Yorba Linda

While its nearby neighbor, the city of Brea, prides itself on being a retail magnet for Southland shoppers, the city of Yorba Linda has held onto its rural roots by offering a living experience with plenty of horse trails and large residential lots.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t shopping and entertainment possibilities in this tranquil community northeast of Santa Ana in northeastern Orange County. Consumer needs are easily met by any number of outlets and stores at the Savi Ranch Center (just off the 91 Freeway at Yorba Linda Boulevard) and a number of smaller shopping centers throughout the city..

But there’s an exclusivity and privacy here that may explain why Yorba Linda has been ranked among the 100 best U.S. places to live by CNN and the U.S. Census Bureau considers it one of the richest cities in the U.S.

Among the notable figures who consider (or once considered) Yorba Linda their homes are: Major League Baseball players Bobby Knoop, Bengie Molina and Jim Edmonds, novelist Jessamyn West, “Cheetah Girls” singer Sabrina Bryan, several drag racers (including John Force), and, of course, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon.

But the city today is a far cry from the place that Nixon’s family first saw when they settled there in the early 1900s. At the time, the area was a sparsely populated one -- Yorba Linda played an important part in the region’s booming citrus industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the land was planted with lemon and orange groves by the time the 37th president of the U.S. was born there in 1913.

Today, Nixon’s connection to Yorba Linda has been preserved by the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, which has been one of the city’s best-known landmarks and visitor sites since opening in 1990. There you find not only the graves of the president and First Lady Pat Nixon but also the quaint, little bungalow in which Nixon grew up.

Another focal point of the city for residents and visitors alike is Black Gold Golf Course, a 219-acre public course opened in 2001. The library, golf course and other destinations in Yorba Linda are easily within reach and just minutes away from the 57 Orange Freeway, which is west of the city.

Yorba Linda’s population, according to census figures from three years ago, is about 64,000, and the median household income is about $102,000 (the state average is about $58,000). Yorba Linda housing prices in that same census averaged about $674,000 as compared with the California average of $384,000.

As for education, Yorba Linda children are served by the schools of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District. Families also have the option of selecting from plenty of private schools, including Heritage Oak Private Education, several Montessori schools and St. Francis of Assisi School.

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