Irvine offers cycling enthusiasts 44.5 miles of off-road bicycle trails and 282 miles of on-road bicycle lanes.More

Irvine Blog - Posts from Local Experts

Posts for February 2013

St. Patrick's Day events in and around Irvine

Posted by: Sharlene Earnshaw
Posted on: Thursday, Feb 28, 2013

Things are looking green around Irvine. An early spring has painted the hillsides a grassy hue and with St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, Irvine is ready to celebrate.  Whether you are eager to explore the beauty of Irvine's outdoors or consume green beer and corned beef inside a pub, we've got you covered.

 Irvine Hills

St. Patrick's Day falls on a Sunday this year which means folks will have the entire day to celebrate. Why not start your day enjoying one Orange County's scenic parks or trails? Here is a sample of the festivities and activities OC Parks has put together for March 17th.

-          Visitors to Irvine Regional Park can start their day with a Leprechaun Loop hike which end and learn about park's history and Irish connection along the way.  

-          After the hike, take time to say hello to the animals at Irvine Regional Park's Orange County Zoo. On St. Patrick's Day, visitors who "go green" and bring an empty cardboard box will receive free admission to the zoo. Boxes are recycled as enrichment toys for the zoo's animals.

-          Just west of Irvine is the Upper Newport Bay which will play host to a "Coastal Clover" day where visitors can learn more about our region's flora and decorate a pot to take home filled with coastal California's unique Owl's Clover seeds.

-          If you are interested in seeing some of those yellows, purples, and pinks that are dotting the vibrant green hillsides, be sure to take part in the 3.5-mile wildflower hike at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.

Runners of all abilities will be eager to wear green and run in the St. Patrick's Day Dash at Concordia University. The run winds around the beautiful Concordia campus and all participants will receive a St. Patty's Day t-shirt and swag.  Adults as well as children are welcome and proceeds raised by the event will benefit the Concordia Track & Field program.  Register at

Families with young children will want to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at Pretend City children's museum.  Highlights include a rainbow ribbon dance, Irish art, leprechaun games, and an "End of the Rainbow" treasure hunt which could lead young guests to their very own pot o' gold. Of course, every visit to Pretend City allows kids to imagine being whatever they want to be, so whether they pretend to be the farmer growing potatoes, the grocery clerk selling potatoes, or the waitress serving potatoes to hungry patrons enjoying an Irish feast, they are certain to have a blast playing grownup.

So after you have run a 5K, hiked through the wildflowers, and taken the kids to have some pretend play with at the end of the rainbow, you are probably in the mood for some Irish grub and a frosty brew, no? Luckily there are a few special places in and around town that are eager to help you celebrate St. Paddy's Day in true Irish fashion.

-          Green beerMuldoon's Pub in Newport serves authentic Irish food, beer, and spirits year round but the fun is certain to kick up a notch during their 38th annual St. Patrick's Day party.  Stew, soda bread, pot roast, whiskey, Irish brews, and fun await!

-          The Auld Dubliner inside The District serves Irish fayre such as shepherd's pie, rack of lamb, beef stew and corned beef and cabbage. Of course, there is always plenty Irish liquor and beer to keep those spirit festive.

-          McCormick and Schmick's will be extending their happy hour from noon to nine on St. Patrick's Day. Dishes served will include Irish whiskey glazed salmon, Guinness steamed black mussels, and of course, corned beef and cabbage. 

-          Yard House at the Irvine Spectrum Center is known for its massive selection of beers on tap and during St. Patrick's Day weekend, a select few turn green for the holiday. In addition to the green beer, there will be a varied selection of Irish beers on tap, as well as signature whiskey-based mixed drinks such as the Lucky Leprechaun and the Celtic Mojito. The holiday menu includes classic such as corned beef and shepherd's pie.

Ticket Giveaway for South Coast Rep's The Whale

Posted by: Terry Winkler
Posted on: Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013

There comes a time where the stars align and the universe shouts at me to pay attention and it's happening right now. 

WeightWeight. Why is it such an issue with me?  I've eaten to escape from pain, celebrate my successes and to deal with emotions from grief to boredom.  I've joined a support group of sorts to embrace a healthier me (and boy, is there a lot of me to embrace these days), and then I learn my acting teacher, Matthew Arkin, has been cast in the starring role at South Coast Rep in The Whale

The Whale is the story of a morbidly obese 600 pound man.  Charlie, since the death of his boyfriend, has confined himself to his small Idaho apartment and is eating himself to oblivion. With his health quickly failing, Charlie becomes desperate to reconnect with Ellie, his estranged and angry teenage daughter whom he has not seen in 17 years. He would give her anything: his love, his money....maybe even his life. Written by Obie Award-winning playwright Samuel D. Hunter, The Whale is a tough, humorous and emotionally powerful play about how we cope with loss, and how new definitions of family, friends and religion shape our lives.

Tonight (Thursday, Feb 28th) at 7 p.m. I'm going to attend SCR's audience enrichment lecture where audiences and artists gather for insightful discussion and a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at SCR and The Whale, moderated by SCR literary manager Kelly L. Miller, Matthew Arkin, along with director, Martin Benson and fellow cast member Wyatt Fenner.

SCR and I have teamed up to giveaway two tickets to see The Whale!

 To enter, leave a comment about an experience you‘ve have had about emotional eating or family relationships. The winner will be announced 7pm on Thursday March 7th.

Plus special $26 ticket offer for Destination Irvine Readers!

Select Discount Ticket Performance Dates for The Whale - use Promo Code 8175 for discount

Sunday, March 10   2:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 12   7:45 p.m.

Wednesday, March 13   7:45 p.m.

Thursday,  March 14   7:45 p.m.

Sunday, 3/17   7:45 p.m.

 Tickets: May be purchased online at, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the box office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Performances run March 10-31. Ticket prices range from $20 to $70. Low-priced preview performances run March 10-14. 

Location:  South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the Folino Theater Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available on Park Center Drive, off Anton Blvd.

 Terry Winkler  is the founder of Enter Stage Write, an Orange County theater, entertainment and lifestyle website.

Orange County Restaurant Week

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Sunday, Feb 24, 2013

Just when you thought Irvine and Newport Beach Restaurant Weeks were over and you had to wait until next year to enjoy a variety of pre-fixe menus, Orange County Restaurant Week kicked off TODAY (for it's 5th year) with 100 Top Restaurants participating throughout OC!

From February 24th -March 2nd, enjoy  pre-fixe lunch $10, $15 and $20 Menus or Dinner $20, $30 and $40 Menus

I kicked off my OC Restaurant Week eating frenzy with the first restaurant on the list 118 Degrees in Costa Mesa...

118 Here are the Irvine Restaurants participating:

Andrei's Conscious Cuisine
Crystal Jade
Cucina Enoteca
IL Fornaio
Irvine Improv
Paul Martin's American Grill
Ruth's Chris Steak House
SWSH Shabu Shabu
The Melting Pot

Newport Beach/Corona Del Mar:

Bluewater Grill
Brasserie Pascal
Canaletto by Il Fornaio
Crow Burger Kitchen
Cucina Alessa
Div Bar
Harborside Restaurant
Newport Landing
Pita Jungle
SOL Cocina
The Ritz Restaurant and Garden
Tommy Bahama's Island Grille
True Food Kitchen
Woody's Wharf 

Five Crowns
The Crow Bar and Kitchen

Costa Mesa:

118 Degrees
Antonello Ristorante
Capital Grille
Charlie Palmer
Gypsy Den
ECCO Restaurant
Mi Casa
Newport Rib Company
Pinot Provence
Pizzeria Ortica
Seasons 52
Signature Kitchen
Wolfgang Puck Bistro


Bluewater Grill
JT Schmid's
Nieuport 17
Pizzelle's Bistro
Quinn's Old Town Grill
RA Sushi Bar Restaurant
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Santa Ana:

Chapter One: the modern local
Gypsy Den
Memphis at the Santana
Morton's The Steakhouse
Royal Khyber

Search the entire list of OC cities on the OC Restaurant Week website!

Happy Eating!



*Images from OC Restaurant Week, OC Foodies, and

Filed In: Insider Scoop, Events

February 14th Diamond Jamboree Promotions

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013

Whether you're celebrating Single's Awareness or Valentine's Day, tomorrow February 14th, the Diamond Jamboree has a few special offers for you!

Salon Loxy

For the ladies planning on a Girl's Night Out or a romantic date, get dolled up with Salon Loxy, now offering a $25 wash/style package. Offer available on Thursday February 14th only so book an appointment (949) 553-1999 first thing tomorrow morning! Also for the rest of the month of February, enjoy 30% off of any Keratin Smoothing Treatments or Japanese Straightening service!

2700 Alton Pkwy, #227, Irvine, CA
10:00am-7:00pm   Facebook

Tokyo Table

2710 Alton Pkway, Irvine, CA.
(949) 263-0000
11:30 am - 12:00 am 


The Balcony Grill & Bar

No plans for Thursday night? Come celebrate SINGLES AWARENESS DAY with your friends (or come make a few new ones) at The Balcony! Festivities start at 9pm (until 2am) featuring our popular Happy Hour and DJ Kaspikc will be providing entertainment for the evening!

2710 Alton Pkwy, Ste. 215, Irvine, CA
(949) 387-0888

Promotion available between 9pm-2am   Facebook/Website

 Treasures Gold, Platinum, & Luxury Brand Exchange

Most of the merchandise in the store is an additional 10% to 40% OFF

2750 Alton Pkwy, C-141 | Irvine, CA 92606
10:00am to 8:00pm 

Enjoy your Thursday no matter what you do!


*Images/info provided by Diamond Jamboree & from store facebook profiles

Welcome Wyland!

Posted by: Ellen Bell
Posted on: Saturday, Feb 09, 2013

Irvine has a reputation for being the land of  beige.  Wyland is here to add a welcome touch of blue.

The renowned marine artist has moved his Wyland Worldwide headquarters to Irvine and has already established himself as a good neighbor.


On January 17th, Wyland spent the evening with students of Woodbury Elementary School, painting and sharing his passion for marine preservation. 


The event, sponsored by the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, featured the Clean Water Mobile Experience, an interactive classroom on wheels that teaches the importance of preserving water habitats. 


2013 is a big year for Wyland.

It's the 35th Anniversary of his gallery and 20th Anniversary of the Wyland Foundation, the non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting and preserving the world's ocean, waterways, and marine life. The foundation encourages environmental awareness through education programs, public art projects, and community events. Wyland donates more than 1,000 pieces of art annually for his foundation efforts and for charitable causes worldwide. 

Wyland is a dedicated philanthropist, but he is an artist first; an artist with a mission.

He paints every day; never losing sight of his dedication to art, conservation, and the community.


Wyland has been drawn to paint marine life ever since he first visited Laguna Beach as a teenager.

"Growing up in Michigan, I learned about the ocean like every other midwestern kid," says Wyland "by watching 'The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau' on TV." 

That first trip to Laguna was a revelation.

"I couldn't wait to get in the water. I dove in at Main Beach and swam out past the waves. I came up out of the water and found two gray whales right in front of me. In those days the whales hugged the shore as they migrated."

The sight of those two whales changed Wyland's life. He returned to Laguna Beach, opened his gallery in 1978, and became one of the most influential artists in the growing environmental movement.

"I was the right artist at the right time," Wyland explains.


Now this artist is part of the Irvine community, ready to get involved with local causes.

"Irvine is a great place for me," says Wyland. "Education is a high priority here and that fits with what I do."

"Kids come first."


2017-2018 Visitors Guide
Visitors Guide
Whether here for a business trip or a family vacation, let our free Visitors Guide be your constant companion.  More
E-Newsletter image
Destination Irvine's quarterly newsletter is a great way to stay informed about Irvine, the center of Orange County.  Sign up
36 Executive Park, Suite 100 · Irvine, CA 92614
Phone: 949-660-9112
Powered by Translate