Located in just east of Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita is one of the areas newest planned communities. It is also bordered by Coto de Caza, Trabuco Canyon (Robinson Ranch and Dove Canyon), unincorporated Las Flores, and the Cleveland National Forest. The 241 toll road runs through Rancho Santa Margarita, to provide easier access to Irvine, Tustin, and the 91 freeway. It is a little inland and the distance to Interstate 5 can add to one’s commute.
A population of just over 49,000 gives Rancho Santa Margarita a close-knit community feel. And nearly 50% of the land that comprises Rancho Santa Margarita is designated open space and park land. Being in such close proximity to Cleveland National Forest gives residents easy access to miles of scenic trails. One especially popular trail located within the city encircles Lago Santa Margarita. Boating and fishing is also permitted on the lake.
One of the great gifts of living in Rancho Santa Margarita are the spectacular views of Saddleback Mountain, which in the winter is occasionally dusted with snow.
Those who want to go for a swim can head over to the Beach Club Lagoon for or any of the other four pools managed by SAMLARC and available exclusively to Rancho Santa Margarita resident members and their guests.
In addition to managing the lake and pools of Rancho Santa Margarita, SAMLARC acts as a master neighborhood association that does everything from determine exterior paint color schemes for each neighborhood to maintain common-area landscape.
SAMLARC also organizes community functions throughout the year such as a Mother’s Day Tea Party, a spectacular 4th of July party, and an annual fishing derby.
Another particular source of community pride is the Tijeras Creek Golf Club which has the distinction of hosting several high profile events including the SCGA Amateur Championship, the Big West Championships, and the California Amateur Qualifying event.
Neighborhoods in Rancho Santa Margarita range from condo communities to guard-gated retreats tucked away in the surrounding foothills. And residents enjoy wide streets with less traffic than cities found closer to major freeways.
Rancho Santa Margarita is served by the Saddleback Valley Unified School District and Capo Unified School District.