Unlike many of the small cities making up the Greater Los Angeles area which began as small agricultural communities, Irvine was a planned residential community from its beginnings. Developed by the Irvine Company in the 1960s, the city features a series of connected villages, each with its own schools, churches, shopping centers and transportation hubs.
Irvine is home to many prestigious higher education institutions, including the University of California and California State campuses, as well as Pepperdine University. Many national and international companies in the technology sector are headquartered in Irvine, and the city has a young, tech-savvy population. The city has strong ties to the film industry, with many popular films being shot in Irvine studios, and often grants free or low-cost film permits.
Although not located directly on the coast, Irvine offers many advantages for events, meetings and vacations, or a combination of the three. There is a wide variety of venues to suit any purpose, and Irvine’s proximity to Los Angeles International Airport makes it a convenient gathering spot for friends, colleagues or family.
Attractions in Irvine
While Irvine may seem like a community dedicated to industry and higher education – it is – but it’s also full of places to unwind, relax, have fun and learn something new. There are attractions perfect for visitors of all ages, whether you’re in town for a special event or a work function.
- Orange County Great Park
The Orange County Great Park is exactly what it sounds like – 200 acres of escape from the grind of daily life on the site of a former military airbase. The park is a place to spend an entire day, with family-friendly activities including a carousel, the world’s largest helium balloon offering a 40-mile view from 400 feet, an amphitheater, ice rink and sports complex.
- Irvine Museum
The University of California-Irvine Institute and Museum of California Art is the only museum in the world dedicated to the display and preservation of California Impressionism. The museum has an impressive permanent collection, featuring more than 4,500 works in many different styles and mediums, including paintings, sculpture and mixed media. The museum displays several rotating and traveling exhibitions each year.
- FivePoint Amphitheater
Enjoy some of the biggest names in music at Irvine’s outdoor live music venue, the FivePoint Amphitheater. Set against a desert-like backdrop, the amphitheater hosts big-name acts including REO Speedwagon, Sammy Hagar, Matchbox 20, Chicago and more.
- San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread across 500 acres of coastal wetlands, the San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Preserve is the perfect place to take a break from city life and enjoy nature. There are numerous trails for hiking and biking, and the bird watching is some of the best in the area, with frequent sightings of great blue heron, falcons, egrets and more than 100 other bird species.
Production Locations in Irvine
Irvine is closely tied to southern California’s film industry, and some popular blockbusters and tv shows have been filmed entirely or partially in the city’s numerous studios and sound stages, including Iron Man, Malcolm in the Middle, Ocean’s Eleven, Poltergeist and The Grapes of Wrath.
- Studio Spaces
There are studio spaces of different sizes and styles all over Irvine. You simply need to choose one and bring your creativity to complete the next blockbuster, independent film, documentary or artistic photo exhibit. You’ll find filming locations already set up with lighting, backdrop, props and other accessories, like a beautiful natural light photo and video studio with infinite cyc wall. You’ll also find private photo studios to capture the feel of your photography, from light and airy to urban and gritty.
- Active Spaces
If you’re working on a more action-centric production, Irvine has you covered. You’ll find many different types of workout spaces, including ballet and dance studios, well-appointed gyms, and terrific fitness centers. These locations will give an authentic feel to any movie scenes you might be shooting, as well as advertisement and commercial films and photo shoots.
- Private Homes
If you don’t have time to build a film set or you’re interested in a very specific environment, consider filming your home scenes at one of Irvine’s private residences. You’ll find everything from five-bedroom mansions to sleek, modern condos and dozens of acres of ranch homes reminiscent of La La Land’s elegant 1950s era. Some homes offer a distinctly Southern California flavor, while others could be used for any location in the country.
Event and Meeting Locations in Irvine
From boardrooms to backyard barbecues, you’ll find the perfect venue for your event in Irvine. The trendy area is a great alternative to downtown Los Angeles. It is only a short drive, but the atmosphere is less hectic, allowing you to relax or get more work done.
- Churches and Religious Centers
Because of the way Irvine was planned, you’ll find many churches all over the city, encompassing every Christian denomination as well as synagogues, Islamic centers and even a Buddhist temple. These locations are perfect for traditional religious observances, celebrations of life or weddings.
- Colleges and Universities
Irvine is home to several colleges and universities with a wide variety of facilities for public use, including sport and recreation fields, theaters, meeting rooms, dining facilities and more. There is ample guest parking, as well as space for classes, gallery exhibits and other unique activities.
- Conference Centers and Meeting Rooms
Whether you’re hosting an industry meeting or conference, offering a leadership retreat for students or coworkers or trying to work out a few committee assignments, Irvine has many conference centers, meeting rooms and office spaces available for use. A neat conference room is perfect for small group projects or team meetings, while a contemporary conference room in Irvine is perfect for demonstrations, classes or work groups.
- Restaurants and Reception Halls
Family and social gatherings often revolve around food, and Irvine has dozens of restaurants of all flavors perfect for special events. Celebrate milestone moments, golden anniversaries, birthdays, weddings and more. Many restaurants have spaces for private parties, including al fresco options.