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August 22nd, 2018 at 11:00 am

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Breaking Down the Most Popular Places to Live in Orange County

One of the most important decisions you will make in life is where you choose to call home. Choosing the right place to live can exponentially improve your happiness and daily satisfaction with your quality of life. But how do you find the perfect place to live?

The first step is to narrow down the area you want to live in. Let this process be guided by your interests and what brings you joy in your everyday life. If you want to be able to swim in the ocean, surf waves after work, and watch the sunset over the ocean each night, then the California coast may be the right place for you.

Once you have narrowed down the region in which you want to live, it is then important to research the various neighborhoods and suburbs within that area to find the area that best suits your personality and lifestyle.

If you want to live in Orange County, California, there is no shortage of beautiful neighborhoods to choose from. But despite their unifying California roots, these neighborhoods all have a different atmosphere, unique amenities, educational opportunities, home values, and populations that make them vastly different for residents.

Finding the right place to live can be a difficult decision, but it all begins with doing research and deciding which area will work best for you. Even once you narrow down your search, finding the right area can be a challenge. We have put together an information guide for some of the most popular places to live in Orange County, California that will make finding your ideal location easier.

Deciding Where to Live in Orange County

Orange County has many diverse areas within in that provide a unique living experience for residents and because of the volume of different neighborhoods, there is a perfect fit for everyone. For those looking to live right on the coast, there are beach cities that provide quick access to the sea. For those looking to live more inland with access to a variety of outdoor activities, there are suburbs built around local families and fostering a sense of community. Below are a handful of places to live in Orange County, California.

Irvine

Irvine is believed by many to be one of the most ideal places to live in Orange County because of its close access to the beach and plethora of local higher education institutes. Among the high-ranking universities that call Irvine home are University of California Irvine (UCI), Concordia University, Orange County Center of the University of Southern California, California State University Fullerton (CSUF), and Irvine Valley College.

In addition to these educational institutes, Irvine also boasts highly-rated public schools, making this an ideal area for families. Irvine is not only known for its enviable educational offerings, it also has many business and companies within the area, making it an area with substantial work opportunities.

Irvine is also known by local residents for the Irvine Spectrum, an outdoor mall that has everything from popular chain restaurants to trendy shops to entertainment opportunities. Irvine has something for everyone and truly encapsulates a feeling of community while still having the amenities and opportunities of a larger city.

Newport Beach

If you love to surf, swim, and feel the sand between your toes, the Newport beach may be the ideal place for you. Newport Beach is a coastal city located within Orange County that is known for its sprawling beach views, trendy local shops, and luxurious amenities.

Newport Beach has a number of different business, amenities, and restaurants within the area that bring it a sense of modern trendiness that is tempered by the close proximity of the beach. In addition to its access to the ocean and amenities, Newport Beach also has many highly-rated local schools, including Vista Verde, Laguna Beach High School, Corona Del Mar High School, University High School, and Orange County School of the Arts.

With a median home value of $1.5 million, living in Newport Beach does not come without a cost, but for many residents, it is the ideal place to call home.

Aliso Viejo

If you are looking to live slightly inland from the coast, Aliso Viejo may be an ideal neighborhood for you. While it still has close access to the beach, Aliso Viejo real estate has a much more affordable price tag than many of the nearby coastal cities. The median home value in Aliso Viejo is just over $500,000.

While it has a slightly lower price point than some areas in Orange County, Aliso Viejo still possesses many of the amenities and luxuries that attract individuals to the area. With a local town center stocked with restaurants, shopping options, and a movie theater, residents are not left wanting for entertainment.

Aliso Viejo has an active culture that is enhanced by its local offerings, including the numerous public parks, hiking trails, gyms, and yoga studios. Aliso Viejo also has many high-rated local schools, including Aliso Niguel High School, Laguna Hills High School, Laguna Beach High Schools, Top of the World Elementary Schools, and Aliso Viejo Middle School.

Seal Beach

Seal Beach is conveniently located between Orange County and Los Angeles, situated between neighboring areas like Belmont Shore and Sunset Beach. Despite its close proximity to the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, Seal Beach has an environment that feels quaint and small.

One of the most beneficial aspects of Seal Beach is the sense of community fostered between residents. Seal Beach has many different amenities for residents to partake in, including the diverse array of restaurants conveniently located off Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway.

Seal Beach also possesses a family-friendly environment due in part to its array of highly-rated public schools within the area. Some of the most sought-after schools in Seal Beach include Los Alamitos High Schools, Jack L. Weaver Elementary School, Marina High School, Richard Henry Lee Elementary Schools, and Francis Hopkinson Elementary School.

With a median home value of just over $300,000, Seal Beach homes have a much more affordable price than many other coastal cities without lacking any of the benefits.

Ladera Ranch

Located inland from Laguna Niguel, Ladera Ranch offers quick access to the ocean and coastal cities without the hustle and bustle of many coastal communities. Ladera Ranch is an ideal location for young families and places an emphasis on fostering a strong sense of community among residents.

Ladera Ranch offers many different types of public events and infrastructure to support an active, engaged community of residents. Ladera Ranch residents enjoy access to a community water park, concerts/movies in the park, walking trails, mountain bike trails, well-maintained, safe public parks, and family bike trails.

Ladera Ranch also has many public schools locally that supply residents with an ideal educational environment. Highly-rated local schools include Ladera Ranch include Tesoro High School, San Juan Hills High School, Capistrano Valley High School, Ladera Ranch Middle School, and Newhart Middle School.

Rossmoor

With a more urban feel than many neighboring suburbs, Rossmoor is situated between Long Beach and Los Alamitos. Rossmoor also has one of the lowest crime rates in Orange County and is known for its family-friendly atmosphere.

In addition to its low crime and high sense of safety, Rossmoor also provides local residents with access to popular grocery store chains, restaurants, and stores. Despite its inland location, living in Rossmoor still allows for quick access to the coast and the benefits of the beach.

Rossmoor has many highly-rated public schools to provide education to local students, including Los Alamitos High Schools, Jack L. Weaver Elementary School, Richard Henry Lee Elementary School, Francis Hopkinson Elementary School, and Rossmoor Elementary School.

Laguna Beach

Though it may be most recognized for the popular MTV reality show that followed teenagers living in this Orange County neighborhood, Laguna Beach has much more to offer than just that. Located between Crystal Cove and Laguna Niguel, Laguna Beach is a quintessential California coastal city.

Laguna Beach homes often offer residents beautiful views of the beach and easy access to all of the activities associated with the ocean, including surfing, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, and body surfing. In addition to these activities, Laguna Beach also has many well-maintained local hiking trails.

Laguna Beach offers residents free local transportation through the Laguna Beach Trolley, making it easy to navigate through the town. Laguna Beach also has a notable art culture that includes the Sawdust Festival, Pageant of the Masters, art galleries, museums, and local theatres.

San Clemente

Located south of Dana Point, San Clemente is perfectly situated between Orange County and San Diego. San Clemente is beloved by local residents for its laid-back atmosphere and a strong sense of community.

For locals, the beautiful beach views, access to killer waves, and an endless amount of restaurants and activities to choose from making San Clemente an ideal place to live for many. San Clemente has many local small businesses ran and owned by residents that are committed to enriching the local community.

Additionally, San Clemente has many highly-rated public schools, including San Juan Hills High School, San Clemente High School, Vista Del Mar Middle School, Bernice Ayer Middle School, and Community Roots Academy.

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