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4. Seal Beach, CA

Population: 24,536

This Orange County seaside enclave boasts a wooden pier used for fishing and sightseeing and a tree-lined Main Street studded with pubs, restaurants, and seashell shops. The southern tip of the city is home to the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge, which is surrounded by quiet neighborhoods that escaped the overbuilding of the housing bubble. About three-quarters of residents own their homes and the crime rate remains below the national average. A big draw in the winter: the annual Seal Beach Christmas Tree lighting, where residents paradae in a parade and real snow is generated. "Our city is filled with friendly people who are proud of our town, our pier, and our heritage," trumpets the city's website.


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America’s Most Transformed Neighborhoods

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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