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.
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.
Lake Forest’s position in the Saddleback Valley of Orange County makes it both convenient and comfortable. The Mediterranean climate means year-round opportunities to experience the city’s 30 public parks, with their various sports courts and boating opportunities, and hiking and equestrian trails at Orange County’s Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. The Irvine Amtrak station is only minutes away, simplifying travel to either Los Angeles or San Diego via the Pacific Surfliner. There is also a MetroLink station and, for those who prefer to drive, Interstates 5 and 405 merge at Lake Forest. The city is a home base for many well-known companies, including Oakley and Wet Seal. There are several office and industrial parks in town to meet the needs of various businesses. While Lake Forest is a mid-sized city, it has everything that a larger city would offer, including quality education. The local high school, El Toro High, offers an Advanced Placement program, and the elementary schools have between 21 and 25 students per teacher. For higher education, there are four universities (UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Chapman and Concordia) and two community colleges (Saddleback and Irvine Valley) within a 20 mile radius. Search our listings to find your next home in this charming city.