Irvine Blog - Posts from Local Experts
Irvine baseball fans don't have to go very far to see Orange County's home team. With Angels Stadium just a few miles to the north, Irvine has a Major League baseball team right in its own backyard.
In fact, you don't even need a car to get there.
Metrolink's Angels Express train takes fans from Irvine right to the ballpark for every evening home game. Whether you live in Irvine or are in town for a few days, taking the train to the Angels game will save you time and money. The round trip tickets are a mere $7, which is a better deal than the $10 parking fee at the stadium. Not to mention the cost of gas or the stress of sitting in stop and go traffic on the freeway.
Parking is free at the Irvine Transportation Center or it's a short shuttle ride from most Irvine hotels.
Tickets may be purchased at Metrolink vending machines by selecting "Special Ticket Options."
Just arrive up to 45 minutes before the train departure time to purchase your tickets.
It doesn't take long to catch Angels Fever once on board, as most passengers are fellow fans.
The mood is festive yet relaxing as the train cuises past stopped traffic on the freeway. The Irvine train leaves at 6pm and after a 20 minute ride, you arrive relaxed and ready for Angels baseball.
There's plenty of time to make the short walk from the train station across the parking lot to Angels Stadium.
The return trains leave 30 minutes after the final pitch is thrown, even if it's an extra inning game.
On Friday nights, when the Angels have a weekly fireworks display, the train leaves 45 minutes after game time so you have time to see the show.
All in all, the Angels Express is a good deal. It's easy. It's inexpensive, and it's a new experience for fans.
Metrolink Angels Express Fares
$7 Adult roundtrip
$4 Youth ages 6-18 years old
FREE Kids age 5 and under with paying adult, limit 3 per fare
For more information on the Angels Express , click here
Get your fashionista self over to the Irvine Spectrum this Saturday May 4th from 3-8pm for a shopping, refreshments, music, and entertainment extravaganza presented by Foreign Exchange Clothing and 102.7 KISS FM, hosted by Pretty Little Liars star Janel Parrish and ABC's The Bachelor finalists Lindsay Yenter and Ashlee Frazier.
This will be Foreign Exchange's first Spring FEver event; while celebrity host Janel Parrish picks out her favorite pieces from the in-store collection, posing for photos and chatting with friends and media; money will be raised for the American Red Cross, there's an opportunity to win a $1000 shopping spree, and you can shop with Lindsay Yeter and Ashlee Frazier of The Bachelor.
If that wasn't enough to tickle your fashion fancy, there will be 7 celebrity stylists and fashion bloggers in attendance representing the brand as the 'FE Fashion Experts' sharing their fave summer picks and styling tips!
Foreign Exchange Clothing
71 Fortune Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
(at the Irvine Spectrum)
Lindsay and Ashley will be there from 3pm-4pm
Janel Parrish will be there from 4:30pm-6:30pm
There are two easy ways to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see The Night Fairy directed by Oanh Nguyen. Enter a comment below or leave a comment on the Night Fairy photo on our Destination Irvine page on Facebook.
Flory is a fairy no taller than an acorn, who loses her exquisite wings in a fight with a bat, falls into the garden of a "Giantess" and takes up residence in a birdhouse. This magical story from a Newbery Medal winner is as visually bewitching as the night fairy herself. But Flory is as fierce and ferocious as she is elegant, and she's about to discover that she needs every drop of bravery-and equal amounts of understanding and compassion-in her new life among the daylight creatures.
Age Recommendation: Theatre for Young Audiences and Their Families is a multi-generational experience for all ages (except children under the age of four and babes in arms). The only requirement is that each audience member occupy a seat and sit quietly through the performance while having a wonderful time.
SPECIAL $18 DISCOUNT CODE for Destination Irvine readers:
Night Fairy - $18 adult and child tickets for these performances:
Sat Jun 1 at 4:30 p.m.
Sun Jun 2 at 4:30 p.m.
Fri Jun 7 at 7 p.m.
Sat Jun 8 at 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Use code 8379. Limit six tickets per household. Offer applies to seats in section A only. Special offer not applicable to previously purchased tickets and cannot be combined with other offers. Enjoy some great live theater with your kids!
May 24 - June 9 ● Julianne Argyros Stage
Tickets: $20- $32. See last page for performance times.
Long before it was a bustling, master-planned community, Irvine was an agricultural ranch.
It was owned by generations of the Irvine Family, who managed operations from the agricultural headquarters on the northwestern border of their ranch.
The site was chosen in 1876, because it was close to the stagecoach station in Tustin City.
James Irvine authorized the construction of the house that would become the home of his descendants for decades.
The house was the central point of the agricultural headquarters that surrounded it. There was a small office off the front hall and workers would eat meals on the screened porch
Soon, buildings were added as ranch operations expanded. A Mess Hall, Bunkhouse, Blacksmith Shop and Carriage Barn all sprang up at the intersection of Irvine Blvd and Myford Road. For years, this was the nerve center of an agricultural powerhouse.
Today, a visit to the Irvine Ranch Historic Park takes you back to the city’s roots; when the primary crops were lima beans and citrus instead of residential villages and business towers.
Located on the corner of Jamboree and Irvine Blvd, The Irvine Ranch Historic Park features a collection of original structures from simpler days.
The 1906 Mess Hall is still there, where Irvine Company employees heard the clanging of the cook's triange before lunch.
Meals were served "ranch style" and, after the Irvine Company headquarters were moved nearby the late 1960's, there would be as many as 125 people at a setting.
When former Irvine Company president invited distinguished guests from Farnce, they were delighted to enjoy the kitchen specialty of enchiladas, tacos and beans.
It was also the place where James H. Irvine hosted annual Christmas Dinners for his veteran employees.
The Irvine Ranch Historic park is a collection of old structures, silent reminders of a very different time.
The Bunkhouse still stands, near a row of Foremen Houses. The paint on the red Carriage Barn has worn a bit over the years, giving it a vintage charm.
Design architects consulted original blueprints and took great care to ensure that that new building matched the former home.
The large, Georgian country home witnessed many of the joys and tragedies of the Irvine Family.
It was in this home that James H. Irvine’s first grandchild, a girl named Katie, was born in 1920. Four days later, Katie’s mother Kathryn became ill with pneumonia and died.
Over the years, the home was the setting for decades of holiday celebrations and family dinners.
It was also the place where Myford Irvine, the sole surviving son of James H. Irvine, died tragically in his basement office. His suspicious death, due to multiple gunshot wounds, was ruled a suicide.
In 1965, the iconic home was severely damaged by fire.Three years later, it was demolished.
The Katie Wheeler Library was built on the former home site and opened to the public in 2008.
It seems fitting to stroll among booths of fresh fruits and vegetables in the heart of the former agricultural ranch.
After all, it’s only a few steps from the home of James Irvine, who considered himself a farmer first, landowner second.
13042 Old Myford Rd.
Irvine, CA 92602
Irvine Farmers Market – Tuesdays
students check out exhibits at the annual Youth Expo Experience at the OC
Fair & Event Center. Youth Expo 2013 is April 12-14.
Youth Expo attendees can also experience Vital Link's STEM and the Arts Career Showcase, which encourages students to consider careers in the professional fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). Held every day of Youth Expo, the STEM Showcase will include a robotic competition, competitive exhibits, displays and workshops.
Additional, family-friendly events and competitions for the Youth Expo weekend include:
- "Make & Take" Activities: Free hands-on learning demonstrations in ceramics-making, portrait painting, cartooning and various handicrafts will be offered every day for youth ages pre-kindergarten through high school. All the necessary equipment and supplies are provided and local professionals and Youth Expo staff lead the demonstrations, while participants get to take what they make home with them.
- Youth Projects: Local students show off their talents in art, creative writing, woodworking, science, fashion and photography.
- 4-H Competitions: Local youth are judged on their abilities to raise small livestock, their understanding of animal and veterinary sciences and their display projects on community service, aerospace, entomology, electricity and more.
- Lil' Sprouts Jr. Farm and Garden Contest: An opportunity for children to show off their green thumb and see who can grow the best fruits, vegetables and flowers. Contest categories include divisions for both fruits and vegetables, terrariums and more.
- Youth Chess Tournament: On Saturday, April 13 from Noon-4 p.m., chess enthusiasts of all ages and levels are invited to compete. Entry fees are $10 per person and $5 for each additional family member.
- Building Industry Education Council (BIEC) 24th Annual Design⁄Build Competition: Watch as future architects and builders compete to see who are the best young home builders in Southern California.
- Gourmet Food Trucks and Local Fundraising Food Booths: Enjoy gourmet food truck fare on Saturday and Sunday from Fresh Fries, Ragin Cajun, Piaggio On Wheels, Chunk N Chip, TJ's Woodfire Pizza, Waffles de Liege, Kala Truck, Bakery Truck, Tropical Shave Ice and Spudrunners (food trucks will vary each day). Plus, every day of Youth Expo, local youth groups will be selling snacks, drinks and lunch.
- Centennial Farm: Families can check out the gardens and animal pens, plus enjoy free hay rides, oxen team demonstrations, hands-on arts and crafts, a Bug Barn, leather-making demonstrations and scavenger hunts.
- Amusements & Carnival: Roll around like a hamster in the human-powered Land Bubbles or take a spin in the carnival. Fees apply to amusements and carnival rides and games.
The Youth Expo Experience 2013 is sponsored by YMCA OF ORANGE COUNTY, LEGOLAND® California Educational Field Trip programs, and ScholarShare - California 529 College Savings Plan and is underwritten by the OC Fair & Event Center. For more details on this year's event, visit ocfair.com/youthexpo.
The OC Fair & Event Center is located off the 405 and 55 freeways at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. For more information, please visit ocfair.com, become a fan on Facebook.com/OCFair, follow us at twitter.com/ocfair or call (714) 708-1500.
I was so excited to take part in a tasting of the new Korean/Asian/Mexican fusion restaurant and tapas bar, Urban Seoul located in the Diamond Jamboree Center; and I'm even more excited to share my foodie experience with you.
Brought to life by chef Kacy, he intermixed his life experiences, heritage and LA upbringing into tangible culinary, cultural delights with the Urban Seoul menu.
Could a burger be anymore flavorful and juicy? The Kalbi burger sliders are made of marinated beef and pork patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, and a secret sauce (which adds a slight spicy kick) on a morning bun. Inspired by the In-N-Out Double Double, these sliders are sure to have your taste buds doing a double take.
The Pork Belly Tacos, influenced by the street tacos of LA, has cripsy pork belly, kimchi, dress lettuce, queso fresco, gochu jang aioli, and house hot sauce (all sauces are made in-house!) I love the combination of the crispy texture and spicy flavor!
I have a sweet spot for quail eggs and crispy foods, and the Spicy Rice Cake dish is the best of both worlds bringing together crispy rice cake, fish cake, onions, boiled quail egg, spicy sauce, and green onions.
The kimchi pancake quesadillas are a refreshing take on the classic quesadillas; these are made of a special kimchi pancake batter stuffed with grilled chicken, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, and kimchi sour cream.
Chef Kacy and the Urban Seoul staff are very welcoming and well versed in the stories behind each dish on the menu. The prices are great, I totally dig the community atmosphere (be seated at a table or at the bar with open kitchen) and industrial decor mixed with vibrant artwork, and most importantly, the food!
It amazes me how many travelers to Southern California are flying into LAX instead of Orange County's John Wayne Airport. I have to imagine it is because they don't realize what they are signing themselves up for when they book that flight into LAX. On a recent press trip, my fellow journalists and I were discussing airports and we all agreed that LAX is the worst major airport in America. How bad is it? Well, my husband and I both have jobs that require us fly frequently and we both kick and scream like small children whenever we get booked on a flight out of LAX. We have been spoiled rotten by our pleasant experiences at John Wayne Airport and sing its praises to all that will listen. Here are 5 reasons why you should be flying into John Wayne Airport instead of LAX when you visit Southern California.
1. Everything you want to see while visiting Southern California is in Orange County anyhow!
The majority of people visit Southern California for three reasons; great weather, beautiful beaches, and Disneyland. The weather in the cities surrounding John Wayne airport is some of the most pleasant in all of Southern California due to its coastal proximity and lovely breezes which keep all that LA smog far off in the distance. The beaches in Orange County are amongst the most gorgeous in the country; from the wide expanse of sand at Huntington State Beach to the dramatic bouganvilla-draped cliffs of Laguna Beach to the legendary surf at "the wedge" in Newport Beach. Disneyland, the number one tourist draw for all of California, is less than 15 miles away from John Wayne Airport. A breeze compare to the 40-mile traffic-choked journey you would have to make from LAX.
2. Getting in and out of John Wayne Airport is easy.
John Wayne airport is located where the 405 and 55 freeways meet. The airport literally backs up to freeway, and getting in and out is a breeze. Locals love that they have the option of valet parking directly in front of the terminal. Many Irvine hotels offer complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport. Those who need to rent a car once they arrive at John Wayne will find seven different rental car companies have counters at the terminals and eleven other rental companies which pick patrons up in front of the terminals and shuttle them to their locations.
3. The atmosphere is pleasant and the wifi is free.
These days, we spend more and more time inside terminals waiting for our flights. John Wayne has three beautiful terminals that are interconnected on both sides of security and are lined with shops, restaurants, and artwork from local artists and galleries. Wifi inside the airport is free. LAX has nine dark and aesthetically dull terminals which are not connected. Trying to get from terminal one to terminal nine basically requires you to take you life in your hands as dart across traffic like the frog in the classic Atari game, Frogger. Wifi, the life blood of the business traveler, is not free. Imagine being stuck in a dingy terminal without wifi during a flight delay and you basically have LAX.
4. The food options are great
LAX has the worst food options I have seen in any major airport, partly due to the fact that its outdated design does not allow for anything but a couple simple food courts with a Starbucks and a McDonalds. John Wayne has the token Starbucks and McDonalds, along with some delicious options which reflect the tastes of the local community. Chef Zov Karamardian's is a legend around Orange County who has been serving up Eastern Mediterranean food in her popular restaurants for years. Now airport patrons can enjoy lentil soup, tabbouleh, and much more at Zov's between terminals B and C. They can also enjoy the same classic burger and shakes at Ruby's in the airport that they can get at the end of the Huntington Beach Pier, gourmet hot dogs at Jerry's Wood-fired Dogs, fresh soups and salads at Farmer's Market by Laguna Culinary Arts, and a glass of cabernet at Vino Volo wine lounge.
5. Direct flights from 21 different cities are available
We all like to get where we are going as quick as possible, and direct flights are the easiest way to do it. Residents of major US cities such as Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, and Seattle can all access Orange County directly as well as international destinations such as Vancouver, Calgary, and Mexico City. Best of all, flying into John Wayne from international destinations means you get to skip the dreaded Tom Bradley international arrival terminal at LAX. There is nothing worse than landing at LAX and approaching the immigration lines only to discover a jumbo jet from Asia just landed and hundreds of passengers are standing between you and the other side of customs. Trust me.
Images courtesy John Wayne Airport.
Give me a high five, cuz I just threw my son the most awesome birthday party and it was the easiest party I've ever organized, and trust me, that's a huge deal for a divorced mom of two. Here's how I did it: I called Game Truck and gave my son his very first man cave experience.
If you're not familiar with Game Truck, here's the scoop: it's a complete multi-player video game party in a tricked out rig, which drives directly to your home for an amazing group video gaming experience. Each truck is filled with multiple flat screens, leather couches, Wii, Xbox 360 and Play Station 3 consoles, and all of the latest and greatest multi-player games your kids could possibly want to play. It's darkened so the screens are bright and decorated with rope light trim on the ceiling. Sweet set up.
The boys went nuts as the truck drove up. They knew an epic party was about to begin! Before the guys were let loose, our GT coach, Zack, met with me solo to review the inventory so I could customize which games would be displayed for the boys to play. I eliminated all of the first person shooter and Mature-Rated games, which left tons of age appropriate choices for the kids, ages from 9-11.
The boys were in kid heaven playing Minecraft, Mario Bros, NBA, Burnout Paradise Racing in their very own VIP video game clubhouse. Coach Zach was kept busy switching out games, setting controllers and giving out gaming advice. Personally, I'd like to adopt Zach. He was polite, friendly, helpful and tactful when several neighborhood party crashers had to check out the scene. Sure, I let the crashers check it out. How could I not? The Most Awesome Thing was in the neighborhood! By the way, Zach and all Game Truck coaches are background checked for a safe party experience, which made it easier for me to sneak away now and then to get the food ready. The boys played to their hearts' content for two hours while I peacefully organized some healthy snacks, along with the obligatory nachos, ordered pizza and put candles on the cake.
It was a breeze ordering the game truck. One easy phone call with the party date, number of kids and how many hours I wanted to rent was all it took. Coach Zach finalized the invoice with an iPhone and a swipe of my Visa. An electronic invoice was emailed to me within minutes. Sweet paperless shopping.
Game Truck Party OC is offering a $20 discount for Destination Irvine readers! Just mention Destination Irvine for the discount and get ready to enjoy the easiest birthday party ever. Sweeeet Deal.
Terry Winkler is the founder of Enter Stage Write, an Orange County theater, entertainment and lifestyle website.
IRVINE RESIDENTS SHARE YOUR HOMETOWN PRIDE WITH VISITORS
Destination Irvine in conjunction with National Travel & Tourism Week, May 4-12, is asking Irvine residents to share their hometown pride with visitors.
Residents leave a comment below (scroll down) that tells visitors why your hometown is the best place to visit and share your favorite, not-to-be-missed in Irvine.
Is it a shopping trip to the Irvine Spectrum Center? Drinking a sea salt coffee from 85C Bakery? Experiencing a free summer concert at William R. Mason Regional Park? Whatever you love to do in Irvine, chances are a visitor will enjoy too.
Residents submitting a comment will be entered to win gift certificates from various Irvine restaurants. See below for participating restaurants.
- Comments are welcome between now and May 12, 2013.
- Comments must be positive and contain no vulgarity. This is an opportunity to share what you love to do in Irvine, not to gripe about politics, etc.
- Public posting of comments submitted are the discretion of Destination Irvine.
- Those submitting a comment must include an email address. These are not made public, but used to contact you if you are a winner.
- Submit a comment as often as you like.
- Duplicate comments will not be posted nor count toward the random drawing.
- Comments become property of Destination Irvine and can/will be used in marketing materials including Visitors Guide, website and social media channels along with public relations (press releases).
- Comments should be from Irvine residents only.
- Winner(s) will be selected the week of May 13, 2013 and notified by email.
Thanks to our participating restaurants:
The first full week of May is annually recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week, a tradition first celebrated in 1984. Localized events are presented in cities, states and travel businesses nationwide to champion the power of travel. It was established as National Tourism Week when the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution in 1983 designating the week to be celebrated in May. In a White House ceremony, President Ronald Reagan signed a Presidential Proclamation urging citizens to observe the week with "the appropriate ceremonies and activities."
Since its establishment, the U.S. travel community has collectively marked the event in a number of creative ways, from staging local rallies and conducting media outreach to securing proclamations and resolutions from local legislative bodies.
Importance of Tourism to Irvine
The visitor industry plays an influential role in shaping Irvine's economy, attracting more than one million domestic and international travelers annually for business and leisure.
In 2011, visitors spent $498.9 on accommodations, dining, arts, entertainment, recreation, shopping and transportation; this is an increase of 6.4 percent over 2010.
Tourism industry spending supports approximately 5,340 jobs in Irvine and is responsible for adding $177.3 million in wages.
In addition, the tourism industry contributes $27.4 million in local and state taxes.
Travel and Tourism is one of America's Largest Industries
- Generated $1.9 trillion in economic output, with $813 billion spent directly by domestic and international travelers that spurred an additional $1.1 trillion in other industries.
- Directly generated $124 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments.
- Each U.S. household would pay $1,055 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by the travel and tourism industry.
- Direct spending by resident and international travelers in the U.S. averaged $2.2 billion a day, $92.8 million an hour, $1.5 million a minute and $25,700 a second
Travel and tourism is one of America's Largest Employers
- Supported 14.4 million jobs, including 7.5 million directly in the travel industry and 6.9 million in other industries.
- 1 out of every 8 jobs in the U.S. depends on travel and tourism.
- Generated $194.6 billion in payroll for those employed directly in U.S. travel.
- Travel is among the top 10 industries in 47 states and D.C. in terms of employment.
About Destination Irvine
Under the Irvine Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit 501(c)6, Destination Irvine, funded by a self-imposed assessment tax through a Hotel Improvement District (H.I.D.), positions Irvine as a destination for visitors, meetings and groups. Destination Irvine through direct sales efforts including database marketing, lead generation, trade show participation, and familiarization tours, sells the destination. In addition, Destination Irvine promotes Irvine through marketing, advertising and public relations efforts.
As the official Destination Marketing Organization for Irvine, the mission of Destination Irvine is to partner with the tourism and hospitality industry to brand and promote Irvine as a preferred overnight destination in Southern California for groups, sports events, leisure visitors and business travelers. Destination Irvine's goals are designed to enhance the economy of the city of Irvine through sustained growth in tourism spending, resulting in an increase in economic impact.
When local travelers are asked about artwork on display at John Wayne Airport, they usually think of this.
The larger than life statue of John Wayne may be a recognizable landmark at the airport, it is only part of an ever-changing collection of art designed to enhance the travelling experience.
"For 20 years, John Wayne Airport has professionally presented world-class art exhibitions that have engaged and entertained millions of visitors," said airport spokesperson Jenny Wedge. "Art brings and unexpected sense of peace and calm to passengers travelling through this hub of activity."
Security measures keep many of the exhibits behind TSA lines where only ticked passengers can enjoy them. Currently, a collection of original work by award winning children's illustrators are on display in the Vi Smith Concourse Gallery.
This exhibit, from the Chemer's Gallery in Tustin, features the work of artists such as Mary GranPre of the Harry Potter books and Robin Preiss Glasser, creator of the Fancy Nancy series.
This collection will be on display until June 17, 2013.
There are also art exhibits throughout the airport that are accessible to the public without an airplane ticket. In fact, enjoying art at the John Wayne Airport can be as simple as looking up.
"Flight of Ideas" is the name of the large, sculptural art piece above the baggage carousel in Terminal C.
The sculpture hovers over the terminal like a flock of 21 aluminum birds, their Plexiglas wings displaying enlarged portions of aeronautical charts.
Since John Wayne Airport welcomes travelers to Orange County, It is the perfect place to highlight local artwork. In 20122, the airport opened a new exhibition space titled: ORANGE COUNTY; Destination Art and Culture.
Now the millions of passengers who travel through the airport each year can get a glimpse of Orange County's art and cultural organizations like the Bowers Museum of Santa Ana and the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton.
Currently, the John Wayne Airport is issuing a call to local artists to be part of next year's Community Focus Exhibits. These solo-style exhibits will feature Orange County-related visual artists and will be viewable by the general public, before the security checkpoints.
Artist Applications must be received no later than May 15, 2013 and instructions can be found on the John Wayne Airport Website.