Irvine, CA is one of the largest cities in Orange County. Its vast area and population come with a deep history. These are some of the best historic neighborhoods to explore in Irvine and the stories behind them.
Fans of aviation, Westerns, and general history alike will appreciate the Airport area. Originally names the Orange County Airport, its first runway was finished in 1923 as part of a flight school. It was renamed the John Wayne Airport in 1979 to honor the death of the famous Western actor, who lived nearby. Unlike many other international airports, its appearance has remained largely untouched, and it is easy to access and visit.
The University of California at Irvine holds great historic significance in the academic world. It was established in the 1960s to accommodate increased student populations consisting of World War II Veterans and their baby boomer offspring. The first three campuses in Berkeley, Los Angeles, and Riverside were running out of room, so UC Irvine, along with San Diego and Santa Cruz, represent a great educational advancement in America. The beautiful sprawling campus is a neighborhood in itself, open for anyone to explore.
Turtle Ridge is the best neighborhood in Irvine to explore what this part of the world has looked like since the dawn of time. Home to the highest point in Irvine, one can stand atop this neighborhood and gaze out over the ocean. It is also a great neighborhood in which to find a lot of great trailheads for exploring Irvine’s natural beauty.
Orange County Great Park
The Orange County Great Park is a wide open neighborhood that developers have been arguing over for years. The good news is that until one of their plans win out, this area retains the integrity of the El Toro Marine Base that it use to be. It is also home to the Great Park Balloon, which lifts guests 400 feet in the air for an almost 50 mile, 360 degree view.
Since Irvine is best known for its modern luxury apartment living, cutting edge business district, and entertainment hubs, people neglect its historical value. These four neighborhoods are just the beginning of the historic exploration that Irvine offers!