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15 Things to Know Before Moving to Orange, CA

Written by Leigh Cooper

Located amidst mountain ranges, Orange is a vibrant city in California with a population of 138,547 residents.

Home to Chapman University, it offers educational excellence and a dynamic, family-friendly environment. The historic Old Towne district reflects its rich heritage, while events like the Orange International Street Fair showcase its lively spirit.

Safe neighborhoods, top-rated schools, and proximity to Santiago Oaks Regional Park contribute to its appeal. With a welcoming ambiance and diverse experiences, Orange invites residents to embrace a unique Southern California lifestyle. 

Let’s discuss 15 things to know before moving to Orange, CA!

1. The city has a citrus legacy

Orange, CA, embraces a vibrant citrus legacy that dates back to the late 1800s when the first orange groves were planted. The city’s name pays homage to these flourishing orchards that once defined its landscape. Old Towne Orange stands as a living testament to this citrus heritage, preserving historic structures and vintage charm that harken back to the city’s fruitful past.

The “Citrus War” in the early 20th century underscored the significance of water rights in sustaining the citrus industry, leaving a lasting impact on Orange County. While urbanization has transformed the city, traces of its citrus history endure in scattered grove remnants and architecture.

Orange’s commitment to its citrus roots is celebrated annually through citrus festivals, bringing residents and visitors together to honor the city’s fragrant history. In essence, Orange, CA, remains a dynamic blend of past and present, where the sweet scent of citrus lingers in the air, preserving a legacy that defines its unique character.

2. Orange has diverse neighborhoods

Explore Orange’s diverse neighborhoods, each offering a unique flavor to the city’s landscape. From the historic charm of Old Towne to the tranquillity of Orange Park Acres and family-oriented Rocking Horse Ridge, the city caters to various preferences.

The Plaza serves as a community hub, while Santiago Hills provides scenic views. These neighborhoods collectively contribute to Orange’s dynamic and inclusive character.

3. Prepare for the California sun

Bask in Orange’s abundant sunshine with a Mediterranean climate. While winters are mild, summers, especially in July, bring peak heat. Daytime temperatures often climb into the 90s Fahrenheit.

Sun protection is vital, with high-SPF sunscreen, hydration, and light clothing recommended. Also, opt for outdoor activities in the morning or late afternoon to beat the peak heat and savor the California sun safely.

4. Orange is home to Chapman University and 53 schools

Chapman University stands as a cornerstone of education, culture, and community engagement in Orange. With historical roots dating back to 1861, the university moved to Orange in 1954 and has since become a vital part of the city’s identity. Chapman University offers a diverse range of academic programs, fostering academic excellence and cultural enrichment through initiatives like the Musco Center for the Arts.

There are also 53 schools in this city, which includes 28 public schools and 25 private schools, leaving you with numerous school options. Orange County Classical Academy and Oakridge Private School are two highly-rated schools in this city.

5. Traffic is an issue

Traffic issues in Orange stem from a combination of commuter congestion, limited public transportation, the impact of ongoing development, and parking challenges.

The city’s central location in Orange County and the convergence of major freeways contribute to commuter congestion, especially during peak hours. Limited public transit options and a reliance on personal vehicles further compound traffic challenges. Ongoing urban development, while promoting economic growth, strains existing road infrastructure.

It is important that you are informed about the traffic issues in Orange.

6. Immerse yourself in Orange’s culture

Immerse yourself in Orange’s vibrant culture by exploring Old Towne, attending cultural festivals, and enjoying culinary diversity.

Chapman University, the Musco Center for the Arts, and community events offer avenues to connect with the city’s rich cultural fabric, making you an integral part of Orange’s dynamic and welcoming community.

7. Enjoy outdoor recreation at Santiago Oaks Regional Park

Santiago Oaks Regional Park beckons nature lovers with diverse outdoor activities. From hiking trails and mountain biking to serene picnics and wildlife observation, the park offers a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts.

You can capture scenic vistas and vibrant flora while embracing a range of adventures in Southern California’s natural splendor.

8. Enjoy sumptuous meals at The Filling Station Café

Savour delicious meals at The Filling Station Café, where the welcoming ambiance and friendly service set the stage for a memorable dining experience.

Here, you can start your day with amazing breakfast options, from classic dishes to innovative specials, paired perfectly with the café’s signature coffee. The diverse lunch menu offers hearty sandwiches, fresh salads, and creative specials that showcase seasonal ingredients. Outdoor seating provides an al fresco option, enhancing the relaxed and enjoyable setting.

Don’t miss the sweet endings with delectable desserts and pastries. The Filling Station Café invites patrons to savor not just a meal but a moment, celebrating the artistry of great meals in the heart of Orange.

9. Orange prioritizes residents’ health and wellness

Orange demonstrates a commitment to residents’ health through top-notch healthcare facilities like St. Joseph Hospital and CHOC.

Community health programs, fitness classes, and wellness initiatives promote physical and mental well-being. With ample parks, bike-friendly infrastructure, and nutritious food options, Orange fosters a holistic approach to residents’ health.

10. A family-friendly atmosphere

Experience Orange’s warm and family-friendly atmosphere, boasting safe neighborhoods, top-rated schools, and abundant parks.

Family-friendly events, cultural and educational opportunities, and a strong community network make Orange an ideal place to call home, prioritizing the well-being and enrichment of families.

11. Attend the Orange International Street Fair

Celebrate cultural diversity at the Orange International Street Fair, an annual Labor Day weekend event. With a myriad of international cuisines, cultural performances, and family-friendly activities, the fair embodies Orange’s inclusive spirit.

Although this event is run by volunteers, it has become a cherished tradition, inviting residents and visitors to revel in shared cultural experiences.

12. Proximity to major attractions

Orange’s prime location offers easy access to attractions like Disneyland, iconic beaches, and cultural hubs in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Sports enthusiasts can enjoy events at Angel Stadium and the Honda Center, while shopping destinations like The Outlets at Orange and South Coast Plaza cater to your retail therapy needs.

13. Living costs are 64.9% higher than the national average

Living in Orange can be quite expensive. The cost of living here is higher than the national average by 64.9%.

Utilities, transportation, healthcare, groceries, and housing costs are higher than average. A bundle of bananas costs $3.74, and a loaf of bread costs $4.32. Also, the median home price is $996,152, which is way higher than the national average of $430,000.

Make sure you consider the high costs of living in Orange before relocating.

14. There’s the risk of earthquakes

Orange faces earthquake risks due to its seismically active location, including its proximity to the San Andreas Fault. While predicting specific seismic events is challenging, Orange is well-prepared with stringent building codes and emergency response plans.

Community readiness, secure homes, and informed safety measures contribute to Orange’s commitment to public safety in the face of earthquakes.

15. St. Joseph Hospital is a top employer

St. Joseph Hospital serves as a significant employer within the community, offering a wide range of job opportunities across various sectors of the healthcare industry.

From nursing positions and physician roles to allied health professions, administrative and support staff, medical technologists, and IT professionals, the hospital provides diverse employment options.

Additionally, St. Joseph Hospital employs individuals in environmental services, finance, human resources, and more. This diverse workforce contributes not only to the hospital’s commitment to delivering high-quality healthcare but also to its role as a key economic driver in Orange.


Orange, CA, is a great place to live. Embrace the vibrant culture, make new connections, and take in the unique experiences this city has to offer. Nonetheless, ensure to consider the traffic issues and earthquake risks before making the move to Orange, CA!  

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