Irvine is a postcard-worthy Orange County destination as well as a Southern California economic center. 

Things To Do In Irvine CA, tourists can explore wildlife sanctuaries, children’s museums, and one great park after other thanks to well-executed city planning and diverse natural spaces. And, because of its proximity to everything else in Orange County, it’s a popular hub for regional travel at irvine park.

Things To Do In Irvine CA
Things To Do In Irvine CA

Other activities in Irvine’s typically sunny weather include attending a soccer game, exploring an open space preserve, and attending an outdoor music festival. For those looking for a shopping experience, the Irvine Spectrum Center, complete with a Ferris wheel, is the first stop.

Several easy day trips are within a short drive of Irvine for those looking to use it as a jumping-off point for longer adventures. This proximity includes ocean adventures, with Newport Beach, a neighboring city, providing the quickest route to the irvine barclay theatre. 

Irvine is also less than an hour’s drive from Los Angeles for those who want to visit or get away from the city. With our list of the top attractions and things to do in Irvine ranch, California, you can enjoy the Southern California sunshine.

List of 12 Things To Do In Irvine CA

1. Spectrum Center in Irvine

Spectrum Center
Spectrum Center

The Irvine Spectrum Center, a sprawling outdoor shopping area near the intersection of I-5 and I-405, is lined with retail shops, landscaped fountains, and plenty of attractions.

The Spectrum Center houses a number of well-known retailers, including The Denim Lab and Lululemon. Popular restaurants among the many options include Umami Burger and Afters Ice Cream. Dave and Buster’s, which features adult arcade games and American fare, is also a popular place to eat and play at irvine park railroad.

Irvine Spectrum Center is defined by more than just shopping and dining-a plethora of free or low-cost attractions enhance the visitor experience. The hardscaping and manicured gardens add a nice touch to strolling around, and kids love the carousel and giant Ferris wheel. Weekend entertainment also provides a soundtrack, with live music performed throughout the courtyards at irvine park railroad.

While visiting during the day is always recommended, the Spectrum Center comes alive at night and provides cooler temperatures for walking around. Across the street from the Irvine Improv comedy theater, where big-name comedians entertain a crowd every week, a brilliantly lit movie theater illuminates a large plaza adorned with fountains at irvine historical museum.

The Irvine Spectrum Center also has a popular virtual reality experience, with the SPACES arcade featuring an immersive experience battling robots a la The Terminator movie.

Irvine, California, 70 Spectrum Center Drive

2. Great Park of Orange County

Great Park of Orange County
Great Park of Orange County

Orange County Great Park is a great place to spend time outside in Irvine. It spans over 1,300 acres on what was once a Marine Corps air station and offers a growing number of amenities and attractions beyond running water and picnic tables.

The Great Park Balloon, the park’s centerpiece attraction, takes visitors 400 feet into the air for a bird’s-eye view of the park and the surrounding region. The Palm Court Art Complex, which is adjacent to the Great Park Balloon, tanaka farm also includes the Great Park Gallery and a 10,000-square-foot event center converted from a former military hangar.

Orange County Great Park also has a kid-friendly carousel and an airport hangar with preserved aircraft on display. The Great Park also has a multi-use sports complex, rotating art exhibits, and The Farm + Food Lab, which serves freshly picked foods from strawberry farms. The Great Ice Park is the newest addition to Orange County Great Park, providing public skating and events all year.

Irvine, California, 8000 Great Park Boulevard

3. San Joaquin Wildlife Refuge

San Joaquin Wildlife Refuge
San Joaquin Wildlife Refuge

Within city limits, the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary is a true wilderness area. This wildlife haven’s easy accessibility is a big draw, especially for birders and photographers. The wildlife sanctuary includes several ponds scattered throughout the property, as well as 10-plus miles of trails that wind through the marshy terrain.

Wide dirt roads give way to narrower foot trails further into the sanctuary. There are few visitor resources available, so bring your own water and pack out any trash. Every day from dawn to dusk, the sanctuary is open.

Irvine, California (5 Riparian View)

4. Regional Park William R. Mason

Regional Park William R. Mason
Regional Park William R. Mason

With over 300 acres to explore, William R. Mason Regional Park provides family fun and free outdoor activities. Hiking and biking trails wind through the park, connecting popular amenities such as a large lake, model-boat sailing areas, and three toddler play areas ideal for expelling excess energy. The park also has a designated wilderness area that can be explored.

Irvine, California, 18712 University Drive

5. Newport Beach is number five.

Newport Beach
Newport Beach

Newport Beach is a charming coastal city centered on one of the West Coast’s largest recreation harbors. In addition, the city provides the quickest route to the ocean from Irvine, which is less than a 10-mile drive away.

Rollerblading, walking along the beach, and taking a sunset cruise are just a few ways to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Newport Beach is almost same as huntington beach. Other points of interest include the boutique shops and local restaurants that line the harbor. The nearby million-dollar mansions are always visible.

6. Tanaka Farms

Tanaka Farms
Tanaka Farms

Tanaka Farms is a 30-acre agricultural attraction that offers family fun and the opportunity to pick your own fresh fruit. Every season, something new grows on the farm. A great way to see this working farm is to take one of the Farm Tours, which run throughout the day.

Strawberry tours are available from February to June, while corn tours begin in the summer. Each tour includes a guided wagon ride as well as free samples. Tanaka Farms also hosts birthday parties, weekend harvest festivals, and pumpkin picking in October.

Irvine, California (5380 University Drive)

7. UCI Institute of Technology and the Museum of California Art

Institute of Technology and the Museum of California Art
Institute of Technology and the Museum of California Art

The Institute & Museum of California Art was established in 2017 by the University of California, Irvine (IMCA). This new institute was formed by the merger of two major California art collections: the Irvine Museum Collection and The Buck Collection. This acquisition brings the IMCA’s permanent collection to over 4,500 pieces.

The IMCA’s collection is currently on display in an interim museum in the Airport Tower building, just northwest of campus. With over 2,500 square feet of display space, this first-floor museum does a good job of showcasing the art. The museum currently displays one exhibition at a time, rotating it once a year.

The location and completion date of the new expansive art building on campus are still unknown. However, thanks to a generous donation, the new facility will be known as the Jack & Shanaz Langson Institute & Museum of California Art as of December 2021.

Irvine, California, 18881 Von Karman Avenue Suite 100

8. Irvine Farmers Market 

Irvine Farmers Market 
Irvine Farmers Market 

Irvine Farmers Market, the agriculturally rich region around Irvine enjoys a year-round growing season, with much of it on display at multiple farmers markets throughout the week. The Orange County Zoo Farm Bureau operates two certified markets in Irvine, one on Tuesday mornings in Irvine Regional Park and the other on Saturday mornings near the picturesque Mariners Church. On Sundays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the Orange County Great Park also hosts a third certified farmers’ market.

Irvine, California, 5428 Bonita Canyon Drive

9. Irvine Open Space Preserve is number nine.

Irvine Open Space Preserve
Irvine Open Space Preserve

An amazing collection of natural spaces surround Irvine, providing numerous recreational opportunities for both residents and visitors as it is a fun things. Hiking, biking, and horseback riding are all popular ways to explore these natural habitats, and the area is well-known for its abundance of wildlife sightings.

The Irvine Open Space Preserve is accessible via several trailheads, including the popular Bommer Canyon, which offers self-guided exploration opportunities. Jeffrey Open Space and Turtleback Mountains are two other notable trails to northwood gratitude.

The Irvine Open Space Preserve connects to other natural areas in Orange County, providing a surprising amount of public land in the midst of Southern California’s dense population. The adjacent Crystal Cove State Park and Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve, as well as the public space in Irvine Regional Park, add to the total acreage. The natural space in this region totals more than 20,000 acres.

10. Orange County Soccer Club is number ten.

Orange County Soccer Club
Orange County Soccer Club

This championship soccer stadium, located within Orange County Great Park, is home to Orange County’s only professional soccer team in the United Soccer League. This cutting-edge stadium is a favorite of both players and spectators, and the warm evenings of Irvine make it the ideal time to catch a game.

The stadium has a seating capacity of over 5,000 people. Nonetheless, the excitement on the field frequently keeps visitors from sitting down. Fans are also drawn to the interactive fan zone and food truck concession stands.

Irvine, California, 8272 Great Park Boulevard

11. Amphitheater at FivePoints

Amphitheater at FivePoints
Amphitheater at FivePoints

The Irvine Spectrum Center is less than a mile away from this popular outdoor venue. It debuted in 2018, effectively replacing the long-running Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, which had closed two years before.

The venue has a capacity of 12,000 people, and some shows are completely sold out. The event calendar spans the entire year and includes everything from comedians to music festivals to nationally touring acts. Most events feature food trucks as well as a variety of other vendors.

12. University of California Irvine Arboretum

University of California Irvine Arboretum
University of California Irvine Arboretum

The University of California Irvine Arboretum features special plant collections, including rare species from South Africa, but its primary focus is Southern California flora. Only UCI Biological Science students and guided tours are permitted access to the arboretum during peak blooming seasons at oak creek.

Species from the Channel Islands, Baja, and the Mojave Desert are among the Arboretum’s other special collections. The arboretum’s entire 12 acres serve as a living classroom for students’ educational development.

Irvine, California, Campus Drive and Jamboree Road

FAQs about Things To Do In Irvine CA

What makes Irvine famous?

The city is known for its beautiful parks, friendly residents, low crime, and excellent schools. With the population of Irvine expected to grow further, this California city is sure to become an even more popular place to live and do business.

How far away is Irvine from the beach?

Irvine to Newport Beach is 8.97 miles southwest and 12 miles (19.31 kilometers) by car if you take the CA 55 route. If you drive nonstop, Irvine and Newport Beach are only 15 minutes apart. This is the shortest route from Irvine, California to Newport Beach, California.

When you buy a home in Irvine, do you own the land?

The ICLT maintains the affordability of the home permanently by owning the land beneath each home, ensuring that there will always be affordable homes available for homebuyers. Because the land trust owns the property, each homeowner is required to enter into a ground lease agreement with the land trust.

What celebrities live in Irvine, California?

In Irvine, you might run into a celebrity. Olympic medalists Amanda Beard and Aaron Peirsol, as well as tennis player Lindsey Davenport, singer Aubrey O’Day, and dancer Dita Von Teese, are all Irvine residents. In addition, Irvine has served as the setting for hundreds of films, including Zero Dark Thirty and Transformers.

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