Live Santa Ana
Live Santa Ana

Essex in the City: Why Moving to Orange County is Definitely Carrie Bradshaw-Approved

Orange County Offers City Living With All the Perks and None of the Hassle

If you’re like us, you often dream about starting over in a bustling metropolis. The rush of people, the nightlife and all of the amazing things to eat, see and do are invigorating and inspiring, but heading out to large cities like LA or New York can be intimidating. For those who want that big-city energy but still long for a little extra breathing room (not to mention the beach being a short drive away), head to Orange County, California—specifically to Essex Skyline at MacArthur Place in Santa Ana. Here, you’ll have all the perks that come from living in an illustrious area with none of the hassles. Don’t believe us? Let’s go on a quick tour! Live Santa Ana

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Where to Live Santa Ana

Head in the Clouds

Essex Skyline at MacArthur Place

Why We Love It: At 25 floors, it’s one of Orange County’s only high-rise apartments!

It might be the incredible views, it might be the 24-hour concierge—whatever it is, Essex Skyline at MacArthur Place has a wow factor that towers above the competition. This high-end complex is perfect for those who believe that an apartment is more than a living space—it’s a lifestyle.

Essex Skyline is the big-city living you’ve been dreaming of (without having to park at least three blocks away). It offers two penthouses on-property, along with multiple one- and two-bedroom floor plans to choose from. Make sure to keep an eye out for move-in specials! From the fitness center and pool to in-unit amenities like Viking appliances and ultra-fast internet connectivity, Essex Skyline makes sure to provide residents with everything they need to thrive and love their place. You may never want to leave! With on-site resident events, you can fill your social calendar with ease. 

Don’t worry if you’re not much of a homebody; you’ll be surrounded by so many delicious restaurants, beautiful shopping destinations and fun things to experience that are all just minutes away from home. And jetsetters, rejoice! Essex Skyline offers a black-car service to the airport—just another one of the many ways this property puts residents first.

Essex Skyline at MacArthur Place
15 MacArthur Pl
Santa Ana, CA 92707


Where to Eat

Before we sink our teeth into this section, we have to tell you that we could write hundreds of lists on all the amazing spots to eat in Orange County (and we have—check out our Foodie section), but here are some of our favorite places that are just a short drive away (all under 10 minutes) from your new Essex Skyline apartment.


Outpost Kitchen

Order This: Outpost Super Bowl and almond milk latte 

This Aussie-inspired cafe will be your new favorite weekend brunch spot. Featuring organic, local and sustainable ingredients, dig into fan favorites such as the Aussie Scramble, Blueberry Pancakes and Bam Bam Chorizo Potato Burrito. You’ll be close enough to bike here, and you’ll definitely want to on a sunny Sunday morning! Pro tip: The lunch, dinner and cocktails here are just as good as their brunch, so come here to unwind any time. 

Angotei Live Santa Ana

Order This: Shrimp boats and the best soft-shell crab hand roll you’ll ever have!

In our opinion, the best sushi restaurants are small, independent hidden gems, and that’s exactly what Angotei is, and it’s just a five-minute drive from your new home. Want the best seat in the house? Find a place at the sushi bar to engage with your sushi chef and watch them create delectable works of art that are almost too beautiful to eat.


Fonda Moderna Taqueria at Mess Hall Market

Order This: Santa Carota steak burrito

Featuring inviting Mexican flavors and an array of proteins to fit any diet, Fonda Moderna Taqueria is your soon-to-be go-to destination for all things taco-related. From simple street-style al pastor and Baja fish tacos to gastronomy-inspired tacos with Mishima Reserve Wagyu or lobster and filet mignon, you can expect a fresh take on authentic, south-of-the-border flavors!


Water Grill

Order This: Bristol Street cocktail with the day’s whole grilled fish

Ideal for date night or a business dinner, Water Grill is the place to go for a comfortable atmosphere with upscale bites. The open-air atmosphere with sophisticated, coastal decor (check out the hanging bar!) pairs perfectly with the decadent cuisine. This restaurant’s main focus is on the freshness of the seafood—whether it’s just-shucked oysters, lobster or the catch of the day—so you can expect simple seasoning and cooking techniques that celebrate the natural, beautiful flavors of the ocean. 


Taco María

Order This: Jardineros taco

One of only two restaurants in Orange County with a Michelin Star, Taco María is an intimate eatery that offers unique and bold dishes. Owner Chef Carlos Salgado describes this style of cuisine as Alta California, a mix of Mexican and Californian styles—but we’d describe it as simply scrumptious. The restaurant, which has another location in LA, is highly decorated with awards, and as soon as you take your first bite, you’ll definitely see why!


Vaca Live Santa Ana

Order This: Paella Valenciana

Whether you’re a carnivore or you love authentic Spanish food, Vaca always hits the spot. As soon as you walk through the door, you’re greeted with bustling energy, the sounds of clinking wine glasses and a view of the restaurant’s meat selection. From tasty tapas and bright paellas to cured meats and aged steaks, Chef Amar Santana has created a menu that inspires gatherings and conversations.

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Where to Shop

Orange County is punctuated by iconic shopping destinations, and your new Essex Skyline apartment is within driving distance from each one! For more of our favorite places to shop, check out our OC Shoppe section.


The Coast With the Most

South Coast Plaza

As one of Southern California’s most-visited shopping destinations, South Coast Plaza serves as a hub for luxury designer labels. From big-name department stores like Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue to seasonal designer pop-ups, head to South Coast Plaza for a day of upscale retail therapy.

Must-Shop Stores: Tiffany & Co. and The Blue Box Cafe, Vacheron Constantin, Louis Vuitton California Dream 


Keep It on the DL 

Randolph Avenue in Costa Mesa 

Full of eccentric, hidden gems, Randolph Ave definitely knows what’s trendy. Park your car and explore all this little nook has to offer. Start with a coffee and breakfast burrito from the recently opened neighborhood bodega, WIP (Work in Progress), pop into the Inconvenience Store and Mellowist for a little shopping, and end your afternoon with a local beer from Salty Bear Brewing Co

Where to Play

All work and no play make for very dull days. When you’re not enjoying Essex Skyline’s fitness center and pool, try venturing out to these fun spots, or check out our OC Alive section for even more ideas!


Get the Show on the Road 

Segerstrom Center for the Arts 

From Broadway shows to concerts, catch an entertaining performance at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Ideal for date night or a pre-dinner activity, this performing arts center is one of the most distinguished in California…and it’s minutes from your new home! 


The Scenic Route

The Noguchi Garden

Whether you’re taking a stroll or posing for delightfully artsy Insta pics, Isamu Noguchi’s California Scenario (or as locals call it: “The Noguchi Garden”) offers beautiful interpretations of Southern California’s scenery, including sculptures and a stunning succulent garden.

Live Santa Ana

Art and Soul

Orange County Museum of Art

One of the most exciting parts of living in a big city is being able to experience new art and culture, and if you’re craving a treat for the eyes, the Orange County Museum of Art’s exhibits will certainly do the trick.


The Pawfect Day

Bark Park

Treat your pup to a fun outing at the Bark Park! This Costa Mesa park is split into two sections: one for large dogs and one for small dogs, and it features a sweeping lawn that’s just what they need to romp around and play. Great spots for Fido also include The Bone Adventure and Animal Wellness Center of OC

Writer | Website | + posts

Born and raised near the Pacific Coast, Jordan Nishkian is a California girl through and through. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in Anthropology, and her favorite place to be is curled up in a comfy chair with a book in her hand and a pen in her hair.


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