Located in balmy Southern California, south of Los Angeles and north of San Diego, Irvine is one of the largest master-planned communities in the nation. The city boasts a population of 282,584 people and is growing at a steady rate. Irvine prides itself in its aesthetic layout and dedication to open spaces and community parks, as well as in its many walking and biking trails and wildlife preserves. With boundless job opportunities, a diverse population, and excellent schools, it’s no wonder Irvine is such a desirable city to live in.
When moving to a new city, there’s more to consider than just the job. You really want to find a neighborhood that fits you and your needs. If you’re a young professional or student, that might mean access to public transportation and proximity to nightlife. A family with young children will care about the quality of the schools and the safety of the streets. And a retiree may want to be near others in the golden years of life. If Irvine is going to be your next home, take a look at the best places to live in Irvine!
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There’s a reason Irvine is one of the most desirable cities in California. Just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, with lots to do, Irvine is one of the safest places to live. From business centers to entertainment galore, Irvine has just about everything. Check out our list of the best neighborhoods in Irvine to find your perfect fit.
Oak Creek – Best Irvine neighborhood for professionals
- Population: 10,849
- Median Home Price: $695,222
- Great for: Students, young professionals
With mature oak trees lining the streets and stone entryways into the village, Oak Creek is a picturesque neighborhood located in central Irvine. Homes here tend toward traditional architecture, with stucco exteriors and wood or tile roofs. Oak Creek Village Center offers a variety of stores and restaurants and is within walking distance of many of the residents of Oak Creek. The Oak Creek Golf Club is considered a hidden gem, with beautifully verdant grounds and a state-of-the-art practice facility. Oak Creek Community Park offers access to trails, two playgrounds, sports fields, and numerous picnic tables.
Turtle Rock – Affluent Irvine Suburb For Families
- Population: 25,990
- Median Home Price: $1,597,132
- Great for: Families, students, young professionals
Located just five minutes from University of California, Irvine, Turtle Rock is a quaint yet bustling neighborhood. Turtle Rock Community Park has everything from playgrounds to barbecues for outdoor entertainment. Turtle Rock Nature Center offers trails, a native plant garden, and even a labyrinth! Turtle Rock may be one of the pricier areas of Irvine, but with that price tag comes top-rated schools, convenient access to main roads, and proximity to shopping. If any of those fit your needs, it might just be the neighborhood for you.
Northwood Point – Safest Irvine Neighborhood For Families
- Population: 11,176
- Median Home Price: $1,082,023
- Great for: Families, established professionals
In the northwest corner of Irvine, you’ll find the affluent community of Northwood Point. Houses here are spacious, and a majority of the residents own rather than rent their homes. Residents here come from diverse backgrounds, with a high number being of Asian descent. As such, many of the restaurants and businesses cater to Asian preferences. Sitting in the center of Northwood Point is Meadowood Park, a beautiful park with playground equipment for toddlers as well as older children. Hicks Canyon Trail, in the south of Northwood Point, is a lush 2-mile long, paved trail that allows walking, biking, skating, and horseback riding.
University Park – Dense Suburb Adjacent to UC Irvine
- Population: 16,663
- Median Home Price: $753,230
- Great for: Students, families with children
Just south of I-405 and north of the University of California at Irvine is the pristine neighborhood of University Park. One of the more historic neighborhoods of Irvine, University Park was built with greenbelts and greenspaces to beautify the area. The neighborhood features several fantastic parks, including Adventure Playground, with a tree house, a fort, a sensory garden, and climbing areas for children. If golfing is your interest, Strawberry Farms Golf Club offers a tranquil course with a cozy restaurant onsite. University Park Center is a small shopping center, featuring the popular Mag’s Donuts and Bakery. If you’re looking for a lush, family-friendly neighborhood, University Park could be the perfect place for you.
El Camino Real – Spacious Neighborhood in Irvine
- Population: 16,697
- Median Home Price: $652,056
- Great for: Young professionals
With a high number of liberal residents and a lower-than-average cost of housing, El Camino Real is probably the most diverse neighborhood of Irvine. Many of the homes in El Camino Real were built in the 60s and 70s and differ from the standard two-story houses seen in the rest of Irvine. These single-story homes are spacious, with large lots, and lower HOA fees. The neighborhood sits close to the I-5, making for convenient traveling. Coffee enthusiasts will enjoy sitting down at Coffee Tomo Irvine, which serves hand drip coffee, or The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Hamada-Ya is a popular and unique dessert shop you’ll want to visit, blending Japanese tastes with traditional bread and pastry techniques. With a number of parks and a beautiful walking trail, El Camino Real could be the diamond in the rough you’re looking for.
Turtle Ridge – Irvine Community With Stunning Views
- Population: 8,898
- Median Home Price: $963,100
- Great for: Families, established professionals
Bordering the scenic Bommer Canyon is the hilly neighborhood of Turtle Ridge, one of the newer communities in Irvine. Homes here range from condos and townhomes to spacious single-family homes. One of the unique aspects of Turtle Ridge is the view. Some homes have ocean and mountain views as well as views of the city lights at night. Living in Turtle Ridge provides residents with a number of amenities, including parks, pools, two clubhouses, and a fitness center. Las Lomas Community Park provides a spacious, 18-acre area with sports fields and playgrounds, as well as a community center. Living in Turtle Ridge means owning a car, as the neighborhood is not very walkable, but for many, the views alone make that worth it.
Woodbridge – Best Lakeside Community in Irvine
- Population: 20,735
- Median Home Price: $753,900
- Great for: Families, young professionals
With two lakes centered in the neighborhood, Woodbridge has a number of desirable amenities for residents, from walking paths and man-made beaches to spas and splash pads. Residents of Woodbridge also have access to tennis, basketball, volleyball, and pickle-ball courts, as well as the small, gated Echo Run Park. The San Diego Creek runs through Woodbridge, with a bicycle trail that connects to many of the other trails in Irvine. Other highlights of the neighborhood include Woodbridge Village Center, a shopping center with open seating and a play area for children, and Pho Ba Co, a popular Vietnamese restaurant.
Westpark – Best Walkable Neighborhood in Irvine
- Population: 13,879
- Median Home Price: $789,993
- Great for: Young professionals, students, families with young children
If you’re looking for a safe neighborhood with an urban feel, Westpark might just be the perfect place for you. The population of Westpark tends toward liberal views, and schools in Westpark are top rated. With a number of rentals available, Westpark is perfect for university students and young professionals starting out on their careers. Community parks like Bill Barber Memorial Park and Sweet Shade Neighborhood park offer playgrounds and recreational areas for residents. As a highly walkable neighborhood, you’ll enjoy proximity to restaurants and shops, giving this suburb of Irvine an urban feel.
Irvine Neighborhoods to Avoid
Crime is a factor you’ll want to consider when choosing where to live. While Irvine is one of the safest cities in California, there are still neighborhoods you may want to avoid. Here are the least safe neighborhoods of Irvine.
- Quail Hill: 884% more crime than Irvine
- Irvine Health and Science Complex: 677% more crime than Irvine
- Business District: 530% more crime than Irvine
- El Toro Marine Air Station: 280% more crime than Irvine
Neighborhoods in Irvine Map
If one of these desirable Irvine neighborhoods is calling your name, we’d love to help you move. Call our top-rated Irvine professional moving company at 949-639-0330 for your free quote. SafeWay Moving will make moving an easy process as you move into your new home or business.