Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, & San Juan Capistrano
Community Features & Hot Spots
Laguna Niguel is a residential city within Orange County that’s home to a wealth of culture. It is situated just nearby the Pacific Ocean, making it a great destination for people who enjoy surfing, fishing, or simply sunbathing. Those who love spending time outdoors will also find the many parks and public trails in the city much to their liking. The people who live in Laguna Niguel enjoy a relaxed and laid-back suburban lifestyle, which is complemented by pleasant weather all year round.
Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, the land where Laguna Niguel sits was home to the Acjachemem Native Americans. In the early 18th century, Spanish missionaries settled here and created the Mission San Juan Capistrano. The land was actually divided into several private grants and switched hands among numerous owners until the Laguna Niguel Corporation purchased everything in 1959. Over time, they built various planned communities on the land. This land was formally incorporated as a city in 1989. Over the last few decades, the city has seen a dramatic rise in population, now sitting at just over 62,000.
Living in Laguna Niguel
Laguna Niguel is a highly desirable place to live and is situated just beside the city of Dana Point. The city is just a short drive to the beach, providing you with a great location anytime you wish to get in some sunbathing or fishing during your free time. The entire area has a planned community feel to it. No matter where you live, you’ll feel secure, as the city is known as one of the safest destinations in southern California.
You’ll find a wide range of homes throughout Laguna Niguel. There are over two dozen communities and neighborhoods. Many homes in the area are spacious single-family residences, though there are plenty of larger estate homes. If you’re searching for luxury in the home, you may wish to consider the Ocean Ranch community, which is home to numerous custom estates with sizable lots. On the other hand, the Marina Hills community consists almost entirely of single-family residences, many of which are built in the Mediterranean architectural style.
The residents of Laguna Niguel are served by the Capistrano Unified School District, an award-winning district consisting of 11 schools and the Saddleback Community College, which provides college courses to well over 20,000 local students.
Laguna Niguel Features & Hotspots
There’s a lot to do and see throughout Laguna Niguel. The city is known primarily for its large number of parks and open spaces, the most popular of which is the Laguna Niguel Regional Park. This 227-acre park offers a comprehensive trail network for hiking and biking as well as several ball courts for playing all kinds of sports. It also plays host to the Laguna Niguel Lake, where you can fish for trout, catfish, or bass. In total, there are over 80 miles of non-motorized trails throughout the city limits.
If you want to watch movies in style with your friends, family, or significant other, consider stopping by Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas, an upscale theater that offers comfortable, reclining seats and fine dining. If you’re searching for a unique experience when living in Laguna Niguel, the Cinepolis offers just that.
Mission Viejo is a great city in Orange County that’s filled with a wide range of exciting things to do and places to visit. It’s actually one of the largest master-planned communities in all of California. It’s a largely suburban and residential area that’s known for The Shops at Mission Viejo, an upscale shopping mall that can act as a one-stop shopping destination for all of your shopping needs. You’ll also enjoy the picturesque and scenic tree-lined neighborhoods and the beautiful Lake Mission Viejo that’s situated at the very heart of the city.
Mission Viejo started out as a large area of land that was purchased by a man named John Forster during the Mexican-American War in the mid-19th century. Even up until the 1960’s, this land was viewed by prospective developers as incapable of being developed due to its odd geologic complexity. It wasn’t until the late 1970’s that a plan was finally made to build houses on the hills and valleys that make up much of the land throughout Mission Viejo. Almost immediately upon being built, the houses were in high demand. Almost all homes and buildings within the city were crafted in the Spanish mission style. Today, Mission Viejo is one of the safest cities in California and is generally a more family-oriented community. People within this community live peaceful and health-focused lifestyles.
Living in Mission Viejo
Mission Viejo is one of the safest places to live in the United States and has been ranked as such by a wide array of publications over the years. The city is primarily residential in nature. Since most of the homes were built in the early 1980’s, the vast majority have a similar Spanish mission architectural style, which matches well with the Southern California scenery. Most of the homes in the city are single-family residences and townhomes, though there are some larger estates, and have spacious lots and luxurious amenities such as in-ground pools.
There are well over 50 parks in city limits. The city of Mission Viejo is served by two separate school districts, which include the Capistrano Unified School District and the Saddleback Valley Unified School District. Within the Capistrano District, there are six elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools. In the Saddleback District, there are a total of seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and two highs. Both of these school districts are highly rated and will provide your children with great educations.
Mission Viejo Features & Hotspots
There is plenty to do and see in Mission Viejo. One of the most popular destinations in the city is Lake Mission Viejo. This lake is a prime location for all of your recreational needs. When the temperatures are right, you can go fishing or swimming in the lake. Boat rentals are also available, as are paddle-board and kayak. Given its picturesque location at the heart of the city, the grounds around the lake serve as an outdoor venue for a wide range of concerts and festivals all throughout the year.
Whenever you wish to get some shopping done, there’s no better place to be than the Shops at Mission Viejo, an upscale shopping mall that’s filled with over 150 stores and restaurants, from Microsoft and Apple to Macy’s and H&M. If you enjoy playing golf, the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club consists of a pristine 18-hole course that you should enjoy spending time at. Whenever you want to see a movie with your family or friends, stop by the Kaleidoscope, a popular movie theater that offers plush seating and enhanced audio.
San Juan Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano is a historic city in Orange County that was built around the ruins of Mission San Juan Capistrano. Some of the buildings throughout the city were initially built in the 18th and 19th centuries, which means that the city has the widest variety of homes in all of Orange County. One of the major highlights of living in the city is the swallows of San Capistrano, a group of cliff swallows that migrate to the area each year around late March. This event is always celebrated by annual parades and other festivities that you’ll want to attend.
The city was named for the ruins of the Spanish mission that now resides within city limits. This mission was founded all the way back in 1776, with some of its structures being among the oldest standing buildings in Southern California. The city was described in the 1830’s by famed author Richard Henry Dana, Jr. as the “only romantic spot in California”. Residents of San Juan Capistrano tend to have healthy and active lifestyles, largely due to the great weather and spacious recreational areas that make exercising fun.
Living in San Juan Capistrano
No matter what type of home you’re searching for, you’ll likely find it in San Juan Capistrano. Since the city has been around for hundreds of years, there are a large variety of home types available for you to select from. You’ll find many single-family residences, townhomes, and cottages that have been built in the Mediterranean and Spanish mission architectural styles. There are also a selection of vast estate houses and even mansions in certain neighborhoods.
The city is served by the Capistrano Unified School District. There are five elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school within city limits.
San Juan Capistrano Features & Hotspots
San Juan Capistrano is basically a hot-spot for culture in Southern California. One destination that can’t be overlooked is the Mission San Juan Capistrano, a settlement founded by Spanish Catholics in 1776. This settlement now serves as one of the most popular museums in California and consists of ruins that are among the oldest standings buildings in the state. Ten acres worth of fountains, gardens, and structures can be found throughout this museum. It served as a Spanish mission for the local Native Americans until 1833. If you wish to find out more about the history of the city, there’s no better place to go.
When living in San Juan Capistrano, one of the first things that will catch your eye is that you’re surrounded by nature. As such, many of the activities and areas of interest throughout the city have to do with nature. If you wish to learn about sustainability and would like to take some hands-on classes on the subject, take your family to The Ecology Center, a fascinating educational tool that will assist both children and parents alike in learning more about nature. Zoomars Petting Zoo is another popular destination for families, as there are over 100 animals you can pet and other fun activities to partake in, such as panning for gold.