Moving to Irvine, CA? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

In 2021, Irvine, CA, ranked #12 on WalletHub’s report of the Happiest Cities in America. That means the city scored well in categories like Emotional & Physical Well-Being, Income & Employment, and Community & Environment. And it’s easy to see why! Our clean, friendly, and safe city is a great place to live. 

Are you considering moving to Irvine, CA? Here’s everything you need to know before moving in.

 

Weather
Dining
Shopping
Outdoor Recreation
Local Attractions
What’s in the Area?
Schools
Jobs

Cost of Living
Culture
Transportation

Weather

Southern California is known for its beautiful weather almost year round; Irvine is no exception. Springs are warm and comfortable, with temperatures in the 70s during the day and 50s at night. Summer brings the average temperature up to around 83 degrees during the day and into the mid and high 60s overnight. Fall brings lower temperatures similar to those in the spring, but with less rain and stormy weather likely. 

Winter temperatures aren’t that different from spring temperatures. This is part of what makes California such a great place to live. Winter highs are around 69 degrees, and lows tend to be around 48 degrees. Irvine residents enjoy over 280 days of sunshine each year, making it the perfect place for those who don’t like the rain.

Check out the weather in Irvine, CA, today.

Dining

Irvine is home to a wide variety of different restaurants and cuisines; on a single street, you might find Vietnamese, Italian, and BBQ restaurants. Whether you’re looking to indulge in a rich dessert or something light and healthy, you’ll find it in Irvine! Here are some of our favorites!

North Italia This upscale Italian restaurant serves all the classic dishes you know and love, from spaghetti and meatballs to Margherita pizza, but there’s much more on the menu. Try their flavorful dishes, such as squid ink pasta and mushroom pizza. Their Irvine location is one of the most highly rated restaurants in the city!

 

HiroNori Craft Ramen – Rated the best ramen in Orange County in 2020, HiroNori is serving up fresh and flavorful ramen in Irvine, CA! On the menu are the classic Tonkatsu and Shoyu ramen as well as vegan ramen and cold dipping noodles, and much more. Check out their menu and their Instagram for mouthwatering pictures of their dishes!
Bistango – Fine dining and a beautiful setting come together at Bistango. The restaurant offers several beautiful and private dining spaces for parties, weddings, and other celebrations of all kinds. Their menu is full of bold, flavorful soups, salads, pastas, meats, and desserts, and their classic American fare is sure to please. Make a reservation and check out this great Irvine restaurant soon!
Houston’s – Cozy, upscale dining is the aim of this Irvine restaurant. Come prepared to indulge in an experience. The menu has options for everyone, no matter their preference. Houston’s requests that you avoid beach- or exercise-type clothing while dining with them. Also, note that it’s a popular spot, so getting reservations can be difficult.
Ruth’s Chris – A steakhouse that needs no introduction, Ruth’s Chris is known for serving only the best steak. From its humble beginnings in the 1960s, it has grown to a global brand without sacrificing quality or hospitality along the way. The Irvine location is a great place to eat great steak, but it’s not all about beef: There’s a wide selection of seafood, salads, sides, and appetizers to choose from.
Hive & Honey Rooftop Bar – This bar’s unique location offers a spectacular view of the city, which pairs nicely with the delicious, elevated bar food and meticulously crafted cocktails, draft beer, and wine by the glass and bottle. Check out this trendy spot with friends for a great evening out.
The Butchershop – This secret speakeasy can be found at the Irvine Marriott (which, admittedly, doesn’t sound very secret). While this gem is hidden away and visitors have to ask before gaining entrance, the news is slowly getting out about this speakeasy, and reservations are suggested. The bar is kept at a consistent 62 degrees, so bring a sweater. If you do forget, there are blankets available.

Shopping

Irvine, CA, has tons of shopping centers throughout the city. Open-air malls, shopping centers, boutiques, and dozens of other shops are selling some of the best products available anywhere in California. Here are some of the best places to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Alton Marketplace – The perfect spot to find furniture, sports equipment, or lunch

Irvine Spectrum Center – Home to plenty of shops, multiple restaurants, a comedy club, and a Ferris wheel

Woodbridge Village Center – A great outdoor shopping experience, complete with eateries, lakeside seating, a movie theater, and more

Outdoor Recreation

Irvine may be a city, but there are plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature. Residents of Irvine enjoy nationally recognized parks, greenbelts, bike paths, and outdoor spaces. Here are a few of the great activities available in Irvine, CA!

 

Hiking

Quail Hill Loop Trail – This 1.8-mile family-friendly trail is perfect for a quick trip outdoors. If you’re hiking with kids or want to learn more yourself, there’s a self-guided cell phone audio tour you can listen to while you hike.

Jeffrey Open Space Trail – You don’t have to leave the city to find a great trail. This trail links some of the open green spaces within the city. Its relatively long length makes it a perfect option for walking, jogging, or biking.

Bommer Canyon Trail – This hike takes visitors through rolling green hills and into groves and pastures from the original Irvine Ranches of the past. It’s a beautiful way to experience the history of this great city.

Irvine Lake – The clear, cool water of Irvine Lake draws lots of Irvine residents to its shores. What makes this lake unique is that you don’t need a fishing license to fish there. However, parking costs $5. It’s a small price to pay to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
Santiago Creek Wildlife & Watershed Center – This nature center features educational exhibits for children that teach all about the local ecology and what makes this part of California so special.

Local Attractions

There’s so much to do and see in Irvine. We never get bored living here! Thrill seekers and relaxers alike will find something to love in Irvine. Here are some of our favorite local attractions.

Great Park Balloon Ride – An iconic Orange County landmark, this large orange air balloon is available Thursday to Sunday to take visitors 400 feet over the city for spectacular views unlike any available elsewhere. You’ve never seen Irvine like you will from the basket of this unique attraction!

 

 

 

Irvine Museum – Full of original paintings of the lush Irvine landscape, this museum is a must-see if you want to glimpse Irvine as it was 100 years ago. Artists came from all over to draw the natural beauty of Irvine and the surrounding areas!
Irvine Barclay Theatre – This theatre started as a joint venture between the city of Irvine and the University of California in Irvine. It hosts local and regional productions in its 756 seat hall, which is known for its excellent acoustics. If you’re a fan of music and the performing arts, you’ll want to make your way to the Irvine Barclay Theatre!
The Giant Wheel – In the center of the Spectrum Center, visitors can rise above the shops and trees for a glimpse of the city skyline. This Ferris wheel costs only $5 to ride and is covered in 52,000 LED lights that are capable of displaying millions of color schemes. If you’re in the area, don’t miss out on this unique opportunity.
Plush Karaoke Lounge – Give your voice a workout at this karaoke lounge. Songs in almost 10 languages are available, and their song list is always being updated. The decor is colorful and comfortable. If you like singing, stop by.
The Improv – Like to laugh? We thought so. Get your tickets to The Irvine Improv and hear comedic greats like Taylor Tomlinson, Patton Oswald, and Brad Williams perform live on stage. Come hungry, because the venue serves snacks, pizza, burgers, desserts, and lots of drinks.
Pretend City Children’s Museum – This unique attraction contains a miniature city full of exhibits, displays, and games designed to be fun and educational for children of all ages. Definitely stop by this unique attraction with your children!

What’s in the Area?

The north end of Irvine pushes against the foothills of the Santa Ana mountains, providing great recreational opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and scenic driving. 

To the southeast of Irvine is the coast. Newport Beach and Huntington Beach are two of the popular seaside cities nearest to Irvine, CA. 

Los Angeles, CA, is just 40 miles northwest of Irvine—about an hour’s drive in normal traffic conditions. To the southeast is Crystal Cove State Park, a great place for camping and hiking. Further down the coast is Laguna Niguel and San Clemente. A few hours further south is San Diego and Mexico, both popular areas for vacationing.

Schools

Among California school districts, Irvine ranks extremely high. Nearly every school in the district is rated as above average or exceptional. If you have children, rest assured they’ll be in a great school. 

Irvine has more than just excellent elementary education. The University of California Irvine, Concordia University Irvine, Chapman University, and a half dozen other universities and community colleges all offer post-secondary education in Irvine, CA. Tuition at one of these Irvine Universities can cost $15,000–$40,000 annually but can be made cheaper with financial aid and scholarships. 

Check out this map for more information on how the Irvine public schools stack up.

JOBS

Some of the largest companies in the world have chosen to make Irvine home. Naturally, this provides Irvine residents with many opportunities for high-paying jobs working with the latest technology. 

Among the biggest and most well-known companies in Irvine are Apple, NBCUniversal, SpaceX, Bank of America, and Disney. These corporations are usually hiring for multiple roles at a time, making Irvine a great place to be if you’re looking for work.

If you’re in education, Irvine is a great place to be. UC Irvine employs over 10,000 people, and Concordia and Chapman Universities employ thousands more. Teachers, especially college professors, are paid well. 

Looking for jobs in Irvine, CA? Here are the latest job listings.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Irvine, CA, is something you definitely need to consider when planning a move in. The most significant cost of living in Irvine is the cost of housing. The average cost of a home in Irvine is over $850,000. This is unaffordable to many, which makes apartment living a more appealing choice. Here at Axis 2300 Apartments, we provide luxury apartments in Irvine, CA, for a competitive price. 

There is a financial silver lining to living in Irvine: The costs of healthcare and utilities are below the national average. The cost of living might be high, but living in Irvine is worth it!

Here’s more about the cost of living in Irvine, CA.

CULTURE

The culture of Irvine, CA, is one that embraces diversity and creativity. If you spend the day out and about in Irvine, you’ll hear multiple foreign languages spoken. People of all races live and create in Irvine. Where cultures come together, creativity flourishes. 

Irvine is becoming more and more popular for tech companies and startups, which draw young, educated workers and their families to the area. This gives a youthful feel to the city and makes it a great place for networking and building relationships. We love the vibes in Irvine, and so will you!

Transportation

The public transportation system in Irvine is incredibly well planned. This is due to the fact that the entire city is a planned urban community. Either way, it means residents have a robust, organized system that helps them commute to work and navigate to other cities in the area.

Irvine partners with the Orange County Transportation Authority to connect its transportation services to other areas in the county. Irvine itself offers bus, train, and light rail routes and has plenty of biking and walking paths to make shorter commutes possible without transportation.

Here is some map and route information for getting around Irvine, CA.

We hope you’ve got an idea about what to expect when moving to Irvine, CA. It’s a beautiful city with lots of green space, great restaurants, attractions, and job opportunities. We love living here and hope you’ll visit us at the Axis 2300 Apartments when you’re looking for a place to live. We’ve got some of the best and newest apartments in Irvine, CA. Call us at (949) 474-0733 to learn more.

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