Before the city's incorporation in 1991, the area was known as El Toro and operated as a sprawling cattle ranch for over 100 years. In keeping with the city's motto "remember the past, challenge the future," Lake Forest maintains the Heritage Hill Historical Park. This four-acre historical gem houses four restored buildings that are open for public tours: the Serrano Adobe (built around 1863), the El Toro Grammar School (1890), St. George's Episcopal Mission (1891), and the Harvey Bennett Ranch House (1908). Modern cultural attractions include an 86-acre sports park and recreation center and a 40,000-square-foot public skate park. Annual community events include a 4th of July 5K run, fireworks over the Sun & Sail Club lake and an annual summer concert hosted by the city.

Related: Lake Forest real estate data & listings

Located just 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the 16.8-square-mile city of Lake Forest, California, is ranked as one of the top 10 safest cities in the United States. This city of 77,264 residents boasts two lakes and a several-hundred-acre eucalyptus grove. Well-planned communities offer a variety of living spaces, including equestrian estates and lakefront single-family homes as well as townhomes and luxury condominiums. Retirement communities and mobile home parks can also be found in Lake Forest.

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