Orange County is not only home to popular tourist destinations—it is also a fantastic place to live year-round. Its idyllic communities include laid-back beach towns, luxurious oceanfront getaways, and peaceful suburban towns. These communities benefit from convenient transportation links to many major highways that run between them. Orange County has some of the country’s best beaches, surf spots, and theme parks. Orange County also provides top-notch shopping, dining, and arts.
A wide variety of homes can be found in Orange County, from lavish oceanfront villas and stunning contemporary hilltop homes to suburban neighborhoods of mid-century modern properties and modern townhouses.
What to Love
Diverse towns and cities
40 miles of beaches
Arts and culture
People & Lifestyle
Orange County is chock-full of things to see and do. It is famous for its iconic attractions, such as Disneyland, as well as the inviting beaches along its 40-mile coastline. From larger cities, such as Anaheim and Huntington Beach, to smaller rural communities, you’re sure to find a place to fall in love with somewhere within the OC.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
The distinctive towns and cities that comprise Orange County offer a vast array of places to shop, drink, and dine. The area, alternatively known as The Orange Circle and Old Towne Orange, is an example of what makes the O.C. so special. The Circle is California’s largest registered historic district and features art galleries, antique dealers, specialty stores, and restaurants by day. By night, The Circle’s lively bar scene blends elevated gastropub dining with friendly dive bars. The historic downtown district of Old Town San Juan Capistrano also has antique malls, restaurants, specialty stores, and nightlife. The Anaheim Packing District is a walkable district with shops, restaurants, and live music. Highlights include the Anaheim Packing House, a food hall with 50 artisanal vendors serving an eclectic assortment of tasty foods.
There are a number of impressive shopping malls within the O.C. The Irvine Spectrum is an outdoor shopping center with a Giant Wheel that offers breathtaking views, a 21-screen movie theater, restaurants, and retailers anchored by Nordstrom and Target department stores. Orange County’s restaurant scene boasts many fine eateries. Head to The Hobbit in Orange for a one-of-a-kind three-act dining experience that begins with a trip to the wine cellar, continues with a mouthwatering fish or shellfish course, and finishes with a relaxing walk or conversation on the patios before serving the main entrée. Bourbon Steak in Dana Point has been proclaimed the O.C.’s best steakhouse for its delicious prime cuts of steak and spectacular views.
Things to Do
The communities of Orange County host unique events throughout the year that attract huge crowds of visitors. Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo celebrates the traditions of the Old West with contests for bareback riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, and bull riding. The Pageant of the Masters at Laguna Beach’s Festival of the Arts is another Orange County highlight with performing artists recreating living versions of classical and contemporary works of art. The Orange County Great Park in Irvine is a sprawling public greenspace covering over 450 acres. This community space offers a large variety of sports programs, including adult and kids’ programs in basketball, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. The U.S. Open of Surfing is held between July and August at the famous sands of Huntington Beach. This is the world’s largest surf competition and gives visitors the chance to see many of the world’s best professional surfers ride the waves. Huntington Beach also hosts the United States’ biggest airshow, the spectacular Great Pacific Airshow, in October.
Most communities within Orange County belong to the Orange Unified School District.
Crescent Elementary School, Public, K-6
Anaheim Hills Elementary School, Public, K-6
Orange County School of Arts, Public, Charter, 7-12, Special programs for gifted art students
The Pegasus School, Private, Nonsectarian, K-8
Canyon High School, Public, 9-12
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