There are myriad of ways to unwind around the Irvine area. Whether it is getting outdoors for some exercise, relaxing at one of the city's better eateries, or just going out for some nightlife on the town, Irvine has many options to help you unwind. Here are some of the hot spots in the city where you can cool down after a long week.


Irvine SPA
2332 Barranca Parkway
Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 260-9988
This magnificent Korean-style spa targets all of a person's problem areas in health through differently stylized rooms, following the practice and theory that has worked for thousands of years in Korean culture. Guests can go to their fire room, salt room, forest room or ice room, all which target different areas of wellness from cell rejuvenation to muscle relaxation to clearing out your mental space. After taking a dip in several of their differently heated pools, guests can sign up for a body scrub, acupressure or oil massage to achieve the most complete relaxation possible. And don't be afraid to bring the kids! There is a kids play room available where they can hang out while mom and dad achieve their bliss. Later, the whole family can head to the cafeteria for Korean cuisine.


The 12 - Irvine
17532 Von Karman Ave.
Irvine, CA 92614
(949) 222-9052
If exercise is your means of unwinding and relaxing, put The 12 on your agenda. The 12 offers Afterburn group training classes and highly personalized Afterburn nutrition coaching for sustainable healthy living. The 12's multidimensional platform was put in place specifically to educate men and women of all types on how they can best train and nourish their bodies to achieve their top results. By combining these principles with each member's goals and individual skill sets, The 12 is able to help guide and shape each person's journey.

Results-driven and community-focused, The 12's signature Afterburn Group Training Classes are available at both of their locations, one of which is in Irvine and sees visitors from all over the U.S. Offering both one-on-one nutritional coaching as well as their 12-Week Fitness Challenge (available three times per year for individuals and corporate wellness programs alike) anyone can reach their personal fitness and health goals with the support and guidance they'll find here. The 12 is open 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday - Friday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


Work Irvine
16782 Hale Avenue
Suite B
Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 756-8277
With the emphasis continuing on fitness, there is Work Irvine At Work Irvine, individuals get to experience a motivational workout backed by applied exercise science, equipment that allows them to train the way their bodies were designed to move. Each 50-minute class at Work is designed to reconstruct one's mind and body. Co- Founders Dane Miklaus and Scott Perry promise to retrain participant bodies on how to move, then how to move better, stronger, faster. Whether you're just jumping in for class in the location's 4,000-square-foot industrial training space, or hanging out for awhile in the modern chic lounge, come experience what makes the community so special - teamwork. The center is open weekday mornings beginning at 5 a.m., with Saturdays starting at 7 a.m.


San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary
5 Riparian View
Irvine, CA 92616
(949) 261-7963
If getting in touch with nature helps you unwind, then you've come to the right location in the Sea and Sage Audubon. The Sea and Sage Audubon protects birds and their habitats through efforts in conservation, science and education. Their educational efforts include extensive programs including the Audubon Outdoor Adventures science program for 4th through 6th grade classes, nature day camps, bat walks, community tours, monthly wildlife walks, art meets science and more. Bring the kids and introduce them to the intricacies of our natural world. The sanctuary is open daily from dawn until dusk.


Turtle Rock Community Park
1 Sunnyhill
Irvine, CA 92603
(949) 724-6734
When taking to the outdoors is a must to get a break from everyday life, Turtle Rock Community Park might be calling your name. Turtle Rock Community Park offers fun that includes playgrounds (one for older kids and one for the younger set), sandboxes, volleyball, tennis, areas for biking, picnics, BBQs and more. Spend some time simply relaxing with the family, taking in the beautiful California weather with some family-made fun. Sometimes, the greatest joys in life are the simplest. The park is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week (closed Sundays).


Radiant Hot Yoga
8501 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, Ca. 92618
(949) 679-4442
Can you think of a better way to unwind than doing a little yoga? At Radiant Hot Yoga, visitors are able to experience hot yoga, which essentially is practicing yoga asanas (postures) in heated and humid conditions originating in India. In colder climates, hot yoga aims to mimic the heat and humidity of southern India, from where a number of styles of yoga originate, by adding heaters and humidifiers. With hot yoga, participants have the ability to cleanse the mind and body, improve both flexibility and balance, develop muscle tone while increasing strength, and do away with stress and anxiety. The facility offers both classes and events, so check out Radiant Hot Yoga today, allowing you to start on the path to a healthier mind and body.


Atomic Ballroom
17961 Sky Park Circle, Suite C
Irvine, CA 92614
(949) 250-3332
For those individuals who feel like life is becoming too cumbersome, a little dancing might do the trick. Atomic Ballroom offers a variety of classes and lessons for a myriad of dance moves. They include learning West Coast Swing, Big Bang Swing, Country Dance, Salsa, Tango, Swingin' Sock Hop and much more. It also offers home lessons, group classes, series classes and dance lessons for those getting married. Atomic Ballroom opens at noon Monday - Friday, 9:30 a.m. on Saturdays, and 11:30 a.m. on Sundays.


Irvine Improv Comedy Club
527 Spectrum Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 854-5455
They say laughing is one of the best remedies for people when life has them running around in circles. If that sounds like you, head on over to the Irvine Improv Comedy Club; groups and parties are welcome. The Club showcases some of the best-known talent on the comedy club circuit, along with some up-and-coming stars. Among the upcoming shows slated for Juneare Kevin Nealon, Charlie Murphy, Eric Schwartz, Tom Segura, Stuttering John (from the Howard Stern Show), Ian Bagg, Ali Wong and Frank Caliendo.


KinetiCore Pilates Therapy
23 Mauchly
Suite 108
Irvine, Ca. 92618
If you have not tried Pilates before, it's a must to give it a shot. One of the better ways to relax and get your body in better condition at the same time, Pilates offers a host of benefits. At KinetiCore Pilates Therapy, guests can learn at a facility that is owned and operated by a doctor of physical therapy. KinetiCore is devoted to teaching individuals how to move and better care for their bodies, enabling them to live full and active lives. All KinetiCore sessions incorporate apparatus training on the Reformer, Cadillac/Tower, Chair and Barrels. The instructors mix it up with mat work and props too, allowing participants to maximize their results away from the studio. Each session is customized to help individuals achieve their individual goals.

Group sessions are offered, with a variety of fitness classes and specialty workshops for up to five clients. Participants can form their own group or join an existing one for an energetic, semi-private workout.

If life has been passing you by a little too quickly as of late, take time to slow things down and make a date to unwind in one of Orange County's best cities.

Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on