Relocating to Orange County CA?
Orange County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,010,232 making it the third-most populous county in California, the sixth-most populous in the United States, and more populous than twenty-one U.S. states. Its county seat is Santa Ana. It is the second most densely populated county in the state. The county’s four largest cities, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, and Huntington Beach each have populations exceeding 200,000. Several of Orange County’s cities are on the Pacific coast, including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach,Laguna Beach, and San Clemente.
The county is famous for its tourism as the home of attractions like Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and several beaches along its more than 40 miles (64 km) of coastline. It is also known for its political conservatism — a 2005 academic study listed three Orange County cities as among America’s 25 most conservative, making it one of two counties in the nation containing more than one such city. (Maricopa County, Arizona also has three cities on the list.) It is part of the Tech Coast.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 948 square miles (2,460 km2), of which 791 square miles (2,050 km2) is land and 157 square miles (410 km2) (16.6%) is water. It is the smallest county in Southern California. The average annual temperature is about 68 °F (20 °C).
Orange County is bordered on the southwest by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by Los Angeles County, on the northeast by San Bernardino County and Riverside County, and on the southeast by San Diego County.
The northwestern part of the county lies on the coastal plain of the Los Angeles Basin, while the southeastern end rises into the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. Most of Orange County’s population reside in one of two shallow coastal valleys that lie in the basin, the Santa Ana Valley and the Saddleback Valley. The Santa Ana Mountains lie within the eastern boundaries of the county and of the Cleveland National Forest. The high point is Santiago Peak (5,689 feet (1,734 m)), about 20 mi (32 km) east of Santa Ana. Santiago Peak and nearby Modjeska Peak, just 200 feet (60 m) shorter, form a ridge known as Saddleback, visible from almost everywhere in the county. The Peralta Hills extend westward from the Santa Ana Mountains through the communities of Anaheim Hills, Orange, and ending in Olive. The Loma Ridge is another prominent feature, running parallel to the Santa Ana Mountains through the central part of the county, separated from the taller mountains to the east by Santiago Canyon.
The Santa Ana River is the county’s principal watercourse, flowing through the middle of the county from northeast to southwest. Its major tributary to the south and east isSantiago Creek. Other watercourses within the county include Aliso Creek, San Juan Creek, and Horsethief Creek. In the North, the San Gabriel River also briefly crosses into Orange County and exits into the Pacific on the Los Angeles-Orange County line between the cities of Long Beach and Seal Beach. Laguna Beach is home to the county’s only natural lakes, Laguna Lakes, which are formed by water rising up against an underground fault.
Points of interest
1965 aerial photo of Anaheim Disneyland,Disneyland Hotel with its Monorail Station. The Disneyland Heliport, surrounding orange groves, Santa Ana Freeway (now I-5) and the Melodyland Theater “in the round,” and part of the City of Anaheim.Anaheim Stadium can be seen under construction near the upper left.
The area’s warm Mediterranean climate and 42 miles (68 km) of year-round beaches attract millions of tourists annually. Huntington Beach is a hot spot for sunbathing and surfing; nicknamed “Surf City, U.S.A.”, it is home to many surfing competitions. “The Wedge”, at the tip of The Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, is one of the most famous body surfing spots in the world. Southern California surf culture is prominent in Orange County’s beach cities.
Other tourist destinations include the theme parks Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheimand Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park. Since the 2011 closure of Wild Rivers in Irvine, the county is home to just one water park: Soak City in Buena Park. The Anaheim Convention Center is the largest such facility on the West Coast. The old town area in the City of Orange (the traffic circle at the middle of Chapman Ave. at Glassell) still maintains its 1950s image, and appeared in the That Thing You Do! movie.
Little Saigon is another tourist destination, being home to the largest concentration of Vietnamese peopleoutside of Vietnam. There are also sizable Taiwanese, Chinese, and Korean communities, particularly in western Orange County. This is evident in several Asian-influenced shopping centers in Asian American hubs like the city of Irvine.
Historical points of interest include Mission San Juan Capistrano, the renowned destination of migrating swallows. The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is in Yorba Linda and the Richard Nixon Birthplace home, located on the grounds of the Library, is a National Historic Landmark. John Wayne’s yacht, the Wild Goose or USS YMS-328, is in Newport Beach. Other notable structures include the home of Madame Helena Modjeska, located in Modjeska Canyon on Santiago Creek; Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse in Santa Ana, the largest building in the county; the historic Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach; and the Huntington Beach Pier. The county has nationally known centers of worship, such as Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, the largest house of worship in California; Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, one of the largest churches in the United States; and the Calvary Chapel.
Since the premiere in fall 2003 of the hit Fox series The O.C., and the 2007 Bravo series “The Real Housewives of Orange County” tourism has increased with travelers from across the globe hoping to see the sights seen in the show.
Orange County has some of the most exclusive and expensive neighborhoods in the U.S., many along the Orange Coast, and some in north Orange County.
In popular culture
Orange County has been the setting for numerous written works and motion pictures, as well as a popular location for shooting motion pictures.
The city of San Juan Capistrano is the place where writer Johnston McCulley located the first novella about Zorro, entitled The Curse of Capistrano. It was published in 1919 and later renamed The Mark of Zorro.
Huntington Beach annually plays host to the U.S. Open of Surfing, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball and Vans World Championship of Skateboarding. It was also the shooting location for Pro Beach Hockey. USA Water Polo, Inc. has moved its headquarters to Huntington Beach. Orange County’s active outdoor culture is home to many surfers, skateboarders, mountain bikers, cyclists, climbers, hikers, kayaking, sailing and sand volleyball.
The Major League Baseball team in Orange County is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The team won the World Series under manager Mike Scioscia in 2002. In 2005, new owner Arte Moreno wanted to change the name to “Los Angeles Angels” in order to better tap into the Los Angeles media market, the second largest in the country. However, the standing agreement with the city of Anaheim demanded that they have “Anaheim” in the name, so they became the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This name change was hotly disputed by the city of Anaheim, but the change stood and still stands today, which prompted a lawsuit by the city of Anaheim against Angels owner Arte Moreno, won by Moreno. It has been widely unpopular in Orange County.
The county’s National Hockey League team, the Anaheim Ducks, won the 2007 Stanley Cup beating the Ottawa Senators. They also came close to winning the 2003 Stanley Cup finals after losing in Game 7 against the New Jersey Devils.
The Toshiba Classic, the only PGA Champions Tour event in the area, is held each March at The Newport Beach Country Club. Past champions include Fred Couples (2010), Hale Irwin (1998 and 2002), Nick Price (2011), Bernhard Langer (2008) and Jay Haas (2007). The tournament benefits the Hoag Hospital Foundation and has raised over $16 million in its first 16 years.
The Los Angeles Blues are a USL Pro team and are the only professional soccer club in Orange County. The team’s first season was in 2011 and it was successful as Charlie Naimo’s team made it to the quarter-finals of the playoffs. With home games played at Titan Stadium on the campus of California State University, Fullerton the Blues look to grow in the Orange County community and reach continued success. Former and current Blues players include Walter Gaitan, Bright Dike, Maykel Galindo, Carlos Borja, and goalkeeper Amir Abedzadeh.
The National Football League football left the county when the Los Angeles Rams relocated to St. Louis in 1995. Anaheim city leaders are in talks with the NFL to bring a Los Angeles-area franchise to Orange County, though they are competing with other cities in and around Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Clippers played some home games at The Arrowhead Pond, now known as the Honda Center, from 1994 to 1999, before moving to Staples Center, which they share with the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Coastline Community College
- Cypress College
- Fullerton College
- Golden West College
- Irvine Valley College
- Orange Coast College
- Saddleback College
- Santa Ana College
- Santiago Canyon College
- Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
- Laguna College of Art and Design
- Southern California Institute of Technology Universities
- Chapman University
- Concordia University
- Hope International University
- Soka University of America
- Trinity Law School
- Vanguard University
- Anaheim University
- Western State University College of Law
- Whittier Law School
- California State University, Fullerton (CSUF)
- University of California, Irvine (UCI)
Is The leader in building appreciation of, participation in and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County.
Beaches & Harbors – 17
- Aliso Beach Park
- BolsaChica State Beach
- Capistrano Beach
- Corona del Mar State Beach
- Crystal Cove State Beach
- Dana Point Harbor
- Doheny State Beach
- Huntington City Beach
- Huntington State Beach
- Laguna Beach
- Newport Beach
- Newport Harbor
- Salt Creek Beach
- San Clemente City Beach
- San Clemente State Beach
- Seal Beach
- Sunset Harbour
Discover the rich heritage of Orange County by visiting historical sites that have attracted pioneers of art, agriculture, aviation and other remarkable achievements throughout the years.
Featured Historical Sites
- Arden Modjeska Historic Home & Garden
- George Key Ranch Historical Park
- Heritage Hill Historical Park
- Irvine Ranch Historic Park
- Old Orange County Courthouse
- Peralta Adobe
- Yorba Cemetery
Regional & Wilderness Parks
Orange County’s extensive regional park system is comprised of 39,000 acres in 25 urban and wilderness parks. This land includes: seven regional historic sites, 7,000 acres of open space and 230 miles of regional riding and hiking trails. Amenities like tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, playgrounds and par courses make fitness in the outdoors fun.
- Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park
- Carbon Canyon Regional Park
- Caspers Wilderness Park
- Clark Regional Park
- Craig Regional Park
- Featherly Regional Park
- Harriett M. Wieder Regional Park
- Irvine Ranch Open Space
- Irvine Regional Park
- Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
- Laguna Niguel Regional Park
- Limestone and Whiting Ranch Parks
- Mason Regional Park
- Mile Square Regional Park
- O’Neill Regional Park
- Peters Canyon Regional Park
- Regional Trails
- Talbert Nature Preserve
- Thomas S. Riley Wilderness Park
- Santiago Oaks Regional Park
- Yorba Park
Orange County Consists of 34 Incorporated Cities. There are many other areas of Orange County that some people consider cities but they have not been incorporated such as Trabuco Canyon.