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4 Best Parks in Mission Viejo, CA

Our List of the Best Parks in Mission Viejo

As we all know, Mission Viejo, CA is a great place to live, work and visit. It’s a lovely community for several reasons, one of which is the simple fact that it is so well designed. It is what is known as a master planned community, which means that when it was initially conceived – which wasn’t all that long ago -the number of parks, homes, and retails spaces were largely predetermined, and as it has grown each new section has been carefully planned with amenities in mind.

Not surprisingly, this has resulted in a community with a remarkably long list of great parks, and it is with this in mind that we present to you our list of the best parks in Mission Viejo, CA.

Who are we to make this list you might ask? Well, our business is here, and some of our team members have had connections here dating to the early eighties. (Rancho Santa Margarita was basically non-existent in those days, by the way…) More on that later, but for now, read on for the best parks in wonderful Mission Viejo, CA.

Florence Joyner Olympiad Park

First on our list is the Florence Joyner Olympiad Park, located on Olympiad Road just past the Shopping Center with Albertson’s and Bagels and Brew – everyone’s favorite coffee spot. Named after the gold medal winning Olympian and former Mission Viejo resident, Florence Griffith Joyner, this is a large park that boasts a couple of playgrounds, multiple soccer fields, a baseball field, BBQs, picnic tables, and restrooms. It is located on a quiet section of Olympiad Road and has a lovely design including a statue dedicated to the late great runner and other Olympic athletes. Food is just down the road at the aforementioned shopping center, so it is a great spot if you want to drag out a trip to the park into an all-day adventure.

Want to learn more about how a former Mission Viejo resident captivated the country with her Olympic exploits in the late 80’s? Click the video below for a quick trip down memory lane regarding the great ‘Flo-Jo’.

The exploits of Florence Joyner, memorialized at Mission Viejo’s Florence Joyner OIympiad Park.

Pavion Park and the Jeronimo Open Space

Our second choice is a two for one deal. Pavion Park and the Jeronimo Open Space are right next to each other and make for a great double threat. Pavion Park is directly adjacent to Philip Reilly Elementary School, so it never lacks for visitors. It’s got picnic tables, a soccer field and a large playground – all on a lovely tree lined street.

What gives it some extra bite is the fact that it is the last stop on the Oso Creek Trail, which winds through Mission Viejo for 5.5 miles, connecting wide ranging parks and amenities. As you head down the trail from Pavion Park the first thing you will encounter is the Jeronimo Open Space, which is a strip of preserved habitat surrounded by a trail. It makes for a great nature hike, (or bike ride), and some good exercise as well as there is no shortage of hills. Coyote sighting are common, so take care with small dogs at dawn and dusk.

La Paws Dog Park

Next on our list is the Law Paws Dog Park. Located off Felipe Road, and just a quick car ride from Pavion Park, La Paws is the place for Mission Viejo’s dogs to see and be seen. There are separate play sections for large and small dogs, and a third individual playpen available for single dog use. Once inside the pens the dogs are welcome to roam free without leashes, and there is no shortage of fun to be had. (Bring your favorite ball…) One important thing to remember is that the park is closed from 7 am to 1 pm every Thursday for maintenance, but otherwise is available from 7 am to 8 pm every day. Don’t forget to clean up after your pet please…

A dog jumps playfully, like you might see at La Paws Park in Mission Viejo, CA.

Lake Mission Viejo

No list of parks in Mission Viejo would be complete without Lake Mission Viejo, the most well-known park and recreation area in the community. It is more than just a park, there are also two beach areas, a concert stage, food vendors, ample opportunities for boating and fishing, and even free Wi-Fi. The Upper Picnic area is available for rental for large scale events, and the Summer Concert series is certainly one of the highlights of living in Mission Viejo. Entry to the lake is limited to Lake Mission Viejo Association members (which includes nearly everyone who lives in Mission Viejo) and their guests.

For more information on all of the great activities and events at Lake Mission Viejo, check out their website here.

So there you have it. For our money those are the 4 best parks in Mission Viejo. (Arguably 5 depending if you count Pavion Park and the Jeronimo Open Space as 1 or 2 parks.) Do you know of a great park that you think we should have included? Drop a message in the comments!

Interested in learning more about life in Orange County? Here is a great place to start – Our List of the Best Hiking Trails in Orange County, CA.


One of the other great things about Mission Viejo is our vibrant business community. My OC Bookkeeper is proud to be a part of that community, and provides accounting, bookkeeping, and business advisory services to companies throughout Orange County – although our favorite clients are right here in Mission Viejo. Reach out to use today and let’s do great things together.

Want to learn more about life in Mission Viejo, CA? Check out the great video below from the great team over at the Living In Orange County YouTube channel.

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