South Orange County Overview
Liz and Ray are longtime residents of Orange County. A ‘snapshot’ of a few of the communities is provided below for a flavor of these neighborhoods. If you have further lifestyle or community related questions, our team is happy to help with our personal knowledge of the community we call home! (949) 499-8957.
Established before the turn of the 20th century, tourists became regulars to this artists’ colony in the early 1900’s. Central to California’s Gold Coast or ‘Riviera’ this city has some of the most beautiful coves and beaches anywhere in the state. Three of the very few private beaches along the coast are located here in the gated communities Irvine Cove, Emerald Bay and Three Arch Bay.
Long a refuge for the Hollywood elite, Laguna Beach has something to offer for everyone. Watch as the golden sun sets over world famous surfing beaches or visit the three annual summer arts festivals. You will find it all in this classic village atmosphere.
world class hotels, shopping, fine cuisine, or just a casual day strolling through the town, this is a destination that will enchant!
Located nearly mid-way between Los Angeles and San Diego, Newport Beach is a wonderful escape to the sea. Newport Beach is comprised of several smaller communities. Those communities include: Corona Del Mar, Balboa Island, San Joaquin Hills, Balboa Peninsula and Newport Coast. Thought of primarily as a yachting destination with its huge leisure boat harbor, Newport Beach has diverse leisure activities as well as a broad business base. Newport Beach is home to two five star hotels, world class shopping at Fashion Island and home to diverse cultural community. The John Wayne Airport, freeways and train transport both north and south are located within easy reach of this community.
Today at almost 100 years old, Newport Beach is a year-round community with bustling business and leisure related activities.
Dana Point/ Monarch Beach/Capistrano Beach
Dana Point is a community at the southern end of the Orange County area with three distinct neighborhoods. Central to most activities in this community is the Dana Point Harbor. The harbor attracts over a million visitors annually for whale watching, sport fishing, shopping, and a whole host of recreational water related activities. The harbor is also home to the Ocean Institute, a nationally recognized research and teaching facility dedicated to the protection of the marine environment.
Monarch Beach, an upscale neighborhood located at the northern end of town is host to the St Regis Hotel and the Ritz Carlton hotels. Capistrano Beach is located at the south end of Dana Point where dramatic bluffs meet a wide sandy beach. Dana Point is a community on the move. Many new items are on this community’s agenda for improving infrastructure, village atmosphere and more.
Located slightly inland east of the area known as Monarch Beach and west of San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Niguel was one of the first true master-planned communities in south Orange county. Because of its close proximity to the coast, Laguna Niguel has an ideal climate that allows year-round outdoor enjoyment of its 29 beautiful parks, extensive trail system, and nearby attractions. This beautiful planned community abounds with a variety of shops, businesses, and recreational areas. There are a wide price range and styles of housing available in Laguna Niguel, from condominiums and town homes to estate-sized properties with ocean views in private gated communities.
San Juan Capistrano
Just down the hill east from Laguna Niguel lies the old Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1776 by Junipero Serra. The town that has now grown up around the old mission is a place of peace and unsurpassed beauty. The village itself reflects its Spanish heritage with age old stone and adobe buildings, floral gardens, and patios with fountains. Businesses and restaurants line the main thoroughfare. The housing offered in the San Juan Capistrano neighborhoods ranges from, apartments and condominiums, to horse country acreage on the eastern end.
Easily accessible along the 5 freeway, this community also hosts a station on the Amtrak train service line. The station is also served by the Metrolink/Coaster which takes commuters north to greater Los Angeles, and south to San Diego county.
San Clemente sits at the southern boundary of Orange County and was best known in the 1970’s as the home of the Western White House. This sleepy bedroom community lies along a beautiful stretch of Pacific Coast which has on occasion hosted major surfing competition on a premier surfing spot known as ‘Trestles’. A vintage California community with red clay tile roofs, this town is split in two by the 5 freeway. The older ocean side of the highway has many dense housing districts with close proximity to the ocean. On the inland side of the freeway, the community lifts steeply in to the foothills with homes enjoying spectacular Pacific ocean views. Slightly inland from the coast the newer master planned community of Talega is still transforming the rolling hills into condominiums and detached homes with many amenities such as golf courses and private community pools and community centers.