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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:)
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.
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.
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.
Monday - Thursday 10 am - 9 pm
Friday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday 12 noon - 5 pm
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.”
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.
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.
Nearby the campus of University of Irvine is the preferred meeting place of many locals- the University Center. It is a quiet and nicely built area fun with unique options for shopping, dining and movie watching.
What's best here is that there is less congestion, comparatively to the Spectrum center quite some miles away east.
For locals, permanent Irvine residents or those studying at the university, and also those staying for an extended time in this part of the city, the center is very convenient. There is a grocery store (Trader Joe's), a post office and Fed Ex retail store, other shops and for entertainment, there is the Edwards theater which particularly shows independent movies
Some of the best places to eat in Irvineare here at the center, including Veggie Grill( absolute godsend for vegetarians and vegans), Britta Cafe (the most classy restaurant option), Lee's Sandwiches (Viet-French-American is always a fave), a number of other Asian inspired eateries and others as well..
Want a deal here? There are frequent postings of coupons via the website. Check below!
Getting to University Center is easy. It is right across from the main UCI entrance, off University Dr. Take several OCTA buses, including routes 59, 79 and 178.
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.
1 multi-use buidling
5 drinking fountains
2 child play areas
1 open play area
4 lighted tennis courts
1 lighted volleyball court
1 ball diamond
1 group picnic area
25 picnic tables
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.