Alameda – Meaning “a place where poplar trees grow” in Spanish, Alameda County is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and represents most of the East Bay region. The current population of Alameda County is approximately 1,600,000. Oakland is the largest city within Alameda County.
Aliso Viejo – Aliso Viejo was incorporated in 2001 and has an estimated population of 50,000. Located in the San Joaquin Hills of Orange County, California, Aliso Viejo is a planned community created by the Mission Viejo Company.
Anaheim – Founded in 1857 by German-Americans looking to grow grapes and produce wine, Anaheim is currently the most populous city in Orange County with an estimated 345,000 residents. It is home to the world-famous Disneyland Resort.
Banning – Named after Phineas Banning, a stagecoach line owner who was known as the “Father of the Port of Los Angeles“. Part of Riverside County and incorporated in 1913, Banning has a population of approximately 30,000. It borders the Morongo Indian Reservation.
Bakersfield – The city first incorporated in 1873 and then again in 1898. Bakersfield has been experiencing rapid growth over the past 30 years and had their population more than triple. With an estimated population of 363,000, Bakersfield is the 9th largest city in California.
Beaumont – Located within Riverside County with a population of over 36,000, Beaumont continues to grow due to low cost housing and its proximity to Los Angeles. It was nicknamed “the land of the big red apple” in the early 1900’s due to the many apple orchards in the area.
Bellflower – Bellflower was originally named Somerset in 1909 but needed to be changed since another town in Colorado was already known by this name. It was then named after the bellefleur apple, which was produced in the area in the early 1900s.
Bonita – Meaning “beautiful” in Spanish, Bonita was first the name of a ranch in the area in the 1800’s that produced lemons. Located between Chula Vista, San Diego and National City, Bonita is an unincorporated community with a population of over 12,000.
Brea – Brea was incorporated in 1917 and currently has an estimated population of 41,000. Located in Orange County, California, Brea was previously a crude oil production center in the 1800s and then later known for producing lemons and oranges.
Buena Park – A city in Orange County, California with a population of over 80,000, Buena Park was incorporated in 1953. Buena Park is home to the Knott’s Berry Farm theme park and was previously home to a Nabisco factory famous for its crackers and cookies.
Burbank – Founded in 1887 and incorporated in 1911, Burbank has an estimated population of 105,000 and is part of Los Angeles County. Often called the “Media Capital of the World”, Burbank is home to many entertainment and media companies.
Carlsbad – Known as “The Village by the Sea”, Carlsbad has a population of over 112,000. Carlsbad was incorporated in 1952 and is home of LEGOLAND California, The Flower Fields and the country’s largest desalination plant.
Chula Vista – Meaning “beautiful view” in Spanish, Chula Vista is the second largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area with a population of approximately 250,000. It has been one of the fastest growing areas in San Diego with thousands of homes being built in the past decade.
Coronado – Meaning “the crowned one” in Spanish, Coronado is an island that sits in the San Diego bay. Coronado is home to the the Naval Amphibious Base where Navy Seals train and the famous Hotel Del Coronado.
Costa Mesa – Incorporated in 1953, Costa Mesa is part of Orange County and has a population of approximately 110,000. The current economic base of Costa Mesa includes light manufacturing, retail and commerce.
Cypress – Cypress is located in Orange County, California and was originally named “Dairy City” before being changed to Cypress in 1957. Cypress has an estimated population of 49,000 and was incorporated in 1956.
Dana Point – Dana Point is a seaside city known for its harbor, beaches and surfing. Dana Point is located in southern Orange County, California. Dana Point has a population of 34,000 and was incorporated as a city in 1989.
Del Mar – One of the few areas where the rare Torrey Pine tree grows, Del Mar is beach city with a population of around 4,000. Del Mar means “of the sea” in Spanish and is home to the Del Mar Racetrack.
Downey – Downey has an estimated population of 113,000 and is best known for being the birthplace of the Apollo space program. Prior to World War 2, Downey was a farming town and local farmers grew castor beans, fruit, grain and corn.
El Cajon – Meaning “the box” or “the drawer” in Spanish since it is “boxed in” by the nearby mountains, El Cajon has a population of over 100,000. The neighborhoods of Rancho San Diego, Bostonia and Fletcher Hills are included within El Cajon.
El Monte – Part of Los Angeles County and located in the San Gabriel Valley, El Monte has an estimated population of 115,000. The population of El Monte increased rapidly in the 1970’s as residential areas were built in place of the city’s walnut groves. It was incorporated in 1912.
Encinitas – Encinitas was incorporated in 1986 and includes the communities of Olivenhain, Leucadia, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, historic Encinitas and new Encinitas. Meaning “little oaks” in Spanish, Encinitas is a beach city with a population of 60,000.
Escondido – Home of San Diego Safari Park (Wild Animal Park), Escondido, California is one of the oldest cities in San Diego County having been incorporated in 1888. The population of Escondido is approximately 145,000.
Fallbrook – Fallbrook is east of Camp Pendleton military base and has a population of around 30,000. Known as the “Avocado Capital of the World”, Fallbrook has many avocado orchards and hosts an annual Avocado Festival.
Fountain Valley – Fountain Valley is located in Orange County, has an estimated population of 55,000 and was incorporated as a city in 1957. The city was named Fountain Valley because the area had a very high water table in the 1950s.
Fullerton – Founded in 1887 and incorporated in 1904, Fullerton is a city in Orange County with an estimated population of 135,000. Fullerton has been home to various industries including agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and oil.
Garden Grove – Garden Grove was founded in 1874 and incorporated in 1956. Garden Grove is the 5th largest city in Orange County with an estimated population of over 175,000. The city puts on a Strawberry Festival each year that attracts 250,000 visitors.
Glendale – The third largest city in Los Angeles County with an estimated population of 200,000, Glendale has been a production center for the entertainment industry with numerous studios choosing to locate in the city. Glendale has been incorporated since 1906.
Hemet – Located in Riverside County, Hemet was incorporated in 1910 and has a population of over 80,000. Hemet’s economic base is composed primarily of the educational services, government, retail trade and health industries.
Huntington Beach – A beach city in Orange County, Huntington Beach is is known for its sandy beaches and year-round surfing. It was incorporated in 1909 and has long had the nickname “Surf City”. Huntington Beach has an estimated population of 200,000.
Imperial County – Imperial County has an estimated population of almost 180,000 and was established in 1907. Located in Imperial Valley, the county borders Mexico and Arizona. El Centro is the county seat of Imperial County.
Inglewood – The Forum, which was home to the Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Lakers and many of the biggest concerts in California, is located in Inglewood. Founded in 1888 and incorporated in 1908, Inglewood is a city in Los Angeles with an estimated population of 110,000.
Irvine – Ranked as one of the best cities in the United States, Irvine routinely ranks as the safest city in America with a population over 100,000. Irvine is a planned city with a population of over 250,000 and was incorporated in 1971.
La Habra – La Habra is a city in Orange County, California. La Habra has an estimated population of over 60,000. It was founded in 1896 and incorporated in 1925. Rudolph Hass planted the Hass Avocado in La Habra in the 1920s.
La Jolla – Meaning “the jewel” in Spanish, La Jolla is an affluent coastal community and has a population of around 40,000. Torrey Pines Golf Course, UCSD, the Mount Soledad cross and Scripps Institution of Oceanography are all located in La Jolla.
La Mesa – La Mesa was incorporated in 1912 and named “the table” in Spanish due to its geography. It has a population of 58,000 and the official flower is the bougainvillea. Each October La Mesa hosts an Oktoberfest event which is the city’s biggest event of the year.
La Quinta – Located near Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley, La Quinta is a resort city with many top-notch golf courses. La Quinta has a population of approximately 40,000 and was incorporated as a city in 1982.
Laguna Niguel – Laguna Niguel is located in Orange County, has an estimated population of 64,000 and was incorporated in 1989. Laguna Niguel was one of California’s first master-planned communities. 7,100 acres of land was used for the community plan.
Lake Forest – Lake Forest is a city in Orange County which was incorporated in 1991. Formerly known as “El Toro”, the current name of Lake Forest comes from the city’s two man-made lakes and forests of eucalyptus trees which were planted in the early 1900’s.
Lakeside – Lakeside is a rural area and known as a cowboy town. Home to over 20,000 residents, Lakeside hosts rodeos at the town’s permanent rodeo facility. In 1907 Lakeside had a horse and automobile racetrack which ran around the lake but they were eventually torn down in 1920.