Even when it was part of the largest private rancho in Orange County, what is now known as Irvine Cove, two miles north of central Laguna Beach, was recognized as so unusually beautiful that the rancho’s owners, the Irvine family, reserved it for private family vacation retreats. The small gated enclave is now arguably the most exquisite beach community in Southern California, with a white sand beach cradled by rocky outcroppings providing safe haven for seals and sea life, and natural shoals that create outstanding conditions for board surfing.
According to Coldwell Banker agent Rod Daley, who has lived in neighboring Emerald Bay for more than 40 years, there are only 100 homes in Irvine Cove, about half of them constructed in the past 20 years – and Daley has sold many of them. He says the Irvine Family was generous in how it subdivided the property in 1958, setting it up for unusually large lots and wide streets when compared to other beach communities.
“Irvine Cove is really an integral part of Orange County history,” Daley says. “Its unique beauty has always set it apart, but the way it has evolved as a community has made it even more distinctive.”
CENTRAL, SECURE, SECLUDED
Amenities exclusive to Irvine Cove’s residents range from great surfing at its private beach to tennis courts, a “birthday party” park, sand volleyball courts, and very well-enforced security with 24-hour manned gates and a roving patrol. Located at the extreme northern end of Laguna Beach, it is conveniently close to Crystal Cove Shopping Center’s upscale stores and restaurants, and only about 15 minutes from John Wayne Airport.
Very few properties are ever on the market at any given time in Irvine Cove, Daley says, and when they are, prices range from $7 million up to $60 million, with several recent sales in the $15 million to $35 million range. The neighborhood is peopled by a vibrant mix of personalities and takes in all ages. The main common denominator is that these are people who know what they want, and who understand the value of fine homes in a superbly conceived environment.