I guess in reality this is a personal matter and of course, you’ll have to draw your own conclusions.
But, in a word: No. You shouldn’t be scared.
Santa Ana, especially downtown, can bring to mind certain images and the overall perception may not be generally positive. But in my experience that includes two-plus years of being a part of the OCHSA community, I can tell you that I have not had one negative experience associated with the school’s location in Santa Ana. Actually, it’s been the opposite. I’ve kind of learned to really enjoy Santa Ana and have come to appreciate its urban vibe.
It’s not downtown Santa Ana, it’s “Downtown Santa Ana” and it’s a little treasure right in the heart of Orange County. In case you haven’t heard there is a bit of a renaissance going on in the city and its Artist’s Village neighborhood is wonderfully eclectic and has evolved into a hub of art galleries and restaurants like Memphis at Santora, The Crosby, Chapter One, and my personal favorite, The Gypsy Den. Plus a few other ‘hispter’ bars and restaurants. There also is a Starbucks Coffee here at 4th and Broadway (the one and only near OCHSA). It’s been called a “vibrant business, entertainment, shopping and cultural destination,” “an eclectic mix of people and cultures,” a “cultural and artistic center for the county,” and lastly, “a soulful and energetic mixed-use district much like downtown Laguna Beach and San Diego’s Gaslamp district.” Wow! You go Santa Ana….who knew?!
I think this description is a good one though. And considering this, it seems fitting that OCHSA would be located here.
Things you should fear: 1) Parking Meters: They are only scary if you don’t have change. Keep some with you at all times. You never know when you’ll need it and you will get a ticket if your meter is expired. 2) One way streets: There are a couple around the old courthouse near OCHSA and one day we found ourselves driving the wrong way after I told my husband to, “Take A Left!” He was not happy about that one. 3) No left hand turn lanes: If you drive down Main Street, beware of errant cars stopping in the middle of the street waiting for oncoming traffic to pass before turning left. Last thing you want to do is rear-end somebody. It’ll be a dead give-away that you’re an out-of-towner.
Watch this video to learn more about what people are saying and feeling about Santa Ana. You can watch more videos here.