Southern California is a wonderful place in which to reside and raise a family! We live in the United States of America, a nation with incredible security and personal liberties, and in California, a state that offers immense freedom of expression and creativity. Southern California is a region with some of the most charming, beautiful and active people in the world. The County of Orange is the very center and has a thriving, dynamic economy from which we can make our livelihood. All of this—while living in Laguna Beach, with its small town atmosphere, the excitement of a vacation destination at times, and at others, a quiet serenity and beauty that allows the soul to find peace. What a wonderous place!

Surrounding yourself with great people is one of the keys to entrepreneurial survival and success. I have been blessed with many such people, space constraints allow me to mention only a few. Our Advisory Council of Charles Ahlers, Fifi Chao, Doris Crandall, Bonnie Brittain Hall, Mark Chapin Johnson, Russ Klein, Ruth Ko, Nick Lehnert, Bill Ross, Claudia Roxburgh Tyson and Gloria Zigner, offered valuable opinions and assistance in shaping this publication and, I thank each of you! Steve Lauri, this beautifully clean design comes from your gifted talents, thank you. David Lansing, my sincerest thanks for writing,‘so much into so little space’, and for your unique style and perspective. Catherine Mealer, whose copy editing and opinions were again invaluable, thank you. Gil LeVasseur, your long-term publishing and financial advice continues to be of great assistance, thank you. Stephanie Schuerings, my assistant, thank you for your continued optimistic and cheerful encouragement throughout. I am particularly grateful to Richard Reiser, one of my dearest friends and a partner; you are an immense help, both creatively and emotionally, thank you!

I continue to draw inspiration and motivation from the quote by Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis, "If you don’t raise your children right, nothing else you do matters." These words are my life’s compass. I dedicate this book to my entire family which collectively gives my life true meaning. To Connie, my wife, my sincerest appreciation for your constant understanding, even as you continue to give much needed support to all around you, to our children, Heather and Michael, to my mother, Ruth, and my father, Silvio.

Michael A. Maxsenti

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1--Where We Come

Chapter 2--The Big Orange Lifestyle

Chapter 3--Communities Old & New

Chapter 4--Beaches, Our Playground

Chapter 5--Wonderous Attractions

Chapter 6--The Magic of Art & Culture

Chapter 7--Education

Chapter 8--Getting Physical

Chapter 9--World Class Shopping, Dining & Entertainment

Chapter 10--Business on the Tech Coast

Chapter 11--Parklands From the Mountains to the Sea

Maps: The County of Orange, Center of Southern California

Photo Credits

Vital Statistics, Parks and Beaches Guide

Recommendations Guide

Visitor Destination Information