10 Things to Do in Irvine That You Shouldn't Miss

November 25, 2017 Yuk Petri

Irvine (/ˈɜːrvaɪn/ UR-vyn) is a master-planned city in Orange County, California, United States. The Irvine Company started developing the area in the 1960s and the city was formally incorporated on December 28, 1971. The 66-square-mile (170 km) city had a population of 212,375 as of the 2010 census; in 2016 the city's population was 258,386.
Restaurants in Irvine

1. Irvine Spectrum Center

670 Spectrum Center Dr, Irvine, CA 92618-4956 +1 949-753-5180
Excellent
54%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Irvine Spectrum Center

Irvine Spectrum Center is one of Southern California's most popular shopping, dining and entertainment lifestyle destinations. The center features Nordstrom and Target, along with more than 130 stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, including Improv Comedy Club and Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21 IMAX & RPX.

Reviewed By Karen C - Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

This is my favourite mall in the Orange County area!

We came here a few evenings for dinner (lots of restaurants to choose from). I shopped here on my own one afternoon (hubby was in business meetings). Lots of parking.

You can ride the ferris wheel or carousel, see a movie, get ice cream, etc. Outdoor malls are so nice.

2. Lyon Air Museum

19300 Ike Jones Rd, 19300 Ike Jones Road, 92707, Santa Ana, California, Santa Ana, CA 92707-5229 +1 714-210-4585
Excellent
69%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 131 reviews

Lyon Air Museum

Lyon Air Museum (LAM) is a 30,000-sq.ft. facility based at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif. Founded by Maj. Gen. William Lyon, USAF (Ret), the museum houses a fleet of superbly conditioned, operational and historically significant World War II-era aircraft and vehicles. Docent-led tours take visitors for a walk through history as they stroll among machines and artifacts that helped define the 20th century. Interactive educational exhibits intended to inspire viewers provide in-depth narratives about the history of each aircraft.

Reviewed By ransom007 - Anaheim, California

Located near the John Wayne Airport, this museum is an aircraft hangar with some magnificent specimens of World War II aircraft including a B-17 and a B-25. There are other military vehicles as well as some vintage automobiles.There are several large maps on the walls showing air operation theaters from World War II along with several displays of interest. There is a good amount of free parking available right outside the entrance. The is a great place to spend a couple of hours, especially if you are interested in World War II history. When I went, there was a docent available for further information.

3. Segerstrom Center for the Arts

600 Town Center Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626-1997 +1 714-556-2121
Excellent
77%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 270 reviews

Segerstrom Center for the Arts

One of the region's premier performance venues.

Reviewed By GeoWayland_NYUSA - Wayland, NY USA

We had the 2018 Midwinter Barbershop Harmony Convention here. All of the musical events were held in the concert hall. The last night featured over 800 voices, the organ, plus the voices of those in the audience. This is a stunning place to hear music.

4. Marconi Automotive Museum

1302 Industrial Dr, Tustin, CA 92780-6416 +1 714-258-3001
Excellent
76%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 65 reviews

Marconi Automotive Museum

Reviewed By Allan S - Brookings, United States

Second time I visited here. Suggested donation is $5.00 which is very reasonable. Nice collection of cars with lots of Italian exotics but American muscle and motor cycles also. Something for any one interested in cars. Self guided tour. Building is not air conditioned so it can get warm.

5. South Coast Plaza

3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626-1873 +1 800-782-8888
South Coast Plaza

Reviewed By Lumerian - Costa Mesa, California

The malls are dying out and South Coast Plaza is a classic that is still alive. All of the top stores are represented. Two sides connected by a bridge. My wife and I love to eat at Ruby's on the Crystal Court side of the mall. See's Candies is a Southern California legend and is a must try for any traveler. Even if you don't buy anything, the food options are amazing.

6. Pretend City Children's Museum

29 Hubble, Irvine, CA 92618-4209 +1 949-428-3900
Excellent
63%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 130 reviews

Pretend City Children's Museum

Pretend City Children's Museum builds better brains by providing a rich learning environment for young children. The Museum features a child-sized, interconnected city designed to stimulate purposeful play, hands-on learning experiences, role playing, and educational programming. Through 17 interactive exhibits and activities guided by a highly trained professional staff, children learn foundational math, reading and science skills, while fostering curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, organization, teamwork, self-confidence and socialization. The museum is a unique community resource offering free developmental screenings and tools for families, educators and community agencies working to ensure that each child gains the experiences needed to discover their potential and build toward a productive and fulfilling future.

Reviewed By Maya D - Los Angeles, California

This is such an adorable place to take the kiddos! I took my toddler one afternoon and he had the best time. There are so many things for the kids to do here, they can really pretend to be just about anything. Emergency dispatcher, dentist,...MoreThank you for your review Maya! We appreciate your kind words and feedback on our museum!

7. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art

2002 N. Main St. at 20th St., Santa Ana, CA +1 714-567-3600
Excellent
65%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 342 reviews

Bowers Museum of Cultural Art

Exhibits specialize in the art of the world's indigenous peoples.

Reviewed By Linda C - Moorpark, California

We've been to the Bower's numerous times since we frequently return for special exhibits. They currently have a wonderful exhibit of treasures from the Summer Palace, revolving around Cixi (pronounced she she), a fascinating ruler of the Qing Dynasty who reigned roughly during the same period as Queen Victoria. The items are varied and many are quite remarkable. We had lunch there at Tangata, which will validate your parking, saving you $6. The food and service are always excellent. I read a scholarly book on Cixi before our visit, which made it even more interesting but you might also just do a quick online search to learn more about her and the period. Allow time for the other exhibits and permanent collection if you're able.

8. San Joaquin Wildlife Santuary

5 Riparian View, Irvine CA 92612, Irvine, CA 92612 +1 949-261-7963
Excellent
67%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 66 reviews

San Joaquin Wildlife Santuary

Reviewed By Highland-Birder - Tain, United Kingdom

My wife and I have just completed a 2 week Bird Watching tour of California. We visited this reserve twice during the final 2 day’s of our tour. What a superb, well maintained reserve. Several Pools holding a number of different species each with a slight different habitat. The whole reserve is a photographer's dream. Easy, level walking. The birds were really approachable, probably used to people walking by. Here in the U.K. we have an expression 'Local Patch Birding' This Reserve is a perfect Local Patch. I could have spent day’s exploring. I truly envy the local birders who visit here daily. Free entry, toilet facilities, hot drinks and snack available in the shop and a good selection of new and used books and gifts all at reasonable prices. A must visit for any visiting birder. Highly Recommended.

9. Tewinkle Park

970 Arlington Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626-5639 +1 714-754-5223
Excellent
65%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 69 reviews

Tewinkle Park

Reviewed By Splanky - Claymont, Delaware

We have a small dog and appreciated the segregation of two different sized dog play areas. There are seats and picnic tables provided in a treed dog park. Entrance is through double gates for safety. Refilling water dishes are provided for the dogs, along with doggie poo bags and waste cans. Our dog had a great time!

10. Newport Beach

Newport Beach, CA 92660-3267
Excellent
65%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Newport Beach

Reviewed By pwncess - Nevada

Friends and I walked Newport Beach in December, 2017 and it was simply beautiful. Experienced tidal pools for the first time in all my 49 years and marveled at the tiny crabs, sea urchins, and anemones we found. It was truly an amazing experience to watch sea life in its natural habitat vs Sea World or a tank.

ThingsTodoPost © 2018 All rights reserved.