Ranked as one of the happiest cities in United States of America, Irvine is in the heart of Orange County, South California. It is the fastest growing city in USA and is a trademark for exquisite standards of living. The city is also ranked as one of the safest cities to live in since 2005 by the Feds. Irvine might not be considered a first choice destination for many but there's a lot to see and do here.
Informative visit to the Tanaka Farm
The Tanaka farm is a family farm for generations since 1970s. It is a must visit if you are traveling with kids as they provide hands on, real time farming experience to the kids. It is a 25 acre property and vegetables and fruits are grown on its soil and delivered to various parts of the city. The owners of the farm wanted to make sure that this also serves as a learning experience for the kids. The wagon ride takes you inside the farm where you see how the crops are grown and collected. They explain everything to the tourist by an informed guide. They have a market to purchase the vegetation grown on the farm.
See Orange County from the sky
The Great Park Balloon Ride in Great Park Blvd gives you an aerial view of Southern California. This free ride is worth a try. The balloon goes 400 feet above ground and looks a like a huge 100 foot orange ball. There is a parking area to park your vehicles and then you get in the ball based on first-come, first-served. They fill the balloon with helium and in stays in the sky for a while. You can see gorgeous views of the city of Irvine. It is a guided tour with a speaker to explain you the instructions all the way. The balloon was initially set up for individuals new to the city and those who were looking for properties to purchase. They used the balloon as means to offer views of all the properties and land available for real estate. It later became open to all and eventually turned into a tourist attraction.
Play a Round at Oak Creek Golf Club
The Oak Creek Golf club in 1 Golf Club Dr, offers more than just a golf experience. There are public and private golfing areas with a18–hole course and an exclusive area for practise. There are gold and kids memberships to become a member of the club. It doesn’t end here. There is golf shop to purchase shoes, sunglasses, balls and other souvenirs. You can attend a wedding or a book a private event here. You can try the delicious food at their in-club restaurant, “The Grille”.
Picnic at the Irvine Regional Park
The Irvine Regional Park on 1 Irvine Park Road is distinct compared to the rest of the city. One can come here to spend the entire day interacting with nature. There are hiking trails, a zoo, horse rides, picnic areas for families, a lake for paddling boats, a nature center and so much more to do here. There’s also a pretty waterfall inside the park. The zoo has various indigenous animals including bears, rabbits, goats, reptiles, vultures, tortoises, raccoons, donkeys, deer, peacocks, other birds and insects. The entry to the zoo is only 2 dollars. The nature center offers visual learning of the animals in the zoo. You can go for paddle boating in the lake. The hiking trail is around the barren island in the park and helps you connect with nature. The top of the trail offers you the entire view of the park and the environment around.
Shopping madness at Irvine Spectrum Center
The Irvine Spectrum is at 85 Fortune Drive and is a one stop destination for all shoppers. There are plenty of boutiques and stores to shop from, a theater, a spa and row of restaurants to choose from. There are live events such as dramas or comedy shows going on here at any time of the day. The center has a giant wheel that looks heavenly; it has a carousel for the kids and escape room for adults to have some fun. There are plenty of iconic brands that have their stores in here. The place has a chic city vibe and is a must visit for anyone who is traveling to Irvine.
Back in time at Irvine Historical Museum
The Irvine Historical Museum is in San Joaquin Ranch House and has carefully preserved pieces from the history of Irvine. The locals and the community helped contribute these pieces and together. There are artifacts and pictures on display that tell the story of Irvine’s history long before it became the modern city that it is today. The art of the artists who painted the city before it became urban is on display in the museum that depicts how the city looked like long ago and how quickly it transformed into what it is today. There are various exhibits of the Indians, history of the Irvine dynasty and a large part of the museum is dedicated to ranching sincw this used to be a ranch house before it got transformed into a museum.
Trail at the Bommer Canyon
Bommer Canyon is around a 4.6 mile trail on the outskirts of Irvine in the turtle rock area. It is a bicycle trail. The trail is prefect for beginners and the traffic is minimal. The trail is in a dense suburban area and has wild white flowers around. There are trees here and there to have some rest or to do some yoga / stretching. The main entrance is at the East Fork Gate and is a dense area with a thick vegetation having many types of weed and California Sage brushes and other types of sage plants. The trail is a single track and has sage plants growing on either side of the track.
Astounded by art at the Irvine Barclay Theatre
This theater has a huge hand in building the community of Irvine through arts and culture. There are exclusive events for families, several workshops for kids and adults, master classes for dancing and singing. The theater is well known for its dance, music and contemporary art ever since it began working in late 90s. It is in Campus Drive, 4242. It is an individualistic non-profit corporation developed solely to transfer tales through art. Top quality artist from around the world showcase their performances here on a live platform. The theater is a great way to connect with local community and to understand the society.
Pretend play at Pretend City Children’s Museum
This renowned museum in Hubble is famous for its way of interacting and educating the children. If you are traveling to Irvine with kids, this could be a great way to keep the kids busy and to let them have some fun. It is another non-profit organization developed for the benefit of kids. It is a fun learning concept where they constructed buildings, public facilities and garden where children can play and pretend that they exist in the site. This helps develop the child’s vocabulary, mathematical skills and thinking skills. There are libraries, grocery stores, circus, theaters, gardens and much more to do that promotes the child’s growth and keeps them engaged.
Go crazy at Boomers!
“Boomers!” is a theme park in Michelson Drive in Irvine. There are a variety of fun activities for every age group, from infants to adults. The carnival is one big truckload of adventure. There is a mini-golf course for golf lovers. There is Go Karting track for racing your go-karts. Laser tags to play with friends and family. There is also a Water Park inside the carnival. It has an outdoor seating area for the tourist to sit and dine in. There are indoor arcade games available in case it gets hot outside, you can continue fun indoors in the cool shade. There is a rock wall where children can take turns to climb. There are plenty of other rides available too.
Lunch at the Orange County Great Park
The Orange County Great Park is on Great Park Boulevard. There are multiple entrances to this park, so make sure you enter through the main entrance only. There is a parking area to park your vehicles. The park is a reconstruction of a vintage air station. It is on 13,000 acres of land and it is a multi-functional park. There around 25 soccer fields, 25 tennis courts, 4 basketball courts and 5 sand volleyball courts and also has stadiums for tennis, basketball, baseball and softball. Besides all of that, there is a vast open space of green pastured land for citizens and tourist to hangout, work out and play. There is a greenhouse, kitchen garden and spaced seating areas for groups and families.
Zone out at Turtle Rock Viewpoint Trail
This attraction is located inside Irvine Chaparral Park in the turtle rock area. It is a hiking trail in the steep mountain area and is an ideal tour during the warm and breezy summer days. While the park has a wide green space and trees, it is the turtle rock area that steals the show. The viewpoint on top of the hill gives you the view of the entire city of Irvine. The perfect take time to take the hike would be during sunsets or in the evening as the city looks beautiful at the night with all the lights go up. The view from here is very scenic and can be a neat background for photographs.
Witness nature in San Joaquin Marsh and wetlands Sanctuary
Irvine is a city where there is so much to do outdoors and is perfect for someone who loves spending time outside. It really helps put life in perspective. There is one such green escape in the center of the city in 5 Riparian view called San Joaquin Marsh and wetlands sanctuary. The marsh extends to around 300 acres of land, and one can site plenty of different birds and animal species on this marsh. It is a restored cold water wetland and is an ideal summer destination. In addition, there is a 12 mile trail around this natural oasis for walkers, runner and bird enthusiasts.
Hiking in Qual Hill loop
Qual Hill loop is a hiking trail ideal for friends and family. It is at the end of Sand Canyon Road. It is the only hiking trail in Irvine where you can carry your dog with you. It is a simple 1.6 mile trail and has flat paths for hiking. It is in the form of a loop. If you walk in a clockwise direction, you can locate the hill at the end of the loop. Unfortunately, there are no shades or resting spaces on the trail, so make sure you are well prepared for the journey.
Warm day at the Woodbridge Lake
This picturesque lake in Irvine is in the Woodbridge community on Creek Road. It is an artificial lake and is divided into a North Lake and South Lake. Each lake is charming in its own way and has benches and seating area to have a seat and dazzle at the beauty of the lake. You can sit there and have a marvelous view of the pleasant waters or keep yourself busy by reading a book or by going for a stroll around the lake. You can also go fishing, swimming and boating.