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What is the best place to live in Orange County?

Pressed against the Pacific Ocean and brushing the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains, Orange County is full of great locations for all types of lifestyles. To help you decide the best place for your Orange County life, we looked at Orange County’s suburbs and rated them for safety, household income, education level and the job market to determine the best suburbs Orange County has to offer home buyers. For this list, we gathered our data from Data USA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Below are the top 10 best Orange County suburbs to live in.

1. Newport Beach

Newport Beach Best Orange County Suburbs

Home to the Balboa Peninsula, Newport Harbor, and two piers, Newport Beach is a town that prides itself on its diversity of restaurants and top-rated schools. Although many of Orange County’s cities run along the coast, Newport Beach’s shoreline was recognized in 2012 with CNN’s Five Stars for Cleanest Beach in the U.S.

2. Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach Best Orange County Suburbs

Laguna Beach is the art capital of Orange County. Settled by a group of artists in the 1920’s, it retains it’s artistic identity–even bus stop chairs were designed by artists that attend LCAD. Every summer, the city holds its historic Pageant of the Masters. Rolling hills and a rocky coastline make it easy to see what drew artists to this location.

3. Yorba Linda

Yorba Linda Best Orange County Suburbs

Often identified as the richest city in the U.S. by the Census Bureau, Yorba Linda is a suburban town with a thriving job market. Yorba Linda doesn’t have it’s own police department, successfully patrolled instead by Brea’s police and is one of the safest towns in Orange County.

4. Dana Point

Dana Point Best Orange County Suburbs

When Richard Dana first saw the coastline that would become Dana Point he called it “the only romantic spot on the coast.” Marked by it’s coastal bluffs and the tide pools that run along the beach, Dana Point is an idyllic example of Southern California living.

5. Irvine

Irvine Best Orange County Suburbs

Irvine has been found to be the Safest Big City in America by the FBI for the past 9 years. As Orange County’s business hub and home to University California, Irvine, a top tier research school, Irvine is a destination for many singles families. This city is characterized by big open spaces and wide streets–a welcome change from Southern California’s compact living.

What’s the best neighborhood in Irvine CA?

There are over 20 individual neighborhoods in Irvine so determining the best is difficult. Each featuring great schools, convenient shopping, and lots of local parks, you really can’t go wrong. Based on local search volume, the strength of community and popular schools, here are the top 10 Irvine neighborhoods we’ve identified. On the top of the list is Woodbridge, Orchard Hills and Northwood.

6. San Clemente

San Clemente Best Orange County Suburbs

San Clemente is a charming seaside town and the perfect location for people who love to feel close to nature. Hiking and biking trails snake across the town’s coastline and ridgeline, leading to a spread of great beaches. A great family atmosphere combined with a slew of family-owned restaurants makes this town a great place for anyone looking for a small, beach town vibe.

7. Aliso Viejo

Aliso Viejo Best Orange County Suburbs

Aliso Viejo is a quiet, inland Orange County suburb that lives by the motto “Live, Work, Learn, Shop and Play.” With lively weekend entertainment, 21 parks, and a Town Center a maximum of 3 miles from every resident, Aliso Viejo is the perfect environment for growing families.

8. Seal Beach

Seal Beach Best Orange County Suburbs

Named for the seals that swim the waters around this seaside suburb, Seal Beach is a sleepy coastal community that neighbors Long Beach and is a short drive from downtown Huntington Beach. Easy access to freeways makes Seal Beach an ideal location for beach and city lovers.

9. Mission Viejo

Mission Viejo Best Orange County Suburbs

Mission Viejo is a large master-planned town with a diverse range of people. Although this city is not coastal like much of Orange County, a large lake at its center gives this hilly town access to lakeside properties and a range of water activities.

10. Lake Forest

Lake Forest Best Orange County Suburbs

Small, safe and well-planned neighborhoods give Lake Forest an irresistible charm. The landscape is full of hills and, true to it’s name, a wealth of trees. Although Lake Forest is a suburban dream it neighbors Irvine, the business hub of Orange County, making it a prime location for young professionals to established families.

BONUS: Laguna Niguel

Aerial view of Laguna Niguel CA with mountains in the background

Based on popular demand we had to include the city of Laguna Niguel on our list of best suburbs in Orange County. Located just inland of Dana Point and Laguna Beach, this coastal community offers larger homes and lots with the same beach city vibes. Surrounded by Laguna Hills, San Juan Capistrano and Aliso Viejo, the city is very well maintained and includes tons of designated open space. Thanks to the location, you will find plenty of Laguna Niguel homes for sale with some of the most beautiful beach views in all of Orange County. Residents enjoy tons of shopping, great schools, and a very clean community.

What is the most dangerous city in Orange County?

Safety is always a concern when shopping around for the best place to live. These top Orange County cities are among the safest cities in Orange County. To find the most dangerous cities in Orange County, check out the FBI Crime report for 2018.

Don’t hesitate to find a home in your favorite Orange County suburb. In Orange County, you’re never too far from LA and San Diego and can enjoy beautiful beaches and great food any time of year. So call or email us to set up your appointment to see the best of Orange County real estate.