Irvine Travel Guide

  • Ray's Pizza, Irvine, CA
    Ray's Pizza, Irvine, CA
    by marinarena
  • Irvine Global Festival, California
    Irvine Global Festival, California
    by marinarena
  • Transportation
    by Yaqui

Irvine Highlights

  • Pro
    drivingwithdawn profile photo

    drivingwithdawn says…

     Clean, close to beaches and shopping, great university, good restaurants 

  • Con
    drivingwithdawn profile photo

    drivingwithdawn says…

     Too quiet, a bit dull, too sanitized, too many gated communities 

  • In a nutshell
    marinarena profile photo

    marinarena says…

     Irvine- an Intriguing place! 

Irvine Things to Do

  • Explore (Kinda) Great Park

    Well, the Great Park is not quite living up to its lofty name just yet- however, discover it while in town and you may just be impressed about what's happening here. Still building up, the 1,300+ acre space, formerly the El Toro Marine Corps station, is an emerging O.C. destination for recreation and entertainment. Currently, the Great Park is home...

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  • Go to Barclay for a Play (and more)

    Barclay is the premiere theater of Irvine and perhaps of south Orange county. Acclaimed dance , jazz and theater performances take place here year-round. The interior is very attractive, more so than the typical sphere on the exterior. Barclay is in a prime location of Irvine, off the lovely university grounds, goregous floral hiking/bike trails,...

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  • Hang out at the University- the Center,...

    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...

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Irvine Hotels

See all 17 Hotels in Irvine

Irvine Restaurants

  • Try Quality Organic American at Paul's

    Arrive at Irvine Spectrum for the exquisite Paul Martin experience.True quality American eats here. For those outside of America who think American food is horrible- you WILL reconsider that notion here. Paul Martin does American classics- steaks, chicken and all- healthy. Well chosen quality local and seasonal ingredients. No greasiness. Menu...

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  • Have Good NY Style Pizza at Ray's

    It is vital to have this little write-up on Ray's, a So Cal pizzeria that serves it up NY style-thin, with just enough cheese, sauce and not too doughy nor crisp. Everytime i show my face in the joint I get a quality slice. Steps away from Trader Joe's at the University center, The pizzeria is a no-frills pizza joint that the kind of place...

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  • No ordinary pizza here!

    California Pizza Kitchen features hearth-baked pizzas, creative pastas, delicious desserts and much more! If you have a very hungry teenager who just loves pizza, then this is the place for you. Yet, they don't just serve pizza. I had some really delicious taco's too.Hours of OperationMon - Thurs11:00 AM-10:00 PMFri - Sat11:00 AM-11:00 PMSun11:00...

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Irvine Nightlife

  • See the biggest OC nightlife spectrum

    Irvine Spectrum is "where it's at". The "it" can many things- mostly it is the overall outdoor entertainment, opulence, and parking traffic headache of Orange county! Well, I shouldn't knock the parking situation there too much now because there are new parking garages there now -but there is still a mess there with the cars!It's never an easy...

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  • True OC Nightlife Fun!

    Chateaux is a restaurant and meeting spot but at 10 pm it changes into the best nightclub in Orange County! They have different music on different nights, included salsa on Tues. with lessons before the club opens! They have different DJ's depending on the night and a hip crowd. There is a dress code and bottle service is an options. They have many...

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  • Night Time Nightlife Workout!

    This fitness center was right across the freeway from the back of the hotel. I'm pretty sure it is open 24/7 because it was open everytime I walked outside, even at ungodly hours like 5 am. I was still on Eastern Standard Time! Geez, y'all read something bad into everything. ;-) Wear your workout gear and sweat to impress!

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Irvine Transportation

  • Take Advantage of I-Shuttles

    Especially for those visiting here on business, the Irvine I-Shuttle buses are very efficient and serve as great companions of the main county buses (OCTA), especially when making train-bus travel.The I-Shuttle bus stops are along the main streets of Irvine where likely riders would arrive, where business and tourism thrive. There are 4 main...

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  • Arrive here via Amtrak/Metrolink

    Irvine Station is a stop for both Amtrak and Metrolink train services, thus, making it very accessible. Though not one of the best looking stops (I like to visit particularly attractive, charming train stations :-), Irvine Station is a rather convenient stop, busy throughout the day and evening. If coming from Los Angeles, take the Amtrak Pacific...

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  • Irvine Spectrum Center Parking Center

    There is a wonderful parking structure to accomodate the visitors at the spectrum center. The structures have sensors that determine how many vehicles are inside at any given moment. As you enter the structure, a large digital display will tell you how many spots are left on a given levelThey have stairways and elevators. I don't like elevators,...

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Irvine Shopping

See all 3 Shopping in Irvine
  • Great Beauty Supply Store

    This is an upscale beauty supply with many hair products/tools, nail lines (Essie, OPI, etc) and makeup lines including Jane Iredale and Bare Minerals. If this interests you, it's worth checking out for sure! The Jane Iredale stuff, scented candles, nail/hair products discounted 20%. Average.

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  • Huge Entertainment Center

    This is a very large outdoor entertainment complex. There is a movie theatre with 21 screens, as well as a few department/ "specialty retail" stores: Nordstrom, Macy's, Target etc... Quite a few restaurants, Johnny Rocket, Javier's... etc! Many of the items for sale at the Spectrum can be found elsewhere, BUT, the Movie theater is unique in that...

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  • The Spectrum

    Lots of stores at the Spectrum. I was expecting wall to wall designer stuff but in fact there was some good cheaper stores as well (you know, like under $200 for a pair of jeans, i guess I'm just a big cheapo) but you could easily leave most of your paycheck here. I think that fact that ireland is becoming more expensive every day and that the...

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Irvine Local Customs

  • AhHa! I Got YOU! Made YOU Look!

    Get A Job Here!This is actually a place to park some additional photos you didn't see in the other catagories, just because I hardly ever get to put tips in this one. Hopefully, it still adds to your eye further images of a pretty cool place.

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  • Culture? HA HA HA! In Irvine?...

    Culture? HA HA HA! In Irvine? AHHHH HA HA HA!!! You mean aside from the pseudo bourgeois post-modern pop culture? ummmm...I'll get back to you on that one.Well, at least there's the South Coast Repertory Theatre, ohh and there's always Starbuck's!

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  • Irvine Hotels

    17 Hotels in Irvine

    21 Reviews and Opinions

Irvine Warnings and Dangers

  • Don't Mess With This Bad Boy!

    Ok, sometimes I take liberties with tips and their all-encompassing narrow categories. Not trying to be negative, but some things are hard to fit into a confined area.Take this tree. It grows right beside the hotel. What kind of tree is it? That's what I want to know. And another question- why does no one working at the Crowne Plaza Hotel know what...

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  • Bring Some Patience to Park at the...

    OK, there are a good number of crowded places in So Cal at night but it's really ridulous that the wait for getting a parking space at the Irvine Spectrum is so long. If you have to come here on a weekend night, especially Saturday, come long before 8 pm to park or else you may have to wait about 20 min to get one (that is , unless you are really...

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Irvine Tourist Traps

  • Irvine Harvest Festival or whatever

    You're better off mowing your 20 square feet of grass and complaining about gas prices to your neighbor than going to this event. They'll charge you to get in and then charge your for anything you want to see/do inside. Don't do it! Sneak through the fence and walk around. You'll see it wasn't worth the effort to move your feet. Mow your lawn or...

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  • The Irvine Spectrum is a...

    The Irvine Spectrum is a definite tourist trap. Good luck finding available parking on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Rumor has it that the center is hurting, but I can't see how. The Sprectrum is located where the 405 and 5 freeways meet, and includes a mega-plex movie theater, Dave and Buster's, etc. I would go during the week, if possible.

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Irvine What to Pack

  • Yubert's Profile Photo

    by Yubert Written Oct 4, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Pack light. Don't take everything with you. If you forget something, you can buy it in Irvine or at the South Coast Plaza, nearby.

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Irvine Off The Beaten Path

  • San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary

    Head to the "Audubon House" to chat up the locals, and then head off to the trails and watch birds on a 300 acre sanctuary. There are several ponds, thriving local plants, and lots of birds. 10 miles of trail meander through it all, and not many people disturb your enjoyment. This is a beautiful place. Managed by Irvine Ranch Water District

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  • What the F?

    Hey, I just take the pictures here, ok? To my camera-like-eye this is just an example of some new-growth-appendages that need to be "shaped-up" by the landscaping and maintence crew. And Soon! What do you see??? heeheeheehee

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  • Walk on the University Campus and...

    The University of California Irvine has a gorgeous green campus and surrounding area full of elegant trees and cute rabbits and squirrels scurrying around. I was first introduced to teh campus durign high school era when I was practing for the SAT. Since then, I have loved going for walks. If you happen to be catching a UCI sports game or attending...

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Irvine Sports & Outdoors

  • marinarena's Profile Photo
    Irvine land reserve surrounding area, California

    by marinarena Updated Sep 21, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Irvine is such a wondrous land for hikers and bikers alike. Throughout the city are dozens and dozens of flat and rugged trails and bikeways, covering well over 400 miles. Some areas to single out: UCI area, Woodbridge Community Park, Bommer Canyon, Quail Hill and Shady Canyon. Alll deserve to be mentioned individually really. Too little time and experience for me to do now but I'll be working on getting more familiar with these gorgeous paths. Do remind me to update later!

    Equipment: a good pair of walking shoes, bike gear for a long ride. Irvine- especially the more east one goes- gets hot !!!

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Eco-Tourism

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Irvine Favorites

See all 11 Favorites in Irvine
  • Try High Quality, Conscious Food

    Irvine's good-for-you restaurants!The city rivals Newport Beach and Laguna Beach as top city for dining out. Particularly, Irvine has a good number of restaurants and markets that emphasize good, conscious eating, often or exclusively with organic, gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan options. Here is a list of some to try:Andrei's Conscious Cuisine...

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  • Anybody Need Any Help Out Here?

    Just Think! If you worked here, you could go outside at lunch and have all kinds of fun! I see some awesome Hide & Seek happening... maybe pitch quarters against the nice white curb steps leading down to the cement ponds... or just git you one of them lattes and chill until the caffine kicks in. Boy! I bet we'll be gettin' some impo work done...

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  • Images from the Irvine Business...

    And here's why it's so neat! Someone really knew what they were doing when they planned and executed this layout. The reason I know this is that you only have to move a few steps in any direction and it seems you have a new look, new landscape, and nearly a new place to photograph! That's some more of that "Swingzu" stuff, ain't it?

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Explore Deeper into Irvine
See a concert under the stars at Irvine Meadows...
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Irvine Spectrum Center
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Turtle Rock
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Irvine Spectrum Center Fountains
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Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21 & IMAX
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Russo's Spectrum Pets
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Irvine Spectrum Center Trolley Service
Transportation
John Wayne Airport
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Irvine Spectrum Center Kiddie Train
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Irvine Spectrum Center Carousel
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Irvine Spectrum Center Ferris Wheel
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Turtle Rock Community Park Plaque
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Agricultural Headquarters Office Complex
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Irvine Ranch Historic Park ~ Cogan House 1913
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Irvine Ranch Historic Park~ Mess Hall 1906
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Irvine Ranch Historic Park ~ Bunkhouse 1917
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Irvine Ranch Historic Park~ Krauss House 1897
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Irvine Ranch Historic Park~Red Barn 1900
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Katie Wheeler Branch Library~1876 Replicated
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Irvine Ranch Historic Park~Foreman’s Row 1906
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Irvine Ranch Historic Park~Avocado Grove
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Turtle Rock Community Park and Nature Center
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Nature Center Displays & Educational Tools
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Nature Center
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Go Global!
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Go bike riding or running on the trails
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Tuscany Mediterranee Grill
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Rated#1 best Italian and Mediterranean Irvine
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Awesome Dim Sum
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Ummmm...Yummy!!!
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Work with an eye on "lovely"
Favorites
Go For The Sure Thing!
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Huge portions!
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Get yo' game on!
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Bowlarama
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Beer by the "yard"
Nightlife
See a movie in 3D
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Maurice, the baguettes, hurry up!
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Steak Sanmmich
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Pizookie!
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Map of Irvine

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