Map of Irvine California Area | What is Irvine Known for?

Aerial view of the downtown Irvine, California skyline.
Aerial view of the downtown Irvine, California skyline.

Map of Irvine California Area







Irvine is one of the many master-planned communities that sprung up in Orange County during the housing boom of the post-War period (roughly 1945-1965). Part of the larger Los Angeles metropolitan area, Irvine was designed principally by The Irvine Company, a real-estate development firm.

Like the entire California area, what is now Irvine was once the land of Native Americans, then Spaniards, then Mexicans. In 1878, James Irvine (who started the Irvine Company) acquired 110,000 acres stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Santa Ana River (some 23 miles).

Following his father’s death in 1947, Myford Irvine, the grandson of James Irvine, began opening up sections of Irvine Ranch for urban development. In 1959, the Irvine Company sold 1,000 acres to the University of California, land which would become the U.C. Irvine campus.

Today, Irvine boasts a multi-cultural and flourishing population thanks to the university, its medical center, as well as many successful businesses that are headquartered there. In this article, we’ll cover where Irvine is located in the U.S., its size, whether it’s a good place to live, the best areas to live, and what Irvine is best known for.

Where is Irvine located on the U.S. Map?

Irvine is located in California in the Western United States. In Southern California, Irvine is near the coast and about forty miles south of Los Angeles.

The city of Irvine borders many different cities in the heart of Orange County: Orange/Tustin to the north, Santa Ana to the northwest, Costa Mesa to the west, Newport Beach to the southwest, Laguna Hills and Laguna Woods to the southeast, and Lake Forest to the east.

How big is Irvine?

Irvine boasts sixty-six square miles and an estimated population (in 2019) of 287, 401, which makes it third in Orange County, fourteenth in California, and seventy-second in the U.S. in terms of largest populations.

Is Irvine a good place to live?

According to WalletHub’s report on the Happiest Cities in America, Irvine comes in high at #12! It’s also a safe city in terms of crime rates (“America’s safest city” according to the FBI), has good schools, and features lots of family-friendly activities, making it a great place to raise a family.

Another thing that makes Irvine a great place to live is its growing job market, with top companies like Google, Blizzard Entertainment, Amazon, Toshiba, and Endologix all having a presence here. The future job growth rate is projected at a whopping 40.2%, making Irvine a great place to keep on your radar if you’re planning a move.

Irvine also wins points for having great public schools as well as the University of California-Irvine, which was recently inducted into the Association of American Universities. There are over two-hundred degree programs plus a wide range of Division-I sports.

Lastly, Irvine features some fantastic options in terms of both urban exploration and natural beauty. There’s Turtle Rock, the Irvine Open Space Preserve, the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Bommer Canyon, the Orange County Great Park, and the UCI Arboretum. Plus, when you factor in the mild, sunny weather (an average annual high temperature of 73 degrees) that this area gets essentially year-round, it’s definitely an attractive place to be!

What are the best areas to live in Irvine?

According to, here are ten of the best neighborhoods in Irvine:

  • Turtle Rock
  • Westpark II
  • South Irvine
  • University Park
  • Quail Hill
  • Bommer Canyon
  • Woodbridge
  • Westpark
  • Oak Creek
  • Northwood

What is Irvine known for?

First, here are a few of the most famous people from Irvine:

  • Garret Anderson – MLB player (Angels)
  • Amanda Beard – seven-time Olympic medalist in swimming
  • Shawn Green – MLB player (Dodgers)
  • Mark McGwire – MLB player (Athletics, Cardinals)
  • Ezra Klein – noted journalist
  • Will Ferrell – actor and comedian
  • Tim Commerford and Zack de la Rocha – members of Rage Against the Machine
  • Thrice – post-hardcore band
  • Young the Giant – indie band
  • Dita Von Teese – burlesque performer

And here are five of the things that Irvine is best known for:

1. Top-quality education

  • University of California-Irvine (UCI), like the rest of the University of California, is a research university. It has been ranked as high as #12 by the U.S. News & World Report in terms of the best public universities. Seven Nobel Prize winners have been affiliated with UCI, and the university also boasts a total of seven Pulitzer Prize winners among its faculty and alumni.
  • In addition, many of Irvine’s public K-12 schools are top rated, with some schools in the top 5% for the entire state.

2. A healthy economy

  •  Some of the country’s largest companies have headquarters or other substantial operations in Irvine, including Blizzard Entertainment, Broadcom, Taco Bell, Vizio, Western Digital, Kia, Mazda, Toshiba, and Samsung.

3. Sports

  • In addition to the Division-I athletics of UC Irvine, the city has produced countless professional and Olympic athletes (just a few of them are listed above).
  • Plus, Irvine residents don’t have to go far to take in professional sports, as Angel Stadium (L.A. Angels) and the Honda Center (Anaheim Ducks) aren’t far away.

4. An awesome food scene

  • Irvine is incredibly diverse, in large part thanks to UCI and a number of the world’s biggest companies. As such, there’s a wide range of cuisines to match, from Indian and Korean to Chilean and Vietnamese.
  • In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, a large number of Vietnamese settled in Irvine. This has led to some of the best Vietnamese food in the entire county, with spots all over for you to get your pho fix.

5. Fun activities

  • Irvine features many great events throughout the year. There’s the Tanaka Farm’s Spring Harvest Festival, the Irvine Global Village Festival, Orange County Restaurant Week, the Annual Christmas Train Event, and the Studio Arts Festival, to name just a few!
  • Plus, thanks to Irvine’s proximity to the rest of Orange County as well as L.A., it’s a fantastic place for easy day trips. Laguna and Newport Beaches are only fifteen to twenty minutes away; Disneyland is only fifteen miles away; Knott’s Berry’s Farm is also close, as is Angel’s Stadium (and even Dodger’s Stadium isn’t all that far!).

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What Is Irvine, California known for?

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!