In California, rental apartments are plentiful. Whether you are looking for a high-end rental on the water in San Francisco Bay or a small, practical rental unit in the outlying area, there are many different options for the potenial renter. For example, if you like the proximity to big cities without the urban atmosphere, try somewhere like Gilroy, south of the Bay area. Want to be on the water in a mid-sized town? Take a ride out to Santa Cruz and see if it works for you.
The nice part about hunting for a rental in this region is that there are so many cities located within a short drive of one another. Instead of having to pile into the car and go for an hour, you can simply stop in one town, then visit the next one down the road. Read up on some of the cities in the San Francisco area and try to narrow down your search ahead of time if possible. It can make things go more smoothly once you arrive. Another consideration is budget. With the expense of rentals in this area, you really should have a firm idea of what you can spend before you begin your search.