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Old 09-03-2011, 12:21 PM
5,937 posts, read 12,792,851 times
Reputation: 4732


I've posted a couples threads before in the California forum.

I have had a strong interest in moving to southern California for some time.

I am a 31 year old male, single, with a masters degree. I am a very realistic person who does his homework, so I am NOT coming from the perspective of someone who has no clue about the challenges of living in southern California from traffic to cost of living to tough economy.

I am happy where I am, as family and friends are near, but I never really quite embraced Chicago the way many do. I prefer some of the more character, eclectic suburbs outside the city where I live. But I want to live in southern California once in my life for a couple years, because sightseeing trips just don't do it justice.

Anyways, my main job is teaching at community college, but I am transitioning my career into sales. I started working a part time evening job to earn some extra money and get sales experience. I really the job and the owner likes me. The business is related to foreclosure issues, and therefore is doing well.

Anyway, he is in the begining process of establishing an office in Irvine/Newport Beach to be halfway between clients of LA and San Diego. This wouldn't be until next year, but I told him that I would be interested in relocating there, and he is all for that.

I kind of would like to be more in LA county to be closer to "the action" (cultural amenities, nightlife, etc.). I am 31, grown-up and not a crazier partier but am single and well . . . like to mingle.

So, question, what in your opinion are some of the best places to be single within commuting distance of Newport beach/Irvine.

I am thinking Huntington Beach is great. Been there before.

I am also considering Long Beach, to be a little closer to what LA county has to offer.

I wouldn't want to commute any further than that.

What are your suggestions for someone like me.
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:52 PM
Location: South Bay
7,225 posts, read 21,801,453 times
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long beach is more diverse and better for the 30 something crowd IMHO. huntington was fun when i was 21-24, but at almost 30, i feel a bit old down there these days. long beach is much more urban, but has some charming non-downtown type areas like belmont shore. if i worked in north OC or southern LA county I would live in LB in a heartbeat. i'm a bit of a homer for LB fyi. i think LB still has a stigma from the gangster rap days of the 90s, but even then there were plenty of nice neighborhoods in the LBC!
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:57 PM
Location: outer space
484 posts, read 955,121 times
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I vote Long Beach for you. That is as long as you are not having to commute to San Diego that often.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:02 AM
5,937 posts, read 12,792,851 times
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I would only be working in Newport Beach/Irvine if this is the case. The reason why it would be located there, is because it would be halfway for clients to travel to for consultations. I wouldn't be traveling at all, or maybe very little.

Basically, while I did go to Orange County last time I was in Socal, I spent the majority of my time, checking out all the hot spot in LA county, I really went to Orange county to do beach walking. (mostly in Crystal Cove by Laguna, a little bit too near Huntington).

So, let me rephrase my question/search:

Where within commutable distance of Newport/Irvine would you find the most similar environment to downtown Santa Monica or Manhattan/Hermosa beach in LA County (vibrant beach-oriented communities).

Where within commutable distance of Newport/Irvine would you find the most similar environment to Hollywood Blvd/Sunset Strip (basically a concentration of restaurants/bars/clubs/lounges).

I can figure out where to actually live later.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:47 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,591 posts, read 77,841,556 times
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As a general rule, your life will be better with the shortest possible commute.

However, as a short timer, you may want to experience living right at the beach. It is really fabulous to come home from work and go for a walk on the beach.

I suggest Balboa as the best option for this. However there are only a few bars/clubs in the village of Balboa (it is part of the Newport Beach peninsula), but there were enough to keep my wife and I happy at your age (PK - "pre-kids"). You will find plenty of women to occupy your attention at any of these locations if that is what you want to find. Balboa will be a bit more upscale. huntington will have more tourists and serious surfers.

Huntington Beach is also nice, but quite different. More of a surfer dude beach party atmosphere. More of a hardcore partier location.

Long Beach has a lot more night life and more social options, but it is not as "clean" and pleasant as a place like Balboa or Huntington. The beaches are not usually in walking distance and the water is more polluted (usually). However a friend who lives in long beach takes his sailboard out almost every weekend. He does complain about the water quality but since he no longer falls very often, he generally does not get wet, so this is not such a problem for him anymore.

Long Beach is a City with city amenities and city problems. Newport and Huntington are little beach towns. Very different concepts.

None of these places is like Santa Monica. Long beach is not beach oriented and is more urban than Santa Monica. Balboa and Huntington are smaller than Santa Monica.

You will find only small concntrations of bars and resturaunts in Orange County and very few places where you will walk from one ot the other. For example in Balboa Villiage you can walk to maybe 5 bars/resturaunts (possibly more, but less than 12). Along coast highway is another concentration of places, but you drive from one to another, it is not a walking area.

Long Beach has a similar concentration downtown (not along a beach), it is a small area, but seems to be expanding. Long beach is very commercial/industrial.

It is difficult to describe, you should probably try each place for a while. Get a 6 month lease in each place, or if you can find a shorter term, stay a month in each before settling in one. You really cannot make a comparison based on short visits or on other people's perceptions. Just keep in mind shorter commute = better life. It is impossible to overemphasize this point. You can always go to Long Beach or other places on the weekends if you wish. Do you usually go out drinking during the week anyway?
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