You've got to be kidding when you ask about 'reasonable places' to live in California. You'll be very fortunate to find a small house that costs under $600,000 or a 1 bedroom apartment that rents for under $1,500. I'm not familiar with northern California; however, I am a southern California native.
Los Robles Hospital (Thousand Oaks, California) pays experienced RNs extremely well, up to $45 hourly. The cost of living in Thousand Oaks is horrendous, but it's a nice and safe city. The average southern California hospital starts at about $30 per hour. I am from Oxnard, California. The weather is perfect all year long and the city has a coastline. The cost of living is very expensive there, too.
I lived in Bakersfield for 2 years (2003 to 2005) and enjoyed it there. It's a mid-sized city in central California with a cost of living that is very reasonable. You can find a nice home there for $250,000 or rent an apartment for $700 per month. The only downsides to living there are the extreme heat in the summer and the lack of recreation.
If you want to live in Los Angeles, I personally like the east San Fernando Valley section. It includes Burbank, Glendale, Studio City, North Hollywood, Valley Village, and a few other districts. There's also West Los Angeles, including Santa Monica, Hermosa Beach, Marina Del Rey, and other cities. There's a VA hospital in West Los Angeles with easy freeway access. Good luck!