Before the arrival of Gaspar de Portolà, a Spanish explorer, in 1769, natives from the Gabrieleño inhabited the area. Once the Spanish took over, this area was mostly used for livestock.
In 1821, after Mexico claimed independence from Spain, Mexican citizens were granted portions of land by the government. It came to be known as Rancho Santiago de Santa, Rancho San Joaquin, and Rancho Lomas de Santiago.
By 1864 Thomas and Benjamin Flint, Llewellyn Bixby, and James Irvine purchased 50,000 acres of land from Jose Andres Sepulveda, who previously owned the land. The $18,000 purchase was the result of a legal dispute between both parties.
The city didn’t fully develop into the suburban Orange County community that we know of today. The transformation began mid-century with the establishment of major institutions like the University of California Irvine and the construction of the MCAS El Toro airbase. However, the true change took off with the vision from city planner William Perreira, who envisioned a vibrant suburban community surrounding the university. Eventually, it grew into an even larger sprawling community as residents voted for measures that would incorporate more areas of the city.
Things to do in Irvine
Shopping at the Irvine Spectrum Center
You can enjoy a day full of shopping at the Irvine Spectrum Center. It has more than 100 shop shops and a movie theater, spa, and plenty of places to eat. There is also a Giant Wheel that reaches 108 feet, and it has incredible views, especially at night.
Irvine Spectrum Center
670 Spectrum Center Dr,
Irvine, CA 92618
Explore Nature at the Botanical Gardens at UCI
Take a stroll through UCI’s Arboretum. It’s open to the public between Tuesday and Saturday, and admission is absolutely free. It’s perfect for plant enthusiasts and for anyone just wanting to escape and get in touch with nature.
University of California Irvine
Campus Dr and Jamboree Rd
Irvine, CA 92697
Get a taste of Culture at the Korean Cultural Festival
This popular festival celebrating Korean Culture takes place yearly and features traditional Korean music, festivities, and as you can imagine, lots of delicious Korean food.
Korean Cultural Festival
1 Civic Center Plaza,
Irvine, CA 92606
Explore Art at the Irvine Museum
The city of Irvine is home to incredible natural landscapes that inspired artists to paint portraits of them. Get a look at the city’s past through beautiful artwork, which is home to some beautiful and unique art collections unique to the area.
18881 Von Karman Ave #100
Irvine, CA 92612
Pick your own Produce at Tanaka Farms
Glen Tanka Farms have been farming for over 30 years. Today, Tanaka Farms is a popular destination for families and everyone else. You can take a wagon ride around the farm, providing valuable lessons on everything that goes on behind farming. You can pick your own produce, take it home with you, and cook a fabulous meal with organic ingredients.
5380 3/4 University Dr
Irvine, CA 92612
Get Your Need for Speed at Marconi Automotive Museum
For car enthusiasts, the Marconi Automotive Museum houses a collection of fast cars and trucks that will awe your eyes, including a 1996 Formula one Ferrari.