Orange County conjures up sun-drenched images of Southern California at its finest: suburban living with pockets of great affluence in a perfect palm trees-and-Pacific breeze climate. Its 40 miles of craggy coastline are studded with standout beaches. To the east, the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains provide a striking backdrop.
The aerospace industry that was once an Orange County mainstay has largely been taken over by service and high-tech jobs centered in Irvine, the business and financial hub. Tourism continues to play a major economic role, with star attractions like Anaheim’s Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Mission San Juan Capistrano and quaint Balboa Island among the driving forces. Unemployment is consistently among the lowest counties in California, and Orange County’s residents are among the wealthiest. Average household income is higher than 98% of all counties in the U.S.
Among Orange County’s 34 incorporated cities are famed places like Laguna Beach, a gallery-laden art lover’s paradise, and Newport Beach, the prosperous locale of the television series, “The O.C.” Along with Newport Coast and Dana Point, this series of wealthy enclaves are The Hamptons of California. In the city of Dana Point, known for its jaw-dropping coastal bluffs and surf destinations like Doheny Beach and Salt Creek, sumptuous residences are the linchpins of an upscale but laid back lifestyle.
Modern glass-walled mansions can be spotted perched on hilltops and ridges enjoying breathtaking vistas and seascapes.
The region has it share of lushly landscaped master-planned communities, some with acres of greenbelt and walking trails that overlook the Pacific. Custom villas in the gated residential Ritz Cove development feature views of the beach, fairways and Catalina Island. Oceanfront estates dazzle in the private communities of Monarch Bay and Niguel Shores.
Orange County was named a “Top 20” real estate market to watch in 2012. A quality education system, low crime rate and a prime location make that no surprise to those who call it home.
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from Sotheby's International Realty
Content Producer Iyna Bort Caruso