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The 13 Best Places to Live in Orange County

The 13 Best Places to Live in Orange County

Orange County, home to many Fortune 500 Companies, can be found in Southern California.

The County covers an area of 2,455 km² and has a total population of 3.17 million, according to the data collected in 2020.

People might recognize Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort and Knott’s Berry Farm as the most popular places in Orange County.

Moreover, the history of this place is nothing short of a Pirates and the Caribbean movie.

Many famous celebrities call Orange County their home, and you, too, can call Orange County your home. 

Orange County has safe and peaceful neighborhoods with splendid parks. If you’re thinking of moving to Orange County, here are our top picks.

 

The Best Places to Live in Orange County

  1. Aliso Viejo
  2. Oak Creek
  3. Woodbridge
  4. Rossmoor
  5. Turtle Rock
  6. Quail Hill
  7. Northwood
  8. University Park
  9. Newport Heights
  10. San Joaquin Hills, Newport Beach
  11. San Joaquin Hills, Laguna Niguel
  12. Westpark 
  13. Westpark II

 

1. Aliso Viejo

Aliso Viejo is the best place to live in Orange County if you're a big fan of music, swimming, and the arts

Aliso Viejo is the best place to live in Orange County if you’re a big fan of music, swimming, and the arts

Are you a big fan of art, music, and swimming? Aliso Viejo has got loads to offer you.

Aliso Viejo is a suburb of Irvine in California, Orange County. It began as a part of the 22,000-acre Moulton Ranch. They offered residential units for the first time in March 1982.

People with an appreciation for art will enjoy the Soka Performing Arts Center, a modern glass building that can seat one thousand people. Concerts take place here during the weekends. 

The Soka Performing Arts Center in Alisa Viejo is a modern glass building that can seat a thousand people in it

The Soka Performing Arts Center in Alisa Viejo is a modern glass building that can seat a thousand people in it

For those interested in swimming, Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center is an impressive facility with experienced staff and two heated outdoor pools.

The facility is economical and is a hidden gem of the neighborhood.

The neighborhood also offers some casual activities. Every Saturday morning, a certified Farmers’ Market takes place.

The neighborhood also has a wide variety of classes offered to people of all ages, from elementary school kids to senior citizens. The classes offered include a variety of dance, music, yoga, sports, gymnastics, and enrichment classes.

Aliso Viejo has a population of 50,663 and a $632,900 median home value. Aliso Viejo has an Urban, Suburban Mix feel to it. 60% of the people own their houses, and most residents are Liberals.

It is a family-friendly suburb with adept schools. 25% of residents make up the young, under 18, members of the family.

37% of Aliso Viejo’s residents have a bachelor’s degree, and 19% hold a master’s degree. $112,689 is the median household income in the area.

The neighborhood has a suitable location and enjoyable weather. It is accessible to beaches and to work in other cities.

It has a nice Greenbelt and pleasant landscaping.

Public services are within a 1-mile radius of the area, and the emergency response time is timely. There is a low crime rate.

Residents feel safe leaving after dark, and children can walk to and from school.

 

2. Oak Creek

Many consider Oak Creek to be the central hub of Orange County. The well-centralized neighborhood in Irvine has spacious housing.

Oak Creek is considered as the central hub of Orange county, with its neighborhood having spacious housing

Photo Credit: @widmerhomes on Instagram!

It is often sunny, and the area has an attractive street view and smooth roads.

We can describe the neighborhood as safe, clean, and peaceful. Both gated and ungated communities are safe, and police regularly patrol the area.

The neighborhood has restaurants, golf clubs, shopping centers, cafés, and more. The Oak Creek neighborhood has impressive parks.

With satisfactory schools, friendly neighbors, and a pet-friendly community, Oak Creek is one of the most highly recommended places to live in Orange County.

The Oak Creek neighborhood is not too far from John Wayne airport and Concordia University. Irvine spectrum is only 5 minutes away from the area.

John Wayne airport isn't far away from the Oak Tree neighborhood in Orange County

John Wayne airport isn’t far away from the Oak Tree neighborhood in Orange County

Most tourist attractions and high-end shops are easy to reach from Oak Creek. 

With a population of 10849 and a median housing value of $695,222, Oak Creek is a neighborhood with an urban and suburban mix.

In this area, 46% of the residents own their houses, and the median household income is $82,856.

Families with children make up 43% of the neighborhood population. Residents of Oak Creek have political views that are considered moderate.

20% of its residents graduated with a bachelor’s degree, and 12% of the residents have a master’s degree or higher.

 

3. Woodbridge

Woodbridge is a peaceful, safe community neighborhood in Irvine, California, with easy access to facilities and schools.

The development of Woodbridge as a suburban neighborhood in central Irvine, California, began in 1975 by the Irvine company.

Two artificial lakes are in the neighborhood. The Branches, a housing tract of 48 houses, was built in 2013.

Woodbridge has a fantastic community with friendly residents. The neighborhood center has many amenities within walking distance.

These include a movie theater, outdoor seating, and coffee shops.

Freeway is easily accessible to residents. Residents enjoy taking long walks around the lake on sunny days.

The area’s residents occasionally experience rain. The trails provided specifically for walking and biking enhance the experiences. 

Swimming pools in the neighborhood are kept in the best condition and are cleaned daily. Locals praise the schools in the neighborhood.

Police diligently patrol the area, and the neighborhood is one of the safest in the city. 

The houses are in excellent condition and have paved driveways. Community associations prefer symmetry in the houses of the area, so any changes made to the houses need to be under the association requirements. 

The area has a population of 26,587 and offers an urban, suburban mix feel. Residents of the neighborhood are Liberals.

The estimated median home value is $733,581, and 57% of the people living here own their houses. 

The median household income is $103,988. 27% of residents have a master’s degree or higher, and 41% of its residents hold a bachelor’s degree. Families with children make up 38% of the neighborhood population.

 

4. Rossmoor

The Rossmoor community needs to be considered by senior citizens looking for a place that offers comfort, serenity, and enrichment.

From 1965 to 1961, the development of Rossmoor Community took place under the leadership of Ross W. Cortese with the partnership of Governor of California Goodwin Knight and Judge Alfred Gittelson. 

The census-designated community has a signature red brick wall that borders the unincorporated community.

The Rossmoor Community Festival takes place yearly during the first Sunday of May.

The festival presents an annual opportunity for all the residents to connect and includes rides, carnival games, musical performances, car shows, dog parades, and more.

The Rossmoor Community has many facilities for its residents, including picnic grounds, a movie theater, a dog park, 24-hour security service at the front gate, a library, bus service, and medical facilities just outside the gate.

For residents wanting to keep healthy, there are multiple clubhouses, swimming facilities, a tennis clubhouse and courts, a fitness center, and open-and-close pools.

Rossmoor has a population of 11,128 and has a sparse suburban feel. Most residents are retirees and are liberals.

The median home value is $948,700, and 87% of its residents are homeowners. 

28% of the population possess a master’s degree or higher, and 33% of the residents hold a bachelor’s degree. The median household income is $127,891.

The area has a calm and cozy feeling with pleasant weather and a neat aesthetic because of the trees that line the streets. 

First-time visitors find the neighborhood difficult to navigate without a navigational device. 

The community is bicycle-friendly. Visitors describe most residents as welcoming.

 

5. Turtle Rock

Turtle Rock is the best haven for people who love to be near hiking trails, greenery, farms, and parks

Turtle Rock is the best haven for people who love to be near hiking trails, greenery, farms, and parks

Turtle Rock is an ideal place to stay for people needing an area with vast greenery, hiking trails, farms, and parks.

Turtle Rock was founded in 1967 as a neighborhood in the south part of Irvine, California.

It is assumed that the neighborhood was named after the rock on the Rockview that is shaped like the front of a turtle’s carapace. This rock is considered sacred by a community of Native Americans.

The University of California borders the neighborhood, and the neighborhood lies in proximity to Concordia University. 

The University Drive and a Regional Park border the north of the area, Shady Canyon Drive borders the south, Culver Drive borders the west, and Strawberry Farms Golf Club borders the east of the neighborhood. 

People who prefer to spend their weekends surrounded by the beauty of nature will find themselves drawn to Turtle Rock Community Park. The park has its own tennis court and a children’s play area that’s top-notch. 

The Turtle Rock Community Park contains a large parking lot and a sizable reception building with restrooms. Locals praise hiking trails present in the neighborhood as being scenic, pet friendly, and a serious aerobic workout.

Aside from the park, people seeking a connection with nature can also visit Tanaka Farms.

Tanaka Farms offer a large variety of activities to entertain their visitors, including a daily U-Pick Wagon Ride service, sunflower picking activity, Walk-Up Produce Market Stand, Barnyard Educational Exhibit, Storytime, Children’s Educational Workshop, and more.

You can also visit Tanaka Farms in Turtle Rock if you prefer to have a closer connection with nature

You can also visit Tanaka Farms in Turtle Rock if you prefer to have a closer connection with nature

The community is peaceful and pet friendly. The air quality of the area is marvelous and refreshing.

The neighborhood has a population of 25,990 and offers a dense suburban feel. The residents here have moderate political views. 

The Median Home Value is $1,597,132, and over 66% of residents own 66%. The Median Household Income is $148,443, and 33% of the residents comprise families with children.

 

6. Quail Hill

Quail Hill is in Irvine, California’s southern part. It is next to 405 Highway and provides residents with easy access to the major sites of employment, dining, and entertainment in the city.

Irvine has a renowned trail network system, and some people might be drawn to this neighborhood because of the availability of the hiking trail.

Quail Hill Loop Trail is connected to this 2.8-acre extensive system. This 2 miles (3.22 km) natural trail is considered a natural landmark. 

The Quail Hill Loop Trail in Quail Hill, Irvine, California is one of the attractions of the area for those who love to go on hiking trips

The Quail Hill Loop Trail in Quail Hill, Irvine, California is one of the attractions of the area for those who love to go on hiking trips

It is encouraged for hikers to bring their cellphones and experience the audio tour of the trail. The audio tour is accessible in podcast format or by dialing 949-743-5943.

We caution hikers, and some residents report sighting coyotes.

The neighborhood has a community pool, public basketball court, and a small-scale lifting gym for people looking for means other than hiking to stay fit.

Quail Hill community houses a population of 10,847. with an urban, suburban mix feel to it. Residents of the area hold moderate political views. 

The Quail Hill area has highly rated public schools, including University High School, Woodbridge High School, Lakeside Middle School, and more.

Even with a median home value of $2,000,001, over 62% of residents own their houses. 

Quail Hill is considered a diverse neighborhood with a diversity grade of A-. The median household income lies at an average of $181,875, and Quail Hill is relatively expensive to live in.

Families with children make up 36% of the residents in the family-friendly area. 34% of the residents graduated with a master’s degree or higher, and up to 45% of the residents have a bachelor’s degree.

 

7. Northwood

The construction of the Northwood neighborhood started during the 1970s, with over 60% of the houses built between 1977 and 1979. 

For people looking for neighborhoods under the influence of homeowners’ associations, Northwood may not be a good choice, as they don’t completely govern the neighborhood.

Some facilities have their own associations or clubhouses.

The eucalyptus windrows and many trees originally planted to protect crops against fierce Santa Ana Winds are now a hallmark of the neighborhood.

For residents looking for neighborhoods with community parks, Northwood will be a good choice. The Northwood Community Park or Castle Park is a treat for the children in the neighborhood.

The park has a cinder block castle which is loved by children and a satisfactory selection of options in the vast area for the children to choose from.

The castle park also has picnic areas and wide fields for soccer and baseball. 

Northwood has 39,120 residents and has a mixed feel of both suburban and urban. The residents are mostly Liberals.

The median home value is $842,991, and only 44% of the residents are homeowners.

The median household income is $125,404, and 40% of the residents comprise families with children.

Only 31% of residents have a master’s degree or higher level of education, and only 36% of residents have a bachelor’s degree.

 

8. University Park

Are you looking for a place with admirable parks and brilliant sports facilities? Then University Park should be at the high part of your list.

University Park is the first master-planned neighborhood in Irvine, California. The development of the area started in 1965, soon after they announced that a campus of the University of California would be built in its vicinity.

Fans of Golf will value the Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course. It is an 18-hole golf course. The Golf Course offers tournaments, club memberships and has certified professional staff members. 

Perhaps you prefer tennis to golf. The Racquet Club of Irvine is currently offering Adult tennis, Junior tennis, Pickleball, and various fitness facilities. 

It will excite families with children to know that Adventure Park is in the University Park neighborhood. Adventure Park includes a tree house, a sensory garden, art wall slides, and much more. 

If you have children in your family, you'll be thrilled to know that the Adventure Park is in the University Park area of Irvine, Ora

Photo Credit: @rewilding.family on Instagram!

Take note though that the park doesn’t allow pets to go inside, except for service animals.

The neighborhood has a population of 16,663 and a dense suburban feel. Residents of the area are Liberals. 

The median home value is $753,230, and 9% of the people own their houses. The median household income is $103,182.

32% of the residents comprise families with children. 32% of the residents have a master’s degree or higher, and 33% have a bachelor’s degree.

 

9. Newport Heights

Originally inhabited by Native Americans, Newport Beach in California was first explored by Europeans in the 1500s.

For those people who are concerned with the safety of an area in Orange County, Newport Heights is considered a safe neighborhood

For those people who are concerned with the safety of an area in Orange County, Newport Heights is considered a safe neighborhood

They later developed it as a commercial area and recreational community. In 1906, Newport Heights was incorporated as a city. 

Those concerned about picking a safe place to live in Orange County will be glad to know that Newport Heights has no major safety issues and is considered a safe neighborhood.

The neighborhood is home to 18,519 people and has an urban feel. The median house value is $1,075,002, and 44% of the residents have their own homes. 

Newport Heights has a diversity grade of A- and has a majority of Conservative residents. The median house income of residents lies at $109,223. 

18% of the residents comprise families with children. 37% of the residents have a bachelor’s degree, and 19% of the residents have a master’s degree.

 

10. San Joaquin Hills, Laguna Niguel

San Joaquin Hills is a guard-gated community in northern Laguna Niguel, California. The community is in the San Joaquin Hills of Orange County, California.

It is bordered by the Aliso Creek Road intersection and Moulton Parkway. 

The construction of the community first started in 1997, and it was made into four subdivisions.

Crestview, Somerset, Knolls, and Glen Cove make up the communities within San Joaquin Hills.

The Summit, released in September 2006, is the latest edition to the San Joaquin Hill communities and consists of high-end homes. 

The neighborhood has its own community association that maintains its parks, pools, and community centers.

San Joaquin Hills is estimated to have 2,750 residents in population.

 

11. San Joaquin Hills, Newport Beach

The San Joaquin Hills, Newport Beach neighborhood is one of the most picturesque coastal communities in Orange County

Photo Credit: @novareservices on Instagram!

The San Joaquin Hill in Newport Beach is a picturesque coastal community. It was originally a census-designated state before it was annexed into Newport Beach on January 1, 2002. 

The mostly residential neighborhood has a pleasant climate and charming scenery. The neighborhood is kept in an optimum condition with a low crime rate.

San Joaquin is not ideal for people seeking a warm community environment, as the neighbors of the community prefer to keep to themselves.

With an estimated population of 6,527, the San Joaquin Hills offers a dense suburban feel. Conservative white families and young professionals make up most of the residents in the area.

Highly-rated public schools such as University High School, Corona Del Mar High School, Vista Verde, and others are present in the neighborhood.

The median home value is an average of $1,666,756, and over 72% of the residents are homeowners. The median household income is $177,420, and families with children make up 29% of the population. 

A master’s degree or higher is held by 37% of the residents, and 39% of the residents have a bachelor’s degree.

 

12. Westpark 

A clean, quiet, and family-friendly neighborhood in Irvine with various amenities available to the residents. Westpark has modern apartments and a spacious multiple-story family home.

Residents have easy access to schools and daycares. Many locals favor the rolling skating rink in the neighborhood. Multiple parks and trails are present in the area.

The plazas in the area provide residents with various restaurants, retail stores, and grocery stores.

Through Interstate 405 and 5, people may easily commute to other areas of the city for work or to seek more sources of entertainment.

The neighborhood has a walk score of 50, which means it is walkable, and the transit score of the area is 29. Westpark is ethnically and economically diverse.

With a population of 13,879, Westpark has an urban, suburban mix feel.

$789,993 is the estimated median home value, and only 35% of residents own their house. Residents are Liberals, and 35% own their houses.

The median household income is $114,848. 28% and 38% of residents hold a master’s degree or higher and a bachelor’s degree, respectively. Families with children make up 32% of the residents.

It is difficult to find a vacancy in Westpark, and the cost of living there is high. 

 

13. Westpark II

Westpark II is a neighborhood in Irvine, California. The area has an estimated population of 17,475. 

The neighborhood has an impressive reputation among Orange County neighborhoods.

The reputation is reinforced because most residents live in the neighborhood for several years of their lives. Some residents choose to spend their entire lives in Westpark II.

Westpark II is one of the safest neighborhoods in Orange County, with vigilant police.

Westpark II offers an urban, suburban mix feel to it and is home to Liberal residents.

The median home value of Westpark II is $768,667. Homeowners make up 56% of the population.

The neighborhood has a diversity grade of A, and the median household income of residents is $122,648. Families with children make up 44% of the residents. 

A Master’s degree or higher is held by 30% of the residents, and 37% of residents have a bachelor’s degree.