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Is Irvine, CA a Great Place to Live?

Did you know Irvine, CA is one of the top ten fastest-growing cities in California?

Irvine recorded an over 40% population increase since the previous census. Many people recognize it’s a great place to live, and it’s one of the best cities in California right now.

If you are looking to move to California, but you want the smaller-city feel, Irvine might be a perfect city for you.

Is Irvine a good place to live? Continue reading to find out.

Is Irvine a Good Place to Live?

Irvine is one of the greatest places to live in Orange County and one of the best cities in California.

When you compare Irvine to any of the neighboring cities in Orange County, you quickly see why it’s one of the most desirable southern California cities.

If you are asking yourself, “should I move to Irvine,” these are the metrics you need to look at.

Quality of Life

Irvine boasts one of the highest quality of life ratings of any city in the United States. Irvine’s rating is “Very High,” combining many data to compare living in Irvine CA to other cities.

Quality of life is difficult to measure, but Numbeo calculates this surprisingly well.

To calculate the quality of life, Numbeo combines purchasing power, safety ratings, health care, climate, cost of living, and traffic times among other metrics.

Combining many of these factors gives an accurate representation of Irvine’s quality of life rating. What this means is you can expect almost every trackable metric in Irvine to exceed other major cities in the United States.

This is why many people, like yourself, are wondering if moving to Irvine is for them. The high quality of life is routinely recognized by national surveys and major government organizations.

School Systems

The school system in Irvine is an answer in itself if you are asking yourself, “why move to Irvine?” The Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) ranked second out of 26 schools in Orange County.

Though that’s an impressive ranking on its own, that places it in the top 20 best districts in all of California. If you have children and want to give them the best education possible, Irvine, CA can help you do that.

The University of California also has an Irvine campus. The UC system is one of the best public college systems in the country.

If you have a student who is moving to Irvine for college, whether it is UC Irvine, Concordia, or Westcliff, you can rest assured they are receiving one of the highest quality college educations possible.

Is Irvine CA Safe?

Living in Irvine CA is one of the safest cities in the world.

The FBI ranked Irvine as America’s safest city for the 16th consecutive year in 2021. Irvine consistently shows some of the lowest crime ratings in the country.

Considering the population in Irvine is increasing, this is a very impressive statistic.

In Irvine, you can expect to feel safe in your neighborhood. In many cities, there are certain areas to avoid, but Irvine residents know the city does not really have any dangerous areas.

Many of the professors in UC Irvine’s campus Criminology department are often teased for studying criminology at Irvine because they have nothing to study in their home city.

Irvine is one of the best cities in California, and raising a family here is a dream.

Public Transportation

The City of Irvine partners with many modes of transportation to provide one of the best transportation systems in the country.

Because Irvine is a major planned urban community, the city design incorporated public transportation from the beginning.

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Amtrak, and iShuttle work with many other transportation partners to provide transportation such as bus routes, light rail, trains, and quality bike and walking trails.

Irvine incorporates over 110 miles of off-street bikeway trails to provide one of the best biking experiences of any major city. If you enjoy commuting by bike or love cycling for fitness, moving to Irvine is a dream.

The League of American Bicyclists named Irvine a Bicycle Friendly Community for the first time in 2009.

App-based rideshare systems are also prevalent in Irvine. Because of the great city planning, many Uber or Lyft drivers will commute to Irvine to support the city transportation.

Job Opportunities

Irvine’s economy is one of the best in California.

The unemployment rate in Irvine is just 2.9%, and the area is quickly growing.

The economy in Irvine is actually supported heavily by UC Irvine. Many consider it a college town because of this. UC Irvine is the top employer in Irvine, providing jobs to over 16,000 residents.

In addition to UC Irvine, there are many major employers whose headquarters are in the surrounding Orange County.

Taco Bell, Boeing, and Disneyland are some of the major names with corporate offices in the area. Many Irvine residents will take advantage of the greater economy of Orange County while living in Irvine.

Orange County as a whole is great for business. With a civilian labor force of 1.6 million, Orange County employs almost all of its labor force.

In addition to all the businesses headquartered here, the labor force supports the high quality of life in Irvine, CA. Irvine residents are enthusiastic about their homes and love to support one another.

Some of the major industries that are booming around Irvine are travel and tourism, film and television, education, information technology, and healthcare.

If you are moving to Irvine, you can certainly find a great career in the area.

Median Household Income

The cost of living in Irvine reflects the extremely desirable weather, economy, and quality of life Irvine residents enjoy.

The average household income is just over $100,000. Though Irvine is not cheap, the high quality of life in California reflects the higher cost of living.

The flourishing economy continues to grow, meaning that getting into Irvine now will allow you to professionally grow with the city. Median household income has continued to increase over the years.

Many of the younger residents in Irvine will rent with multiple roommates to make Irvine more affordable.

Because builders utilize the land space very well, the average home has quite a few bedrooms and bathrooms. This supports the rental market, and Irvine residents often live with a few roommates to split the cost.

Though this can make Irvine more affordable, it also raises the median household income.

Weather

The weather is a major reason why so many people want to move to Orange County. Irvine is one of the many cities that love the Orange County climate.

Irvine is a Mediterranean climate. This means it is quite dry, temperatures are mild, and nights are cool and breezy.

The weather is sunny year-round, and you can expect pleasant and warm temperatures. Irvine receives almost 300 days of sunshine per year.

December averages 57°F, which is the coldest month of the year in Irvine. If you are moving to Irvine, temperatures will rarely drop below freezing, and it will also rarely rise above 93°F.

The air is also dry in Irvine. For residents who are moving from warmer areas, you will find the climate is less muggy and more pleasant than in other warm areas.

The Beaches

The surrounding Orange County area boasts some of the best Pacific Coast beaches in California.

With over 42 miles of coastline, many residents visit the beach every day. The fantastic year-round warm and sunny climate offers a great lounging experience, even on the colder days.

Many surfers also flock to Orange County because you can surf year-round. Wave conditions are superb, and even when the water is cold, a wetsuit can get you right into the action.

Though surfing is one of the most popular outdoor activities, much of the outdoor activities connect to the beach.

Residents of Orange County often whale watch, use the beach fitness areas, or swim.

Low Poverty Rates

Irvine, CA has one of the lowest poverty rates in California and an almost non-existent crime rate. Though the area is now lively and affluent, Irvine used to have a high drug-addiction rate.

Now, Irvine and Orange County implement many community resources to support community health. There are a plethora of recovery programs that actively seek to educate and support Irvine residents.

Especially in younger communities, addiction programs are focusing on education and prevention in a way that has been very successful over the last couple of decades.

Because of this, Irvine considers itself a community of fresh starts. The support systems include thousands of local meeting groups that support and aid one another.

The Irvine community feels different than other communities. Many people trace the interconnectedness to the shared history of addiction that affected many residents.

From the local history, Irvine built a tight-knit community that encourages fresh starts and vast community resources.

The Food and Drink

The diverse population of Irvine supports one of the most desirable locations for modern foodies.

Nearly 40% of the city’s population is of Asian descent. If you traveled in Asia and miss the authentic food, you can find an astoundingly similar quality of food in Irvine.

In many of the Irvine restaurants, you will notice an emphasis on sustainability and local produce. Restaurants like Twenty Eight Restaurant & Lounge have seasonal menus and local farms they partner with.

Irvine Restaurants are also known for its incredible drinks. California receives a great allocation of wines, craft beers, and whiskeys. Many restaurants offer creative signature cocktails to pair with their food.

What Is There to Do?

If you are considering moving to Irvine in Orange County, You will be pleasantly surprised by how much you can do in one of the best cities in California.

1. Orange County Great Park

The Orange County Great Park is a must-see when you move in. This area has a deep military history, and this park used to be an airbase.

Great Park has now repurposed itself to serve Irvine in new and exciting ways.

The most eye-catching attraction is the Great Park Balloon. You can ride this hot air balloon 400 feet above Great Park to see some unparalleled views of Irvine.

Especially on clear days, the Great Park Balloon is a local favorite to see Irvine like you never have before.

Nearby, the kids can enjoy an eye-catching carousel and rock playground.

The Great Park Farmer’s Market also draws big crowds for their Sunday markets. Get a taste of Irvine with the wonderful locally grown organic fruits and vegetables.

In addition to the produce, the farmer’s market often has local artists, musicians, and food trucks to set this apart from your average farmer’s market.

There is also a state-of-the-art sports complex and ice facility for some of the most fun sports activities you could imagine.

The sports complex supports the only local professional soccer team, and you can use the numerous fields, courts, and sand volleyball courts for all your athletic activities.

The ice facility houses three NHL rinks and a larger Olympic-sized rink. Locals love to get out of the heat for some cooler laps on some of the best ice rinks in the southwest.

If you thought this area couldn’t get any better, it also includes a 12,000-seat amphitheater where tons of concerts and shows take place.

2. Irvine Global Village Festival

Irvine has a diverse and enthusiastic population with some of the best food and art in California.

Those characteristics mean Irvine supports one of the best multicultural festivals in the country. The Irvine Global Village Festival represents almost 50 different cultures.

If you routinely crave authentic food from your global traveling, you can find many delicacies at the Global Village Festival. Over 30 food vendors gather to serve you the best handmade food each culture can offer.

If you haven’t found a great place for Bolivian meat pies or Laleh Ice Cream, the Global Village Festival will have it.

Live music and dance take place during the entire festival. You can see dancers and musicians from all cultures, playing authentic music in authentic dress.

The dance performances are also fantastic. After you grabbed some Sudanese BBQ, you can watch the African Kikundi drummers perform.

If you want a little more education, there are many cultural exhibits you can see representing dozens of cultures.

For the art and travel enthusiasts, the Global Village Festival is an impressive way Irvine supports its wide diversity.

3. Aldrich Park

Aldrich Park is a 19-acre park located at the University of California Irvine.

All of the schools on UC Irvine’s Ring Road connect to Aldrich Park. Gorgeous fountains and eucalyptus trees combine with winding paths to create one of the best park experiences in Irvine.

Many students and residents gather in Aldrich with friends and family to soak up the sun during breaks. You can even picnic during the many beautiful days of the year.

One of the most interesting landmarks at UC Irvine is the Infinity Fountain which rests in Aldrich Park. The fountain is shaped in a way that makes the falling water look like an infinity symbol.

If you want to take a peaceful stroll through nature in one of the most beautiful areas Irvine offers, Aldrich Park is a perfect destination.

4. Tanaka Farms

Many do not know Irvine had a rich agricultural past.

Tanaka Farms have grown locally in Irvine since 1940. Families can visit Tanaka for wagon rides and one of the best produce markets in town.

The produce market sells over 60 different fruits and vegetables which are grown locally at Tanaka.

Tanaka follows all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines and employs many organic growing methods to create one of the healthiest farms in the area.

Tanaka also supports a community-supported agriculture program that community members can sign up for.

You can then pick up a box of produce at the farm, or have your box delivered to one of the many pick-up locations around Orange County.

There are also seasonal events you can attend. The Tanaka Christmas tree harvest, pumpkin patch, and strawberry picking tours are some of the locals’ favorite seasonal events.

After you move to Irvine, you can take the whole family out for an afternoon picking fresh produce and getting your hands dirty.

5. Bommer Canyon Trail

The Bommer Canyon Trail is one of the best outdoor locations Irvine offers.

This is a moderately challenging 4.6-mile loop, and it is one of the most popular outdoor locations. Hikers, mountain bikers, and birders often gather here on the weekends to see the beautiful landscapes California is known for.

You will also see many residents on horseback on this trail. People will travel through the nature preserve on horseback to experience Bommer Canyon and how it was meant to be seen.

The canyon used to be the home of the Irvine Ranch Cattle Camp. You can still see some of the old structures in the center of the park today. To experience Bommer Canyon in all its glory, it’s a great idea to saddle up.

Just make sure you bring extra water. The dry and sunny climate will wear you out faster than you think.

6. Visit the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary

The San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary is a local gem for nature-lovers.

Local legend Peer Swan implemented a vision of preservation and restoration for over 300 acres of coastal freshwater wetlands.

Urban runoff damaged a lot of the natural landscape before Peer Swan led a local restoration. Now, the area has remarkably transformed back into its original state, and local efforts continue to preserve the beautiful area.

There are almost 12 miles of trails through the marsh, and no vehicles, horses, dogs, or bicycles are allowed in the marsh area. The marsh is protected in this way, so visitors can experience the quiet beauty of nature.

Many animal and bird watchers also venture into the marshland to watch or relax in the natural wetlands.

Taking a stroll through the marsh, you may see photographers, arborists, birders, or hikers experiencing the raw southern California landscape.

Though many think moving to California is dominated by economy and enterprise, the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the many reminders to locals of what it means to be a Californian.

7. The Irvine Barclay Theatre

The Irvine Barclay Theatre opened in 1990, and it rose to be a cultural and performative icon in the city.

The Barclay is a collaborative effort between the City of Irvine, UC Irvine, and private investors. The theatre prides itself on wide programming in the fields of dance, theater, and music.

The theatre seats 750 people, and its attendees love it for its superb acoustics.

Whether you like to see an opera, experience a moving contemporary dance, or hear a breathtaking symphony, the Barclay Theatre will accommodate all of these needs in a calendar week.

The broad programming and collaboration mean Irvine residents have one of the best performance venues in their backyard.

If you are looking for a particularly great value experience, the UC Irvine symphony orchestra is loved by local enthusiasts. Like the rest of the University of California system, Irvine is known for its incredible music.

Contact Move Central

Is Irvine a good place to live? We agree, but find out for yourself with Move Central. At Move Central, we handle the moving, packing, and storage of your things so you can focus on moving into the home of your dreams.

Our services are completely customizable, whether you just want a couple of movers for the day or need us to pack your entire home.

With a decade of experience and over 40,000 individual moves, we have the expertise needed to move you to your new home.

Contact Move Central for a free moving quote today.

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