Located in Orange County, California, Rancho Mission Viejo is an active ranch community that spans over 23,000 acres of land. The ranch is found between the Cleveland National Forest and the historic town of San Juan Capistrano and is only 5 minutes from the beach. Residents of Rancho Mission Viejo take pride in the natural beauty of their land. In 2000, a plan was put into place to create natural open space preservation. Today, The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo sits as a nearly 17,000-acre habitat reserve throughout the area.
Rancho Mission Viejo is a collection of communities that have recently been developed within the property of the ranch. The area is made up of villages, each of which contains a number of neighborhoods. Many of these villages are currently under construction, meaning that the community of Rancho Mission Viejo is very much up-and-coming. One of these villages is Esencia, which is being built on some of the highest elevations of the ranch.
While many of the neighborhoods in the ranch are considered “all ages”, there is a number that is referred to as Gavilán neighborhoods. These areas have specifically been constructed for the 55+ community, with single-story housing as well as ease-of-access two-story housing, with amenities for the 55+ community, including easy access to healthcare services.
You can read more about this up-and-coming community on their website.
The Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano is a major hotspot for equestrian activities in Orange County. Each year, the riding park features year-round equestrian competitions in addition to hosting a number of other competitive sports in the Orange County area. The Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park also contains both a recreation area as well as an agricultural area. In addition, it houses 42-acre preservation of open space and creeks.
One of the more popular events featured at the riding park is the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo, an annual two-day rodeo that touts itself as the richest two-day rodeo in the nation. Every August since 2001, the top 30 rodeo contestants in a number of different categories are invited to participate in this massive rodeo. Events at the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo include bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping, and bull riding. The winners of these events go on to compete in the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada. One of the key features of the rodeo is that a portion of the profits goes to aid in a number of local charities. In the first 15 years since the rodeo’s introduction, the riding park raised over $1.5 million dollars in donations for these local charities.
For additional information on The Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano, visit their website.
As mentioned above, there are a number of amenities for Rancho Mission Viejo residents that help it stand apart from other Orange County communities. Many of the neighborhoods in the area have clubhouses meant for meet-ups with family and friends. Many of these hubs offer areas for classes and events, as well as BBQ pavilions and areas for people to get together and enjoy the day.
One of the villages located in Rancho Mission Viejo, Esencia, has its own school. The Esencia school has facilities for kindergarten through 8th grade and is a short walk or bike ride from Esencia. This school features a 14-acre community campus, with access to an extensive public recreational area as well as an interactive Innovation Center within the school.
The ranch features a number of exercise spaces, parks, and playgrounds for both fitness and entertainment. There are also two local farms, which allow residents to harvest their own crops year-round and offer children’s classes. Many of the canyons within Rancho Mission Viejo are permanently protected, offering walking, hiking, and exploration to those who want to get out and experience nature firsthand. These nature-trails are diverse and offer something for all walks of life, meaning anyone can get outside and connect with the natural beauty of the area. As the community continues to grow and expand, you can expect many more ways for Rancho Mission Viejo residents to enjoy the land and make the most of their lives here.
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