Also known as Orange County California
To those on the outside, the city of Fullerton might mostly be known as a college town. For those of us in the know, however, Fullerton is much more than that. In addition to being the home of two great institutions of higher learning, Fullerton College and (my alma mater) Cal State Fullerton, the city is home to a vibrant historic downtown, lush parks, rich architectural gems, and a plethora of shopping and entertainment centers. These are just some of the reasons why Fullerton is a great place to live and work.
In typical Orange County fashion, Fullerton got its start as an agricultural hub in the late 19th century, mostly growing Valencia oranges and other citrus fruits. The train station opened to the public in 1930 and a bustling downtown began to sprawl out from there. As one who works in the heart of Downtown Fullerton (DTF), I can confidently tell you that it\’s still a great place to be. With the majority of storefronts dedicated to local mom-and-pop eateries, cafes, clothing and other specialty stores it maintains a classic Americana vibe during the day. At night it transforms into a destination for more mature fun with all of the popular bars and music venues in the area.
Another thing Fullerton is known for is the classic early 20th century architecture that still abounds. You\’ll find most of the historic homes in the neighborhoods surrounding DTF. From traditional craftsman homes to stunning mission revival abodes to fantastical storybook cottages and more. For those looking for something a bit more modern, you can find a few neighborhoods with sleek mid-century designs. Not to mention the newer developments, condos, and multi-million dollar custom estates. It\’s a relatively large suburb with a diverse housing stock that could work for just about anyone with a small to large Orange County-sized budget.
For the outdoorsy types, there are some excellent parks in the city. Craig Regional Park is a great place to have parties and play sports. Our office typical does our yearly kickball games here. There\’s also Hillcrest park just north of Fullerton College. It\’s a great place to get some exercise with its steep stairways and walking trails. Laguna Lake park and the Fullerton arboretum are great spots to go out and see local wildlife.
There are also a lot of entertainment options in town. While the historic Fox theater is still in its perpetual restoration phase, you can still catch a movie at the dine-in movie theater or a live show at one of the many local theaters. For those looking for something a bit more brainy, there are several escape rooms in the city. And for those who love the arts, there\’s an Art Walk downtown on the first Friday of each month or you can catch a solo, ensemble, or orchestral performance at either one of the colleges throughout the year.
There really is a lot to love about Fullerton. Some families are attracted to the top performing schools, while others love its central location. It\’s only about 25 miles from Fullerton to Downtown LA or Newport Beach. Having the station with access to amtrak and metrolink trains is especially convenient for commuters who would rather relax than sit in traffic.
While there are a lot of great communities in North OC that I would be happy to live and/or work in, there\’s just something special about the city of Fullerton that sets is apart. Its quintessential Americana feel is so palpable that it prompted George Clooney to film Suburbicon here. But it\’s also much more than that. There\’s a lot of pride in the local community and it shows.
Disclaimer: most of this article is based on pre-covid 19 life, but much of it still applies. Hopefully one day soon we\’ll be able to return to relative normalcy.
About the Author – Fullerton Real Estate Agent Joe Van Fossen
Joe Van Fossen is an experienced Realtor based in Fullerton, California. As a Southern California native, he has extensive knowledge of the Greater Los Angeles region, from Coastal Los Angeles to the Inland Empire and all through Orange County. Mainly focusing on residential and multi-family, Joe has helped dozens of locals find their dream homes and investments throughout SoCal.
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