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According to, “With its convenient location and small town feel, Whittier was ranked as one of the top 100 cities in live in the United States, according to Ranked at 82, Whittier is recognized for its family-friendly environment, its urban forestry with plenty of trees and various sets of hills, and prime location in proximity to major sports teams, airports, colleges and universities.” If you are looking for an upscale community to move to in California this one should definitely be on your list. Whittier is located in Los Angeles County. It has a population of about 86,000 people and has been steadily growing over the years. People are attracted to this community by its tranquility, weather and the employment opportunities in and around it.

Whittier stands on what was once a Spanish land grant of 300 acres given to Manuel Nieto. It was a reward for his service to the military and it was also intended to encourage migration into California. The acreage was later reduced as the result of a dispute, but Nieto continued to live in it and settled his family there, breeding cattle and horses. Whittier grew after transportation was introduced. According to Wikipedia, “For many years, the sole means of transport from this area to Los Angeles was on foot, or via horse and wagon over rough dirt roads, impeding settlement, development, and the export of agriculture. Thus in 1887 “enterprising and aggressive businessmen” contracted with the Southern Pacific Railroad to build the first railroad spur to Whittier, including a depot. The businessmen covered the $43,000 construction cost for the six-mile spur, which branched off from the Southern Pacific mainline at a junction near what is now Studebaker Road between Firestone Boulevard and Imperial Highway. By
1906, 650 carloads of oranges and 250 carloads of lemons were shipped annually by rail. In 1904, the Pacific Electric opened the trolley line known as “Big Red Cars” from Los Angeles to Whittier. In the first two decades, over a million passengers a year rode to and from Los Angeles on the Whittier line. Groves of walnuts were planted in 1887 and eventually Whittier was known as the primary walnut growing town in the United States. After World War II Whittier grew rapidly and the sub-dividing of orange groves began, driven by housing shortages in southern California. In 1955 the new Civic Center complex was completed and the City Council met in new chambers for the first time on March 8, 1955. The city continued to grow as the City annexed portions of Whittier Boulevard and East Whittier. The 1961 annexation added over 28,000 people to the population, bringing the total to about 67,000.”

The city is named after john Greenleaf Whittier who was a Quaker. Some of the original settlers in the town were staunch Quakers and the religion held for many years. Whittier is also a college town. Whittier Academy was established in 1896 and was changed to Whittier College in 1891. By 1906 is was a well established institution of higher education with fully equipped labs, boarding quarters, a gym and more.

The most notable event in Whittier is the Whittier Narrows Earthquake. Here is how it is described on Wikipedia: “On October 1, 1987, at 7:42 a.m., the Whittier Narrows earthquake struck, the epicenter being six miles (10 km) north by northwest of Whittier. The seismic event, which registered 5.9 on the moment magnitude scale, resulted in eight casualties and massive damage to uptown Whittier’s historic buildings. Three days later, on October 4, 1987, at 3:59 a.m., a major aftershock measuring 5.2 occurred, causing further damage. Buildings and residential structures which were already borderline unsafe were now deemed unsafe or uninhabitable.”

Whittier enjoys good weather with summer highs of around 73F. The cost of living is 3% than the California average and the median income household is 7% higher than the state average. The crime rate is 4% higher, while high school graduation rate is 4% higher. Home median values are 14% higher than the average in California. If you want to buy a 4 bedroom, 2 bath house you will pay around $600,000, while if 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home you can expect to pay around $700,000.

Demographics are mixed in Whittier. White people make up about 65% of the population with other races making up the rest. The community has many families – about half the population lives in a family household. There are many good schools including California High School, La Serna High School, Pioneer High School, Santa Fe High School, and Whittier High School.

There are many fun things to do in Whittier. The weather allows residents to be out and about year-round and most enjoy an active lifestyle. The city’s activities are much centered around college life. Some of the common events include the annual Uptown Christmas Parade, a free community event that features marching bands, dance troupes, drill teams, vintage cars and more. There are several craft beer manufactures in the area that offer tours to both residents and tourists. The Pico Pico State Historical Park is a must-see. It is dedicated to Pico Pico, the last governor of Mexico and you can learn about his life, the Gold Rush the history of early California.

Whittier is also known for its delicious tacos. According to, “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!”