Your Summer Go-Outside-And-Play-Guide

Seven Irvine Getaways Guaranteed to Brighten Your Summer

One of my favorite things about Irvine is how much nature we have right outside our door.

We’re talking 260 parks and 16,000 acres of open space. With summer calling, here’s my list of seven essential parks and trails to enjoy – right outside your door!

Ellen Bell is author of “Irvine: Images of America,” and is president of the Irvine Historical Society.

 

Blaze a trail

1) Bommer Canyon

Once home of the Irvine Ranch cowboys and their annual Spring Roundup, now you can hike past ancient oak groves to ridgelines overlooking the ocean.

 

Jog with the dog

2) Quail Hill

There’s no reason to leave your puppy behind when you hit the trail. Hike or jog this two-mile nature loop with your dog (on a leash), and enjoy a quick escape to nature.

 

Go bird watching

3) San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary

A natural oasis in the heart of the city. This freshwater marsh is home to 69 acres of ponds, 150 acres of natural woodlands and 280 species of birds.

 

Take a trip back in time

4) Jeffrey Open Space Trail

This beautiful 3.5-mile park is like an outdoor museum! From north to south, you’ll follow the story of Irvine, from Spanish exploration to a modern, master-planned city.

 

Treat your kids like royalty

5) Castle Park

Yes, there is a castle in Irvine. This kids’ favorite at Northwood Community Park features parapets, tunnels and a bridge spanning a rocky moat.

 

Sail a model boat

6) Mason Regional Park

This sprawling 339-acre park offers everything: shade trees, wilderness trails and even a 9-acre lake with, yes, model boat sailing.

 

Relax, it’s summertime

7) Orchard Hills

Feel the serenity of life in the country with a twilight hike past avocado orchards. An easy hike gives you unobstructed views to the sea.