Stanton has a decidedly fickle nature. It turns out the small suburb started out as a city, and one with a pretty sizable land area of about 16 square miles, before disincorporating due to high taxes in 1924. Then, in a moment of civic pride perhaps, residents once again attained city status, with an area of just over three miles square this time, in 1956. And now? Well, the citizens are mulling over un-incorporating again. Seems about time.
An adorably small blip on the U.S. map, Stanton, California is a tiny, close-knit city on the northern edge of Orange County, an area known for its amusement parks (perhaps youve heard of Disneyland?), gorgeous beaches and surfing lifestyle. While Stanton is comfortably inland, it does boast an amusement park of its own, along with smiling families, studious college kids and one of the most diverse populations in the nation. This leads to wonderfully walkable amenities in many neighborhoods and some seriously excellent Vietnamese and Mexican food. If that’s not enough to sway you to this semi-sleepy suburb, perhaps the community events will. Every year the town hosts a "Christmas in the City" day, and then pumps in real snow for all the kids to marvel upon and play in. Snow in Southern California? You bet.
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Beautiful Days Ahead
One of the greatest attractions of this city, and nearly any city in Southern California, is the fantastic year round weather. Stanton is only about eight miles from the coast, which means weekend trips to the beach, with the body boarding, sand castle building and fresh seafood shops that come with that proximity. Those sunny days also mean happy people, as the cloudy skies and dreary winters that bring the blues are a relatively rare event, even in January. It can get pretty steamy in the summer, but those beautiful ocean breezes can often reach the town too, leaving it a bit better off than further inland towns that often reach into the 100s at high noon.
If that’s not enough to sway you, the surrounding cities offer an indescribable wealth of culinary culture. Westminster, also known as Little Saigon, is just a city to the south, and the piping hot bowls of pho and crisp cool spring rolls will fill your belly and soul for little money. And that’s worth considering when budgeting for a move. Independent ethnic eateries mean downright delectable food at very low prices.
Need to Know for Moving to Stanton
Moving here is exciting, as Stanton is kind of a secret of Orange County only the locals know about. More residents use public transportation here, though they use buses -- no fancy trains, subways or people movers. But, you’ll still need a car. Definitely. Gas prices are average for California, but high for most anywhere else, so if yo’ure skipping like a stone across states, expect that price change to sting, especially since So Cal is a car haven and everyone drives everywhere. Fortunately, Stanton is fairly walkable, depending on the neighborhood, but work will almost certainly require transportation of some sort. Dont worry; it’s a short commute in these parts.
Two more bummers: the cost of living is elevated for the nation (but you were expecting that of California, right?) and the vacancy rate is real low. It’s not so terrible though, on either count. Only 36 percent above norms, for cost of living, and almost all of that is due to housing costs. As for vacancy rates, yeah, that’s a difficulty you’ll have to prepare for in advance. Try and visit to see what rentals look like in different districts, especially since websites for a lot of complexes are nonexistent. Some good news, however, this is a renting town! There are more renters than owners, even though there are plenty of single-family homes, charming row houses and cute townhomes by the dozen. These are definitely worth considering over an apartment building if you’re towing family.
Not so much neighborhoods as general areas (especially since this city is only three square miles in size), but they do offer some intriguing differences. Stanton is surprisingly dense with people (the people aren’t dense though; there are several quality colleges nearby), so each sector offers its own subtle variation on pros and cons.
Hansen: With a slightly higher vacancy rate and the lowest rents in the area, this can be a great option for certain people..
Western Ave: A nearly non-existent vacancy rate makes this area pretty difficult to squeeze into, but it may be worth the wait. Lots of townhomes and scads of college students keep this place walkable and charming.
Los Alamitos Junction: Nearly as many college students, pedestrian-friendly districts and safe evenings as Western, but with a little more glamour. Yet somehow, it’s less expensiver. Go figure! The higher vacancy rate also makes it more attractive.
Chapman/Beach: Everything runs right down the middle here: mid-range rents and mid-range commutes. But, it has a higher vacancy rate, the highest in the city, which means a greater possibility of getting in here quickly-ish.
Beach/Garden Grove: It's closer to the beach than the other areas in town, though that’s hardly important in a town this small, but this section has many townhomes, plus a number of rentals of studios, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments.
Stanton offers inhabitants a great selection of amenities, from the Adventure City amusement park to Fonda la Meches mole poblano. It’s especially enticing to people who are looking for reasonable rents and walkable neighborhoods and for students who desire affordable housing and a short commute to campus. The diversity adds to the charm in every way and although there are some detractors, it’s an up-and-coming spot tha’ts set to impress in the future.