Surveys Find San Clemente Best Family City and Laguna and Newps Most Desired

San Clemente-bound?
San Clemente-bound?

Newport Beach chamber of commerce types must be feeling pretty peachy these days. Yesterday we told you about one-and-a-half of its beaches being regarded as among the best in the country. Today, two other national surveys find Newps is among the best U.S. places for young families and for desirability among everyone.

Laguna Beach, which gets most of just lauded Crystal Cove State Beach, is even more desired as a place to reside than Newport Beach, according to one of the reports.

But first, Apartment List recently conducted the study of the best U.S. cities for young families, and
of the 473 rated, the Orange County city that ranked highest was San Clemente at No. 26.

Crunching national data based on factors that a majority of people said were most important to them—safety, cost of housing, quality of schools and child friendliness—Apartment List analysts gave San Clemente a 96.7 percent overall grade, which translates to an A. No other Orange County city received an A.

Those that got an A- (and their national ranking) are: Lake Forest (40); Orange (52); Tustin (53); Newport Beach (56); Huntington Beach (61); Yorba Linda (74); and Irvine (79).

All other OC cities rated were in the B's: including nos. 98 Mission Viejo (B+); 106 Laguna Niguel (B+); 121 Costa Mesa (B+); 167 Garden Grove (B); 168 Buena Park (B); 171 Santa Ana (B); 189 Fullerton (B); 197 Anaheim (B); and 217 Westminster (B).

Long Beach, at No. 223, also got a B.

The best city according to Apartment List is Allen, Texas. The highest ranking California city was San Ramon at No. 5. The worst city, at No. 473, is St. Louis, MO, which got an F.

Who would want to live in this Laguna Beach house?EXPAND
Who would want to live in this Laguna Beach house?

WHISTA, a commercial loan brokerage, put out "The 10 Truly Best Places To Live In California," boasting its list is unlike others you may have seen.

"One very popular list extols the city of Orange while another boasts about the splendor of Guadalupe," notes WHISTA's Kevin Issacs. "Huh? Seriously? Those California cities are certainly quite nice, but give me a break. You wan’t to live in Guadalupe instead of Malibu? I didn’t think so."

Brokerage analysts asked 250 Californians, from the ages of 21-65, and with college degrees and incomes over $75,000, what criteria is most important to them—and found widely diverging answers.

The same people were then given a list of 50 California cities and asked to pick the 10 places in California they would most like to live, if money were no object.

When it came to the "TRULY best places to live in California," Laguna Beach finished No. 3, after No. 1 Malibu and No. 2 Westlake Village.

The case made for Laguna: "From cozy South Laguna to the swanky Emerald Bay, Laguna Beach offers a rarefied small-town feel that you would be hard pressed to replicate. Oh, and don’t forget about the stunning architecture, world-class art, trend setting eateries and never ending outdoor activities."

Next come San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Monica and then No. 7 Newport Beach. 

"Let’s see, would you want to live in a luxurious coastal paradise where your biggest worry is if the waves are epic that day? Answer: Uhh, yes please," Isaacs writes. "It’s no wonder Newport Beach is considered the fourth happiest city in California."

The list is rounded out by, in order, Manhattan Beach, La Jolla and Hollywood Hills.


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