Moving to Santa Ana

Welcome to the gateway of adventure, where the sun always shines, the palm trees sway, and the cultural richness never fades! We're talking about Santa Ana, California. A vibrant blend of history, culture, food, and entertainment, it's a city that invigorates the senses and charms the heart. There's plenty to explore and even more reasons to consider it as your next nest. Interested? Strap in, folks! This comprehensive Santa Ana relocation guide is about to embark on a delightful journey, unraveling the captivating tales and practicalities of moving to this dynamic city. Get ready, the Santa Ana charm awaits!

Moving to Santa Ana, CA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Santa Ana

1. Embrace the Diversity

One of the first things to embrace when moving to Santa Ana is the city's rich cultural diversity. Over 70% of the population is Hispanic, which has heavily influenced its vibrant culture, food, and traditions. Going about your day, you may notice a beautiful amalgamation of languages being spoken, and it's just as common to hear Spanish as it is English. This fusion creates a unique and warm environment that is seen in few other American cities.

2. Prepare for a Sunny Weather... Mostly

California is famously known for its fantastic weather, and Santa Ana is no exception. With over 280 sunny days a year, you can plan to enjoy outdoor activities without worrying about rain spoiling your plan. However, it's also important to note that Santa Ana can get extremely hot during the summer months, so air conditioning is not an option, it's a need! Plus, don't forget your sunscreen and hat when you head out to enjoy that Californian sun.

3. Get Ready to Pay for the Weather

Let's say this upfront: living in Santa Ana isn't cheap. The typical Californian golden sunshine comes with a golden price, compared to the national average, the cost of living in Santa Ana is quite high. Rent, groceries, and utilities tend to run above the national average. But with the great weather, incredible food, and a variety of outdoor activities and amenities, many residents believe it's a price worth paying.

4. Appreciate the Artistry

Did you know that Santa Ana is home to a flourishing, yet underappreciated, art scene? The city radiates creativity with events like the monthly Artwalk held in the downtown Artist Village, which showcases local artists, musicians, and creatives. There are also several museums, art galleries, and performance spaces that are well worth exploring. Santa Ana is a hidden gem that art lovers will adore.

5. Discover the Santa Ana Winds

Here's a fun fact that even some long-time residents may not realize! The Santa Ana winds, after which the city is named, aren't just a fancy name--they are a weather phenomenon. These hot, dry winds can reach hurricane-level speeds and usually blow in from the desert to the coastal areas. Although they can increase wildfire risk, they definitely add to the unique character of Santa Ana.

6. Taste the Authentic Cuisine

Get ready to take your taste buds on a delightful journey! Given its high Latinx population, Santa Ana boasts some of the best Mexican food outside of Mexico. From street vendors selling authentic tacos to fancy sit-down restaurants serving exquisite Mexican cuisine, there's a place to satisfy every craving. However, the city's culinary scene is not only limited to Mexican food. There are numerous notable Asian, Mediterranean, and American food establishments to explore as well.

Moving to a new city may can be challenging, but knowing a little more about what to expect can make all the difference. So whether you're moving to Santa Ana for its sunny weather, diverse culture, or artistic vibes, prepare yourself for an experience that's as unique and vibrant as the city itself!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Santa Ana

Pros of Living in Santa Ana

Rich History and Cultural Heritage

Santa Ana is a city with a diverse history, making it a culturally vibrant place to live. Important landmarks like the Old Orange County Courthouse and the Bowers Museum offer a glimpse into the deep-rooted history of the region. From historic walking tours to popular cultural festivals, the city is a great place for history buffs and those wanting to experience a rich cultural blend.

Proximity to Multiple Attractions

Living in Santa Ana provides easy access to many of Southern California's popular attractions. Disneyland, gorgeous beaches, and mountain ranges are all within a convenient driving distance. Also, the city itself has attractions like the Santa Ana Zoo and Discovery Cube, making weekend outings a fun activity for families.

Great Weather

Santa Ana boasts a Mediterranean climate which means mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers--a combination that many people find very appealing. The city enjoys more than 280 sunny days per year. So, if you love warm and sunny weather, Santa Ana is an ideal choice.

Vibrant Art Scene

The city has an exciting arts scene with its downtown area often referred to as the "East End". It features a distinct collection of galleries, art studios, theatres, and mural-covered walls that are all a part of the Santa Ana Art Walk. This makes it a wonderful city for artists, writers, musicians, and other creative individuals.

Diverse Food Options

Santa Ana offers a diverse array of dining options, meaning you can explore cuisines from around the world without leaving the city. From authentic Mexican tacos to Asian fusion cuisine, the food scene is a reflection of the city's diverse resident mix and is a delight for foodies.

Cons of Living in Santa Ana

Cost of Living

Santa Ana, like many other cities in California, has a higher cost of living compared to the national average. Expenses related to housing, utilities, groceries, and transportation can be higher here, making it a less appealing option for those with tight budgets.


Traffic can be a significant issue in Santa Ana, especially during peak morning and evening hours. The city's proximity to popular attractions also means increased foot and vehicular traffic, particularly during weekends and holidays. This might not be an ideal setting for those who enjoy quieter surroundings.

Parking Issues

Parking can occasionally be a challenge in Santa Ana especially in downtown and densely populated areas. Limited street parking and restrictions can lead to inconvenience for residents and visitors, forcing them to rely more on public transportation or pay for private parking spaces.

Air Quality Concerns

Like many other Californian cities, Santa Ana sometimes grapples with air quality issues. The presence of high traffic and industry can lead to poor air conditions, which could be a concern particularly for individuals with respiratory problems or those who value an environmentally friendly place to live.

Educational System

While there are several good schools and colleges in Santa Ana, the public school system is often critiqued for not being at par with some other areas in California. Performance scores and reviews can vary widely between public schools, potentially making it a challenging place for families with school-going children to find the right fit.

Modern day picture of Santa Ana, CA highlighting pros and cons of living in Santa Ana, CA

Is Santa Ana a Good Place to Live?

Santa Ana, CA is a great place to live because of its year-round mild weather, vibrant arts scene, and family-friendly amenities like the Discovery Cube and the Santa Ana Zoo. The city also boasts a rich history with architecture dating back to the 1800s, exciting food culture and easy access to beautiful beaches. With plenty of parks and outdoor spaces, it is both an urbanite's paradise and an outdoors enthusiast's delight.

What Is Santa Ana Famous For?

The Santa Ana Zoo

If you are an animal lover, you'll appreciate the richness of species existing at the Santa Ana Zoo! This 20-acre zoo is famous for having a collection of primates from around the world. Probably you'll spot a critter you didn't even know existed! There's a special focus on animals and plants native to South and Central America, adding a unique educational flavor to your visit.

The Bowers Museum

Got a soft spot for art and history? The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana is just the place to feed your cultural cravings! The museum is famed for its outstanding exhibits ranging from Native American art, to Pacific Islands' relics, to East Asian treasures, and beyond. The museum's mission to bridge the gap between cultures and inspire a greater understanding of the world, makes it a notable landmark.

The Discovery Cube Orange County

Do you have curious kiddos or are you a science enthusiast? The Discovery Cube Orange County will surely ignite your imagination! This science center, located in Santa Ana, is known for its innovative, interactive exhibits that make learning fun for all ages. Whether you're stepping inside a real-life rocket or navigating through a digital world, there's an adventure at every turn.

Old Town Santa Ana

Dive into the local flavor at Old Town Santa Ana! This historic district is famous for its beautifully preserved 19th and early 20th century buildings, which now house eclectic shops, trendy restaurants, and vibrant art galleries. A walk through Old Town Santa Ana is like stepping back in time, offering a charming blend of history with a modern twist.

Capital building of Santa Ana, CA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

The property tax rate in Santa Ana, CA as of 2023 is approximately 1.07% of the assessed home value. This is a moderately low rate compared to other parts of the US, particularly areas such as New Jersey which has an average property tax rate of 2.4%.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in Santa Ana, CA as of 2023 is 7.75%. This rate is relatively high, placing Santa Ana in the top 25% of the highest sales taxes among US cities. The city's sales tax rate is also higher than the 2023 US average of 5.09%.

Income Tax

California employs a progressive income tax system with rates ranging from 1% to 13.3%. Residents of Santa Ana, therefore, will have variable income tax rates depending on their income levels. This rate is among the highest compared to other parts of the US where the typical top income tax rate falls around 5-9%.

Housing Market

In Santa Ana, CA, the housing market is notably competitive compared to other parts of the US. The median home value is approximately $618,500, significantly higher than the national average. Though home values have increased over 5% in the past year, they're forecasted to fall slightly over the next year. Rental rates are also relatively high, averaging around $2,300 per month. Buyers should expect bidding wars, while renters should be prepared for stiff competition. However, despite its robust market, Santa Ana offers a unique southern Californian lifestyle and advantageous economic opportunities that may balance the housing costs for many.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Santa Ana, CA is notably higher than the national average and significantly higher compared to other U.S cities. Driven largely by housing costs, Santa Ana is also above average in categories like transportation and healthcare. While it's cheaper than cities like San Francisco or New York, it's more expensive compared to other cities in Orange County like Garden Grove or Costa Mesa. Overall, while Santa Ana offers amenities of city life, affordability remains a challenge for many residents.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Santa Ana, California is characterized by a warm Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The city enjoys ample sunshine throughout the year with average high temperatures fluctuating between 70-85degF, making it a pleasant destination for sunshine lovers. However, Santa Ana is known for its "Santa Ana Winds", which are strong, extremely dry offshore winds that can exacerbate wildfires. In terms of natural disasters, the city's proximity to the San Andreas Fault line makes it susceptible to earthquakes. Furthermore, flash floods can occur in the event of heavy rainfall. Despite these, Santa Ana's overall climate and weather attract many to its sunny and dry environment.

Typical weather in Santa Ana, CA

Economy & Job Market

Healthcare and Social Assistance


Retail Trade

Education Services

Accommodation and Food Services

Santa Ana, California, affectionally dubbed the "Golden City," has an economy that shines just as brightly as its nickname suggests. Historically, Santa Ana was known for its agricultural industry - a sunny paradise for growing oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits. But don't let those old-timey pictures fool you; today's Santa Ana is a bustling metropolis teeming with modern industries. Healthcare and social assistance lead the way, providing the most jobs, while manufacturing remains strong - a nod to Santa Ana's rich history in the defense and aerospace industries during the 20th century. Education services, retail trade, and accommodation and food services round out the city's diverse economic portfolio.

So, you're thinking about embarking on a golden adventure by moving to Santa Ana, eh? Let me give you a bit of advice! Santa Ana's unemployment rate, at around 4.3%, is just a smidge higher than the national average, but don't let that worry you too much. Opportunities abound in the city, particularly in the booming healthcare sector and the ever-steady manufacturing industry. If you have special skills or education, hit up the education services sector - local institutions like Santa Ana College are often on the hunt for both administrative staff and instructors. And don't disregard the retail trade and food services industries; they're always on the lookout for a bright smile! So put on your adventuring hat (and perhaps a nice blazer) and dive headfirst into Santa Ana's vibrant job market - there's a good chance you'll strike gold!

Traffic and Transportation

Hey there, Santa Ana commuters! If the daily drive's got you down, you're not alone. The average commute time around here hovers around the 30-minute mark--one of those "fun" parts of living in our bustling Santa Ana. But, did you know there's a whole host of public transportation at your disposal?

From the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center, which offers both train and bus services, to the OCTA bus system that has routes throughout Orange County, public transportation could be your key to surfing the web instead of fighting the traffic. And for those frequent flyers and far-off adventurers, guess what--we're home to John Wayne Airport, just a stone's throw away for all your air travel needs. So put that car key down and explore Santa Ana in a whole new way!

What is the traffic like in Santa Ana, CA?

Best Neighborhoods in Santa Ana

1. Floral Park

Considered the crown jewel of Santa Ana, Floral Park is a picture-perfect neighborhood that oozes charm and elegance at every turn. The area is renowned for its stunning array of vintage homes that date back to the 1920s, giving the neighborhood a time-traveling vibe. Along with its beautifully manicured yards and tree-lined streets, Floral Park also features an active neighborhood association that adds to its close-knit, small-town atmosphere. If you enjoy walking, biking, and neighborhood potlucks, Floral Park will feel like paradise on earth for you.

2. Downtown Santa Ana

Can't get enough of the buzzing energy of a vibrant urban life? Being smack dab in the center of the city's action, Downtown Santa Ana is definitely your spot. The neighborhood brims with eclectic eateries, trendy boutiques, and innovative art galleries waiting to be explored. Boasting structures with stunning historical architecture, Downtown Santa Ana also hosts thrilling open-air markets and food festivals that provide plenty of opportunities to socialize, eat, and shop till you drop. Oh, and you definitely won't want to miss the monthly Artwalk!

3. Park Santiago

Park Santiago lies at the heart of Santa Ana and is widely recognized for its lovely blend of historic charm and modern comfort. The neighborhood is comprised of a charming mix of homes with architectural details that just ooze character. As you stroll through the tree-shrouded streets, you'll notice that every house has a unique charm with the area itself radiating a perfectly relaxed vibe. The neighborhood's namesake park is a popular spot for outdoor activities with its sports fields and nature trails.

4. Morrison Park

Known as one of Santa Ana's hidden gems, Morrison Park offers a peaceful and quiet living environment just minutes away from the city's major hubs. What this neighborhood lacks in bustling activities, it makes up for with its serene parks, lush green landscapes, and cozy family homes. Morrison Park provides an excellent balance of vibrant city life and tranquil suburbia. Perfect for families who want a quiet, close-knit community, Morrison Park is a great place for biking, evening walks and children's playdates.

5. Washington Square

Last but by no means least, Washington Square holds its place as one of Santa Ana's most delightful neighborhoods. A lively, lively community spirit drives the residents of Washington Square, and the neighborhood pride is evident in the well-kept homes and landscaped yards. This tight-knit community is known for its friendly and helpful neighbors, making newcomers feel at home almost immediately. The neighborhood also boasts a number of community-led events and activities throughout the year, ranging from movie nights to community potlucks.

In conclusion, there's undoubtedly a neighborhood within Santa Ana that will make you feel right at home. From the timeless charm of Floral Park to the vivacious, stylish streets of Downtown, each area has its own unique vibe to offer. Whether you prefer a busy city atmosphere or a peaceful suburban setting, Santa Ana's diverse neighborhoods offer the best of both worlds. Start exploring and find a corner of Santa Ana that feels just like home.

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Things to Do

Welcome to the picturesque city of Santa Ana, CA! Nestled at the heart of Orange County, Santa Ana unifies urban sophistication with a profound sense of history, and the allure of the great outdoors. Whether you're an avid foodie, history aficionado, culture enthusiast or simply crave adventure, Santa Ana has it all. Here are our top 7 things to do in Santa Ana to experience the city to the fullest.

1. Embark on a Culinary Journey at Santa Ana's 4th Street Market

Do your taste buds demand diversity? Then explore the cornucopia of culinary delights at Santa Ana's 4th Street Market. This upscale food court is a haven for foodies, offering a diverse range of gourmet vendors. From well-crafted sandwiches at The Sandwich Society, to stunning creations at Sweet Mission Cookie Co, your palates are in for a treat.

2. Dive into History at the Bowers Museum

Soak in Santa Ana's rich cultural heritage at the renowned Bowers Museum. Home to an impressive collection of more than 120,000 works, the museum is an important center for the study of global cultures. Partake in their riveting exhibitions and thought-provoking talks with world-class experts for an immersive historical experience.

3. Explore the great outdoors at the Santa Ana Zoo

Embrace your wild side at the unique Santa Ana Zoo. This 20-acre park, home to more than 270 animals, is renowned for its diverse primate collection and is committed to conservation. Make sure to take a ride on the "Fifty Monkey" Ferris Wheel for a birds-eye view of the animal kingdom.

4. Discover local talent at the Grand Central Art Center

Step onto the vibrant campus of the Grand Central Art Center for a thrilling dive into the local contemporary art scene. Housing galleries, theatres, live-work spaces, and a retail area, this bustling hub stimulates creativity and encourages critical dialogue amidst the city's various public interest and high education communities.

5. Get a birds-eye view of the city at the Helicopter Tours

Hop on an exciting helicopter ride to get a spectacular, sky-high view of Santa Ana and its surrounding areas. Whether it's an intimate romantic trip or a group adventure, the helicopter tours provide a thrilling experience sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.

6. Let your creativity bloom at the Santora Building Art Walk

A lesser-known gem in Santa Ana's crown, the Santora Building Art Walk showcases regional artistic talent through an array of exhibits. This charming Spanish Colonial Revival facility, located downtown, is home to several galleries and studios. Take a leisurely stroll during their monthly Art Walk to satisfy your cultural cravings.

7. Drink in the scenery at Rancho Santiago Botanic Garden

Breaking from the mainstream tourist spots, the Rancho Santiago Botanic Garden is a tranquil retreat not many know of. A well-kept secret oasis, it's the perfect place to relax and connect with nature, showcasing a variety of unique, drought-resistant plants in a serene setting.

In conclusion, Santa Ana offers many delightful experiences, ranging from cultural immersions to thrilling adventures and culinary explorations. As a newcomer, not only will these activities keep you busy, they'll showcase the various aspects of city life, helping you truly connect with the heart of Santa Ana, making it feel like home.

Things to do in Santa Ana, CA?

Find Movers for Your Santa Ana Relocation

Having explored the vibrant community and welcoming ambiance of Santa Ana, you're likely excited about your upcoming move. Make your transition smoother, secure, and less stressful by reaching out to us at Great Guys Moving today. With our extensive network of licensed and insured movers renowned for their quality and affordability, you stand to enjoy a seamless moving experience tailored to your unique requirements. Don't leave your move to chance; exploit our platform to secure quotes and start planning for your move today. Initiate the first step by requesting a free moving quote - it's fast, easy, and it's only a click away.

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