Laguna Niguel California Neighborhood Guide
Laguna Niguel, California is a suburban city that nestles between Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Beach, and San Juan Capistrano. Theis community derived its name from the Spanish words “Niguili” and “Laguna,” which describes the Native Americans who once settled in near to Aliso Creek.
Laguna Niguel, California has a total land area of about 15 square miles. Currently, the city has a population of about 66,300. It’s considered a bedroom community and has the most liveable neighborhoods in Orange County. This suburban city not only has beautiful views, but it also has relatively low crime rates.
History of Laguna Niguel
California became a Mexican territory in 1821. The area where Laguna Niguel currently sits was once one of the Mexican land grants. During that time, this city was called Rancho Niguel owing to the many rancheros living in the area. In 1842, Juan Avila obtained ownership of the land through the Mexican-American War. A severe drought hit the area and left Avila bankrupt. Because of the struggling situation of the people living in the area, Avila sold the land to Lewis Moulton and Jean Pierre Daguerre in 1895. The land was then re-established after California became a state.
A large portion of the land grant eventually turned into Laguna Niguel. Soon after, Laguna Niguel Corporation, the primary developer of the area transformed the place into a master-planned community. In 1989, Laguna Niguel was officially declared as the 29th city in Orange County.
There are about 50 known neighborhoods in Laguna Niguel. Most houses here are single-family homes that have Spanish and modern designs. Though this city is considered a bedroom community, it is home to many upscale neighborhoods. Some of its high-end areas are:
- Bear Brand
- Laguna Heights
- Ocean Ranch
- Laguna Crest
- San Joaquin Hills
If you want to be in an area where you can enjoy the beautiful city and ocean views, you can visit these neighborhoods:
- Beacon Hill
- Coronado Pointe
- Crest de Ville
- Monarch Point
- Niguel Coast
- South Peak
Other interesting neighborhoods in Laguna Niguel include:
- Kite Hill
- Marina Hills
- Niguel Summit
- Niguel West
- Rancho Niguel
Just like most cities in Southern California, you can enjoy fair and pleasant weather in Laguna Niguel all year-round. August is usually the hottest month while December is the coldest month in this city. Temperatures can reach as high as 108 °F (42 °C) and as low as 21 °F (−6 °C).
You won’t be worried much about getting wet here as it rarely rains. In Laguna Niguel, only five months of the year have rainfall of more than one inch. You can get more wet days in February. So, it may not be the best month to visit the city at this time.
The Capistrano Unified School District serves most schools in Laguna Niguel. Here are the different schools near the city (according to education level).
- Crown Valley Elementary School
- George White Elementary School
- Hidden Hills Elementary School
- John S. Malcom Elementary School
- Laguna Niguel Elementary School
- Moulton Elementary School
- Marian Bergeson Elementary School
- Orange County Academy of Sciences and Arts
- Aliso Viejo Middle School
- Niguel Hills Middle School
- Orange County Academy of Sciences and Arts
- Aliso Niguel High School
- Dana Hills High School
Colleges and Universities
- California State University, Irvine
- California State University, Fullerton
- Chapman University
- Pepperdine University
- Saddleback College
- Soka University of America
- Southern California Institute of Technology
- University of California, Irvine
You can visit Laguna Niguel and drive around the city in your own car or use any of the public transportation available. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) buses provide transport for commuters. You can find bus numbers 85, 87, 187 and 490 operating in Laguna Niguel. OCTA’s 490 bus offers connecting service to the Metrolink Station.
Metrolink primarily serves the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo Station near I-5. The Inland Empire-Orange County Line and the Orange County Line offer transport service to train stations in Los Angeles, Oceanside, Irvine, and San Diego cities.
If you want to get more physical, there are bike lanes around Laguna Niguel. You can find about 60 miles (97 kilometers) of these lanes in the city. Also, you can find many bikeways that connect the extensive public park system of Laguna Niguel.
- Laguna Niguel Attractions
The neighborhood of Laguna Niguel has houses that mostly have Spanish influence. This city is also brimming with beautiful parks which has many public trails. It has become a favorite tourist destination for people who love nature and outdoor activities.
- Laguna Niguel Regional Park
This is a public park that offers many outdoor activities for both children and adults. It has courts for volleyball and tennis. Go hiking, biking, and running on its trails. You can also go fishing and boating at the lake.
- Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park
At the southside of the Laguna Greenbelt, you can find the Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park. This park features beautiful views of the canyons. Its easy to moderate trails are great for hiking, running and biking. You can also find petroglyphs etched by the early native Americans.
- Skateboard and Soccer Park
One of the highlights in this city is its incredibly designed Skateboard and Soccer Park. This state-of-the-art skatepark is designed for skaters of all skill levels. You can join in skateboard classes and learn the basics and advanced skateboarding tricks.
- Laguna Niguel Lake
Do you love fishing? Laguna Niguel Lake is a popular spot for fishing. You can catch bass and trout here. And if you want to go boating, the park offers boat and equipment rentals for you.
- Laguna Niguel Botanical Preserve
Within the Crown Valley Community Park, you can find the Botanical Preserve. Here you can go birdwatching while walking around the botanical preserve. You can also find various plants cultivated here. Some of these plants are even sourced from other countries.
Best Things to Do in Laguna Niguel
- Hiking, Running or Biking at Laguna Niguel Hiking Trails
Laguna Niguel has many easy to moderate trails where you can enjoy biking, hiking, or trail running.
- Fishing at the Laguna Niguel Lake
Fishing or boating is possible here. Enjoy catching bass or trout while standing on a spot on the lake. Or if you want to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings, sit under a tree and relax.
- Explore Colorful Plants at Niguel Botanical Preserve
If you’re fond of plants, don’t miss to visit this place. The staff here is friendly and approachable. They’re also well-versed with all the plants cultivated there.
- Flaunt your Skateboarding Tricks at the Skatepark
Whether you want to practice skateboarding or want to learn tricks, you can do it here. You can also flaunt your biking stunts. The park offers bike sessions where you can exclusively practice your biking skills.
- Enjoy Flying Kites and Toy Planes at Kite Hill
Who says you can’t be a pilot for a day? Kite Hill has amenities that can make you feel like you’re flying your toy plane like a real pilot.
- Buy Fresh Produce at the Farmers’ Market
One of the best places to purchase non-GMO and fresh produce is at the local Farmers’ Market. You won’t only buy vegetables and fruits. You can also gain friends here.
- Enjoy a Luxurious Holiday at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
If you want to experience staying in a luxurious hotel, come and visit here. The breathtaking views make of the ocean can put you in a relaxing vibe.
- Have a Relaxing Spa Session
You can have a soothing massage or spa session in any spa clinic in Laguna Niguel. Go inside stressed and tired, and come out feeling light and relaxed.
- Visit Art Galleries
Are you an art enthusiast or a collector? There are art galleries displaying art pieces made by talented artists in the city.
- Enjoy Good Food
Cities can’t be without a place to eat. In Laguna Niguel, you can find many restaurants serving authentic cuisines from many parts of the world.
Laguna Niguel may be a relatively modest city, but it boasts a lot of attractions for locals and tourists. Love outdoor activities? This city has tons to offer! Laguna Niguel may be a humble city in California, but it has many exciting places to visit and enjoy.