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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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OC Weekly Honors Two South County Coffee Roasters Among OC’s Best

Don Juan Ortega is a bit of a coffee nerd and has tried nearly every coffee house in Orange County at some point. The OC Weekly published its list of the top 5 coffee roasters in Orange County and Don Juan extends a hearty caffeine-infused congratulations to one his favorites — Hidden House Coffee Roasters [...]

Happy 4th of July!

First and foremost, we hope that everyone out there enjoys a safe and happy 4th of July holiday. God bless America!

We’ve already given you the details on fireworks shows in Ladera Ranch and San Juan Capistrano. There are plenty of other fireworks shows scheduled in South Orange County tonight. Courtesy of the Orange County [...]

On This Day in Orange County History: El Toro Post Office is Founded

On May 29, 1888, the El Toro Post Office is established in modern day Lake Forest – although old timers like Don Juan still think of it as El Toro!

A Topographical View of Planning Area 2

Google Maps has a cool new feature where you can tilt the map and get a topographical view of an area. We decided to have some fun and lay the boundaries for Planning Area 2 over a topographical map of the region. Below is the result — note the boundaries aren’t perfect. We were just [...]

This Day in Orange County History: South County Municipal Birthdays

In anticipation of Orange County’s 125th anniversary, we are highlighting some milestone dates in Orange County’s history. Today’s date is significant to two South County cities, and tomorrow is significant for one more. On March 5, 1991 the City of Laguna Hills incorporated as a city, and on the same day, the City of Lake [...]

Celebrate a Victorian Christmas at Heritage Hill Historical Park this Weekend

This looks like a fun holiday event if you are looking for something to do this weekend:

Rancho Santa Margarita is the Second Safest City in California

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has issued a press release, highlighting the fact that eight OCSD contract cities have made the SafeWise “50 Safest Cities in California” list. According to the release, “SafeWise [is] a safety and home security company has completed extensive research while comparing their data to the FBI’s Crime in the US [...]

South Orange County’s 4th of July Fireworks Displays

Looking for a fireworks show near you? The Los Alamitos Patch has the roundup of some of this weekend’s big shows. In addition, below is a list of some of the South County fireworks displays:

San Juan Capistrano

Festivities begin at 3:00 p.m. with mechanical rides, bounce houses, activities for the kids, food, exhibits, and [...]

Congratulations, Martin Henderson!

Congratulations to the Editor of the Rancho Santa Margarita and Lake Forest Patch online newspapers. Henderson won “Online Journalist of the Year” at the 55th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards and Centennial Celebration, presented by the Los Angeles Press Club. That’s quite an accomplishment. Article here.

With the arrival of the great orange paywall, local [...]

OC Fair Arrives July 12, Celebrates South County Cities July 17 and 18

The Orange County Fair will run from July 12the through August 11th this year. The theme will be “Come and Get It” and will celebrate Orange County’s cities with a community flag salute, presented by local organizations. In addition, visitors can watch a multimedia presentation of Orange County’s most iconic people, places and events every [...]