Tustin, California, also known as “The City of Trees,” has a population of about 80,621 (2014 census estimate) and is located in the heart of Orange County. Although Tustin is one of the oldest historical "old towns" in Orange County and has strong roots in the past, it’s also a diverse and vibrant community with a growing population.
The reason huge, white-barked sycamore trees once covered the landscape of Tustin in the 1700s is the same reason that Native Americans and then early Spanish settlers gravitated to the land: a dependable water supply. This is what most attracted pioneer and rancher Don Juan Pablo Grijalva in 1810, who used the land for ranching until it was purchased from his family by Columbus Tustin and his partner Nelson Stafford. Tustin gave away free lots to anyone who would build a home in order to establish “Tustin City.”
Much like the rest of Orange County, Tustin, California is sunny and pleasant throughout the year. There are around 278 sunny days per year in Tustin, with an average high temperature of 83 degrees in July and an average low temperature of 46 degrees in January. Snow has fallen in Tustin only once a century since the first recorded snowfall in 1881.
The Tustin Metrolink Station is accessible within minutes anywhere in the city limits, and features a parking structure with a capacity of over 800 vehicles with electronic signage informing drivers of available spaces. The John Wayne Airport is only a few miles outside city limits and is accessible by State Route 55. The primary highways serving the Tustin area include two interstate routes (I-5 and I-405) and five state roads (55, 133, 261, 73 and 241). The average commute time is about 26 minutes.
Cost of Living in Tustin
According to Sperling’s Best Places, the cost of living index for Tustin exceeds the United States average. Although groceries, healthcare, utilities, and transportation cost only a little more than the national average, housing in Tustin is over three times more expensive. With a median home price of $655,600 and average monthly rent for a studio apartment running over $1,200, Tustin is a costly place to put down roots. Want to know how far your current salary will go in Orange County? Use the resources below to find out.
The Tustin Unified School District (TUSD) has 18 elementary schools, a K-8 school, five middle schools, four high schools, and alternative and adult education programs. Tustin also has 10 private schools with Baptist, Catholic, Jewish, Lutheran, and non-denominational Christian affiliations, as well as a private Montessori school and a campus of the prestigious Fairmont Private School. There are 18 colleges and universities within 20 miles of the city, including the University of California, Irvine only 7.8 miles away.
There is one hospital in Tustin, California and another 11 within a 30-mile radius. Tustin’s only hospital, Foothill Regional Medical Center, features 177 beds and brand new furniture and medical equipment after its reopening under new ownership in 2017. The largest nearby hospital, only two miles away in Santa Ana, is the Orange County Global Medical Center.
Tustin Real Estate
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Tustin has 26,476 housing units with an owner-occupied rate of 95.2 percent. Sperling’s Best Places reports that housing costs in Tustin, with a median home cost of $655,600, are over 250 percent higher than the United States average. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,985 per month.
Tustin’s lodging options feature familiar names like Holiday Inn and Marriott. Three miles north on State Road 55 is the affordable Orange Tustin Inn, close to major attractions like Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Angel Stadium. The Doryman’s Inn in Newport Beach, only 12 miles south on State Road 55, provides picturesque ocean views, romantic, Victorian-influenced rooms, and overnight getaway packages during peak season.
Tustin is a sweet spot of diverse dining options, particularly if you’re in the mood for fresh fish, Asian, or Mexican cuisine. Mizu Sushi Bar & Grill offers a unique fusion of Japanese and Korean flavors, specializing in high-quality, artfully prepared sushi rolls and platters, such as the signature Mizu Jumbo roll. The Black Marlin has a tantalizing weekend brunch menu from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m that includes free-flowing champagne alongside biscuits and gravy deemed “The Widow Maker,” and Eggs Benedict loaded with crab and shrimp. The menu at Rutabegorz, a trend-setting health food restaurant, is packed with vegetarian dishes that are kinder to the waistline.
Things to Do in Tustin
At the center of Orange County, Tustin is surrounded by entertainment options for all ages. Disneyland Park in Anaheim is only a 15 minute drive northwest from the city proper, while Newport Beach is about 25 minutes southwest. Tustin itself is a haven for hikers and bicyclists, and its modern shopping center, The District, features over 100 retail and dining options. Highlights of Tustin’s historic Old Town include homes dating back to the late 1800s and carefully preserved 1910s-era shop buildings.