The 10 Best Areas for Families in Orange County | Move Central

The Best Areas To Live In Orange County For Families

Orange County, California is the ultimate family haven, where sunshine meets top-rated schools, safe neighborhoods, and endless adventures. Known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant communities, and top-tier public schools, Orange County provides a high quality of life that appeals to families seeking a nurturing environment for their children.

The region’s master-planned communities, numerous parks, and family-friendly amenities make it an ideal destination for those looking to raise a family in a supportive and dynamic setting. With a variety of neighborhoods catering to diverse preferences and lifestyles, Orange County ensures that every family can find their perfect home.

Here are some of the best neighborhoods in Orange County to raise a family:


Irvine is not just known for its top-rated schools and safety but also for its commitment to sustainability and green spaces. The city features over 20,000 acres of parks and open space, including the expansive Great Park, which offers a variety of recreational facilities, farmers markets, and community events. Irvine’s diverse cultural scene, with numerous festivals and performing arts venues, ensures there’s always something exciting for families to enjoy.

Schools: Irvine is home to top-rated public schools, including University High School and Irvine High School, both of which consistently rank among the best in California.

Safety: Known for its low crime rates and well-planned communities, Irvine is a safe and secure place for families to live.

Amenities: The city boasts numerous parks, community centers, and family-friendly activities. Families can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, from playgrounds and sports fields to biking trails and nature reserves.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is famed for its vibrant arts community. The city hosts the annual Pageant of the Masters and Sawdust Art Festival, attracting artists and visitors from around the world. Laguna Beach’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty means families can explore marine sanctuaries, tide pools, and miles of scenic hiking trails along the coastline. The community’s strong environmental values foster a healthy, active lifestyle for families.

Schools: Laguna Beach High School is known for its excellent educational standards and supportive environment for students.

Safety: This coastal community is renowned for its low crime rates and overall safety, making it an ideal place for families.

Environment: Laguna Beach offers stunning beaches, parks, and a wide range of outdoor recreational activities. Families can explore tide pools, hiking trails, and participate in community events centered around the arts and nature.

Newport Beach

Newport Beach is often considered the best neighborhood to raise a family in Orange County. This affluent coastal city is home to world-class amenities, including the Newport Harbor, one of the largest recreational boat harbors on the West Coast. Families can enjoy sailing, paddleboarding, and other water activities. The city also boasts upscale shopping at Fashion Island and a wide range of dining options, from family-friendly restaurants to gourmet eateries. Newport Beach’s strong community spirit is evident in its numerous family-oriented events and activities.

Schools: Highly rated schools, such as Corona del Mar High School, make Newport Beach a desirable location for families prioritizing education.

Safety: With low crime rates in this affluent coastal area, Newport Beach offers a secure environment for children and families.

Lifestyle: The city provides a vibrant community with beaches, family-friendly activities, and upscale shopping and dining options. The Newport Beach Pier and Balboa Fun Zone are popular destinations for family outings.

Mission Viejo

Mission Viejo stands out for its community-focused lifestyle. In addition to top schools and safety, the city organizes a variety of family-friendly events throughout the year, such as the annual Oso Fit 5K Fun Run and Health Fair. Mission Viejo’s extensive trail system connects neighborhoods to parks, schools, and shopping areas, encouraging outdoor activities and fostering a close-knit community atmosphere. The city’s dedication to maintaining a high standard of living makes it an ideal place for families.

Schools: Mission Viejo is served by the Saddleback Valley Unified School District, which includes top-ranked schools.

Safety: This suburban city is known for its very low crime rates, providing a safe environment for raising a family.

Recreation: Mission Viejo offers numerous parks, sports facilities, and community events. Lake Mission Viejo is a centerpiece of the community, offering boating, fishing, and picnicking opportunities.


Tustin offers a blend of historic charm and modern conveniences, with its well-preserved historic buildings and contemporary amenities. Tustin’s community programs, including youth sports leagues and cultural events, provide ample opportunities for family engagement. The city’s central location also offers easy access to nearby attractions and job centers, making it a convenient choice for families.

Schools: Tustin’s educational institutions, including Tustin High School, are highly regarded.

Safety: The city is known for its safe neighborhoods and strong sense of community.

Amenities: Families in Tustin have access to parks, shopping centers, and a variety of family-friendly activities. The Tustin Sports Park and Tustin Market Place are popular spots for families.

Aliso Viejo

This city features a variety of recreational facilities, including the Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center and the Aliso Viejo Town Center, which hosts community events and outdoor concerts. Aliso Viejo’s proximity to the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park provides families with endless opportunities for hiking, biking, and nature exploration. The city’s focus on health and wellness is reflected in its numerous fitness centers and health programs.

Schools: Aliso Niguel High School and other highly rated schools make Aliso Viejo a top choice for families.

Safety: This master-planned community is known for its low crime rates.

Family-Oriented: Aliso Viejo offers numerous parks, hiking trails, and community events. The Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park provides ample opportunities for outdoor adventures.

Yorba Linda

Yorba Linda, known for its excellent schools and safety, also offers a strong sense of community and rich historical heritage. The city is home to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, providing educational opportunities for children and families. Yorba Linda’s network of parks and recreational facilities, including the Yorba Linda Community Center, hosts a variety of family-friendly events and activities. The city’s suburban charm, combined with modern amenities, makes it a perfect place for family living.

Schools: The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District serves this area, offering top-rated schools.

Safety: Yorba Linda is known for its safe, suburban environment, ideal for families.

Community: The city provides family-friendly parks, events, and recreational facilities. The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is a local attraction offering educational opportunities for children.

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is a hub for outdoor and beach activities. Known as “Surf City USA,” it offers families a vibrant coastal lifestyle with annual events like the U.S. Open of Surfing and the Huntington Beach Airshow. The city’s extensive beach trails, parks, and sports complexes provide ample recreational opportunities. Huntington Beach’s laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere is complemented by its numerous community programs and events.

Schools: Huntington Beach High School is among the high-quality educational institutions in the area.

Safety: This coastal community is recognized for its low crime rates, ensuring a safe environment for families.

Recreation: Huntington Beach offers miles of sandy beaches, parks, and family-friendly activities. The annual Surf City USA events and the Huntington Beach Pier are popular with locals and visitors alike.

Lake Forest

Lake Forest is a city that prioritizes family and community well-being. It offers a range of family-oriented activities and programs at its sports park and community center. Lake Forest’s Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park provides beautiful hiking and mountain biking trails, perfect for active families. The city’s commitment to maintaining a high quality of life is evident in its well-maintained public spaces and community services.

Schools: El Toro High School and other strong schools contribute to Lake Forest’s appeal for families.

Safety: Known for its low crime rates, Lake Forest provides a family-friendly environment.

Lifestyle: The city features parks, lakes, and a variety of recreational activities. The Lake Forest Sports Park is a hub for family activities, including sports and community events.

Rancho Santa Margarita

Rancho Santa Margarita boasts a close-knit community feel with a focus on outdoor living. The city features the picturesque Rancho Santa Margarita Lake, where families can enjoy picnics, fishing, and paddle boating. The city’s network of parks and trails encourages an active lifestyle, with numerous community events and recreational programs for all ages. Rancho Santa Margarita’s serene, master-planned environment makes it a desirable location for families.

Schools: Trabuco Hills High School and other excellent schools serve this master-planned community.

Safety: With very low crime rates, Rancho Santa Margarita is a secure place for families.

Community: The area is rich in parks, hiking trails, and family-oriented events. The Rancho Santa Margarita Lake is a focal point for community gatherings and outdoor activities.

Orange County offers a vibrant array of family-friendly neighborhoods, each with top-rated schools, safe environments, and abundant recreational activities. These areas provide the perfect backdrop for raising happy, healthy children.

If you’re considering moving to Orange County with a family, let Move Central make your relocation smooth and stress-free. Our skilled and experienced team is dedicated to helping you find the ideal home and seamlessly transition into your new community. Embrace the exceptional lifestyle Orange County has to offer and start your exciting journey today. Contact us now for expert help relocating to Orange County with your family!

Stan Caramalac

Stan Caramalac started his moving company because he truly believed that moving could be simple as long as it was done efficiently. He wanted to help people make their moves smoother and less stressful. Stan and his team proudly serve San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. If you are looking for professional commercial or residential movers then Move Central is the perfect company for you.

Author: Stan Caramalac

Stan Caramalac started his moving company because he truly believed that moving could be simple as long as it was done efficiently. He wanted to help people make their moves smoother and less stressful. Stan and his team proudly serve San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. If you are looking for professional commercial or residential movers then Move Central is the perfect company for you.

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