going to be wildly different than the dating scene in Stockton, and so on and so forth. If you’re new to an area or it’s your first time dating there, be prepared for things to be a bit different.
  • Not everyone is trying to be a movie star. – This one is more for our new out-of-town transplants. While the media may lead you to believe everyone here is trying to make it as an actor or actress, that’s simply not the case. There are plenty of people to date who do “normal” jobs like accountants, baristas, farmers, receptionists, etc.
  • The singles population is quite transient in nature. – Speaking of transplants, California tends to see a large influx and outflow of people year round. It’s not uncommon to start dating someone who is new to town only to find out a few weeks or months later that they are “moving back home” or something like that. Cali isn’t for everyone; nor is the cost of living.
  • Some people do care about status. – While this is only a small sect of the population you may run into while dating in California, it’s at least worth mentioning. Some people may be interested or not interested in you based on what you do for a living, the kind of car you drive, and who you know. Don’t assume everyone you go on a date with is, but at least have it in the back of your mind.
  • Dating in California is seriously expensive. – If you live here already, you already know how much everything costs. It’s better in the smaller cities, but still not great compared with the rest of the country. This means that if you let it, dating can get expensive. We recommend opting for things like coffee dates over meals or even drinks if the budget is tight.
  • Diversity is big. – California is known for its acceptance and support of all walks of life. What this means is that you get a lot of people searching for societal freedom moving there. For dating, this means you can expect to see a lot of people who are open to a lot of different things. This is also the case with demographics. Unlike a lot of states (dare I say most), the ethnic breakdown is actually pretty dang diverse (Hispanic 40%, White 34%, Asian 15%, Black 5%, Mixed 4%, etc.)
  • The government wants to protect you more. – In late 2022, a Republican congressman from California proposed the Online Dating Safety Act where apps and sites would be forced to notify you if someone was removed from their platform for violating their rules. The idea is that if the person might be a fake or scammer, you should have the right to know. The bill has yet to pass, but has been introduced in the House in September 2022.

Since we’re already talking demographics and dating, let’s go a step further. Here are a few stats from the most recent Census that may give you more of an idea of what you should be expecting.

Stats About the Singles Population in CA

Total Population

  • 39,237,836

Population in California by Gender

  • 50.0% women in CA
  • 50.0% men in CA

Overall Singles by Gender

  • 52.9% of women in California are single
  • 50.5% of men in California are single

Population in California by Age

  • 13.7% aged from 20-29 years old
  • 14.8% aged from 30-39 years old
  • 12.9% aged from 40-49 years old
  • 12.6% aged from 50-59 years old
  • 21.2% aged 60+ years old

% Households With Internet in CA

  • 84.7% of households in California have internet access

Source(s): Census.gov

How California Ranks for Best Cities for Singles

Want to know more about what dating in California is like? Well, that starts with looking at where in the state is best for singles. Recently, the team at Healthy Framework took a look at the top 100 cities for singles in America. The study looked at 36 different data points to try and get to the bottom of the age-old question—what’s the best city for singles? Well, California certainly made its mark on the list. An impressive 12 cities made the list! Here’s how each city ranked:

  • 20th – Riverside
  • 44th – Long Beach
  • 61st – Sacramento
  • 74th – San Diego
  • 75th – Los Angeles
  • 76th – Anaheim
  • 77th – Fresno
  • 78th – San Francisco
  • 80th – Oakland
  • 81st – Bakersfield
  • 84th – Stockton
  • 90th – San Jose

Singles and Dating Guides for Specific California Cities

If you’re from one of these cities, you may be interested in some more specific information (and dating app recommendations) for your area. While the lists may be similar (or the same for some cities), there are instances where there are better options and more detailed information. If you’re from one of these cities, take a minute and check out our even more specific and dedicated guides on dating in California below.

What Cities in CA are Most Interested in Online Dating?

To take our study of dating in California further, our data team took a look at which cities in California showed the most interest in online dating over the past 12 months. How did they get these conclusions? The team looked at search volume data and trends over the past 12 months for topics relating to online dating. The winner? The Monterey-Salinas area. This was a surprising win over the second place city—Los Angeles. Los Angeles had about 86% of the traffic volume that we saw in the Monterey-Salinas area. Here are the full results.

California Dating Data Trends
  1. Monterey-Salinas CA – (100)
  2. Los Angeles CA – (81)
  3. Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto CA – (78)
  4. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose CA – (77)
  5. San Diego CA – (76)
  6. Fresno-Visalia CA – (75)
  7. Yuma AZ-El Centro CA – (63)
  8. Palm Springs CA – (48)
  9. Chico-Redding CA – (45)
  10. Bakersfield CA – (43)

Are There California Hookup Sites?

Sometimes your life is busy and you just don’t have the time for a serious relationship. Maybe instead you’re just looking for some casual dating or some NSA (no strings attached) fun?

Yes, there are hookup sites in California that lend themselves much heavier to casual dating. Can you find casual dating at the sites we’ve recommended in this guide? Yes, but not at most of them. You may be better off checking out our more specific list of casual dating apps.

Or, if you’d like, a nice option for casual dating (where you can select your relationship goal) is Zoosk. The app lets you choose from any one of six different things you’re looking for which include casual dating, hookups, and short-term dating. The other three are more attuned to committed dating, which is nice in case you change your mind on what you’re looking for.

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Best Date Ideas for California

Did you find someone special you want to take out? Going on a first date? Taking out your special lady or guy for a celebration? While there are plenty of things to do in California, we wanted to take a minute and give you some suggestions. We’ve included different suggestions for each city. Also, our team regularly updates this listing, so feel free to bookmark and check back often!

Date Ideas in Los Angeles, CA

Santa Monica Pier

While it’s technically in the city of Santa Monica, it’s close enough to count on our list for the best date ideas in Los Angeles. The pier has games, rides, food, amusement, and incredible people watching, making it a fantastic spot for a date!

Griffith Observatory

On the side of Mount Hollywood, Griffith Observatory is a super-fun and super-cultured place that you can take a date. Known as California’s “Gateway to the Cosmos,” this is a must-visit even if you aren’t a big fan of science or astronomy. Try out the telescopes, head into the planetarium, or enjoy any of the other exhibits available year-round.

Hollywood Boulevard

Los Angeles is a transient town, which means your new love interest might be new to the city. If you’ve been there for a while, you might not frequent Hollywood Blvd. that much. However, someone who is new to the city is going to think it’s super cool. This is also a good opportunity to look up some knowledge of the locations or about the stars to share with your new boo.

The Getty

If you really want to see some cool stuff while looking cool and cultured at the same time, take your date to The Getty. This museum/research institute/ conservatory is filled with inspiring and educational exhibits and events. Oh, and if you’re single, you might want to look into some of the group events offered here. It could be a nice way to meet someone new.

Dating Ideas in San Francisco

The Ferry Building Marketplace

Artisan shops? Ferry rides? Shopping? If all of that sounds incredibly fun (which it should), then you should look into taking your special someone to the Ferry Building Marketplace. It’s a must-see and somehow gets left off of most best-of lists for no good reason.

Alcatraz Island

Who ever said prison couldn’t be a fun date? Well, if you want to take in some great history and also the scene of the great Sean Connery movie The Rock, then checking out Alcatraz Island on a date is an awesome idea. It’s one of those places that everyone knows is there and wants to visit, but a lot of people just never got around to it.

Golden Gate Bridge

Looking to see something famous, get some exercise, and get to know the person you’re on a date with? The Golden Gate Bridge is a great idea, as long as the wind isn’t too crazy. Check the weather, let your boo know to wear some tennis shoes, and get ready to take in the beautiful panoramic views.

Union Square

Located down by the financial district, Union Square is a bit of a tourist stop, but it’s still somewhere that you can get out with someone you’re on a date with. If you really want to impress, do some homework and pick out one of the unique mom and pop restaurants in the area. The food is incredible, and you’ll look like you’re in the know. This is definitely one of our favorite date ideas in San Francisco.

California Dating App FAQ

Are there free dating sites in California?

There are some dating apps in the state that are completely free, but the quality you’re going to get will not be what you’re looking for. A better option is a paid dating account offering a free trial. These free trial memberships give you an exclusive pass to browse CA singles and begin interacting with potential matches. Free trials don’t usually have a time limit to use – but you will want to subscribe if you want to gain full communication abilities.

What’s the best dating app in California?

The best dating app in California is either eHarmony or Zoosk. While both are great throughout the state, which is best depends on what type of relationship you’re looking for. Serious California singles will like eHarmony while casual singles in the state will like Zoosk.

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