History: Thousands of years ago, the Tongva people, otherwise known as the Gabrielinos, lived on the land stretching from Topanga Canyon to Laguna Beach. In 1784, European explorers claimed 300,00 acres to raise cattle, horses, and barley crops. During the 1800s, portions of property began to sell to surrounding ranchers. In 1889, the surrounding area became known as Shell Beach. Eleven years later, Shell Beach rebranded itself as Pacific City after the purchase of 60 acres by local entrepreneur P.A. Stanton. When the oil boom in 1920 hit, Huntington Beach began its climb to being the fastest growing city in the United States of America for the next fifty years. One of Huntington Beach’s claim to fame is the Douglas Aircraft Space Systems Center, which built part of the rocket for the very first successful moon mission. The U.S. Surfing Championships were housed multiple years in Huntington Beach, and the USA Surf Team claims Huntington Beach as its official home.
Top City Highlights
Great Dining Establishments
Fantastic Retail Options
Diverse Art and Entertainment
Vibrant Nightlife Scene
Location: As a southwest city in Orange County, Huntington Beach is situated northwest of Costa Mesa, which is another residential Californian city. Fountain Valley is set up next to the east of Huntington Beach’s center, and Midway City and Westminster make up the northern border. The Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, a naval base, pushes against Huntington Beach’s northwest edges. Of course, the Pacific Ocean and the Pacific Coast Highway outline Huntington Beach’s western perimeter. Directly southwest of Huntington Beach lies the famous boating and tourist destination Santa Catalina Island. Crystal Cove State Park is only a forty minute commute to the southeast, and Long Beach is the same distance to the northwest.
Commutes: The majority of residents in Huntington Beach experience a low daily commute time that typically consists of five to thirty minutes according to past surveys. Beach Boulevard runs north and south through Huntington Beach’s center, which makes accessing the Pacific Ocean fast from any of the neighborhoods within the city. The San Diego Freeway, a popular roadway that connects to frequented roads further inland, runs southeast of Huntington Beach. The Pacific Coast Highway defines Huntington Beach’s western border, which makes travel within California and the surrounding states straightforward and convenient.
Culture: With an estimated median household income of $88,000 compared to California’s average $67,700, residents of Huntington Beach enjoy high earnings and a high quality of life. With a population around 200,630, 64.3% of residents are white, 18.2% are Hispanic, 11.1% are Asian, 3% are biracial, and the remaining 3.4% are split between Black, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander ethnicities. 41.4% of residents hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, and the unemployment rate sits around 3%. Residents of Huntington Beach take advantage of the beautiful parks and recreation, shopping, restaurant, and nightlife options that can be found in this diverse and lively city.
The City Council of Huntington Beach holds seven members. Each representative is elected to a four-year term duration and can hold office a maximum of two consecutive terms. The council conducts meetings on the first and third Monday of every month unless otherwise announced.
2000 Main Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
The office of major in Huntington Beach is held on a rotating basis and elected from the existing city council members. The mayor is tasked to run the city council meetings and represent Huntington Beach in both the community and region.
2000 Main St, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Chamber of Commerce
As the largest and most comprehensive business organization in Orange County, the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce focuses on advocating, championing, promoting, and fostering Huntington Beach. Names like Boeing, California Resources Corporation, and Hyatt Regency are only a few of the many investors of the Chamber of Commerce.
2134 Main Street, Suite 100, Huntington Beach CA, 92648
Overview: Huntington Beach is proud to be home to multiple reputable and highly rated educational campuses for children from K-12 and beyond. Huntington Beach City School District is the main provider of education for the city’s younger residents. Each campus upholds a reputation for pursuing high academic expectations, upholding the belief that children should learn on an individual basis, and maintaining that collaboration is an important key to success. Fountain Valley School District focuses on grades K-8, while Ocean View School District serves 8,000 students and consists of California Distinguished Schools. Westminster School District has campuses in northeast Huntington Beach. GreatSchools, a nonprofit school ranking organization, lists Huntington Beach’s public and private schools K-12 as 10/10 for overall academic excellence. William T. Newland Elementary, Circle View Elementary, Talbert Middle School, Isaac L. Sowers Middle School, Edison High School, and Huntington Beach High School are only a few of the highly-rated schools in this area.
The main school districts that service Huntington Beach include the Huntington Beach City School District, Huntington Beach Union High School District, Ocean View School District, Fountain Valley School District, and Westminster School District. Huntington Beach City School District services elementary and middle school grades, while Huntington Beach Union High School District has included 9-12 campuses since 1903. Ocean View School District, founded in 1874, and Fountain Valley School District, founded in 1966, both include elementary and middle schools. Since 1872, Westminster School District has supported elementary schools. These school districts have campuses throughout Huntington Beach, but there is a higher concentration of campuses further inland, towards the center of Huntington Beach.
List of school districts:
Central: Oceanview School District
Northwest: Los Alamitos School District
Northeast: Westminster School District
Southwest: Huntington Beach City School District
Southeast: Fountain Valley School District
Huntington Beach has no shortage of great elementary schools in a variety of school districts. William T. Newland Elementary, Ralph E. Hawes Elementary, and Circle View Elementary are all in different school districts, but equally highly-rated public schools for grades K-5.
Top-rated middle Schools in Huntington Beach are Talbert (Samuel E.) Middle School, Isaac L. Sowers Middle School, Mesa View Middle School, and Ethel Dwyer Middle School. Huntington Beach City Elementary School District covers a large portion of middle school campuses, and Ocean View School District’s middle schools have recently been awarded the status of Blue Ribbon Schools.
Huntington Beach High School, Edison High School, and Marina High School are all highly-rated campuses within the Huntington Beach Union High School District. High Schools are largely located in central Huntington Beach, but coastal locations can be found.
Private schools in Huntington Beach include St. Simon and St. Jude Elementary School and St. Bonaventure School for grades K-8. Brethren Christian Junior and Senior High School serves grades 6-12, and Warner Avenue Christian Academy focuses on grades 1-12. Hebrew Academy and Liberty Christian School serves students K-12.
Overview: Huntington Beach housing largely is made up of high-quality single family homes, but new construction, condominiums, and apartments also make up the number of highly sought-after properties in this thriving city. With such close proximity to the Pacific Ocean and a number of world-renowned beaches and surfing destinations, Huntington Beach properties typically sell at a high market prices. Single family homes usually range between $700K and multimillion dollar homes depending on size and location. Large-scale new construction work has ramped up in the past five years to build modern, luxurious residences. Apartments typically consist of studio or multiple room layouts and can be found in high concentrations in central Huntington Beach, as well as along the water. Condominiums, a cost-effective and space-efficient residential type, are also highly popular. With a healthy real estate market, new housing options are constantly being made available.
Single Family Homes
Single family homes in Huntington Beach typically consist of 2-3 beds and 2-3 baths, but larger properties around 4 beds and 5 baths can be found. These homes are highly valued, typically with two-car garages, lawn and backyard spaces, and modernly designed to have attractive interior and interior features.
Condominium complexes are scattered throughout Huntington Beach, and the most popular locations are along the Pacific Coast Highway along Huntington Beach’s southwestern border. On average, condominiums consist of 2-3 beds and 2 baths. Space varies between 1,000-2,000 square feet, but larger, more expensive properties also exist.
Around 52 newly constructed family housing properties were built in 2014 with an average market cost of $346,500. The past five years show an increase in the rate of new construction compared to Huntington Beach’s history, and because of the construction’s proximity to the water, these properties are highly sought after.
The majority of apartments can be found along Huntington Beach’s north and south coastal border, in addition to central Huntington Beach neighborhoods. Apartments vary between 1-3 bedrooms and 1-2 baths typically, and properties can be found within walking distance of beaches in neighborhoods like Sunset Beach and along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Because the entire southwestern border of Huntington Beach is made up of coastline, there are a variety of oceanfront living residences including condominiums, apartments, and family homes. Sunset Beach and South Huntington Beach showcase a range of properties from 1-4 bedroom layouts and architectural features.
If you’re interested in buying a home in this area, check out currently available Huntington Beach homes for sale.
Overview: Huntington Beach has a healthy and consistent real estate market. Over the past five years, a clear fluctuation between high and low sales months can be seen with the lowest number of property sales averaging around 400 and the high sales periods hitting 600 properties per month. The median sales price of all properties in Huntington Beach shows a steady rise in the last five years as well. The average 2 bedroom property has increased from $480K to $540K in the past three years, while 4 bedroom properties have risen from $845K to $900K in the same period. The average price per square foot has steadily risen, along with the median home sales price on a year over year basis. Typical Huntington Beach residences feature modern architecture, attractive curb appeal, and convenient locations. Residential properties of Huntington Beach sell relatively fast compared to the national average and are known for easy commutes to the Pacific coast.
Things to Do
Overview: Huntington Beach is known for beautiful beaches, fun in the sun, and entertaining attractions. The Huntington City Beach and the long Huntington Beach Pier offer amazing water activities. True to its surfing reputation, Huntington Beach houses the International Surfing Museum, where longboards and other surfing memorabilia are on display. The expansive Huntington Central Park showcases gardens, lakes, and fields, in addition to an equestrian center. The dunes and wetlands of Bolsta Chica Ecological Reserve are a refuge and home to a wide range of rare bird species. Adventure City is a family-friendly amusement park for younger children. The Orange County Museum of Art is a long-standing modern artwork showcase. Since 1974, Shipley Nature Center has preserved beautiful lands, and the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge is open for public tours of sea creatures and birds. These are only a few of the many highlights of Huntington Beach, where there’s always something new to explore.
Retail & Entertainment
Parks & Recreation
Huntington Beach has a range of parks and recreation locations just waiting to be explored. Pets are welcome at the Talbert Nature Preserve and the Dog Beach, and Sigler Park is a highly rated community park for sports and recreation. As a neighborhood right on the coast, there are many beaches and piers for all types of water activities.
For indoor and retail therapy, Huntington Beach has a range of locations to shop. 5Th &PCH is only steps away from the beach, 1 Look Vintage has sheer new-to-you clothing, and 5 Points Plaza has a range of popular chains. Whatever your preference, Huntington Beach has a place for you.
Art & Culture
Huntington Beach values history and the arts. The International Surfing Museum houses a range of displays centering around aquatic sports, and the Orange County Museum of Art houses a collection of contemporary and modern art. Heritage Museum of Orange County maintains restored 1890s properties and floral gardens. These attractions and many more are sure to make your day special.
Dance bars, breweries, watering holes, and lounges abound in Huntington Beach. The Bungalow and Pacific Hideaway offers amazing drinks and high-class atmosphere. SeaLegs Wine Bar and SeaLegs at the Beach provide seaside nightlife experiences. Huntington Beach Beer Company and Four Sons Brewing are only two of the many local breweries. Whatever your tastes, Huntington Beach has an experience for you.
Both near the water and further inland, Huntington Beach has brilliant and tasteful eatery options. Fine dining options include BLK Earth Sea Spirits, Captain Jack’s Restaurant, and Watertable. Local favorites are the Sugar Shack Cafe, Duke’s Huntington Beach, and Pete’s Sunset Grille. For cheap eats, Las Barcas is amazing Mexican cuisine, and breakfast fans find Duck’s Donuts to die for.
Overview: Huntington Beach covers a total of 32 square miles and around ten miles of solid, unbroken coastline. Eight outlined neighborhoods make up the whole of Huntington Beach. Goldenwest makes up the northern segment of Huntington Beach and is known for shopping , dining, and skateboarding at the Off the Wall Skatepark. Huntington Harbour is made up of five islands on the western side of Huntington Beach, right behind Sunset Beach. Sunset Beach itself is a stretch of coastline and a charming residential area. Bolsa Chica is to the south of Sunset Beach and stretches inland. Comprised of picturesque beaches, marshlands, and wetlands, Bolsa Chica makes up a large part of Huntington Beach’s coastline area and nearby residential properties. Central Park is sandwiched between Bolsa Chica and Beach Boulevard in the center of Huntington Beach, and Downtown makes up the southwest tip, while Southeast is located exactly where its name implies. All of Huntington Beach’s neighborhoods have their own welcoming, lively atmosphere.
If you want to learn more about this city’s neighborhoods, check out full list of Huntington Beach neighborhoods page.