That pretty much describes Rancho Santa Margarita in Southern California. If you are looking for a natural setting; close to cities and beaches. If you don't mind wild life creatures and you want to slow down your pace and that of your family; you should consider moving there. I did and I miss it daily since I left, if I could move back...I'd be packing right now.
Richard O"Neill and James Flood, known as the "Silver King of Nevada", bought the land from Joaquin Estrada in 1841. Richard O"Neill saw great potential in the land for grazing his cattle and farming. Since O"Neill was a older gentleman he made it his goal to buy out James Flood as soon as he could and the land produced well for him. He was out of debt in 24 years a very short period of time to repay that amount of money.
Rancho Santa Margarita is a master planned community with mostly single family homes and some apartments and condos. It is the youngest city in Orange County and it is has the most affluent neighborhoods. Dove Canyon is a gated subdivision where many stars, athletes and well known people live. Most of the land surrounding Rancho Santa Margarita is still grazing fields and open land. It is located a short distance from Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Laguna and San Juan Capistrano. It also has San Juan Hot Springs within its borders where Richard O"Neill Jr. opened the first spa and hotel in 1890.
The area has continued to grow and expand into the surrounding hills and valleys. The people who reside there love the outdoors and their privacy. Rancho Santa Margarita boosts 13 parks, 4 pools, a lagoon, a lake and dozens of trails for hiking, horseback or motorcycle riding. The city also has a huge dog park and a challenging skate board arena. On Sundays free concerts are held in the central park located next to city hall. The variety of music provided is wonderful. Just bring family, friends, blankets or chairs and all the food you can carry for a relaxing evening in the park.