Moving to Huntington Beach
Chip Martin
Chip Martin

Living in Huntington Beach 🌊| What to Know Before Moving to Huntington Beach CA

Always wanted to live in a picturesque city on the coast with fantastic weather and beautiful beaches? You should consider moving to Huntington Beach, CA. Huntington Beach is a coastal city in southern California that is known for its mild climate and outdoor amenities. Nicknamed "Surf City", Huntington Beach is known for its long 9.5-mile stretch of sandy beaches and excellent conditions for surfing.

The city is named after the railroad magnate Henry E. Huntington, who had significant control over the city in the early 20th century due to his involvement in developing the Pacific Electric Red Car lines. It was formally incorporated as a city in 1909.

Today, Huntington Beach is a great place to live for families, young professionals, and outdoor enthusiasts in search of a strong beach culture, beautiful scenery, and easy access to attractions. So, to help you decide if moving to Huntington Beach is right for you, here is a complete guide to the city.

Where Is Huntington Beach?

Huntington Beach is a city in Orange County within the Los Angeles-Anaheim- Long Beach Metro Area. Seal Beach, Westminster, Fountain Valley, Costa Mesa, and Newport Beach border the city of Huntington Beach. The Pacific Ocean forms the southwestern border, while the Bolsa Chica Basin State Marine Conservation Area is to the west.

It's about 16 miles or a 30-minute drive from Huntington Beach, CA, to Long Beach, CA. It's about 35 miles or an hour from Huntington to Los Angeles.

Huntington Beach Information

  • Huntington Beach County: Orange County
  • Huntington Beach area: 28.33 miles
  • Huntington Beach zip code: 92605, 92615, 92646–92649
  • Huntington Beach area code: 562, 657/714
  • Huntington Beach elevation: 39 ft
  • Huntington Beach time zone: Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
  • Closest airport: John Wayne International Airport (SNA) is 11 miles away.

 

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Huntington Beach Population and Demographics

The Huntington Beach population is 198,711 as of the 2020 census. That makes it the fourth largest city in Orange County and the 7th largest in the Los Angeles Metro area. The city has been steadily growing over the past few years, and the Huntington Beach, CA population increased by 4.5% between 2010 and 2020. It has a mixed suburban and urban feeling with a population density of around 7,200 residents per square mile.

Huntington Beach is a very affluent and diverse community. The racial and ethnic breakdown is 65.8% white (59.8% non-Hispanic), 19.7% Hispanic or Latino, 12.5% Asian, 1.2% Black or African American and 12% two or more races. The median household income is $111,122, which is 20% higher than the rest of California. Many famous residents have lived in Huntington Beach, including MMA fighter Tito Ortiz and actor Jason Lee.

Other Huntington Beach Demographics

  • Median age: 44 years old
  • Sex Ratio: the Huntington Beach, CA population is 51% female and 49% male
  • Foreign-born population: 18%
  • Educational attainment: 94.2% of residents have a high school diploma, while 50.4% have a bachelor's degree or higher
  • 59% of households are married couples

Transportation

Several major thoroughfares pass through Huntington Beach, offering access to downtown Los Angeles. I-405 runs along the northern part of the city, while California State Route 1 runs along the coast. It's primarily a car-centric city, and in 2016, only 2.2% of residents living in Huntington Beach did not have a car in their household.

However, the Orange County Transportation Authority offers a bus service that makes nine stops in Huntington Beach. There are also 1,121 lane miles of public streets with facilities managed by the California Department of Transportation.

The John Wayne International Airport is also nearby in the nearby city of Santa Ana and features an aviation museum in one of the hangars.

Cost of Living in Huntington Beach

The cost of living in Huntington Beach, CA, is higher than the national average. However, it offers a high quality of life and a plethora of attractions for those who can afford it. The cost of living index (COLI) is a good way to get a sense of the affordability of an area based on the rest of the United States.

The COLI for the Los Angeles-Long Beach metro area is 149. The national average is represented by 100, which means the Huntington Beach cost of living is 49% more expensive than the rest of the country. The Family Budget Calculator created by the Economic Policy Institute estimates that the average family of four with two adults and two children would need to earn $114,841 to afford the cost of living in Orange County. Meanwhile, the MIT Living Wage Calculator estimates that two working adults with two children would need to earn $32.40 per hour to make a living wage.

Typical Huntington Beach Living Expenses

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $20.00
  • 1 gallon of milk: $4.60
  • Regular cappuccino: $4.50
  • 1 pound of chicken filets: $7.83
  • 1 gallon of gasoline: $4.70
  • 1 dozen eggs: $5.00
  • Average Huntington Beach monthly utility bill: $266

Source: Numbeo

Before moving to Huntington Beach, you'll likely want to consider the taxes. California has some of the highest taxes in the country, so it helps to know what you'll have to pay:

  • Income tax: California has nine income tax brackets ranging from 1% to 12.3%, depending on how much money you make.
  • Sales tax: The sales tax rate in Orange County is 7.75%, which includes a 6% state tax, 0.25% County tax, and 1.5% special tax.
  • Property tax: California has an ad valorem tax, which means property taxes are calculated based on the value of the home. There is a 1% state tax as well as various smaller fees that pay for county and local government, public schools, and other services. Rates vary depending on the zip code, but the average property tax rate in Huntington Beach is 1.27%.

Housing significantly contributes to the high cost of living in Huntington Beach, CA. Those planning on moving to Huntington Beach will find a range of options, from large luxury apartment buildings to stunning beachfront estates. However, be prepared for higher rents and home prices.

 

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Huntington Beach Real Estate | Average Rent & Home Prices

According to Redfin, the median sales price of houses for sale in Huntington Beach is $1,199,000. That makes Huntington Beach real estate about 3x higher than the national average and about 47% higher than the rest of California. The median price per square foot of homes for sale in Huntington Beach is $700.

However, the city has a lot to offer tenants as well. About 44% of Huntington Beach, CA real estate is rented out compared to 56% that's owner occupied. RentCafe states that the average rent in Huntington Beach, CA is $2,687. Rent in Huntington Beach starts around $1,810 for a studio and goes up to $9,000 for a two-bedroom.

Home shoppers will find many gorgeous examples of Late Victorian architecture, as well as craftsman and bungalow-style homes. About 92% of rental buildings are low-rise, garden-style apartments, while only 2% are high-rises.

Huntington Beach Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is full of wonderful neighborhoods that offer something for everyone, from action and excitement to a quiet place to raise a family. Here are some of the best places to live in Huntington Beach.

Seacliff | An Affluent Huntington Beach Neighborhood with Great Views

Seacliff is an upscale, gated community adjacent to the prestigious Seacliff Country Club that offers great schools, luxurious homes, and breathtaking ocean views.

Sunset Beach | A Historic Beachfront Community Full of Life

Sunset Beach is a historic coastal community that is home to iconic attractions like the Water Tower House and a large community of surfers.

Bolsa Chica | A Vibrant Huntington Beach Neighborhood That is Great for Nature Lovers

Bolsa Chica is a serene beachfront community with one of the best boardwalks in Huntington Beach, sandy beaches, regular festivals, and plenty of parks and nature preserves close by.

Huntington Beach Weather & Climate

The fantastic weather is another one of the major benefits of living in Huntington Beach. According to the Koppen classification system, the Huntington Beach climate is borderline semi-arid/Mediterranean.

Throughout the year, the weather is generally sunny, dry, and cool, although it can get chilly in the evenings with an ocean breeze. The temperature usually stays between 60°F and 80°F and rarely goes below 40°F or above 85°F.

The city averages about 12 inches of rainfall per year. Although it doesn’t snow in Huntington Beach, the occasional frost occurs on cold winter nights. Most precipitation happens in the winter, so the best time to visit someone living in Huntington Beach is later spring through the early fall.

Huntington Beach Restaurants

Residents will find various restaurants in Huntington Beach, CA, serving everything from New American cuisine to Mediterranean dishes. Here are a few of the best restaurants in Huntington Beach, CA.

Buon Gusto

Buon Gusto is a laidback Italian eatery serving pasta dishes, paninis, veal, and seafood with unique flavors and seasoning. It's one of the best Huntington Beach, CA, restaurants for a date night or family outing.

4911 Warner Ave #109, Huntington Beach, CA 92649 (714) 846-2600

25 Degrees Huntington Beach 

25 Degrees is an upscale burger bar serving elevated American cuisine. With gourmet burgers and delectable starters like spicy tuna cones and bacon-wrapped dates, it's one of the best places to eat in Huntington Beach, CA.

412 Walnut Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92648 (714) 960-2525

The Fresh Green Olive HB

The Fresh Green Olive is one of the best restaurants in Huntington Beach for the Mediterranean, with kebab plates, wraps, and salads made with fresh ingredients and homemade hummus.

18330 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, CA 92648 (657) 329-0439

Things to Do In Huntington Beach

You'll find a wide range of fun things to do in Huntington Beach, whether you're in search of arts and entertainment or surfing and sunshine. Here is a look at the best things to do in Huntington Beach, CA, including top attractions, entertainment and museums, outdoor adventure, shopping, and more.

Top Huntington Beach, CA Attractions

  • Huntington Beach Pier: One of the best things to do in Huntington Beach, CA, on a nice day, this 1,850-foot pier offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and a great location for a photo shoot.
  • Huntington Harbor: Huntington Harbor is a neighborhood and waterway on five man made islands, with a marina and docks that are popular spots for boaters and fishermen.
  • The Reptile Zoo: Located right outside Huntington Beach in Fountain Valley, the reptile zoo is a great place to bring kids with exhibits, events, and 600 reptiles representing over 100 species.
  • Huntington Beach Sports Complex: One of the best things to do in Huntington Beach with kids, the Huntington Beach Sports Complex in Central Park West features multiple softball and soccer fields, batting cages, an arena, and a playground.
  • Cinemark Century Huntington Beach: A movie theater at Bella Terra Mall showing new releases with stadium seating and concessions.
  • Shipley Nature Center: An 18-acre fenced-in nature preserve showcasing native plants and animals with walking trails and self-guided tours.
  • Huntington Library: One of the world's foremost research libraries, Huntington Library is home to 11 million books and other items, as well as an art museum and botanical garden.

 

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Huntington Beach Entertainment and Arts

  • Huntington Beach Arts Center: A community art gallery and event space showcasing work from local artists that also hosts exhibits, lectures, live music and kids classes.
  • Huntington Beach Playhouse: A 318-seat performing arts theater that hosts regular musicals, plays, and other live performances.
  • Surfing Walk of Fame: Huntington Beach is famous for its surf culture, and the Walk of Fame celebrates all the legendary figures who conquered the ocean in search of the perfect wave.
  • The Observatory: A live music venue nearby in Santa Ana that hosts local rock, alternative, jazz, and blues acts with drinks and a food menu.

Huntington Beach Museums

  • Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum: One of the most famous Huntington Beach CA attractions, the International Surfing Museum is dedicated to the sport of surfing with exhibits, artifacts, memorabilia, and regular events.
  • Newland House Museum: A Queen-Anne-style farmhouse from 1898 that is on the register of historic places and now acts as a museum showing what life was like at the turn of the 20th century.
  • Heritage Museum of Orange County: If you're interested in architecture, the Heritage Museum of Orange County in Santa Anna is a must-see, with restored homes from the 1890s set amid a lush garden.
  • Lyon Air Museum: An aerospace museum in a hangar at the John Wayne International Airport with exhibits on military aircraft, rare automobiles, and WWII memorabilia.

Huntington Beach Parks and Outdoors

  • Huntington State Beach: A 121-acre state park and beach that makes the perfect spot for outdoor enthusiasts with great surfing and fishing, plus volleyball and basketball courts.
  • Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve: A 1,400-acre natural estuary with scenic hiking trails and wetlands that is great for bird-watching or going on a pleasant jog.
  • Huntington Beach Central Park: The largest city-owned green space in Huntington Beach, Central Park offers a range of activities, including disc golf, horseback riding, lakes, and multiple restaurants.
  • Dog Beach | Huntington Beach: If you're looking for fun things to do in Huntington Beach with a furry friend, the dog beach is a popular spot where pet owners bring their canine companions to exercise and mingle.

 

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Shopping in Huntington Beach

  • Pacific City: An upscale beachfront mall with outlets from high-end brands, a range of dining options, and a mini golf course.
  • Bella Terra Mall: A popular outdoor shopping mall and one of the best things to do in Huntington Beach on a weekend, with popular outlets like Costco and Whole Foods, dining options, and a movie theater.
  • Old World Village: Old World Village is a European-style outdoor shopping mall with cobblestone streets, boutiques, restaurants, and unique events like pet expos and live concerts.

Map of Huntington Beach Things to Do

Sports

There are no professional sports teams in Huntington Beach, and there are no major college or university teams either. However, Orange County is home to several popular franchises, including:

  • The Los Angeles Angels in the MLB
  • The Anaheim Ducks in the NHL
  • The Los Angeles Rams in the NFL
  • The Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA

Huntington Beach also hosts the US Open of Surfing, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball competitions, and the Vans World Championship of Skateboarding. USA Water Polo is also headquartered in Huntington Beach.

Huntington Beach Crime Rate

Huntington Beach is very safe. Across the board, the Huntington Beach crime rate is lower than both the statewide and national average, with very few violent crimes or homicides. Here is a look at how the crime rate in Huntington Beach compares to the rest of California and the US.

Incidents per 100k residents Compared to the state Compared to the country
Total Crime 2,209 14.4% lower than the state 5.8% lower than the country
Violent Crime 246 44.3% lower than the state 36.6% lower than the country
Murder Rate 1 82.1% lower than the state 84.7% lower than the country
Property Crime 1,963 8.2% lower than the state 0.2% higher than the country

So as you can see, the property crime rate in Huntington Beach is slightly higher than the national average, but only by a slim margin. For comparison, here is a look at how the Huntington Beach CA crime rate compares to other cities.

  • Los Angeles: 2,870, 26% higher
  • Long Beach: 3,253, 38% higher
  • Anaheim: 2,872, 26% higher
  • Santa Ana: 2,508, 12% higher

The Huntington Beach Police Department handles crime in the city with the assistance of 321 law enforcement employees, including 199 sworn officers and 122 civilians.

 

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Economy & Jobs in Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach has a robust economy and is home to over 650 businesses. Tourism and technology are the major industries. However, it also sits above a large natural fault that contains a large reserve of natural oil. There is an offshore oil terminus that supports the Alaska pipeline and provides many Huntington Beach jobs.

Huntington Beach is also a major vacation destination and home to many thriving attractions, including the Pier and the International Surfing Museum.

The largest employers in Huntington Beach are:

Most jobs in Huntington Beach, CA, are in sales (15.17%), office and administrative support (13.25%), or management positions (13.23). Boeing has a major presence in the city, and many of the installations on their corporate campus were set up to support NASA's Apollo program. The clothing manufacturer Quicksilver also has its corporate headquarters in Huntington Beach.

According to Payscale, jobs in Huntington Beach pay an average salary of $83,000 per year. The average salary of a few popular Huntington Beach careers include:

  • Operations Manager: $75,823
  • Director of Operations: $99,848
  • Account Manager: $64,545
  • Program Manager (Aviation/Aerospace): $102,075
  • Design Engineer: $95,329

Employment seekers will find many fantastic Huntington Beach jobs ranging from substitute teachers to electrical systems designers. You can also find excellent City of Huntington Beach jobs offering competitive salaries and benefits.

Healthcare

Living in Huntington Beach also offers access to top-rated healthcare institutions. According to research released by Health Grades, Huntington Beach Hospital is nationally recognized for specialty care and patient safety. It's also one of the largest employers in Huntington Beach.

Huntington Harbor Medical Center is another highly rated healthcare facility in the mall of the same name that specializes in pulmonary and critical care medicine and sleep disorders. They offer specialized services in these areas of medicine, including bronchoscopy, CPAP machine treatment, and pulmonary function tests.

Kaiser Permanente also has medical offices in Huntington Beach for scheduled doctor appointments. For emergencies, Hoag Urgent Care is open seven days a week and has locations in Huntington Harbor and downtown Huntington Beach.

 

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Huntington Beach Schools

Huntington Beach is known for its excellent school system. Four elementary school districts serve students living in Huntington Beach. Most are in the Huntington Beach City School District or Ocean View School District. However, parts of the city are zoned for the Fountain Valley or Westminster School District.

Some of the top elementary schools in Huntington Beach include Huntington Seacliff Elementary, Ralph E. Hawes Elementary, and John H. Eader Elementary. They all rank within California's top 500 elementary schools, according to US News and World Report.

The city is in the Huntington Beach Union High School District. The four high schools in Huntington Beach are Edison, Huntington Beach, Marina, and Ocean View High School. Huntington Beach High School is generally considered the best in the district, with a graduation rate of 97% and an AP participation rate of 45%.

Golden West College is a two-year community college in Huntington Beach offering arts degrees and transfer programs to four-year universities. Top private schools in Huntington Beach include the Grace Lutheran School, Huntington Christian School, and the national Blue Ribbon award-winning Pegasus School.

Moving to Huntington Beach also offers access to highly respected public libraries. The city has five public libraries, including the Central, Main Street, Banning, Helen Murphy, and Oak View branches.

Huntington Beach Utilities & DMV Change of Address

If you plan on living in Huntington Beach permanently, you'll need to update your utilities and submit a change of address with the DMV.

Here is a list of the major utility providers in the city:

To set up the service, visit their website to create an account and follow the instructions. You can also call the phone numbers listed on the City of Huntington Beach website for additional assistance.

To update your driver’s license, you can submit an online change of address form with the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles. You can also stop by the Huntington Beach AAA Branch to change your address or perform other in-person tasks.

Ready to relocate to this coastal paradise? Trust our dedicated team of Huntington Beach movers to make your upcoming move stress-free. Call (714) 538-2831 for a free moving quote.

 

Chip Martin
Chip Martin
BA in philosophy, Long Beach State 1974, various trades after college including cabinet maker and boat refinisher, then became a local moving driver in 1976, bought Daly Movers in 1979, managed company, and drove local and long distance until 1995 when I transitioned into sales/office full time. Almost fifty years later Daly Movers and I have sold, worked, and familiarized ourselves with virtually every type of household and O&I relocation.
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