Irvine Devine: The Heart of Orange County
This post was originally published on pacificsothebysrealty.com.
Almost smack dab in the middle of California’s fabled Orange County lies a community that holds far more to it than one might expect. This is a place with an amazing quality of life bolstered by a passion for good living, a deep reverence for education and a strong culture of entrepreneurialism. It’s an almost juxtaposing set of elements that sound like they don’t go together and yet easily blend into one another. All at once, Irvine is just about anything to everyone. With about one-third of its land dedicated to outdoor activities, it invites communion with nature and physical fitness. And yet it’s also a cultural mecca and startup hub. It’s like being able to live simultaneously in a city, in the countryside and in the suburbs.
Irvine has been many things to many people over the years. In the 19th century, it was a great agricultural family led by James Irvine who led the way, turning the huge parcel of land he purchased into some of the most lucrative cropland in the area. Railroads would soon be attracted, and then a town established. For decades, it’s been a favorite spot for Hollywood television and movies to shoot on location. And in the modern era, it’s one of the top job markets with businesses always opening and constantly bustling. Add to that a fantastic public school and university system, lovely safe neighborhoods and nightlife — it has the benefits of both a metropolis and a small-town vibe.
One of the first things folks moving to Irvine might notice is that the traffic isn’t nearly as bad as it can be in many other communities. With over 300 miles of bike lanes and trails, a huge chunk of the population here hits the pedals, as opposed to driving to get around. This translates into a culture that values a healthy lifestyle. It can be seen everywhere, from the farmers’ markets offering up fresh local produce to the many wildlife preserves that attract hikers and birdwatchers each and every day. And being blessed with a very pleasant climate, even nature itself seems to beckon. Irvine is so geared toward active pursuits, the whole family will be motivated to jump off the couch and get out there!
NEIGHBORHOODS TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT
Year after year, statistics show that Irvine is one of the safest cities in the United States. This comes from communities that value both the security and the prosperity of their residents. Several gated communities thrive here that include recreational centers for adults and children, communal gathering spaces and K-12 schools that are part of the Irvine Unified School District. Many residential neighborhoods are short walks or bike rides from wilderness preserves and state parks; and it’s always a short drive to local businesses, shopping and entertainment. It’s a wonderful mix of nurturing environment and convenient access to a greater world.
CULTURE TO SPARE
If you love living close to some serious entertainment and shopping options, Irvine is the place for you. The music scene here is thumping. Intimate club settings host indie acts and rising artists from across the area. Amphitheaters rock the crowds with huge stars. Theater spaces give a platform for everything from musicals to classical repertoire. Foodies will find their plates running over with dozens upon dozens of eateries representing every corner of global cuisine. If you’re the “shop till you drop” type, consider how close you are to a mall or shopping plaza — count over 300 stores between them! Robust film production means you’ll get a taste of Tinseltown just about everywhere you look with movies and shows shooting on streets, and if you’re lucky, you’ll even spot celebrities strolling alongside you!
BUSINESS IS BOOMING
With the university producing educated graduates, it’s no wonder that the startup culture has found a home in Irvine. The tech sector is solid here for everything from video game companies and hardware manufacturers to some of the nation’s premier business software concerns. Transportation companies are cranking out boutique bicycle brands and stalwart automobile designs. Fashion labels flourish here as well with styles being created right within the city limits. There’s also a huge food sector footprint in town with famous fast food brands standing together with restaurant chains and food services. Pharmaceuticals and health care corporations innovate the wellness of the future.
When living in Irvine, you can be assured that everything you may need is here. Irvine not only provides jobs and opportunities but also a place to grow.
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