By Sheila OConnor, SF World Travel Examiner

Another 5 great reasons to visit Irvine, California

San Francisco residents who love to travel have already seen five reasons to visit Irvine, California.

Now there are five more. Here they are:

1. Irvine Spectrum Center

Any world traveler loves to shop. And you can do just that at the Irvine Spectrum Center which is one of Southern California's most popular shopping and dining destinations. So popular is it, in fact, that the center is visited by more than 15 million people each year.

That large number of visitors has lead to the Irvine Spectrum Center being rated no 2 out of 7 attractions by TripAdvisor.

2. Irvine launches Restaurant Week

World travelers who are near Irvine, California in January 2011, will be happy to know that nearly a dozen businesses will celebrate Irvine Restaurant Week January 14-20, 2011, says Wendy Haase, Director of Tourism Marketing, Destination Irvine.

"Irvine Restaurant Week is an incredible opportunity to experience some of the best food the destination has to offer at a value you can't get at any other time of the year," Haase noted. "January is also a great time to get hotel deals and experience the diversity of what our destination offers, from outdoor recreation to family-friendly activities."

3. Irvine Historical Museum

The Irvine Historical Society has as its mission the preservation of the rich heritage of the Irvine Ranch. This ranch was once one of the largest private ranches in the United States.

Today the Historical Society is based in the Irvine Historical Museum, the oldest standing structure within the original boundaries of the Ranch.

4. Irvine Great Park on Top Gear

The Great Park was selected to serve as Top Gear's home base for both its automobile test track shots and interviews with car racing celebrities, racing analysts and car buffs, which were filmed in historic airplane Hangar 244. Top Gear is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions, and is one of the United Kingdom's most popular television series. The show takes extraordinary and ordinary cars to the limit and beyond to find out if they're as good as manufacturers claim.

5. Irvine performance of Stuffed and Unstrung

Theater-lovers and world travelers heading to Irvine should be sure to check out the Irvine Barclay Theater and the performance of Stuffed and Unstrung. The show runs December 29-January 2, 2011.This is touted as "80 Henson Puppets, 6 Comedians, 100% Uncensored" and this is the West Coast premiere of the new show by Henson Alternative. Will it be funny?

"It's nearly impossible to do anything but laugh. Grade: A," says Entertainment Weekly

The show is said to be two shows in one...and it's never the same show twice!

Re travel: San Francisco residents can fly to John Wayne International Airport using SFO International Airport. Deals can be found online at