4 Communities in Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach is a seaside suburb within the Los Angeles metro area in Southern California. It is known for its long stretch of surfing beaches, as well as its pleasant year-round temperatures. Retirees enjoy all of the local community amenities, including multiple shopping centers, golf courses, and parks, as well as its proximity to Los Angeles.
Climate & Geography
Huntington Beach experiences a stable Mediterranean, or dry summer, climate. Though extreme temperatures are possible, residents can expect temperatures to range in the 50s to 70s all year round. Generally, the climate is dry, cool, and sunny, though evenings can be damp due to light winds blowing in from the ocean. The city experiences less than average rain, no snow, and about 280 days of sun each year.
The geography is mainly made up of flat coastal plains and marshlands. Construction of any kind on the beach is prohibited without a community vote, so Huntington Beach retains its natural connection to the coast. As a result, no views are obstructed by either residential or commercial developments.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Located just 35 miles southeast of Los Angeles, Huntington Beach gets its “Surf City, USA” nickname, unsurprisingly, from the amount of surfing available all year. Northern winter winds and southern summer tropical storms lead to consistently favorable surf conditions.
Outside of surfing, residents enjoy the gardens and wildlife of Central Park and Shipley Nature Center. Golfers can check out the Meadowlark Golf Club and SeaCliff Country Club, as well as other courses in surrounding cities.
Downtown Huntington Beach is the active and vibrant city center, with local boutiques and high-end shops, as well as small eateries and street vendors. The area hosts Sun City Nights, Orange County’s largest weekly street fair and farmers market, as well as other seasonal festivals and events. Additional shopping in the city can be found in malls along Pacific Coast Highway and Beach Boulevard, as well as Old World Village, a German area with traditional pubs, shops, and an annual Oktoberfest celebration.
Other local amenities include the Huntington Beach Art Center, and several craft breweries and distilleries.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Huntington Beach’s cost of living is much higher than the national and state average. This is mainly because the cost of housing is significantly higher than average. Transportation is also above average, while utilities and health care are below. Grocery prices tend to match the rest of the U.S.
The state of California fully taxes all forms of retirement income except for Social Security. Property taxes tend to be low for the U.S., while Huntington Beach’s combined sales tax of 7.75 percent is high. However, most groceries and prescription drugs are exempt from this tax.
Gallup’s Well-Being Index consistently ranks the Los Angeles metro area within the top 45 communities across the country, and California as one of the top 14 states.
The Huntington Beach Hospital is the only hospital in Huntington Beach. Fountain Valley, three miles away, has two U.S. News rated high performing hospitals: MemorialCare Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center and Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center. Nationally ranked Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian is six miles away in Newport Beach. UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles is nationally ranked, the No. 1 hospital in California, and the No. 6 hospital in the country.