Irvine Things to Do

  • Irvine Global Festival, California
    Irvine Global Festival, California
    by marinarena
  • Blaze Pizza, University Center, Irvine, CA
    Blaze Pizza, University Center, Irvine,...
    by marinarena
  • eateries at University Center, Irvine, CA
    eateries at University Center, Irvine,...
    by marinarena

Best Rated Things to Do in Irvine

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Turtle Rock

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 22, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    Archeological research establishes prehistoric man in the Irvine area at least 12,000 years ago, possibly even 18,000 years ago. Scattered evidence of early campsites and rock shelters can be seen in the undeveloped parts of the city where they establishing dozens of villages. This rock has the shape of the front of a turtle's carapace and is considered very sacred and was used for ceremonial purposes. It is located with the Turtle Rock neighboorhood.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Nature Center

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 22, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    Located with the Turtle Rock Park is the nature center, which includes an interpretive center set in a former paddock for the Irvine Ranch, a historical landmark. The building features displays on environmental protection, nature and local history, and a small collection of animals.
    A beautiful self-guided nature trail (paved for wheelchair access) winds through the preserve, which includes a stream and pond. Wildlife includes great-horned owls, raccoons, ducks, rabbits, lizards and squirrels.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Irvine Ranch Historic Park ~ Cogan House 1913

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 22, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    The Cogan House was built on the bluffs overlooking Newport Bay in 1913, and the Irvines moved it to the ranch between 1924 and 1925. The house was named after a former purchasing agent, Charles J. Cogan, who lived there. Today, this building contains offices for OC Parks and the Orange County Farm Bureau.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Irvine Ranch Historic Park ~ Bunkhouse 1917

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 22, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    In order to accommodate a growing labor force, the company built the Bunkhouse in 1917. Each floor was originally one large room. The rooms were later divided into smaller rooms to give some privacy to the men who lived there.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Turtle Rock Community Park Plaque

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 22, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 more images

    Located in front the Nature Center is a plaque and It reads: Turtle Rock Community Park is the site of the former headquarters of the Irvine Ranch Cattle Operations. This paddock building has been preserved through the cooperation of the Irvine Company and The City of Irvine as a reminder of the agricultural heritage of the Irvine Ranch. Presented by the Irvine Company in operation with the Irvine Historical Socity. 1980

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Irvine Spectrum Center

    by Yaqui Updated Dec 1, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    This is a large outdoor mall with 130 retail stores located here. The design of the mall is based on the Alhambra fortress (Arabic: الحمراء‎) in Granada, Spain. I was very impressed with the huge arches, beautiful fountains, and lovely blooms located in the massive pots all around the shopping area. Lots of areas to rest and people watch:)

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Irvine Spectrum Center Fountains

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 22, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    Alhambra's Court of the Lions fountains is the most impressive, but they all are still very beautiful. Nothing better on a hot day to sit next to one and feel the cool breeze from the water spray. The sound of the water is also very pleasing. There were several feathered friends were enjoying them too. There are 9 of them to enjoy.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Irvine Ranch Historic Park~Red Barn 1900

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 22, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    he Red Barn was originally constructed circa 1900, northeast of buildings 21 and 23 and moved to its current location in 1999. The barn’s first purpose was to house mules, which were essential to the day-to-day operations of the ranch. After World War I, the mules were gradually fazed out in favor of machinery. The barn was then used to store grain and equipment.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Katie Wheeler Branch Library~1876 Replicated

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 22, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    The Katie Wheeler Branch Library is on the original location of the Irvine residence. Originally constructed by C.E. French in 1876, James Irvine II nearly doubled its size in 1892. Following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Irvine moved his wife and three children permanently to the ranch. A fire damaged the home in 1965, and it was demolished in 1968. The library was carefully designed to replicate the historic residence.

    Service Hours:
    Monday - Thursday 10 am - 9 pm
    Friday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
    Sunday 12 noon - 5 pm

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Irvine Ranch Historic Park~Foreman’s Row 1906

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 22, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My handsome son!
    4 more images

    Construction of Foreman’s Row originally started circa 1906, with the houses on the south side of Old Irvine Boulevard. The houses on the north side Old Irvine were added around 1935. James Irvine II liked promoting men from within the ranks and longtime laborers were some- times made foremen. One foreman would later comment that the ranch was a “darn fine nice place to live.”

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Russo's Spectrum Pets

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 22, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    Some people do not like pets store, but at least these little creatures are in a safe place. Anything is better than running the streets and starving. Although on display and with everyone trying to pet them is not that bad. Personally while we were there, the cages were clean and the puppies all looked happy and healthy. They were all getting loved and yes, adopted. We enjoyed them. Lots of neat accessories for sale for all kinds of pets.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Irvine Ranch Historic Park~ Krauss House 1897

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 22, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    The Krauss House is named after C.F. Krauss, James Irvine II’s brother- in-law. He served as ranch superintendent from 1893 to 1915, and the house was built for him and his family in 1897. It was originally a three- room house, but it now has eight rooms due to several remodeling jobs.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • marinarena's Profile Photo

    Go Global!

    by marinarena Written Oct 17, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Irvine Global Festival, California
    4 more images

    The annual Irvine Global Village Festival, taking place in early fall, is a must-do event for those curious to explore diverse world cultures. Best thing about this event: it is FREE!

    Attendees can discover world culture with their eyes (looking at the vibrant color on booths, decorative items and various ethnic costume from the major world continents adorned by presenters and performers); with their ears (listening to live indigenous music, especially decidedly folk, Asian and Latin cultures) and with their palettes (sampling a wide range of ethnic cuisine, particularly Mexican, Indian, Thai, Chinese, and of course good ol' American are savored and favored).

    Scenes pictured are from the festivities in 2011, at the Bill Barber Park. A well received moment I was excited to see was a main performer stage featuring traditional Chinese lady dancers and tantalizing bellydancers from a local troop.

    For future Global Village festivals, I would vouch for a change of route, perhaps to the 1,347-acre master planned recreational area, OC Great Park. Since 2001, the Festival has dramatically grown, beginning from a mere thousand attendees. In 2011, more than 16,000 people crowded into the 42 acre Barber park, which has convenient parking only for a small fraction of that population.

    It is recommended to take the free I-Shuttle bus, public transportation (OCTA bus for $1.50 one way), go by bike or by foot. If like most attendees, (i.e. with a car0, have patience with the parking situation, which is tiring. Try to arrive a hour or two if you want to park with ease.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Turtle Rock Community Park and Nature Center

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 22, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    After dropping my husband and my oldest son off at the airport, I wanted to find the famed Turtle Rock so I ventured here thinking it was here, but it is not. Instead we took advantage of the time and needed to let my autistic son stretch out and walk off some of the frustration of being couped up in the car. So we enjoyed the walkway and grassy field. A very nice park.

    Park amenities:
    1 multi-use buidling
    2 restrooms
    5 drinking fountains
    2 child play areas
    1 open play area
    1 amphitheater
    4 lighted tennis courts
    1 lighted volleyball court
    1 ball diamond
    12 barbecues
    1 group picnic area
    25 picnic tables
    electrical outlets

    Park Hours:
    Monday-Friday 9:00am-9:00pm
    Saturday 9:00am-10:00pm
    Sunday 12:00pm-6:00pm

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Nature Center Displays & Educational Tools

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 22, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    As you walk in, you will notice right away a wonderful area filled with some really neat displays of the history of the former ranch and many displays of the environmental protection, nature and a small collection of animals. Also, there is a small area for children to have hands on activities. Plus, this place is free.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Irvine

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

94 travelers online now

Comments

Irvine Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Irvine things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Irvine sightseeing.

View all Irvine hotels