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Neighborhoods in Orange County, California

Welcome to the desirable Orange County along the Southern California coastline! There are many different neighborhoods and cities to choose from and each has its own characteristics unique to it. Depending on what you are looking for, if you have a young family, are a millennial making your first move, or are a busy professional, there is a perfect neighborhood for you in Orange County. Consisting of new suburbs inland or more characteristic beach cities, whatever you need, I can help. As an Orange County native, born and raised, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions- I would love to help!

Laguna Beach, California

Growing in popularity around the world, Laguna Beach is known for its beautiful coastline and warm weather year round. With stunning beaches, clear waters, endless activities within an active community, hiking trails and bike paths, award winning dining and a bustling nightlife along PCH, all complete with ocean views and jaw dropping sunsets, Laguna Beach is home to thousands of Southern California locals as well as a growing number of new settlers looking to enjoy the beauty of this Orange County gem. If you have any questions about Laguna Beach or any surrounding cities, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Newport Beach, California

Welcome to Newport Beach, California! Home to world renowned beaches including The Wedge, which hosts experienced surfers around the world when large swells come in, Balboa Island with endless opportunities for fun, a boardwalk which runs all the way from the beach front properties to the bars and restaurants which situate around the Newport Beach Pier, and so much more!

Just minutes from Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza and accessed mainly by the 55 Freeway which extends into the 5, the 405, and 73 Toll Road, Newport beach is truly the perfect location, although I doubt anyone would want to leave once they moved here. There is truly too much to say about this beautiful city with exemplary beaches, dining, nightlife, shopping, people, and outdoor activities.

Come see for yourself what Newport has to offer! Again, if you have any questions or would like recommendations during your visit along the coast, please do not hesitate to contact me, I'm happy to help!

Aliso Viejo, California

A newer community compared to its surrounding cities, Aliso Viejo is the perfect place to call home. It was voted the 8th safest city in 2015 and hold record to one of the lowest crime indexes in the United States. With the Aliso Viejo Shopping Center located centrally, everything you need is within a few miles - shopping, markets, hiking, mountain biking, golf, dining, and an award winning school district. Furthermore, Aliso Viejo sits on top of the 73 Toll Road which connects it to every major highway in Orange County. Just 10 minutes to beaches, Aliso Viejo offers Orange County living at a more affordable price point than that of nearby beach cities.

Aliso Viejo holds a special place in this guide as it is my home. The city itself is relatively newer and there is so much pride among homeowners and city dwellers. Streets are clean and the people are friendly. Come join us for a drink in the Town Center or meet up at the amphitheater for dinner and a concert under the stars this summer!
Image Courtesy of: woolennium

Dana Point, California

Although Orange County is known for its beaches, Dana Point is known among locals to have the best waves. Great for short boarders, surf along beaches such as Salt Creek State Beach and The Strands attract 100's of happy surfers every day.

Home to The Ritz Carlton and St. Regis Resort at Monarch Beach, luxury is a priority to visitors in this area. Homes around the area range from cozy apartments within walking distance to the sand, to multimillion dollar beachfront estates. Please contact me to see which Dana Point opportunities best fit your real estate needs!

San Clemente, California

Old town San Clemente is one of the most down to Earth cities along the coast. With so much character among the community, there is ample housing for active individuals, growing families, and also more luxurious estates tucked away in the hills in the well-known Talega community near shopping, trails and the beautiful golf course.

If that isn't enough for you, you can enjoying arguably the best Mexican food in California after your morning surf session, or maybe even try some of the newest beers from local breweries. San Clemente is perfect for anyone who enjoys a beach city lifestyle, as well as those who want a city of character, with tailored lifestyle up in the rolling hills.
Image Courtesy of: Cameron Photo

Laguna Niguel, California

A little more south than its Aliso Viejo neighbor, Laguna Niguel is a bit closer to the beach and coastal breezes can be enjoyed from inside your living room in more southern neighborhoods. As close as 5 minutes to the beach, Laguna Niguel is a perfect neighborhood for those looking for the beach weather but want to be a few miles inland away from noise and coastal nightlife.

Ample shopping, hiking trails, markets, and dining surround the city. You may find yourself best fit in the apartments near hiking and outdoor entertainment, or settling down with your family in one of the beautiful, luxury estates which sit on top of the many hills in Laguna Niguel overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Image Courtesy of: jason#12

Irvine, California

One of Orange County's up and coming cities, Irvine is perfectly located next to major freeways and minutes from whatever you're looking for. Voted one of the safest cities in America, Irvine has been undergoing construction for some time now. With beautiful homes, parks, schools and shopping centers, Irvine is so well maintained it's hard to look anywhere else once you see how high the bar has been set.

With the Irvine Spectrum center at the heart of the city, you need not travel more than minutes to whatever your heart desires. Whether it's amazing food, a block buster at the Edwards Cinema, a great show at the Improv Comedy Theatre, world class shopping, a quick workout at 24 Hour Fitness, or your weekly groceries at Target, the Spectrum has everything you need!

Come see for yourself the new developments which Irvine has to offer!
Image Courtesy of: demxx

Costa Mesa, California

Situated along the 55 and 405 freeways as well as the 73 toll road, Costa Mesa is the perfect place for the busy individual, but also the family looking for a coastal home on a budget. You can reach Newport Beach in under ten minutes, and make it to the freeway for work in no time. No matter what your priorities are, Costa Mesa is a great location for everyone.

The city has a lot of character, but more recently is undergoing newer construction to keep up with nearby Irvine. Triangle Square, just off the 55 freeway, is one of the entertainment centers for locals. Complete with a movie theatre, bowling, ample dining destinations, bars, shopping and a nightclub, Triangle Square is a great place to start your weekend off, or grab a bite for lunch. If you prefer more high-end life style, the beautiful South Coast Plaza sits just north of the 405 freeway. With international brands seen In Los Angeles, New York and overseas, South Coast Plaza will cater to the shopper in you.

Costa Mesa is home to not only long time locals, but young millennials who love the beach and aim to start off a little inland due to more conservative prices compared to nearby beach cities such as Newport Beach and Corona Del Mar.
Image Courtesy of: Nauly22

Laguna Hills, California

Laguna Hills is the perfect city to settle down. If you are a young family looking to place your children in a top notch school system, the Saddleback Valley Unified School District houses many schools in the area fit for your star student. With a beautiful community center at the heart of the city, you can find a public library, skate park, hockey rink, expansive park, soccer fields, community classes, and recreational rooms, all just at the hill below the Laguna Hills High School Hawks.

Just fifteen minutes from beaches and hiking trails throughout the city, Laguna Hills is a wonderful place for someone looking to expand their family, or for those looking to settle down.

I grew up in Laguna Hills, so if there is any question, big or little, you may have about what the city has to offer, please do not hesitate to ask me, I am here for anything you may need!

Huntington Beach, California

Huntington Beach is sure to keep you on your toes! This beach city has much to offer with the ocean just minutes away no matter where you live. The extensive shore line makes sure you will always have a place to put your towel out and play a pick-up game.

You may find yourself shopping on Main Street, catching world renown waves which break far and roll slowly to shore (my personal favorite surf spot in Orange County:), or bar hopping at night, but you will never be bored. Locals love to ride their bike to the pier or along the boardwalk for a little late night exercise along the beach. If biking on the boardwalk or catching a late night drink is not for you, more houses are situated inland and closer to the freeway, near the beautiful Belle Terre shopping center.

Home to the US Open of Surfing, summer in Huntington is hard to top. The week-long event hosts the top surfers in the world, with free concerts, skate boarding, BMX competitions and a large expo on the sand - this is not the event to miss.
Image Courtesy of: Laurence Lee

Rachel Novelli

Guide Author
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Neighborhoods in Orange County, California