Orange County, California has been shaped by the vision of many people over the years. The county's first settlement, Mission San Juan Capistrano, was founded in 1776.
Anaheimis now the oldest city in Orange County, although it was part of Los Angeles County when it was first established. Despite its rich history, much of it has been overshadowed by the city's modern attractions such as haunted mansions, intergalactic adventures, and the smell of freshly baked churros. Anaheim is known for its high percentage of Democrats, but tends to vote conservatively on social issues, like the rest of North Orange County.
Public transportation in the area is provided by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). This includes buses and highways that connect Santa Ana to other parts of Orange County, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and beyond. The southern terminus of the Orange Highway (State Route 5) is partially within Santa Ana's city limits and connects to Pomona in Los Angeles County. Santa Ana was included as a municipality in Los Angeles County in both the 1860 and 1870 censuses. It encompassed most of what is now northern and central Orange County.
During the 1950s, Santa Ana was at the center of an economic boom in Orange County due to its agricultural and defense industries. The city is also home to Santa Ana College, a two-year public community college, as well as the University of California Coast and California Art Institute branch in Orange County. Agriculture was a major industry in Orange County during this time, with one-sixth of all Valencia oranges coming from this region. To recognize this history, there are many interactive historic sites throughout Orange County that offer great options for learning about its past. Santa Ana also has several wall paintings and murals that represent local history, community events, and cultural diversity. The Santa Ana Highway (Interstate) runs north to Los Angeles and south to the south of Orange County and San Diego.
One must-see for visitors and residents alike is Mission San Juan Capistrano which provides a wealth of information about the culture and history of the area. Another important landmark is the Old Orange County Courthouse and Museum which opened in 1901 and is still standing today. Heidi Deal is an author who specializes in writing about Los Angeles & Orange County as well as children's books about history and human rights. Her work provides an invaluable resource for those looking to learn more about this fascinating region.