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​Living in Whittier, CA: What to Know Before Moving

Whittier is a beautiful Southern California city just 25 minutes outside of Los Angeles and 30 minutes from Anaheim. Named one of the best cities to live in by Livability, Whittier has a bustling commercial district, plenty of community activities, great neighborhoods, and a healthy economy that makes it appealing for everyone from young professionals to retirees. Here’s what you need to know before moving to Whittier!

An Introduction to Whittier

View of Whittier, CA from trail

Photo by Sergei Gussev

Whittier is a small suburb within the Los Angeles metro with a population of 86,400. There are 19 parks in the city, including the popular William Penn Park, that provide more than 400 acres of playgrounds and green space. Whittier is also close to larger recreation areas, such as Turnbull Canyon and Arroyo Pescadero Trail, that are perfect for hiking, biking, jogging, and more. And because it’s Southern California, Whittier’s weather is the stuff of dreams! Average temperatures are between 55°F and 74°F.

Quick Facts About Whittier

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Popular Neighborhoods in Whittier

House in Whittier, CA

Photo by reignition2


Home Price: $2,035 median monthly rent; $485,755 median purchase
Crime Rate: 10% higher than the national average

Between East Whittier and Leffingwell is Colima. This neighborhood is fairly unique in that the majority of its homes were built between 1940 and 1969, so it’s perfect for families and retirees who want older, more established homes. Residents have access to nearby Anaconda Park and excellent restaurants like Lascaris Deli Lambert, Jo Peep’s NYC Pizza, and Rockie’s Frozen Yogurt.

East Whittier

Home Price: $1,160 median monthly rent; $398,500 median purchase
Crime Rate: 1% higher than the national average

East Whittier is centrally located in Whittier near Friendly Hills and Colima. With more affordable small to medium-sized homes and apartments, it’s a good spot for singles and young professionals to settle down. Residents have access to several bars and restaurants in Uptown Whittier, outdoor recreation at Michigan Park and Penn Park, and shopping at Quad at Whittier.

Friendly Hills

Home Price: $1,412 median monthly rent; $563,514 median purchase
Crime Rate: 10% higher than the national average

Located between Arroyo Pescadero Trail and Leffingwell is one of Whittier’s wealthier neighborhoods, Friendly Hills, where you can find large single-family homes. In fact, Friendly Hills is among the 15% highest income neighborhoods in the U.S. Residents have access to Murphy Ranch Park, Friendly Hills Country Club, and dining spots like Talias Coffee Co, TOGO’S Sandwiches, and Santa Maria’s Cafe.


Home Price: $1,304 median monthly rent; $473,565 median purchase
Crime Rate: 10% higher than the national average

Leffingwell is a tight-knit community tucked in the southern corner of Whittier. With a mix of small to medium-sized single-family homes and apartment complexes, it’s a great place for working and middle class individuals and families. Residents have access to Parnell Park, shopping at Whittwood Town Center, and restaurants like Ortega’s Fish & Grill, Arturo’s Puffy Taco, and Wienerschnitzel.

Fun Things to Do in Whittier

Old bank building in Whittier, CA where Nixon's first law office was

Photo by Erwin Recinos

Shop & Explore in Uptown

With restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, a movie theater, a farmers market, and more, Uptown Whittier is a bustling commercial district that’s a big hit with residents and Whittier College students. Check out the annual Uptown Christmas Parade, a free community event that features marching bands, dance troupes, drill teams, vintage cars, and more in December. Or grab some craft beers and taste local dishes at Taps & Tapas Craft Beer and Food Festival in September. From arts and antiques to Earth Day, there’s always something to do in Uptown Whittier!

Visit Pio Pico State Historical Park

Pio Pico State Historical Park is dedicated to the history of Pio Pico, the last Mexican governor of Alta California. As he climbed the political and wealth ladders, he bought a sizable estate near the San Gabriel River, naming it El Ranchito (“little ranch”). After his business and political affairs fell into disrepair, his estate did as well. In 1917, 23 years after his death, his home was deeded to the State of California. Today, visitors can learn about early Californian history, the gold rush, and Pio Pico’s adobe home.

Check Out Local Museums & Monuments

Whittier has plenty of places of interests, including historic sites, museums, and monuments. Visit President Richard Nixon’s first law office housed in a historic 1928 bank building. A replica of his office is housed in the Whittier Historical Museum, another fantastic spot to explore! Learn about the Quakers who settled the town, the advances in agriculture, and famous people from the area.

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Dining & Nightlife in Whittier


Photo by The DLC

Best Breakfast

Get breakfast at Rey’s Little Kitchen! A family-owned cafe specializing in Mexican fare, this spot is famous for their breakfast burritos and fluffy french toast. In fact, you may just want to stay for dinner, which includes hot sandwiches, fried chicken, tacos, and taquitos.

Best Lunch/Dinner

Whittier residents love Off the Hook Fish Grill and Bailey Street Kitchen! Off the Hook offers excellent seafood dishes at reasonable prices. Try the Shrimp Ceviche or Mahi Mahi. Bailey Street Kitchen serves everything from burgers to Argentinian steak dinners. Try the Chicken Piccata with avocado!

Best Tacos

Because Whittier is home to a large Hispanic and Latino population, you can find awesome taco joints practically anywhere in the city! Try Colonia Tacos Guisados, which offers tacos that appeal to meat lovers and vegetarians alike. This restaurant is run by local chef Ricardo Diaz, who owns three other restaurants in the area. There’s also Chema’s Taco, a nondescript, hole-in-the-wall restaurant that promises some of the best street tacos around! Order the Al Pastor, Carne Asada, or Chorizo!

Best Bars

Whittier has plenty of sports bars, dives, and pubs to choose from. The Rusty Monk is a Belgian-style gastropub with beer, wine, and hearty European comfort food. The 6740 offers great happy hour specials, savory burgers and wings, and an extensive craft beer menu. The Bottle Room offers upscale pub fare paired with hoppy, malty, and sour craft beers.


Are you moving to Whittier soon? Extra Space Storage has several storage facilities in Whittier that can help with your transition!

Data found from AreaVibes, NeighborhoodScout, and City-Data.com.

All images are licensed under the Creative Commons.

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