Lake Forest California

If you are looking for one of the best places to live in California, you’ll want to make a visit to Lake Forest in Orange County. The city offers its residents a suburban feel, and along with the neighboring communities of Mission Viejo and Irvine, is ranked as one of the safest cities in the country.

Lake Forest History

Development in the area began in the 1960s as housing demands for the nearby Marine Base El Toro increased – until its incorporation as a city in 1991, Lake Forest was originally known as El Toro. Following a vote in 2000, Lake Forest expanded its city limits to much of its present-day size. This expansion included the master-planned developments of Portola Hills and Foothills Ranch, while also bringing new commercial centers into the city. Construction has not stopped in the time since its incorporation. Lake Forest prides itself on not only preserving its rich heritage, but also its continued growth into a contemporary city.

The “forest” for which the city is also named lies in the area between Ridge Route, Jeronimo, Lake Forest and Serrano roads, and consists mostly of Eucalyptus trees. The forest is also man-made and was created in the first decade of the 1900s by local landowner Dwight Whiting. Whiting planted 400 acres of Eucalyptus groves near Serrano Creek as part of a lumber operation intended to draw development to the area.

Things To Do

Today, Lake Forest offers many great coffee shops and beautiful parks for the enjoyment of its residents. Annual summer concerts and a Fourth of July 5k run with fireworks display all add to the community atmosphere. Additionally, Regal Town Center hosts a Farmer’s Market featuring products from local farmers and vendors.

Lake Forest offers many opportunities for those that enjoy the outdoors. The Lake Forest Sports Park, which opened in November of 2014, is 86 acres of ball fields, playgrounds, courts and more, offering teams and camps for all ages from children up to adult. Eight listed walking trails throughout the city encourage you to take in the fresh air, while the two dog parks also offer your favorite canine companion the chance to get out and play. Lake Forest’s 30 parks offer a diverse array of picnic areas, barbecues, playgrounds, basketball courts, and softball fields for your enjoyment. Park shelters are also available for special events at eight of those parks.


Schools in Lake Forest are highly rated, and being a suburb of Los Angeles, the area is very attractive to not only families but young professionals as well. Condominiums and custom homes ranging from large to small line the shores of the two man-made lakes from what the city gets its name.  These areas are managed by neighborhood associations known as the Lake Forest Beach and Tennis Club, and the Sun and Sail Club. Each facility features tennis courts, gyms, basketball courts, barbecue pits, volleyball courts, multiple swimming pools, saunas, hot tubs and club houses for social events.

Beyond the landscape, Lake Forest offers a diverse selection of both shopping and dining options, as well as all the day to day services you expect to find in a modern city. Close proximity to beaches, mountains and many of Southern California’s best attractions make this the one community you can’t afford not to check out!

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