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5 Best Places to Live in Orange County, CA, in 2021

Choosing where to live in Orange County, CA, is not an easy decision to make. There are so many great options as the whole area is beautiful, but we made a list of the five best places to live in Orange County, CA, to, hopefully, help you zero in on a city or town. We will show you different places, all of which are a great choice, and you choose the one that speaks to you and your family.

This decision is only the start of a relocation process, and everything will be much easier if you make a checklist at the very beginning. Once you choose the right Orange County movers, you can leave it all in their hands and start planning the coolest housewarming party ever in your new home. But, before all that – you’ve got to choose your new neighborhood, and your local movers in Orange County, CA are here to help.

Is Orange County, CA a Good Place to Live?

Absolutely! OC is an amazing place with many great, safe communities to flourish in. It has the finest nature has to offer – beautiful beaches with breathtaking views, calming sounds of the ocean, and charming hills. The community is diverse, so you can get a feel (and taste) of any country when you are living in OC. There are plenty of landmarks and historical sites, as well as attractions and an amusement park. The economy is strong, with tech companies taking the lead and offering plenty of jobs for the residents. You just have to choose your city and neighborhood – and, boy, are there options to choose from.

How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Orange County?

If you are dreaming of relocating to a different town in OC, you will most likely want to hear all about the cost of living. If you are wondering what salary do I need to live in Orange County – you will most likely require six figures to be able to live here comfortably. That is if you have a family. 

According to LivingWage, you should make around $108,000 annually to be able to afford to reside here with a family. If you are single with no children, the cost of living will drop significantly to about $47,000, so you can even afford to throw a memorable moving away party. So, take that into consideration and put creating a moving expenses checklist on your to-do list before you set out to pack the most commonly forgotten things to pack.

piggybank on the box
Make sure you can afford living here

#1 Irvine – One of the Best Cities to Live in Orange County, CA

With a population of just over 270,000, Irvine tops most of the charts of the best cities to call home in the OC. Why? The greatest pull this place has is its safety – the neighborhoods were thoroughly planned to make it hard to commit a crime, and the area really lives up to its reputation when it comes to safety. People can walk around at night without worry. Irvine is also one of the fastest-growing cities with ample job opportunities and excellent schools. The cleanliness is extraordinary, and that’s another reason why the city has stayed on top of everyone’s list when relocating within the OC. If you want to join them, you should know that homes cost about $864,000, according to BestPlaces.

Things to Do in Irvine, California – A Brief Guide for Newcomers

If you plan a residential relocation to Irvine, you can expect to find everything a big city has to offer. Plenty of attractions and things to do, depending on your personal preferences. There are amazing restaurants with vast choices of different food. The shopping is plentiful, and Irvine Spectrum Center is the go-to destination for shopping. It also has many attractions for kids to enjoy, as well as Pretend City Children’s Museum and OC Great Park. For outdoorsy types, there’s the Tanaka Farm, William R. Mason Regional Park, Bommer Canyon Trails, and Turtle Rock Community Park. So, there’s fun for everyone. And if you ever get bored, San Diego and LA are just around the corner.

view of a park in Irvine, California
This is the pick of the bunch for many who are moving to or around the area

#2 Wonder What Is the Safest City in Orange County? Rancho Santa Margarita Is the Answer

Rancho Santa Margarita is one of OC’s youngest cities and one of the best places to settle down in the state. It also has the longest name of all cities in Cali! This master-planned community is a suburb of Irvine, and it has a population of just short of 50,000. Most locals are homeowners, and if you want to buy a property here, you should know that the current median house price is around $650,000. That’s affordable, compared to other names on the list, and considering it’s one of the safest cities in Orange County with a crime rate of 0.55 crimes per 1000 people. The schools are highly rated, which is why many parents are eying this place as we write this. And the place is only becoming more popular, so put your name on that waiting list as soon as possible.

Fall in Love With the Outdoors in Rancho Santa Margarita

While this place is not a coastal town, it has a beautiful man-made lake if you feel like swimming. Or you can head to the beaches in Laguna, San Clemente, or Dana Point – it’s a 30-minute drive away. There are amazing hiking trails in the hills around it, and the mountains aren’t far away either. You can also explore the canyons like a true resident, as that’s a popular pastime.

People here really enjoy nature and outdoor activities, and if you are an outdoorsy type – you will, too. If not, there’s plenty of shopping options, restaurants, and pastries. The traffic is easy, which is another plus, and you will often see people walking. If you are relocating with pets, your little ones will enjoy taking walks with you, the scenery, and other pups they meet.

#3 Laguna Beach – The Art Capital of OC

Founded by artists in the 20s, Laguna Beach still attains its chic bohemian vibe and is famous as being the art capital of the OC. If you are artsy, you will love the culture and the festivals here. Laguna Beach is nestled almost exactly between LA and San Diego, and it has warm and moderate weather all year round. It has a population of as little as 23,000, but it draws millions of visitors each year. The biggest pull for this town is its 30+ beautiful beaches that stretch along over 8 miles of its coastline. And they are picturesque and iconic in their own right. The schools are excellent, and the community is family-friendly, so there are lots of playgrounds for kids. Homes can get pretty expensive in this zip code, and the median price sits at $2 million.

What’s the Best Neighborhood in Laguna Beach?

If you decide to move here, you won’t have to worry about safety as crime rates are extremely low in each neighborhood. You can choose among the coastal communities, which are extremely popular, and inland subdivisions, which are also great, but a bit further from the beaches. Here’s are our top choices for a neighborhood:

  • Three Arch Bay – gated community,
  • Emerald Bay – gated community,
  • South Laguna Bluffs,
  • Lagunita – gated community,
  • Montage.
Bird's eye view of the houses, coast and sea in Orange County, California
Three Arch Bay is a popular community to settle down

#4 Newport Beach – One of the Richest Places in California

This affluent coastal town is a calm and peaceful area. Originally built for maritime industries, the nautical vibe and atmosphere still lingers around here. People are big on boating, and you will see lots of charming boats and exquisite yachts down at the marina. You can rent some of these and take a ride yourself, and don’t forget to ask where to whale watch, as that’s a popular activity. Lido Village is a posh area where you can go shopping, dining at fine restaurants, or enjoy day and evening parties. As you go down the boardwalk facing the Pacific Ocean, you will be able to view The Channel Islands, which make for lovely day trips.

A Little Look At the Economy and the Financial Aspect of Living Here

Let’s take a look at the financial part of living here. Newport Beach is an expensive place, and it was once even named the richest US town. Homes here range around $2 million dollars, but the salaries are in accordance with the high cost of living. The median household income here is around $107,000, and the economy is strong. Other benefits of living in such an expensive zip code include excellent schools and low crime rates, whichever neighborhood in Newport you choose to reside in. All in all, if you can afford to live here – it’s well worth it.

Yachts on a sunny day in Orange County, California
 Living here can get as expensive as the yachts in the marina

#5 Aliso Viejo Is One of the Affordable Places to Live (Well) In California

If the housing prices in Newport Beach have made your head spin – worry not, as we have decided to include one affordable option in our list. While it may be relatively affordable compared to other places in the area, Aliso Viejo is one of America’s top 25 towns to live well, according to Forbes. Homes can be bought for $638,000, and it has low crime rates, so it’s pretty safe. It is a small suburb with a population of about 50,000 people, and its residents like the fact that it’s a peaceful and quaint area. It’s a great option if you are looking for somewhere to raise your family as it’s pretty family-oriented and schools are highly rated.

It’s a hidden gem and one of the best-kept secrets of locals and native Californians as it’s not that heavily advertised as some other places, hence often overlooked by the newcomers. If you are looking for a bit of peace and serenity away from the hustle and bustle but still want to be well connected to major cities around, you will be most welcome here. We’re sure that packing plates for moving and other fragile items gave you more moving stress than anything else, but once you unpack and start enjoying the perks of living in this community, you’ll forget about it all.

Aliso Viejo, Orange County, California
Aliso Viejo is surrounded by beautiful nature

Where Should I Live in Orange County, CA?

Ain’t that one difficult decision to make? There are so many great options, and you can only choose one to settle and form a home for yourself and your family. But, that is a decision only you can make. We’ve presented you with our pick of the top towns in the area as Orange County, CA, movers who are familiar with the region. You can further familiarize yourself with other options and even take trips to your favorites between packing books and other tasks like packing dishes for moving. You will need a break, and what better way to use it? Take into account your budget and the lifestyle you plan on leading, and choose a zip code that speaks to you.

beach and sea at sunrise in Orange County, California
Take some time to make this decision to ensure you pick the right spot

Hire the Best Movers in Orange County to Help You Move to One of the Best Places to Live in Orange County, CA

Whatever zip code and neighborhood you choose to call home, contact our company for assistance with moving if you want to move efficiently and avoid moving scams, we can even assist you with commercial relocations. There are very few items our movers won’t move, and they’re usually hazardous chemicals. Other than that, if you choose our local moving services, we will be able to move your piano or anything else and ensure you are in for a smooth relocation. If you choose our packing services, our professional packers will use all their moving hacks to have you packed before you know it. Give us a call, and we will give you a free quote for you to see if the cost of our services fits your budget. If they do, we can book the smoothest move into your new home you’ll ever have.

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OC Moving Services has professional packers and movers that can help you out.