Laguna Niguel, perched in the San Joaquin Hills overlooking Laguna Beach and the Pacific Ocean, is one of the first master-planned communities in California. Its history dates back to the late 1950s when the Laguna Niguel Corporation began laying out the many streets and amenities that the community enjoys today. Laguna Niguel is not only one of the safest communities in California, it enjoys many parks, public walking, running, and riding trails, and an amazing climate thanks to sea breezes rising from Laguna Canyon.
The initial development plan in Laguna Niguel was created by Viennese architect Victor Gruen, noted for designing shopping malls and master-planning Fort Worth, Texas. Mr. Gruen believed that people should walk in cities in preference to driving cars, and his vision continues to be influential in today’s pedestrian malls and walkable neighborhoods. A third of Laguna Niguel’s land has been permanently set aside as open space parks and recreational facilities. Although not within the city of Laguna Niguel, residents also enjoy Aliso and Wood Canyon Park, an extensive suburban nature reserve and open space. Laguna Niguel Lake is the center of the Lake neighborhood in the city, a recreational lake formed when planners dammed Sulphur Creek.
Some of the oldest subdivisions of Laguna Niguel are still noted today, including prestigious Monarch Bay. Bear Brand Ranch, Niguel Coast, Niguel Summit, Coronado Pointe, Ocean Ranch, and El Niguel Heights and Golf Course are only a few of the planned neighborhoods and gated communities in Laguna Niguel. The majority of communities enjoy benefits from homeowner’s associations, with HOA dues primarily ranging between $75 and $500 a month.
Laguna Niguel is not only an excellent choice for families because of the many amenities and recreational opportunities, including a skate park, large recreation center encompassing all sports, and library, but because of its schools. Served by the excellent Capistrano Unified School District, Laguna Niguel students may attend highly-rated elementary, middle, and high schools. As an example, Hidden Hills Elementary School is a California Distinguished School and Technology Academy where more than 90% of 1st and 2nd-grade students achieved Math Mastery in state testing.
Laguna Niguel benefits from a number of local retail centers with dining, services, and shopping. Envisioned as a “bedroom” community for executives and managers working in Orange County, Laguna Niguel offers a high quality of life for its residents today. With dozens of gated, secure communities with homes built between the 1960s and 2010s, Laguna Niguel is exemplary of the South Orange County lifestyle. It is not only beautiful and within minutes of the Pacific Ocean, it offers a strong community spirit and an amazing environment that blends outdoor, natural spaces with neighborhoods, schools, and public parks.