A fun fact about smaller cities is that they have a charm that you can’t find in larger cities. Thanks to its diverse natural spaces and well-executed city planning, Irvine is one of the cities you’d love to explore. The city also topped the FBI’s infamous list of safest large cities for over 13 years.
Lying between Los Angeles and San Diego, Irvine, CA is a cultural hub with notable heritage institutions. The city features some of the best shopping, sports, and dining facilities you’ll ever find in California. There are also many parks, wildlands, and recreational centers for you to explore as a resident.
With so many fun-packed things to do in the city, choosing those that will guarantee you a good time may be tricky. In this article, you’ll discover ten exciting things to do when living in Irvine, CA:
1. Hike at the Bommer Canyon
Bommer Canyon is a 4.6-mile trail known for accommodating the Irvine Ranch Cattle Camp. Its tracks are ideal for horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking if you’re an adventurous person. You may explore the paths on your own or with the help of a guide as you enjoy the Irvine, CA weather.
The hiking paths lie in a dense suburban area and are surrounded by beautiful, wild white flowers. You can do some stretching or yoga under the surrounding trees.
Boomer Canyon lies on about 16,000 acres of land that surround affluent Turtle Ridge and Shady Canyon villages. Approximately 15 acres of the land is preserved for a cattle camp, which hosts family reunions, picnics, and campouts. You can book a space at the Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp from April to October.
The camp features neatly arranged picnic tables surrounded by sycamore trees. Walking trails in the canyon feature rock outcrops and oak groves.
2. Shop at the Irvine Spectrum Center
The Irvine Spectrum Center is an outdoor center marked by well-manicured gardens, dripping fountains, and beautiful landscapes. It is home to several dining facilities, boutiques, a spa, a VR center, and a cinema.
Its major attraction is a huge Ferris wheel (the Giant Wheel) that glows up at night. The Giant Wheel also offers spectacular views of up to 108 feet from the ground.
The Spectrum Center usually features live music performances every week for shoppers. You can shop at its retail stores, explore cuisines at the limitless diners or dive into the entertainment facilities. The outdoor center also features live comedy or drama events for your entertainment.
3. Dine at The Counter Irvine CA
The Counter is a high-end dining chain operating in over 45 locations in the country and around the globe. It is one of the hotels in Irvine CA acclaimed for hosting A-list celebrities like Alan Richman and Oprah Winfrey. Its Irvine branch is reputable for serving customizable burgers and having a wide selection of protein foods.
You can choose from plant-based to animal protein burgers when you visit the eatery. The chefs can also customize premium and standard toppings, sauces, and cheeses upon request. Toppings to choose from include tomato, lettuce, grilled pineapple slices, quinoa, and apricot sauce.
The Counter is one of the restaurants in Irvine, CA that offers specialty burgers with tasty milkshakes. Besides custom burgers, you can order sandwiches, fresh greens, indulgent milkshakes, regional wines, and craft beers. You can find the specific menu offerings with their prices on their local website.
4. Rejuvenate Your Body at the Irvine Spa
As a luxurious spa, the Irvine Spa offers numerous wellness packages for an immersive spa experience. Whether you’re an old resident or you’ve recently moved to Irvine, you may choose to get a thorough body scrub or full-body massage. There are crystalline pools with warm water, fire rooms, and ice rooms to help you relax.
The Irvine Spa has an onsite restaurant that serves barbeques, noodles, soup, and fresh seafood. It also houses a forest room filled with forest aromas to clear your mind and refresh your body. The aromatic wood in the forest room can be used to calm nerves and treat problematic skin.
The spa’s lounge areas feature flat-screen TVs and comfortable seating for entertainment. There’s a competent and cheerful staff to usher you into the resort once you arrive. All tools used in the facility have the relevant health and safety accreditation.
5. Take Your Family or Friends to Orange County Great Park
The Orange County Great Park is among the parks in Irvine, CA with diverse recreational activities. Its notable amenities include a playground, an art gallery, a carousel, and sports courts. You can also play sports like volleyball, basketball, and tennis in the county park.
The park’s main attraction is a colossal orange balloon (the Great Park Balloon) that can fly up to 400 feet above the ground. It offers a breath-taking 360-degree view of the park over a 40-mile distance. With a volume of over 210,000 cubic feet and a height of 118 feet, the tethered helium balloon is the first-ever of its kind in the country.
Great Park lies on a 1,347-acre land and houses the renowned Palm Courts Arts Complex. The arts complex features exhibitions and galleries that appeal to artists and art lovers. You’ll find an events center, the Great Park Artist Studios, and the Great Park Gallery inside this arts complex.
6. Explore the Tanaka Farm
The Tanaka Farm, which lies on a 30-acre land, offers a hands-on farming experience to kids and adults. It features a wide selection of fruits and vegetables grown for commercial purposes. Special cooking festivals, parties, and classes also take place at the family-owned farm.
Tanaka Farm empowers local farmers by buying produce from them. The farm also sells a variety of fresh produce all year round. You’ll find corn during summer, strawberries between February and June, and pumpkins between September and October.
Once you arrive at the farm, you’ll be ferried in a wagon inside with a guide. They’ll explain how the crops are cultivated, harvested, and sold to consumers. You also get to choose crops that you can carry back home.
7. Check Out the Irvine Museum
As a fine arts museum, the Irvine Museum features paintings of California during the American Impressionist times. The museum also offers lectures and school field trips if you’re looking for education programs. It runs from Tuesday to Saturday with a special tour on Thursdays.
The Irvine Museum is infamous for preserving the city’s major landmarks. You can check out its research library and archive at the San Joaquin Ranch House for a history lesson. Browse through the historical collections to understand the origins of Irvine, CA.
Local Irvine residents brought together most of the pieces preserved at the museum. The pieces include pictures and artifacts that tell the story of the city.
8. Enjoy Beautiful Sceneries at the San Joaquin Sanctuary
If you enjoy spending time outside, the San Joaquin Sanctuary offers lush green sceneries. It features a marsh that lies on a 300-acre land with plenty of animals and birds lurking around. You’ll also find a 12-mile trail in the sanctuary that’s ideal for hiking or running.
The sanctuary also features a series of ponds that offer a refreshing view of water ecosystems. It is a great place to take your family or friends on a weekend or holiday. Other attractions at the sanctuary include the Audubon House (for wildlife conservation), an observation area, and a boardwalk.
The sanctuary offers educational opportunities to members of the public, students, and teachers. You can even sign up for wildlife education tours/programs to expand your knowledge of biodiversity.
9. Visit the Irvine Barclay Theatre
The Irvine Barclay Theatre uplifts the local Irvine community through its diverse arts and culture programs. It hosts workshops for both kids and adults and events for families. You can also register for master classes for dancing and singing at the theater.
As a non-profit corporation, the Irvine Barclay Theatre helps tell different tales through artwork. The theater invites artists across the globe to showcase their pieces or performances live. It offers great opportunities for connecting with the local community and understanding the city of Irvine, CA.
The Irvine Barclay Theatre operates as a joint venture between the University of California and Irvine city. You can sign up for tours around the facility through the theatre’s ArtReach program. Renting the space for a public or private event is also allowed.
10. Go Racing at the K1 Speed Irvine
As an indoor go-kart racing facility, K1 Speed Irvine features two race tracks for all skill levels and ages. It also features plasma televisions and leather couches for your entertainment. You can order food at its Pit Café before or after racing at the tracks.
K1 Speed Irvine houses a great collection of memorabilia and art related to racing. The facility also hosts formal and informal events, including birthday parties and corporate meetings.
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You now have a list of ten fun things that you can do in your free time when living in Irvine, CA. Check out the organizer’s or host’s website before visiting the places listed above. Don’t forget to take many photos while exploring these places.
We can help you relocate to Irvine, CA effortlessly with our professional moving help. Our company leverages its extensive moving experience and knowledge when serving you. We’re more than willing to give you a detailed quote once you ask for one.