One of the youngest cities in Orange County, Rancho Santa Margarita, California, is a master-planned community and is also the city that claims the title for longest city name in the state. It is home to a population of around 50,000, as of census figures from 2000, and the town's median household income is estimated at around $95,000, as of 2007 figures. Rancho Santa Margarita encompasses an area of just over 12 square miles and it officially was incorporated as a city in 2000. It lies in the southeastern part of Orange County, along the Santa Ana Mountains.
The city is bordered by Trabuco Canyon to the north, Coto de Caza and Las Flores to the south, the Cleveland National Forest to the east and Mission Viejo to the west. The area in which the city is now located remained a remote and unsettled area until 1986, when the first new homes in the planned community were purchased. Before that, it got its start as a ranch of Mission San Juan Capistrano, after which it was purchased off in the late 19th century and was run as a working ranch up until the 1920s.
Students attending public schools in the city are served by the Saddleback Valley Unified School District and the Capistrano Unified School District. Students attend Trabuco Hills High School or Mission Viejo High School, both just outside of the city in nearby Mission Viejo, or Tesoro High School located in nearby Las Flores. Rancho Santa Margarita has several of its own elementary and two middle schools located within the town. Several private schools are also found here to provide parents alternatives, including St. John's Episcopal, Serra Catholic, Mission Hills Christian School and Santa Margarita Catholic High School.
Attractions for residents to enjoy include the Tijeras Creek Golf Course and Lake Rancho Santa Margarita, which also has a surrounding path for walking, biking or running along. Annual celebrations in the city include the 5K Run & Healthy Community Expo over Labor Day weekend, a family-friendly New Year's Eve event and a summer concert series in Central Park. The Taste of Rancho Santa Margarita is the city's newest event. For medical attention, the nearest hospitals are just six miles away in Mission Viejo.