Towering, seemingly ancient eucalyptus trees line streets with names such as Arroyo and Red Hill and Skyline--testament to the long-established presence of Red Hill, a quiet, unincorporated neighborhood just north of Tustin.
Amid the luxurious scent of the eucalyptus, large, well-maintained homes, many with red tile roofs, are scattered along the winding streets like so many russet beads on a string. Just south of Cowan Heights and Lemon Heights, two of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Orange County, Red Hill is also considered prime real estate.
Prices for some of the largest homes--some boasting up to 5,000 square feet--hover around a cool million dollars. Rising above the khaki-brown haze ringing much of the horizon, many of the hilltop homes also have panoramic views of Newport Beach and Santa Catalina Island. Houses nestled near the base of the foothills also carry the Red Hill cachet but are more modestly priced, starting at about $300,000.
In addition to the views, shady-cool lanes and expansive homes, Red Hill also boasts one of the oldest tennis clubs in the county. Founded in the late '50s, the Tustin Hills Racquet Club was built on the site of the county's first stagecoach line station--circa 1859. Today, 400 members enjoy amenities that include a swimming pool, spa, weight room, bar and snack shop.
There is an array of other services, but tennis is still king here, as the often-filled 11 lighted tennis courts attest. The club's original touring pro was former Wimbledon champion Stan Smith.
Indeed, tennis can be a serious business here, but a club employee assured a recent caller that even weekend hackers are welcome. Tennis whites are seen on occasion, but casual, comfortable attire is considered de rigueur.
Lured by the scented breezes, gracious homes, terrific views or just the chance to whack a tennis ball, residents and visitors alike find Red Hill a relaxing retreat.
Total: (1988 est.) 8,609
1980-88 change: +6.6%
Median Age: 38.7
White (non-Latino), 91%; Latino, 5%; Black, less than 1%; Other, 4%
By sex and age:
Median age: 37.2 years
Median age: 39.9 years
Per capita: $29,634
Median household: $65,093
Average household: $88,492
Less than $25,000: 11%
More than $75,000: 40%