I have lived in Fountain Valley, California for the past several years, ever since relocating from another similar community near Chicago. Fountain Valley appealed to me because it shared many similar qualities with where I lived and with many middle-class suburban communities of major cities. In this case Fountain Valley is a comfortable distance from the downtown Los Angeles area, nestled in upper-middle class Orange County. The casual, extremely suburban tight-knit community feel of Fountain Valley provides a nice backdrop to live, work and raise a family.
The most appealing aspect of Fountain Valley is the ease with which I can reach the greater Los Angeles area. From my front door it's less than an hours drive into the city and all the arts, sports, dining and entertainment that comes from the nation's second-largest metropolis. There has never been a time when I have needed or desired something and not immediately been a short trip away from it. That sense of being in the middle of the action without actually dealing with downtown living is wonderful.
There is a downside, however. The traffic can be horrendous. Fountain Valley may be a short distance from everything but getting there at certain times is a chore and a headache. There is one major freeway passing through the community, the famed 405 that runs past downtown LA. It's one of the busiest highways in the nation and knowing I must take it anytime I want to head downtown is often a daunting thought.
Fortunately there is nothing wrong with staying in and around Fountain Valley. The large Miles Square Regional Park offers golf courses, fields, hiking trails and more. Most surface streets in town feature bike lanes as well. Outdoor recreation is exceptional and perfect for enjoying the area's temperate climate. Overall Fountain Valley is a fantastic place to enjoy big city life while still maintaining some distance from the bustle of it.