Most people have been much friendlier than they were in Michigan! And the weather is SO much better, compared to a Michigan winter (or summer)! We are 90 minutes to two hours from San Francisco, San Jose, Yosemite, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Monterey/Carmel, the coast, ocean and many national forests. You may also prefer Turlock or Tracy which isn't too far and have better reputations.
Best of success to you!
I would suggest you check with the local police and or sheriff's department to get the statistics on this. We must remain impartial and this is the best advise we can give you without violating our license.