Huntington Beach, California

Surf City USA

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What's it like to live in Huntington Beach?

What is it like to live in Huntington Beach, CA?

Huntington Beach (HB), and much of coastal Orange and San Diego counties, enjoys a near perfect Mediterranean climate year-round. Daytime temperatures typically range from 18–19C in Jan-Feb to 23–24 C in Jul-Aug. Evening temperatures are usually 5–7C degrees cooler. Humidity is usually low, but can vary widely. When a hurricane is offshore of Baja California, it can be in the 90–95% - as uncomfortable as Florida in July. During a Santa Ana wind, humidity can be in the single digits - drier than the Sahara.

There are over 330 days of sunshine, but the sun isn’t as intense as Hawai’i or FL. Depending upon how close one lives to the beach, mornings start out overcast, as an offshore marine layer moves inland. This clears up rapidly and gives way to cloudless, sunny skies. Rain typically falls in Dec-Feb, with little or none from mid-Mar to mid Nov. Average rainfall is ~ 25 cm or 12 inches.

In terms of amenities, HB has more parkland per capita than any other city in Southern California, including over 11 miles of beach. Public facilities are well maintained, attractive and safe.

Safety carries over into other aspects of our City. HB is one of the safest cities in the US, but as one might expect, there are areas one would do well to avoid, such as the bars along downtown Main Street on a weekend. That said, the city is very safe, gang violence minimal, and HBPD is well supported by the community. I think it’s safe to say that the biggest risk to one’s safety is the constant presence of coyotes throughout HB, and the danger they represent to pets.

HB is a very livable community. It isn’t as “glitzy” or pretentious as Newport Beach, nor does it want to be. Most of our homeowners could afford to live elsewhere, but chose HB because it’s unpretentious where one doesn’t need to put on airs. Your next-door neighbor might be “Dean” of Jan and Dean, or Cameron Diaz - both live here. Or it might be an HBPD officer, a retired military member, or a marketing professional.

When I moved to HB in 2000, one often went to another city for dinner or shopping. That changed significantly over the next few years, and today, I seldom leave HB to go out to dinner. In addition to several well known chain restaurants, we also have some very good locally owned establishments that span seafood, Mexican, Italian, etc. There are also several excellent high-end restaurants in the Hyatt, Hilton, Pasea and Shorebreak hotels along the beach. Shopping is also excellent, with Pacific City and Bella Terra bookending opposite ends of the City, and a good selection of typical go-to stores - Home Depot, Lowes, Target (and unfortunately, a WalMart) - are available.

Apart from the above, the main attraction HB has for me relative to other cities in the LA Basin is its location. I’ve already mentioned the beach and climate, but it’s also very convenient to two airports, several Freeways and major business centers in Orange County.

Some other responders to this question mentioned that HB is expensive. I’d say “it depends” upon whether one has lived in HB for a while, and what expenses one has in terms of owning or renting. I bought my home before prices soared in the 2000s, so my housing cost is very low. I also installed solar, so my electricity cost is very low. Heating expenses are almost non-existent, but water/sanitation costs are expensive. Property taxes are reasonable, as under Prop. 13, the longer one lives in his/her home, the less they are relative to market value, and increases are limited to 2% per year. Rent, on the other hand, is high, especially in some of the newer properties that have been built since 2014. Renting a home can also be costly, with those in my HOA ranging from $3200–3900/month for a 1600–2000 sq ft home.

Overall, I find HB to be an extremely desirable place to live, with a tremendous quality of life and spectacular natural and physical amenities. I wouldn’t live anywhere else!

What are the pros and cons of living in Newport Beach?


  • Mild climate in every season.
  • More clear, sunny days than in most parts of the world.
  • It’s semi-arid. The air is pleasantly dry on hot days.
  • It's a beach.
  • It has a harbor. The back bay is a bird refuge; you can walk around it or visit by kayak.
  • The beach at the end of the peninsula is called The Wedge, and is considered one of the most challenging surfing spots in the world.
  • Good restaurants.
  • Whale watching.
  • Proximity to Los Angeles without actually being in it. Jobs and commerce.
  • Close to Disneyland.
  • Unlike most of Southern California, the air is always clean and fresh.
  • No rocks in the surf (apart from the jetty at the entrance to the harbor).
  • The beach is raked frequently to keep the sand clean.


  • The back bay stinks because of the birds. It’s also directly under the flight path of John Wayne Airport; the jets are deafening.
  • It's one of the most expensive places in the world to buy or rent a home.
  • The old money has died off or moved away. The new rich now occupy it, which can be good or bad depending on your personality. I find them to be nigh-intolerable, self-centered assholes who can't talk intelligently about anything except their business and who are quick to descend into rudeness.
  • It's a party zone all Summer. People in the streets and on the boardwalk being loud at all hours. Expect passers-by to ring your doorbell all night as a hilarious joke.
  • It's peaceful in the other seasons, but humid. Clothes and bedding never feel dry (except in Summer).

What is it like to live in Huntington Beach, CA?

Anywhere close to the ocean the cost of living is not cheap. Expect 3000 for anything livable 2 bed two bed to rent , 7 bucks for a beer and 12 bucks for a burger. I bought 5 houses in lower to moderate areas before I could afford to buy after I bought 4 blocks from the ocean I couldn’t afford to furnish it for 6 month but it was the best investment I every made. You deserve to be happy so if you want to live it the ultimate climate and convince that’s the price you have to pay. If you have a job that pays well then you will love it. If not look inland and put up with the heat and air quality.

hope that helps

What's HB really like?

The comments on here are so ridiculous lol, the people who are saying how terrible HB is are killing me. I'm dead.

Honestly, though. I've lived within blocks of the pier for 40+ years and none of these negatives ring true for me in any way. I've witnessed one racist outburst and a handful of Friday night fist-fights in that time and literally nothing else negative I can remember. I think that should be pretty standard for a town that attracts thousands of visitors a day. The people who live in HB aren't even from HB anymore - they are literally from all over the world (and they bring the variety of the world with them.) Let me tell you a little story about downtown. I drive Lyft/Uber on the side and one night I picked up a guy and his wife. The wife was dressed completely normal and the guy was dressed as a fairy princess - pink tutu, tiara, magic wand…the whole bit. He gets in the car and I ask about his attire. He tells me he lost a bet and had to go out with all his friends dressed as a fairy princess. I ask him how it went and I assume he's going to tell me horror stories based on the shell-shocked look on his face, but after 20 seconds of silence he slowly says, "it was the best night of my life." Long story short, like many people in this thread he assumed he would have a terrible time and be harassed by all the "HB nazi's", but what he encountered instead was lots of friendly people who bought him drinks and accepted him for what he was (at the time). HB may attract a bad crowd from other areas, but by and large the people that live here are friendly, down-to-earth and a pleasure to be neighbors with. Disagree with me? Come have drinks on Main St and show me all the negativity you say people will see. I'll buy the first round. :)

Living in Huntington Beach - Pros and Cons of Huntington Beach California