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Laguna Niguel



Photo © Debbie Stock


The City of Laguna Niguel was established as Orange County's 29th city in 1989. In the heart of "South County," it is halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, consists of  13.8 square miles, and is surrounded by the cities of Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Laguna Beach and Laguna Hills.  Primarily residential, photos provided on this page are of a famous  5 star attraction bearing the name of the city,
The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

Laguna Niguel's proximity to the coast provides an ideal climate which allows for year-round enjoyment of its beautiful parks and nearby attractions. Over one-third of Laguna Niguel is designated for open space with 2 community parks, 22 neighborhood parks, Laguna Niguel Regional Park, 2 small county parks and 1 community pool. 

Laguna Niguel residents are served by the Capistrano Unified School District. 

Located within the City are six elementary schools and one middle school. The high schools serving Laguna Niguel students are located in Dana Point and Aliso Viejo. Saddleback College, a community college located within a few miles of Laguna Niguel, provides college opportunities for more than 20,000 local students. The city offers many community activities for teens..   


Photo © Debbie Stock

Photo © Debbie Stock

Although Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel Resort is technically located in Dana Point, it bears the name of Laguna Niguel.  Its magnificent setting with breath-taking views of the Pacific Ocean brought it the coveted award of  Gourmet Magazine's "Most Romantic Hotel" in the world and Travel & Leisure's "Best North America Hotel".

Opened in 1984, more than 4,000  weddings and countless proposals and anniversaries have been celebrated in the resort’s award winning restaurants, elegant accommodations and oceanfront settings. Sunset at Laguna Niguel  could well be the most romantic moment of a lifetime. 


While comparing Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Hawaii to Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel might be like comparing apples to oranges, it's hard to beat the climate enjoyed at this California resort.




About Laguna Niguel: Laguna Niguel is a south Orange County, California city next door to a fellow Laguna Beach.  The name "Laguna Niguel" comes from the Spanish word for lagoon, and 'nigueli' refers to  a JuaneƱo band Indian tribe's village that ran along Aliso Creek, ending at Aliso Beach. This master planned city is fully built out and is supposed to maintain at least 30% parks land, which makes for a very fine quality of life for the over 60,000 residents who live just minutes from the Pacific Ocean at the beaches of Dana Point. From the hilltop bluffs and ridges in which many homes are built, views afforded include the Pacific Ocean between the San Joaquin Hills that separate Laguna Beach and Laguna Niguel.


Laguna Niguel is the newest of the two cities, built after 1980 as an upscale residential community with many guard gated home owner association complexes. As you drive around the city with borders, you'll notice many opulent stone walls and entry arches to developments such as Kite Hill, Niguel West, San Joaquin Hills, Bear Brand Ranch, Marina Hills, Ocean Ranch, Coronado Pointe, South Peak, Crest de Ville, Palmilla,  Rancho Niguel,  Niguel Summit, Beacon Hill, El Niguel Heights, and Monarch Point. Many of these single family homes sit atop the ridges of hills and mountains, and overlook canyons and the ocean.


Bordering Laguna Beach to the north, Dana Point to the west and south, San Juan Capistrano, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills and Aliso Viejo, this somewhat small city of less than 15 square miles features several large parks.  Aliso Woods/Canyon Regional Park and Laguna Niguel Regional Park both offer recreational activities that include wilderness, trails, picnic areas, volleyball courts, and a fishing lake. This relatively young city with an average age of around 38 is affluent with six digit incomes on average, and white mostly with 85% of the population being Caucasian.


History of this land of rolling hills overlooking the surrounding mountains and Pacific Ocean puts Laguna Niguel back to the land grant era of Mexican occupation. Juan Avila. When California became a United States territory in 1848, he had to legally battle to retain ownership of the land, which cost him significantly. Passed from Hispanic ownership in 1895, Lewis Moulton and Moulton Company purchased the property as an investment during a drought condition.

Like most of Orange County, major development went into high gear in the mid-1900's.  Laguna Niguel Corporation was transformed around 1960 into a residential area accessing the then new Interstate Highway, 1-5, also known regionally as the San Diego Freeway. Laguna Niguel was incorporated in 1989, which makes it a fairly young city. Though much of its amenities such as shopping, schools, housing and parks systems are young, residents find this appealing.

Laguna Niguel Regional Park was established in 1973, and offers a beautiful oasis filled with hiking, biking and jog trails, landscaped picnic areas, a fishing lake, and many features.

Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park, Badlands Park and Laguna Niguel Regional Park are the city's three major park assets.

One of the most notable and noticeable buildings in Laguna Niguel is the huge, mustard colored ziggurat. Originally built for a private corporation, it was given to the U.S. government and houses many important historical documents. The Chet Holifield Federal Building features one million square feet of space which contains archives, libraries and offices. Designed by Los Angeles architect William Pereira, the facility houses millions of microfilm documents that include important historical contracts and deeds of  land to the Indian Tribes of the southwest United States. The Holifield building also contains offices for  Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you remember the movie, Outbreak, the building appeared in that movie. 

Excellent schools make the city quite attractive for parents and their kids. The city is served by the Capistrano Unified School District with a number of elementary schools such as: Moulton Elementary School

Marian Bergeson Elementary School

Crown Valley Elementary School

Hidden Hills Elementary School

Laguna Niguel Elementary School

Malcolm Elementary School

George White Elementary School

Middle Schools

Niguel Hills Middle School

Aliso Viejo Middle School (in Aliso Viejo)

High Schools

Aliso Niguel High School (in Aliso Viejo)

Dana Hills High School (in Dana Point)

Colleges (Served by the South Orange County Community College District

Saddleback College (in Mission Viejo)

Soka University of America (in Aliso Viejo)

Aliso Viejo |
Anaheim | Brea | Buena Park |Corona del Mar | Costa Mesa | Cypress |Dana Point | Fountain Valley | Fullerton | Garden Grove| Huntington Beach | Irvine| La Habra | La Palma | Laguna Beach  | Laguna Hills | Laguna Niguel | Laguna Woods |Lake Forest | Los Alamitos | Mission Viejo | Newport Beach |Newport Coast | Orange | Placentia | Rancho Santa Margarita  | Rossmoor| San Clemente | San Juan Capistrano | Santa Ana | Seal Beach | Stanton | Sunset Beach | Surfside  | Tustin | Villa Park | Westminster | Yorba Linda


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