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Irvine is a large master-planned community located in Orange County, California. Most of the city rests in a wide valley between Loma Ridge and the San Joaquin Hills, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean. It consistently ranks among the happiest and safest cities in the country.
The History of Irvine
The first inhabitants of Irvine arrived long before it became an official city. Archaeologists have found evidence that prehistoric people lived in the area as far back as 12,000 years ago. The arrival of Spanish explorers brought about the establishment of forts and missions, and Don Jose Sepulveda used the lands as a mission area in 1837. In the decades that followed, the land changed ownership many times, eventually being acquired by The Irvine Company in the mid-1950s.
The community, as it's known today, was designed with the help of architect William Pereira, divided into villages that were each initially created with a unique theme. Since then, the city has grown and flourished, becoming a hot spot for technology-based businesses.
Things to Do in Irvine
When you explore Irvine, you'll discover it has a little bit of everything. The Irvine Spectrum Center has shopping, dining and entertainment, and you can enjoy live music shows on the weekend. You might enjoy visiting the Pretend City Children's Museum, or the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary if you're looking for the perfect place for you to get back in touch with nature.
There are plenty of green spaces in Irvine, with innovative park designs like the Jeffrey Open Space Trail, making it easy to enjoy a walk or bike ride on its five-mile trail.
Here are just a few of the neighborhoods you'll want to explore in Irvine:
This suburb of Irvine covers just four square miles, with two large man-made lakes at its heart. It's these lakes that make Woodbridge such a popular neighborhood in Irvine, and you can take part in kayaking, canoeing, and sailing and can even visit the two beach clubs and the sandy lagoon area for swimming.
Turtle Rock is home to a large rocky hill that many say resembles a turtle, a site that was sacred to the early Native Americans that called the area home. It's also one of the five original neighborhoods that played a part in the first stages of Irvine's development.
The Woodbury neighborhood is filled with homes in a wide range of architectural styles, including Spanish, Tuscan and Monterey. Right in the center of the neighborhood is a community gathering place called The Commons, where you can go for a swim, play a game of tennis or relax on the sprawling green lawn.
As the only neighborhood in Irvine that was not developed by The Irvine Company, Northwood was initially portioned out as individual parcels, given as gifts to Irvine Company employees. Today, the homes are situated on generous lots, with scenic views of the Santa Ana Mountains.
The Irvine Unified School District manages the public school system in Irvine, and it's consistently earned both state and national recognition for its high student achievement over the past 30 years. The district also runs an Early Childhood Education Center for children under the age of five.
If you're moving to Irvine with an interest in pursuing a college education, you have your choice of several higher education institutions, including the University of California (Irvine), Irvine Valley College and Concordia University.
Helpful Resources for Moving to Irvine
Here are a few helpful resources to help you get settled in Irvine:
- Utilities: Water, electricity and gas are provided by three separate entities in the city of Irvine. Your power company is Southern California Edison, gas is facilitated by Southern California Gas Company, and the Irvine Ranch Water District manages water services.
- Garbage and Recycling: Waste disposal services in Irvine are handled by Waste Management, with curbside pick-up of both trash and recyclables provided on a weekly basis.
- Transportation: There are a variety of options for convenient transportation around Irvine, including the Metrolink, iShuttle and several Park & Ride locations.
- Childcare: The City of Irvine has a dedicated Child Care Coordination Office to help you find care for your child, which can be a huge help to a new resident.
Irvine Housing Information
The average house in Irvine is significantly more expensive than those in other California cities, and rent is also above average. Many of the village-style neighborhoods in Irvine are governed by homeowners' associations, which hold varying degrees of control over things like landscaping and homes' external appearance. One of the benefits of living in Irvine is that many of the communities include amenities like members-only swimming pools, parks and tennis courts.