I have lived in Aliso Viejo for six months and have found it to be a quiet and relaxing town. I relocated from a nearby city after selling my house. Aliso Viejo is nestled in South Orange County, California between other similarly sized towns. It has easy access to biking and walking trails, plenty of baseball diamonds and is a short drive to the beach. I have found the access to outdoor activities to be one of the best features and biggest attractions. There are plenty of shaded parks for children, which is beneficial if you have little ones like I do.
The nightlife in Aliso Viejo is almost non-existent, save a few bars. I had an issue with this before having children as I lived here several years ago, but not so much this second time around as my needs have changed. The sense of community is a big draw. The entire city seems to have a family-friendly vibe. Another major plus is the dog friendliness that comes with living in Orange County. If you are looking for nightlight, be prepared to drive. The city does offer easy access to the 73 toll.
Along with living close to a park, walking and biking trails I have found that I walk to the area stores because of the convenience and ease of access. A negative aspect is that there aren't very many mom-and-pop style restaurants. The food options are chain restaurants, with few exceptions. I miss some of the ‘hole-in-the-wall' style restaurants that I moved away from, but I am getting used to the options located near my new place. I enjoy going to Bruegger's Bagels for their freshly made treats. While it is a chain, the food tends to be quite tasty, especially breakfast.