The number of beds and baths in a home is not always the most important feature when deciding what to buy. In fact, according to NAR’s Community Preference Survey, the more walkable the community, the more satisfied residents are with their quality of life. So what really makes a neighborhood or city more desirable?
The answer is convenience. A mixed use community which offers housing as well as good stores and businesses within walking distance and close proximity to work and recreation is favorable to most home buyers. Not only are walkable communities convenient, they are also more environmentally friendly, healthy and foster a sense of neighborliness.
WalkScore.com is a site that measures the walkability of any city, neighborhood or address. Walk scores are calculated based on the distance to local amenities and shops – amenities within a 5 minute walk are given maximum points on their scale of 1 to 100. Amenities further than a 30 minute walk are not given any points. We’ve looked at all of the cities in beautiful Orange County, CA and identified the top 10 most walkable communities to live in.
1. Santa Ana
Santa Ana is the largest and most populated city in Orange County. One of the most walkable parts of the city is its revitalized downtown area, a growing hub of art, culture and entertainment. Downtown Santa Ana features the Artist’s Village, Bower’s Musuem, the Old Country Courthouse and about 156 restaurants, bars and coffee houses.
Walk Score: 66
Average Sold Price: $656,473
2. Costa Mesa
There are several great central areas to shop and explore in Costa Mesa including South Coast Plaza Mall, the Orange County Fairgrounds, and recently renovated Triangle Square Restaurants and Entertainment. Costa Mesa also has some of the most prestigious arts and entertainment centers in the county including the Segerstom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory Theater.
Walk Score: 62
Average Sold Price: $954,871
3. Garden Grove
Garden Grove’s motto is “The City of Youth and Ambition” which highlight’s the city’s culturally diverse community. The Crystal Cathedral is a local icon and a popular place to visit as well as any one of the city’s 3 stage theaters, the Garden Grove Playhouse, Gem Theater and the Festival Amphitheater.
Walk Score: 61
Average Sold Price: $654,636
Westminster is probably most well known for Little Saigon, an area within the city a large number of Vietnamese refugees claimed as home when they came to the country in the 70s and 80s. Little Saigon includes several businesses, professional services and the most authentic and mouth watering South Asian eateries around.
Walk Score: 61
Average Sold Price: $701,194
5. Fountain Valley
Fountain Valley’s motto is “A nice place to live” which describes this suburb well. The city is home to Mile Square Regional Park, a wide variety of furniture and other retail stores, and several strawberry fields. With tons of new and trendy eateries like Recess Room and Drill’d popping up around town, it’s an exciting place to live for foodies as well.
Walk Score: 57
Average Sold Price: $855,334
6. Huntington Beach
This beach city features a great downtown area and pier for tons of fun and entertainment.In fact, Downtown Huntington Beach has a walkscore of 73! Big public beaches stretch across the city and a wide variety of great restaurants, boutiques and the Farmer’s Market can be found around Main Street.
Walk Score: 55
Average Sold Price: $1,195,971
One of the largest cities in Orange County, Fullerton has a lot of character with a wide range of neighborhoods. The most walkable part of Fullerton is of course the Downtown district which is in zip code 92832 and includes Fullerton College, the public library, train station, and tons of bars and restaurants.
Walk Score: 54
Average Sold Price: $822,946
8. The Village – Laguna Beach
The city of Laguna Beach as a whole is not a walkable city, but the Laguna Village most definitely is. With close proximity to downtown and some of the best beaches in Southern California, The Village is an iconic neighborhood. Every year the community puts on a Charm House Tour to feature unique homes in the area that embody the spirit of this beach town known for tree-lined streets and beach bungalows.
Walk Score: 84
Average Sold Price (Laguna Beach): $2,435,818
9. Old Town Seal Beach
Seal Beach has a quaint, small-town atmosphere, featuring the second-longest pier in California. Old Town Seal Beach covers the neighborhoods on either side of PCH near Main Street. The area is served by great schools as a part of the Los Alamitos Schools District and the classic beach downtown area keeps residents of all ages entertained year-round.
Walk Score: 82
Average Sold Price: $1,106,273
10. Balboa Island in Newport Beach
Balboa Island is classic vintage Newport Beach. This adorable neighborhood is filled with beach bungalows and the best outdoor entertaining spaces on the real estate market. Marine Avenue is the main street in town with tons of chic coastal shops and delicious food. You can also walk, bike or take the Ferry to the Fun Zone and enjoy a classic frozen treat to go along with your trip to the beach.
Walk Score: 70
Average Sold Price: $2,888,394