Foothill Ranch is located inland between the cities of Rancho Santa Margarita and Irvine. This area was officially incorporated into the city of Lake Forest a few years ago, but maintains a distinctiveness that sets it apart from many surrounding communities. Foothill Ranch real estate has great appeal for many prospective buyers due in large part to the moderately priced single family homes, condominiums, and townhouses it offers for sale.
Many of the neighborhoods are relatively newly-constructed and located in well thought out areas and locations. Although it serves primarily as a charming "bedroom community" by providing a Home Sweet Home for many residents who spend their working days in the larger industrial areas of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, Foothill Ranch has also developed to accommodate an increasing number of local businesses in support of the growing population.
Residents of the Foothill Ranch area will find many places of interest to visit in the nearby area. For example, the renowned South Coast Metro area is a mere eight miles away, where both the Orange County Performing Arts Center and South Coast Repertory theaters are located. World-class shopping is also close to home, as the mega-mall South Coast Plaza is also located in this area. Neighboring Costa Mesa houses The Orange County Fairgrounds, which is home to one of the largest swap meets in the country each and every weekend. This is the place where one can truly find anything, ranging from small trinkets to new and used automobiles! Naturally, the Orange County Fairgrounds are also used to host the annual-and unforgettable-Orange County Fair each summer.
Also close by for exploration, Foothill Ranch residents will find the Irvine Spectrum. This is an ever-expanding outdoor mall and entertainment center that houses an incredible array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues to appeal to visitors of all ages and interests.
Of course, it would be impossible to forget the other world-famous points of interest in the Foothill Ranch area... since they include Disneyland in Anaheim, the lively Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, the famous and beautiful beaches of Newport Beach, and the quaint Pacific Ocean beach towns of Laguna Beach and San Clemente. The Pacific Ocean is less than ten miles away! These areas are the living and thriving embodiment of Southern California, and they draw visitors from all over the world each and every year! People who choose to reside in Foothill Ranch actually have all of these amenities--and many more--right at their fingertips.
But Foothill Ranch is far more than just a place for families and individuals to play. There are also excellent educational options in the area for everyone from the pre-schooler to the university graduate student, including both public schools and a variety of private institutions. There is one public high school in Lake Forest, called El Toro High School, and it was first opened in 1973. El Toro has consistently established itself as one of the first-rate high schools in Southern California, along with the other three public high schools administered by the Saddleback Valley Unified School District (SVUSD). SVUSD serves all of Lake Forest, and obviously also Foothill Ranch. There is also a fine assortment of private school options surrounding Foothill Ranch, including denominationally affiliated schools for high school and younger ages, as well. Preschool children will find Montessori and other preschools available for their needs. Lake Forest as a whole supports two public libraries that serve Foothill Ranch and the rest of the community. Both of these libraries are officially branches of the Orange County Public Library system. Universities abound in the adjoining communities, offering everything from community college courses to graduate studies at University of California at Irvine.
Foothill Ranch real estate is close to two amazing county parks. The Heritage Hill Historical Park covers just over four acres of land, and includes four historic buildings in addition to other structures for the maintenance of the park. There are also public restrooms for visitors. All of the historic buildings are completely restored and represent the intriguing background of both the Saddleback Valley and the nearby El Toro location. Tours of the historical sites and through the buildings are available for the public from Wednesday through Sunday, offering a wonderful educational experience for children's groups, families and other interested individuals. These tours cover the greater Foothill Ranch area's rich past through the use of available artifacts, historical events, and actual portrayals of the historical characters associated with each building. In addition to these offerings, all of the Heritage Hill Historical Park grounds are impeccably landscaped. They are publically maintained in accordance with the historical importance and style of the buildings. Because of the beautiful surroundings, residents are often pleased to learn that these historic and breathtaking grounds are made available for weddings and other special occasions. The Heritage Hill Historical Park is also utilized for public and holiday events every year. One local favorite for residents of Foothill Ranch is the overwhelmingly popular Victorian Christmas. This festive event is planned each and every year to take place on the first weekend in December.
The other park near Foothill Ranch lacks many of the amenities of the Heritage Hill Historical Park, but it is significantly larger. The Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park remains fascinating for other reasons, however, and provides more rustic recreational opportunities. The expansive Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park comprises about 4,300 acres of scenic woodland canyons. There are wide slopes covered with fragrant sage and native trees, as well as wild grassland hills. Accompanying this natural splendor, the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park is the site of gorgeous Red Rock Canyon. Three streams known locally as Aliso Creek, Borrego Creek, and Serrano Creek may also be found winding through the park, although this is largely dependant on the amount of rainfall and the season of the year. When they are running, these three streams help to support a variety of wildlife in the area.
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