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Tustin

Sandwiched in the heart of Orange County—a.k.a. California’s playground—Tustin provides an affordable home base for multigenerational families.

Hundreds of participants in the 2K Fun Run take off from the starting line at the 30th Dino Dash held by the Tustin Public Schools Foundation.
Photo credit: Leonard Ortiz—MediaNews Group/Orange County Register/Getty Images

  • State
    California
  • County
    Orange
  • Population
    84,021

The City of Tustin is situated between the major Orange County cities of Orange, Irvine, and Santa Ana. And given that interconnectedness, locals have easy access to a range of job, school, and entertainment opportunities in the surrounding areas.

 

But there’s plenty on offer in Tustin itself. The diverse city houses two Michelin-starred restaurants: CHAAK Kitchen and J. Zhou. Zov’s Bistro and Bakery is another local favorite that routinely ranks highly in the Zagat Guide. Citrus Ranch Park is a 17-acre citrus grove with 1,000 lemon trees, playgrounds, trails, and sweeping views of the San Gabriel Mountains and Pacific Ocean, to entertain kids and adults alike. 

 

Different parts of the town offer different flavors. Old Town Tustin boasts historic homes, charming shops, and plenty of walkable dining options, while Tustin Legacy is a new development situated on the former Marine Corps Air Station. Still under construction, the planned community will include parks, retail, and plenty of new housing—a rarity in Orange County.

 

While Tustin is a fairly expensive place to live—houses are typically much more expensive than the national average—it’s reasonably priced by Orange County standards. And families benefit from a beautiful landscape, museums, galleries, and other amenities, including multiple quality magnet schools. As it is not on the coast, it does get hotter than some other OC locales in the summer. But winters are mild, and there are plenty of trails for cyclists, hikers, and walkers to take advantage of year-round. —AA

Town information

Median sale price for single family residences (2022)$890,442
Median household income$107,431
Racial breakdownBlack: 2.5%, Asian: 25%, Hispanic: 39.1% White, non-Hispanic: 30.5%
U.S. racial breakdownBlack: 13.6%, Asian: 6.1%, Hispanic: 18.9%, White, non-Hispanic: 59.3%
Sharecare Community Well-Being Index Score (out of 100)75
District high school graduation rate94.8%
Number of quality family medicine doctors (rated 3.5 or higher) per 100,000 households, within 25 miles43
Number of quality nursing homes per 100,000 households, within 25 miles28
Sources: Witlytic, ATTOM Data Solutions, STI: Popstats, the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, the Kaiser Family Foundation, Caring.com, Healthgrades, and Sharecare.