Mission Viejo is located in southern Orange County, California in the Saddleback Valley and has been named the safest city in the US according to a 2007 nationwide poll. Mission Viejo is considered one of the largest master planned communities ever built under a single project in the United States. The city's name is a reference to Rancho Mission Viejo, a large Spanish land grant from which the community was founded. During the late 1970's and the 1980's, houses in Mission Viejo were in such high demand that housing tracts often sold out before construction even began on them.
Mission Viejo is suburban in nature and culture and is mainly residential, and features a very large number of single-family homes. The houses and shopping centers in the city are almost uniformly designed in a Spanish mission style architecture, with "adobe"-like stucco walls and barrel-tile roofs.
One of the greatest features of this city is the recreational activities. With about two parks per square mile, the feel of this community is overwhelmingly family oriented with something for everyone. There are three golf courses and at the center of it all is a man-made lake, Lake Mission Viejo. One can always see families walking around the lake in early evening. Custom waterfront homes, condominiums, boat rentals, and swim beaches are a few of the features of the lake.
The architecture ranges from mission style to elegant waterfront villas. The clusters of homes are sprinkled on hill-side streets with a great terrain for lovely country views.
Mission Hospital serves as the area's regional trauma center. It also offers one of two CHOC (Children's Hospital of Orange County) locations providing outstanding care for children. Mission Hospital is a critical asset to the region.