Irvine is where giant corporations like Taco Bell & YouTube have chosen as the home of their headquarters, which has caused the city to become a booming business town. While it may seem like there isn’t much to do if you’re not a businessman or woman there for work, don’t let the city’s impeccably clean and carefully crafted façades fool you – there’s much more to Irvine than meets the eye. While we were in the city, we indulged in some of the best food in California, explored beautiful art museums and nearby beaches, took rides on a massive Ferris wheel and balloon, and enjoyed world-class shopping. Read on to see some of the awesome things to do in Irvine, California!
How to Get to Irvine:
Irvine is a 43-mile drive from LAX International Airport, which takes roughly an hour, depending on traffic. Some hotels in Irvine provide shuttles to and from LAX (Irvine Spectrum Marriott is not one of them), but it is always best to call and double-check that shuttle service will be available at the time of your arrival. We had a rental car, which was extremely convenient, but Uber and Lyft are also great ways to get to and from the airport.
Where to Stay in Irvine:
We stayed at the gorgeous Irvine Spectrum Marriott hotel and loved it. It had fantastic amenities, impeccable service, and staff, plus incredible views from our suite, and it was very affordable. There’s even a large pool deck and a rooftop bar that provides panoramic views of the Santa Ana Mountains that surround the city of Irvine. You can read my full review of the hotel, and learn all about its amenities here.
Where to Eat in Irvine:
EMC Seafood & Raw Bar (Seafood)
Hello Kitty Café (Café)
HiroNori Craft Ramen (Japanese)
Hive & Honey Rooftop Bar (Bar & Small Plates)
In-N-Out (Casual Carry-Out)
Twenty-Eight Restaurant & Bar (American)
North Italia (Italian)
What to Do in Irvine:
Aliso & Woods Canyon Wilderness Park
Crystal Cove State Park
Golf at Oak Creek Golf Club
Great Park Balloon Rides (400 feet above ground tethered balloon ride)
Hike Bommer Canyon
Hike the Santa Ana Mountains
Irvine Farmer’s Markets
Irvine Impressionism Museum
Irvine Regional Park
Irvine Spectrum Shopping Center has a 108-foot tall “Giant Wheel,” which is a large Ferris wheel in the center of the shopping mall.
Little Corona Beach
U-Pick Organic Produce at Tanaka Farms
Day Trips From Irvine:
Anaheim (15 Miles)
Beverly Hills (54 Miles)
Catalina Island (ferry or helicopter from Laguna Beach)
Disneyland (15 Miles)
Laguna Beach (14 Miles)
Los Angeles (40 Miles)
Malibu (69 Miles)
Newport Beach (9 Miles)
Santa Monica (52 Miles)
West Hollywood (54 Miles)
We absolutely loved our time in Irvine and loved how close it was to beaches, the mountains, and other big cities like Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and Disneyland. Whether you’re in town for work, or for leisure, I hope these ideas help you plan the best trip possible, and help you make the most of your time in the beautiful city of Irvine! If I left anything off, just let me know, and I can add in whatever you’d find most useful. As always, I appreciate my readers more than words can express, and I love knowing that all of you are able to use my experiences to help create your own beautiful memories!
Subscribe to know when I post! Explore more of my adventures in the United States.