Last Updated on: 29th May 2024, 05:52 pm

Chualar, or “Pigweed Grove” in Spanish, is an unincorporated, Census-Designated Place (CDP) in Monterey County, California. It is best known for its prime location off US-101 near some of the best cities in California!

Chualar, California, has a rich history that, unfortunately, has one very tragic event. In 1963, a bus carrying Mexican immigrants collided with a train; 32 passengers were killed, and 25 were injured. This accident remains the worst car accident in US history. The portion of US-101 where the collision occurred has since remained  “Bracero Memorial Highway.” Bracero as this incident sparked the events that abolished bracero guest worker programs in the US.

Today, living in Chualar is great! While the CDP itself doesn’t host many businesses, attractions, or commercial activities, its location is optimal. You’re 10 miles from notable Salinas and less than 30 miles from some of the best beaches in America (according to Travel & Leisure.)

Where Is Chualar?

You will find Chualar, California, in Salinas Valley of Monterey County; it’s 11 miles from Salinas to Chualar via US-101. Chualar is positioned directly off US-101, making any commute—north or south—accessible and easy.

Chualar is one of the many cities near Monterey, and while it is bordered by agricultural properties, you will find that Gonzales, Pacific Grove, Corral de Tierra, Hollister, and Castroville are all within 40 miles of Chualar. Most people find Chualar’s location incredible, especially the working population.

If you’re interested in exploring more of the state, San Francisco is 117 miles north!

Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) provides public bus transportation. There is one bus stop in Chualar, Stop ID 2344. The MST website provides a route list, but Chualar does not have a set route.

Chualar Population & Demographics

Chualar, California, has a total population of 1,185, making it the smallest city in its county. Chuala also has the 17th-lowest median household income and 16th-youngest median age. The median household income in Chualar is $52,031, and the income per capita is $27,731; both figures are below the national average of $74,580 and $37,683. The median age in Chualar, CA, is 31.4 years old. Additionally, over 50% of people living in Chualar are under the age of 39. There are 207 households in the CDP, and 22.5% of people living in Chualar are below the poverty line.

Additional Chualar, California, demographics:

  • Sex ratio: 54 males to 46 females
  • Educational attainment: 45.1% have high school diplomas or higher, and 5.4% have bachelor’s degrees or higher.
  • Foreign-born population: 39.7%
  • Veteran status: 1.2%
  • Race and ethnic makeup: 98% Hispanic or Latino, 2% two or more

Before moving to Chualar, California, you should note the CDP boasts a notable Hispanic population; many living in Chualar are Hispanic or Latino.

Chualar Crime Rate

Is Chualar, California, safe? The FBI does not provide crime rate statistics for Chualar, so we will use the data the FBI provides for nearby Salinas instead.

  • Salinas crime rate per 100k people: 2,787
  • California crime rate per 100k people: 2,581
  • US crime rate per 100k people: 2,346
  • Salinas violent crime rate per 100k people: 555
  • California violent crime rate per 100k people: 442
  • US violent crime rate per 100k people: 388
  • Salinas property crime rate per 100k people: 2,232
  • California property crime rate per 100k people: 2,139
  • US property crime rate per 100k people: 1,958

While Salinas has higher crime rates than the state and nation, that’s likely due to its high population. Chualar is much smaller, meaning it likely boasts a lower crime rate. BestPlaces estimates that Chualar’s violent crime rate is 2,500 per 100,000 people and that its property crime rate is 4,920 per 100,000 people.

The Monterey Sheriff’s Department has 150 sworn officers. Select members of the patrol unit service Chualar and other unincorporated communities/CDPs in the county.

Cost of Living in Chualar

Chualar, California, has a Cost of Living Index (COLI) of 151.9, making it 51.9% more expensive than the average US city; the national average COLI is 100. When you compare this figure to other California cities, you’ll find that Chualar is an affordable alternative. The cost of living in Monterey is 74.9% more expensive than the US average and 23% more expensive than Chualar. In contrast, Salinas’s cost of living is 14.1% more affordable than Chualar.

If you’re trying to budget before your big move, the Economic Policy Institute suggests a household income of $146,648 for a family of four to live comfortably in Monterey County. You can estimate around $32,100 on housing per year.

Typical *Chualar living expenses:

  • Inexpensive restaurant meal: $20.00
  • Gallon of milk: $5.20
  • Loaf of white bread: $2.72
  • Pound of white rice: $1.52
  • Dozen eggs: $3.87
  • Pound of local cheese: $4.00
  • Average Chualar utilities per month: $324 (per Doxo)

Source: Numbeo

*The above figures are for Salinas, so prices may differ when living in Chualar.

Chualar Homes for Sale

The real estate market in Chaular is competitive, but mainly because the CDP is so small. There are no Chaular homes for sale currently, but one lot is listed at 2 million. Other options on the outskirts of town were all listed at over 1 million. Many properties in Chualar are residential, meaning finding a house should be easy. However, homes are rarely for sale here.

According to RedFin, the housing market in Monterey County is competitive. The median sale price is $912,500, and the average price per square foot is $553. These figures can help you gauge what you will spend after moving to Chaular or one of its nearby cities. Most homes are normal-size single-family homes ranging from two to five beds and two to four baths,

Renting in Chaular is nearly impossible. There are no apartment complexes in the CDP limits, but if you find one, you can expect to pay over $3,000 monthly. If you look at nearby Salinas, you can see that renting anywhere in this area is pricey. The average rent in Salinas is $2,326 per month for a 797-square-foot-rental.

Chualar is a desirable place to live, making the steep price tag worth it. If you can’t find a home here, consider one of its nearby cities: Monterey, Marina, Carmel-By-The-Sea, or Carmel Valley Village.

Shores of Monastery Beach, located near Caramel-By-The-Sea

Chualar Weather & Climate

Chualar has Koppen classification of Csb—Warm-Summer Mediterranean Climate, which translates to long, warm summers and wet, cold winters that last only a few months. According to the data provided by WeatherSparks, the cold season runs from November 30 to February 23, and the average low is only 43 degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer, you can expect an average high of 74 degrees and a low of 57—temperatures in Chualar are pleasant most of the time, besides occasional heat waves in the summer.

The weather in Chualar is enjoyable most of the year, but the best time to visit is late June to early September. The summers here often have ideal weather, especially if you plan on venturing 20 miles west to enjoy California’s famous beaches.

Hurricanes are uncommon, but people moving to Chualar must consider the chance of earthquakes and fires. The area is at a moderate risk of wildfires, and there have been nine minor earthquakes in the past nine days near Chualar.

Things to Do in & Near Chualar

There isn’t much to do in Chualar, but luckily, bigger cities and quaint coastal towns are a short drive away. Here are the best things to do near Chualar!

Tatum’s Garden

Tatum’s Garden is an expansive children’s playground in Sherwood Park, Salinas. Tatum’s is wheelchair accessible, making it a great Chualar park for all children. There are weekly events and community gatherings here, making it an ideal place to meet new people!

1 Maryal Dr, Salinas, CA 93906

Old Fisherman’s Wharf

Located in nearby Monterey, Old Fisherman’s Wharf is a notable attraction that hosts thousands of visitors a year. At this iconic waterside complex, you can enjoy whale and seal lion watching; visitors adore the various shops and delicious eateries.

1 Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey, CA 93940, (831) 238-0777

Pinnacles National Park

This notable national park is just 25 miles from Chualar. Pinnacles National Park offers stunning rock formations, diverse wildlife, hiking trails, and captivating vistas, attracting nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike.

California 95043, (831) 389-4486

Additional Attractions Near Chualar

There are no parks in the CDP limits for Monterey County Parks and Recreation to maintain, but you can still look at their calendar of events for anything special happening in the county or nearby cities.

Restaurants in & Near Chualar

Since the CDP is so small, only one restaurant is within its boundaries. However, you will find countless dining options near Salinas! 

KB Cafe

KB Cafe is loved by locals and visitors alike. This delicious bakery serves freshly brewed coffee & tea and other unique Mexican sweets and dishes. Customers love their carne asada and guava pastries.

25482 Payson St, Chualar, CA 93925, (831) 679-1099

The Village Restaurant

The Village Restaurant is a casual eatery near Chualar that serves Italian-American fusion dishes. Their menu includes everything from biscuits and gravy to fettuccine alfredo.

1490 Constitution Blvd A, Salinas, CA 93905, (831) 444-6724

El Zacatecano

El Zacatecas is home to authentic Mexican cuisine; customers are raving about their flautas, sopas, and caldo de res!

655 E Alisal St, Salinas, CA 93905, (831) 796-0818

Chualar Jobs

Chualar has a small economy, only employing 590 people. The nearest large economy to Chualar is Salinas, which provides thousands of jobs for anyone residing in this more rural part of The Golden State. Most workers commute 21.6 minutes to work, meaning Salinas is likely their place of work.

If commuting is off the table, you’ll have the most luck finding a job in the CDP by looking into its leading industries: agriculture, forestry, fishing & hunting, educational services, and health care & social assistance. Major employers in Monterey County are Al Pak Labor, Azcona Harvesting, and County-Monterey Behavioral. Nearby Salinas has more varied options. Other popular businesses in Salinas are Spanish language films, the wine industry, automobile manufacturing, cyber security, financial management, and plastics and packaging.

Jobs in Chualar pay well; statistics for the average hourly rate in the CDP aren’t available. However, you should note that people in Salinas earn an average hourly rate of $17, and the average salary is $36,000. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean hourly wage is $27.87.

The top median earnings for Chualar residents are in construction ($42,955), professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services; people working in construction earn a median salary of $42,955, and individuals working in waste management services earn $40,938.

Chualar Schools

Chualar Union School District (CUSD) serves the k-12 public school students living in Chualar. If your child attends a nearby school in Salinas, they would be served by the Salinas City Elementary School District.

CUSD is “charging its way to success” with its excellent academic programs and extracurricular activities. The district has served the area since 1908 and underwent a significant facelift in 1980. CUSD serves 340 students and has a student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1. 

While Chualar doesn’t host any colleges, Merced College and Gavilan College are within a 50-mile radius.

Gonzales Branch Library is the nearest library to Chualar, CA, for any other educational resources or assistance.

Chualar Statistics & Information

  • County: Monterey County
  • Chualar area: 0.63 square miles
  • Chualar zip code: 93925
  • Chuaral area code: 831
  • Chuaral elevation: 115 feet
  • Chuaral time zone: Pacific Standard Time (UTC -7 and -8)
  • Closest airport to Chuaral: San José Mineta International Airport (SJC) is 73 miles from Chualar

Chualar Map

Our interactive map of Chualar helps you better understand the CDPs’ layout and key locations. It’s a useful tool for planning your potential move and exploring the community.

If you’re considering moving to Chualar, you’ll want to work with top laborers during your transition. Southbay Moving Systems has the best Chualar movers in the area for your moving needs! Our reviews are excellent, making us the easy choice. Call us today at 831-786-5537 for a free estimate.