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a familiar story: An older couple, ready to retire, buys a new home
near Phoenix, settles into a new lifestyle of air-conditioned summers
spent inside and warm winter mornings out on the golf links After
a year or two, they move back to Orange County.
there's the young family, children just starting school, who long
for the "simpler" life, and so move lock, stock, and barrel
to the wilds of Montana or the rustic beauty of Idaho. Before long,
they too are moving back to Orange County.
you asked these folks why they came back, they'd mention the weather
or job opportunities or say they just didn't feel comfortable in
their surroundings, but it's more than that. It's the sparkling
beauty of the beaches, the abundance of playhouses, museums, and
a world-class performing arts center, as well as the incredible
shopping and easy access to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. It's
little things too. Like being able to host a backyard barbecue for
friends and neighbors in January or buying handmade tortillas, still
hot, at a local taqueria or exotic fruits and vegetables in the
market of Little Saigon. It's knowing that no matter where you live
in Orange County, you can snowboard at a ski resort in the morning
or go for a hike in the Santa Ana Mountains, and spend the afternoon
sailing off Newport Beach or Dana Point.
is, in short, the lifestyle.
Orange County, it's not so much that everyone enjoys the same lifestyle,
but that there are so many to choose from. For instance, if you
are an outdoor lover, you can peddle a mountain bike through a shady
canyon in Crystal Cove State Park, fish year round at Irvine Lake,
skin-dive in kelp beds off Doheny, or play a round of Frisbee golf
in Huntington Beachs' Central Park. Where else can you build a bonfire
and roast marshmallows at Huntington Beach, chase grunion during
certain spring and summer months near Laguna, or catch a little
air in Vans Skate Park at the Outlets at Orange?