Laguna Woods is one of Orange County and California's newest cities, and its oldest. Comprised almost entirely of the citizens of the former Leisure World retirement community, the interesting age profile and mix of senior citizens decided their best interests weren't represented so they needed to form their own city to accomplish that task.
Located near wealthy Southern California beaches such as Dana Point and Laguna, the inland city approx. 15 minutes from the beach offers its local residents the amenities they seek such as busing to shops, movies and restaurants, a near perfect climate with mild summers and winters, and access to Orange County Airport.
The city is near Interstate 5 Freeway accessing Los Angeles, San Diego,
and if you drive far enough, you can head north and go all the way to
As Orange County's 32nd city, the average age of Laguna Woods residents is 78. 90% of the City's 4 square miles is contained within the senior citizen gated community of Laguna Woods Village (formerly Leisure World, Laguna Hills). The balance of the City contains three additional senior residential communities and several thriving commercial centers.
Development of the Leisure World community began in the 1960s on 2,095 acres formerly known as the Moulton Ranch. It was designed to offer a full range of cultural and recreational experiences for active adults within a safe and garden-like setting.
In 1996, threatened with the development of a major commercial airport on its
borders, the Leisure World community hired a consultant to explore future
governance options. The final report convinced community leaders to pursue
cityhood once again. On June 22, 1998, the Orange County Local Agency Formation
Commission approved the community's application for incorporation; local voters
ratified the proposal on March 2, 1999 and on March 24, 1999, Laguna Woods
became Orange County's 32nd city.