One of the last areas of Orange County's ?Gold Coast? to be developed, Monarch Beach is within close reach of the many cultural events and sporting activities featured in Orange County and only an hour from both Los Angeles and San Diego counties.
Local Schools and Colleges
Students in Monarch Beach attend schools within the well-respected Capistrano Unified School District. Dana Point High School is one of the leading high schools in the state of California with state rankings in the 90th percentile. Adult education is offered at the Capistrano Adult School, which features more than 170 classes at 20 sites. Numerous other educational institutions are in the area, including the University of California, Irvine, Chapman University, Saddleback College, and Orange Coast College.
A wide variety of cultural and community events are held in South Orange County each year. The annual Whale Festival, hosted by the City of Dana Point, attracts an estimated 100,000 people to the area each year. Laguna Beach is home to the annual Sawdust Festival which features an astonishing array of creations done by local artists. The world-famous Pageant of the Masters features 90 minutes of "living pictures"?incredibly faithful art recreations of classical and contemporary works with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. The nearby Orange County Performing Arts Center offers some of the best theater and entertainment in Southern California.
Shopping and Dining
When it comes to shopping and dining, the choices are endless. The Monarch Bay Club offers romantic oceanfront dining and private beach privileges. Dramatic waterscapes, a tropical landscape and extensive club services make Monarch Beach the perfect getaway. The Ritz Carlton at Monarch Beach offers an assortment of shops and world-class restaurants. Laguna Beach and Newport Beach feature many small shops and boutiques, art galleries and activities that highlight painting and the visual arts. Fashion Island in Newport Beach offers world-class shops and department stores. Pacific Coast Highway is also lined with an incredible number of restaurants offering nearly every type of cuisine under the sun.
Parks and Recreation
Of course, this area features miles and miles of magnificent beaches. From Doheny State Beach and Ritz Cove to Laguna's Main Beach and the Newport Peninsula, residents have access to some of the best sand and surfing in the world.
There are numerous parks in the area including Sea Canyon Park, Salt Creek Corridor Regional Park and Crystal Cove State Park, which feature a unique blend of ocean-related activities and trails for hiking and biking. The beach at Crystal Cove is a mix of sandy and rocky shoreline, including six major coves. There are three major areas within the park for excellent viewing of tide pools. There is an abundance of rocky outcroppings along the beach that makes for excellent diving, fishing, and snorkeling. A 1,140-acre underwater park offers snorkelers and scuba divers an abundant and diverse view of marine life.
The backcountry consists of 20 miles of non-vehicle multi-use trails. User groups are limited to hikers, mountain bicyclists, and horseback riders. The trail system consists of two major ridgelines and one main canyon with interconnecting trails throughout. The trails are mainly fire roads with only a limited number of single-track trails. Three environmental campgrounds are located within the backcountry boundaries and are usually available on any given night.
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