Hi, I reside here in Vallejo and I say its meets your most basic needs. I think the best thing about Vallejo is that it's close to everything, yet it does lack a BART stop. Regarding crime and schools I feel the best post is from Anna where she directs you to www.greatschools.com and the local police department. However from a personal perspective I suggest staying east of freeway 80. (Vallejo's Hills) In general that's a much nicer place to live with significantly diminished crime rates. Also Glen Cove is a wonderful neighborhood and Mare Island has a picturesque backdrop if you're lucky enough to grab a home away from the industrialized areas. Shopping well, your basic needs are also in Vallejo. We have most major grocery stores except for Trader Joe's (yes I'm sad for that) and we also have a huge Target. Vallejo is littered with strip malls containing stores from Marshall's to Planet Fitness. However Vallejo does lack upper-end shopping such as, Whole Foods, and Nordstrom. Therefore, you would have to drive to Napa or Walnut Creek for those stores. Also of note, if you prefer to go to a local sports bar to catch the game/fight or have a cocktail after work you might want to consider another city, Vallejo is soft on variety of entertainment venues.