Whether you’re a resident or just visiting for the first time, there’s plenty to do in Irvine California. From family fun to outdoor adventures and everything in between, you can always find something exciting to do here. I’ve put together a list of my favorite things to do here so that you can plan your next trip!
Pretend City Children’s Museum
If you want to take your kids out of their element and send them into a world of fantasy and make-believe, then Pretend City Children’s Museum might be the perfect place for you. This hands-on museum offers over 100 exhibits that will keep your children entertained for hours on end.
The museum is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm, except on Wednesdays when it opens at noon. The museum also has a cafe serving food and beverages as well as an on-site gift shop selling toys, books, and more! If you’re looking for something fun to do with kids in Irvine California this summer then looks no further than Pretend City Children’s Museum!
Heritage Hill Historical Park
The Heritage Hill Historical Park is a living history museum in Irvine, California. The 1,500-acre park encompasses more than 40 historic buildings and structures dating back as far as 1850 and offers visitors a chance to experience how people lived in the past. The park features homes that were relocated from towns around Orange County and then restored on-site, including one of the oldest surviving houses in Southern California (1857).
The park is open to the public with free admission. It’s open daily from 10 am – 5 pm, though some individual attractions may have different hours based on availability or seasonality.
William R. Mason Regional Park
William R. Mason Regional Park is a park in Irvine, California that’s popular for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The park has over 20 miles of trails, which are great for an afternoon stroll or an all-day adventure.
Irvine Regional Park
Irvine Regional Park is a great place to hike, bike, and picnic. The park has over 40 miles of trails that wind through the canyons, meadows, and forests of this 1,000-acre area. You will find many wildlife sightings, including deer, coyotes, and birds. Whether you are an experienced hiker or just beginning your fitness journey this trail is a fun place for everyone!
Irvine Park’s facilities include restrooms at the trailhead, picnic tables at each parking area (75 cents per hour), drinking water fountains throughout the park as well as portable toilets at certain locations along each trailhead loop. Dogs are allowed in Irvine Regional Park;
However, they must be leashed at all times while on any trail in the park except when using designated off-leash dog areas such as Muddy Creek Dog Park or Huntington Dog Beach located within San Onofre State Beach – south of I-5 exit 26 (San Juan Capistrano). There are two entrances into Irvine Regional Park: one-off Culver Drive just south of the I-405 freeway entrance ramp leading into Los Alamitos; another directly accessible from Sand Canyon Avenue eastbound only between Alton Parkway (west) & San Diego Freeway (east).
Limestone Canyon Regional Park
Limestone Canyon Regional Park is located in Orange County, California, and is part of the OC Parks system. Several trails within this park range from easy to moderate difficulty levels.
Other activities include horseback riding, bird watching, biking, and fishing. Limestone Canyon Regional Park is open from sunrise to sunset daily and has a 6-person limit per vehicle when parking at designated trailheads (which include Buffalo Springs Trailhead).
UC Irvine Arboretum
UC Irvine Arboretum is a botanical garden and arboretum located on the University of California, Irvine campus. The arboretum features approximately 1,500 plant species. Established in 1959 and opened to the public in 1962, it was one of the first university-affiliated botanical gardens in the United States.
The arboretum comprises over 50 acres (20 ha) of natural landscape containing more than 2,000 individual trees representing 800 different species from around the world. Many mature native oaks indigenous to Southern California are found here as well as other notable trees such as coast live oak (“Quercus agrifolia”), California black walnut (“Juglans californica”), Australian peppercorn tree (“Schinus molle”). It also contains a large cactus collection including some unusual specimens like “Opuntia macrorhiza” and “Pilosocereus cory nodes”.
Quail Hill Trailhead
Quail Hill Trailhead is a great place to hike because it offers so many trails to choose from. There are three different loops for you and your dog or any other family member or friend who wants to join in on the fun. They can even help you get started by carrying your water bottle!
The first loop is called “The Peak Loop”, which has an elevation of 1,100 feet and is about 0.6 miles long if you start at Quail Hill Trailhead and go clockwise around this trail. This loop offers views of Irvine Valley below along with San Diego County’s Anza-Borrego Desert State Park across the way.
Another trail called “Sunset View” starts at Quail Hill Trailhead as well but doesn’t have an official length listed on its signpost; however, this route will take you down into a valley where you’ll find plenty of shade while enjoying some beautiful views over Irvine Valley below before heading back up again towards Quail Hill Trailhead (and then onto another option).
A third option called “Butterfly Loop” also starts here but doesn’t have its signpost either so it’s hard to tell when exactly where one ends and another begins; however, this path takes hikers around wetlands where butterflies often fly overhead during warmer months like Summertime!
Bommer Canyon Trailhead
- Location: Bommer Canyon Trailhead is located in Orange County, just north of Irvine.
- Activities: There are many activities that you can do at Bommer Canyon Trailhead, such as hiking and mountain biking.
- How to get there: Take the SR 241 freeway exit West onto CA-241 toward Santa Ana Fwy/I-5/CA-133/CA-57 S/San Diego Fwy. Merge onto CA-133 N via Exit 2A toward Tustin Ranch Rd E/Irvine Spectrum Dr. E (signs for Tustin Ranch Rd). Turn left at Tustin Ranch Rd W, then turn right at Bonita Canyon Dr. W (will turn into Bonita Canyon Road). At the stop sign, turn right onto Bison Ave W, then left onto Firestone Blvd W (the sign says “Bommer Canyon Park”).
Irvine Lake is a manmade reservoir in the heart of Irvine, California. The lake was created in 1965 when the Irvine Company used eminent domain to purchase and condemn land from hundreds of families. It was intended to be a recreational area for residents, but after several years of heavy use and wear it became clear that the lake was suffering from severe neglect. In 1993, the county took ownership and began restoring the once-pristine waterway to increase its attractiveness as a recreational destination.
Today Irvine Lake offers plenty for visitors who want to enjoy some time on or near its waters. There are many places where you can launch your boat or jet ski; if fishing’s more your speed there are also spots where you can cast from shoreline docks and bridges. If you’re looking for some other activities nearby check out our list here!
The Ecology Center Farm + Food Lab
The Ecology Center Farm + Food Lab is a nonprofit organization that provides hands-on learning opportunities for the community. Located in Irvine, the center offers visitors educational programs about food and agriculture, including workshops on organic gardening and cooking classes. The farm on which it sits includes crops like heirloom tomatoes, peppers, corn, and more. The center also hosts film screenings and concerts.
The Ecology Center’s address is 3995 Michelson Drive, Irvine CA 92612; it has an entrance off of Alton Parkway (near the intersection with Michelson Drive). Call 949-509-0240 or visit www.ecologycenter.org for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with them!
The Outlets at Orange
This location is perfect for those who love to shop and eat their way through the day. Located in Orange County, The Outlets at Orange offers a variety of stores and restaurants that will keep you busy all day long.
This mall offers over 150 stores including luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci & Prada. You won’t have to wait too long for your favorite stores as there are more than 20 different restaurants here including P.F Chang’s China Bistro, California Pizza Kitchen & STEAK N SHAKE! Along with great food options, there is also plenty of parking available on-site at $10 per vehicle or $15 for valet service! You can easily get here by driving yourself or taking public transportation.
There are several bus stops nearby which include 210 1st Freeway Express Bus Line traveling between Downtown Los Angeles (LA) Union Station/7th St Metro Center Station – Chinatown Station via Cesar Chavez Avenue; 191 Westwood/Santa Monica College – Wilshire/Western Station via Vermont Avenue; 215 North Hollywood – Glendale Metrolink Line traveling between Downtown Los Angeles (LA) Union Station/7th St Metro Center Station via Lankershim Boulevard.
216 El Monte Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Line traveling between Monrovia Transit Center via Duarte Road; 213 Foothill Transit Silver Streak Limited Service Route serving Southland destinations from Downtown LA Union Station via 5 Freeway and Foothill Blvd.; 249 Montclair-Del Amo Express Line servicing San Gabriel Valley communities from West Covina to Santa Monica Beach via Pomona Metrolink Train Station
San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary
- San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife refuge in Irvine, California. It’s one of the best spots in Orange County to watch birds, so if you love watching nature and learning about it this should be high on your list of places to visit.
- The sanctuary is home to over 250 species of birds, including many endangered or threatened species. You can see everything from ducks and geese to hawks and falcons here too—it’s an incredible spot for birding!
- There are several miles worth of hiking trails around the marsh that wind through grasslands where people hike with their dogs (you must keep your dog on a leash). These trails also go through some areas with trees that provide shade for when things get hot outside during the summertime months.
Woodbridge Village Center Main Street Bridge
The Woodbridge Village Center Main Street Bridge is an iconic pedestrian bridge that spans the San Diego Freeway. The bridge is open to the public 24 hours a day and is used by runners, cyclists, and pedestrians alike.
Both sides of the freeway have entrances to get on top of the bridge and there are plenty of benches along both sides to rest if needed.
Irvine California is a beautiful city with a lot to offer residents and visitors alike.
Irvine California is a beautiful city with a lot to offer residents and visitors alike. There are plenty of activities for those who want to enjoy themselves, from shopping at the Irvine Spectrum Center to enjoying a meal at one of the many fine restaurants in town.
The Irvine Symphony Orchestra performs regularly at the Bren Events Center, which also hosts other events throughout the year. Next door is an outdoor amphitheater that’s home to summer concerts as well as other special events.
Irvine has its version of Main Street called Old Towne Orange, where you can find some great shops for clothing and gift items or perhaps have lunch at one of their fine eateries.
Irvine is a beautiful city with something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or something more relaxing, Irvine has it all!