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Mission Viejo is a city located in southern Orange County, California in the Saddleback Valley and has been named the safest city in the US according to a 2007 Morgan Quitno crime statistic survey (compiled from FBI data). Mission Viejo is considered one of the largest master planned communities ever built under a single project in the United States, and is rivaled only by Highlands Ranch, Colorado in its size. As of the 2007 census, the city had a total population of 98,483.
Mission Viejo is suburban in nature and culture. The city is mainly residential, although there are a number of offices and businesses within its city limits. The city is planned and features a very large number of single-family homes, some condominiums, a two-year community college, and a regional mall.
The city's name is a reference to Rancho Mission Viejo, a large Spanish land grant from which the community was founded. There is no Spanish mission in Mission Viejo, and the name is an improper use of a masculine adjective with a feminine noun. The correct Spanish term meaning "old mission" is "misión vieja."
Recreational activities abound; the city has numerous parks; there are about two per square mile. The city has three golf courses, The Mission Viejo Country Club, Casta del Sol Golf Course, and the recently finished Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club. At the center of the city is a man-made lake, Lake Mission Viejo, a private association for Mission Viejo residents with custom waterfront homes, condominiums, boat rentals,and swim beaches.
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