9 Pros and Cons of Living in Huntington Beach, CA

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Bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west, Huntington Beach is known for its mild climate, pristine coastline that stretches 8.5 miles, iconic beaches, and excellent surf breaks.

Nicknamed “Surf City,” residents enjoy subtle sophistication and the laid-back beach lifestyle in Huntington Beach.

If you’re considering living in Huntington Beach, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. This article will help you determine whether this location is right for you.

Geographical Overview

Before we delve into the pros and cons, let’s get you acquainted with the climate, history, population, and demographics of the area.

Historical Background

The birth of Huntington Beach occurred over a century ago. It was originally a 30,000-acre Spanish land grant.

In 1904, the town was named Huntington Beach in honor of oil tycoon Henry E. Huntington, who sponsored the extension of the Pacific Electric Railway to the seaside village. Since then, this place also came to be known as the “Oil Town.”

As one of California’s original oil boomtowns, a forest of oil derricks and active oil wells can still be seen in this town. Fun fact: the ground underneath Huntington Beach is dotted with thousands of retired oil wells.

Climate and Weather Patterns

Climate and Weather Patterns

On average, Huntington Beach has 281 days of sunshine and 12 inches of rain each year. The average Huntington Beach temperature in the summertime ranges from the mid-70s to mid-80s. In the winter, the average temperature starts from the low 50s to the low 70s.

Population and Demographics

Huntington Beach is a suburb of Los Angeles, CA, with a population of 194,310 as of 2022. Located in Orange County, residents enjoy an urban suburban mix feel.

The largest racial/ethnic groups are:

  • White: 60.2%
  • Hispanic: 19.8%
  • Asian: 12.6%

In 2021, the median household income of Huntington Beach households was $104,728, slightly higher than San Rafael households ($104,521) and Bonita households ($104,694).

Pros of Living in Huntington Beach, CA

Living in Huntington Beach, CA, has five advantages: proximity to the Pacific Ocean, a robust local economy, excellent schools, a safe and family-friendly environment, and thriving cultural scenes and events.

Proximity to the Pacific Ocean

Proximity to the Pacific Ocean

Huntington Beach is about 1,573 feet from the Pacific Ocean. It has seven excellent, including a dog beach.

Bolsa Chica State Beach

This state beach is strategically located along the Pacific Coast Highway, across from the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, where you can enjoy birdwatching and nature walking. There are plenty of parking options in the area.

Huntington City Beach

Huntington City Beach is known for its iconic pier. It is a great activity beach for fishing and surfing. This public beach also offers breathtaking views of the sunset.

Huntington Dog Beach

At the northern end of Huntington City Beach is Huntington Dog Beach. Enjoy the sun and the sand with your fur babies on this dog-friendly beach, where they can run and play off-leash and surf to their hearts’ content.

Huntington State Beach

This vast stretch of Southern California sand spans 121 acres. Beachgoers can enjoy several activities here, including sunbathing, swimming, surfing, fishing, skating, biking, and picnicking. Amenities include volleyball and basketball courts and a snack bar.

JG Island Beach

This local secret is part of the much larger Huntington State Beach at the southern end. It is just a quarter mile long due to two waterways cutting through on each end, the Santa Ana River and the Talbert/Huntington Beach Channel.

Sunset Beach

This county-owned and operated beach in the Sunset Beach community offers residents a great spot for outdoor recreation, with its paved bike path, beach volleyball courts, and kid-friendly playground.

Surfside Beach

This quiet beach is nestled between Huntington Beach and Seal Beach, in front of a private gated community. To get to the public portion of Surfside Beach, you can drive along Pacific Avenue, where you will find free street parking.

Strong Local Economy and Job Opportunities

Huntington Beach boasts a diversified and dynamic economy. Tourism and technology are the leading industries in Huntington Beach.

Residents are offered several opportunities for rewarding jobs. Huntington Beach is home to more than 650 industrial businesses, including Boeing, Cambro Manufacturing, C & D Aerospace, and Quicksilver.

Education and Learning Opportunities

If you have school-age children, you’ll be pleased to know that this city has 49 excellent public schools, with 29 of them rated an A or higher. Some of the top schools in Huntington Beach, CA, include:

  • Huntington Beach High School
  • Huntington Seacliff Elementary School
  • William T. Newland Elementary School
  • Talbert (Samuel E.) Middle School
  • Isaac L. Sowers Middle School
  • Edison High School
Thriving Cultural Scenes and Events

Photo by Zan on Unsplash

Thriving Cultural Scenes and Events

Huntington Beach residents and tourists have access to diverse cultural events and celebrations throughout the year. These provide opportunities to engage in the local community and enjoy unique cultural offerings.

The annual California Wine Festival and the Surf City Nights weekly street fair are just some vibrant and entertaining events that showcase local talent, art, music, and culinary delights.

Safe and Family-Friendly Environment

One of the best reasons for families to move to Huntington Beach, CA, is the city has a low crime rate. Compared to the U.S. average for violent crime at 22.7%, the average crime rate in Huntington Beach is 14%, which is significantly lower.

Aside from beaches that offer plenty of outdoor activities, there are several places where families can enjoy time together, such as the International Surfing Museum, Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center, Shipley’s Nature Center, and Get Air Surf City Trampoline Park.

Cons of Living in Huntington Beach, CA

While there are several advantages of living in Huntington Beach, there are some disadvantages you should consider as well. These are the high cost of living, traffic and congestion, the potential for natural disasters, and seasonal tourist crowds.

Cost of Living Concerns

One of the main drawbacks of living in Huntington Beach – cost of living. With an overall cost index of 180.5/100, the cost of living in this city is one of the highest in the United States.

In Huntington Beach, average home price is $1,194,220, significantly higher than the national average of $761,540. Some of the factors that influence the home prices in the area are the desirable beachfront location and proximity to major cities.

Traffic and Congestion

Similar to other cities in Southern California, Huntington Beach experiences traffic congestion, especially during peak commuting hours. This is primarily due to its proximity to major highways and popular tourist attractions.

Potential for Natural Disasters

Part of living in a coastal city is the risk of coastal hazards, such as flooding, erosion, and coastal storms. Residents are assured, though, that protective measures like seawalls and sand replenishment programs are in place.

Seasonal Tourist Crowds

Seasonal Tourist Crowds

If you prefer a quiet, less congested environment, the tourist season in Huntington Beach may be a factor you need to consider.

As a popular beach destination, there’s a significant influx of tourists during the summer months, resulting in crowded beaches, parking difficulties, and longer wait times at local establishments.

Pros and Cons of Living in Huntington Beach, CA


We think you’ll agree that living in Huntington Beach, CA, has more pros than cons. While the cost of living might be a drawback, there are several factors that make this city a great place to live.

If you’re considering moving to Huntington Beach, feel free to contact me at 714 875-7029 or at john.garcia@camoves.com so we can start discussing your home options in the area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Huntington Beach is known for its vast stretch of beautiful beach 8.5 miles long, sunny weather, and excellent surf breaks.

The average rent in the area is $2,716. This cost varies depending on several factors, including location, size, and quality.

Yes, retirees have access to all of the local community amenities, including golf courses, parks, and shopping centers.