Call up your friends! It’s time to make some weekend plans. One of the best parts of owning a home at MDL is that you’re within 10 minutes of Irvine’s best places to shop, eat, learn, and just have plain ol’ fun. To save you time and overwhelm, here’s our curated list of the top 10 places to go and things to do in Irvine.
Named the Orange County Register’s Number 1 shopping destination in Orange County, this outdoor retail and dining center is at the top of local and tourists’ Irvine must-do lists, alike. A diverse collection of more than 130 specialty stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, The Spectrum, as it’s called by locals, features beautiful courtyards and fountains, a whimsical carousel, 108-foot ferris wheel, I-MAX movie theater and major retailers such as Nordstrom, Target and H&M.
The City of Irvine-owned Great Park is an arts and sports recreational hub built on the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. Currently under development are 713 acres of parkland that already feature a Sports and Fitness Complex, multi-purpose recreation areas, the Great Park Gallery and Artist Studios, an urban agriculture demonstration garden, a weekly farmers market, a popular carousel and the iconic Great Park Balloon.
Dubbed “Orange County’s International Dining Destination,” this dining and retail center is a unique So Cal culinary experience. Located minutes from MDL at the intersection of Alton Parkway and Jamboree Road, Diamond Jamboree brings together a variety of Asian cuisines and international flavors. Places like Taiwanese import 85ºC Bakery Café, Urban Seoul, SWSH Shabu Shabu, Capital Seafood, Afters Ice Cream and Lollicup Coffee & Tea are just some of locals’ favorites.
4. Tanaka Farms
A working 30-acre farm right in the middle of urban OC! Tanaka Farms is a family-owned operation focused on educating adults and children. It produces fruits and vegetables that supply the Tanaka produce stand, provides for its CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and various educational tours. Seasonally, the farm hosts a pumpkin patch, Christmas tree lot and strawberry and watermelon tours.
5. The Irvine Museum Collection At UCI
Dedicated to the preservation and display of California art of the Impressionist Period (1890-1930), The Irvine Museum Collection is embracing a principal role in the education and furtherance of this beautiful and important regional variant of American Impressionism.
Located within Irvine Spectrum Center, the Improv is the local branch of a world renowned comedy club that hosts A-listers and comedic upstarts alike. Famous names that come through include Paul Reiser, Jay Leno, Drew Carey, Dave Atell and the list goes on. Go for dinner, drinks and guaranteed laughs.
Every spring, 100+ of the county’s best restaurants offer OC diners crazy-good prix fixe menus at outrageously cheap prices ranging from $20-$50. If you love to dine out and explore new culinary offerings, it’s a not-to-be-missed week of indulgence and savings.
Founded by successful vitamin empresario Dick Marconi, the Marconi Automotive Museum houses his impressive collection of high performance street cars and race cars. Housing a collection of high performance street cars and race cars, among which are Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s, and one-of-a-kind American muscle cars, the open wheel car collection features cars driven by Marconi himself in addition to many famous cars driven by famous drivers. A suggested $5 donation goes to help children’s charities in the local community.
9. Cycle Irvine
With more than 300 miles of on-road bicycle lanes and 50 miles of off-road bike trails, Irvine is a bike enthusiast’s Shangri-la. Popular bike destinations on the Irvine Ranch include Big Canyon, Quail Hill, Bommer Canyon, Irvine Regional Park, Loma Ridge and more.
Featuring laser tag, arcade games, miniature golf, go karts, batting cages, bumper boats, water park and King Arthur’s Carnival for the littlest ones, Boomers! Is a multi-faceted fun zone for the entire family.