Best Residential Neighborhood (2013)

Rossmoor

Before he designed the adjacent Leisure World in Seal Beach, Ross Cortese gave Orange County the wonder that is Rossmoor, a planned community nestled between northeast Long Beach and Los Alamitos. The neighborhood of some 3,450 single-family homes (and one condominium complex) is surrounded by a red brick wall upon which friendly reminders about street-sweeping days are occasionally placed. You could say the mostly white and Asian residents are upscale, and you'd be right: the median family income is just shy of $90,000. The houses are mostly of the one-story ranch-house variety, but unlike similar suburbs elsewhere in Orange County, they have an appealing midcentury-modern architectural design, somewhat resembling oversized birdhouses. Rossmoor's real draw, though, are the schools, particularly Weaver Elementary, which consistently ranks as one of the top public schools in the state and whose principal, Erin Kominsky, was a National Distinguished Principal of the year in 2012.

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