Santa Ana is the seat of Greater Orange County
, east of Long Beach
. It lies between Orange and Costa Mesa
along Interstate 5
, near Lake Mathews and the Pacific Ocean
. In 1769, a Spanish exploration party named the area after Saint Anne. Used first for cattle grazing, Santa Ana also grew as a farming community. It was laid out in 1869 and incorporated in 1886. Santa Ana saw rapid industrial and residential development in the mid-20th century.
Today, Santa Ana is the commercial, financial and governmental hub of the county. Manufacturing, retail and professional services are vital economic sectors.
Downtown Santa Ana is home to a cluster of artist-oriented facilities and homes called the Artists Village, which includes the Grand Central Art Center of California State University at nearby Fullerton. Also, in downtown, is a historic district. El Toro Marine Corps Air Station lies south of the city.
Santa Ana is part of the Orange County, California metro area.