Home > Moving > City Guides > Best Neighborhoods in Irvine for Families in 2024
Skyline of Irvine California with mountains in the background

Best Neighborhoods in Irvine for Families in 2024

Thinking of relocating to Irvine? With its beautiful parks, shopping malls, walking trails, historical centers, and high-ranking schools, this master-planned city is one of America’s best places to raise a family. Check out these five family-friendly neighborhoods in Irvine to plant your roots!

El Camino Real

    A post shared by @instagram

  • Home Price: $507,458 median purchase price; $2,389 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of Irvine neighborhoods

With many of its spacious, single-story homes dating back to the mid-1960s, El Camino Real is one of the older communities in Irvine. Of course, those homes have since been updated, providing affordable modern living with a historical flair! This established neighborhood is sprinkled with plenty of green space like Heritage Community Park, where you and your family can stretch, play sports, have a picnic, go swimming, and more. Additionally, your children will have opportunities to be educated at top-ranked Irvine schools like Deerfield Elementary and Irvine High School. El Camino Real is also situated near major roadways like I-5 and Irvine Center Drive, giving residents easy access to the rest of Irvine’s amenities.

Things to Do in El Camino Real

Make use of the craft rooms, gazebos, lounges, athletic fields, picnic areas, and more at Heritage Park Community Center. Cozy up with your favorite book indoors or out amongst the scenic park views at Irvine Heritage Park Library. Wander exhibits, enroll in classes, or attend special events like the Holiday Faire at the Irvine Fine Arts Center. Take a dip for watery fun or sign your little one up for swimming lessons at Woollett Aquatics Center. Excite your tastebuds with a plate of Pad Kra Pow, Drunken Noodles, or Pineapple Fried Rice at Thai Spice. Take your family out for dishes like the Taiwanese Spicy Hot Soup, Korean Bean Paste, or Milk Cream Curry from Boiling Point. Treat yourself to a delicious Tiramisu, Baklava with Pistachio, Bamieh-Zoolbia, and other pastries from Assal Pastry. Or enjoy savory delights like Stone Pot Bibimbap, Kimchi Stew, and Stir-Fried Squid with Noodles from Baekjong Korean Barbecue.

Search Form Find an Extra Space Storage facility near you

Turtle Rock

    A post shared by @instagram

  • Home Price: $1,168,567 median purchase price; $1,921 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 75% of Irvine neighborhoods

Named for the enormous rock formation that resembles a turtle’s shell, Turtle Rock is a peaceful, largely residential neighborhood that boasts scenic parks like Turtle Rock Community Park, golf courses, and walking trails. Among the quiet, tree-lined lanes of this master-planned community, you can find charming homes in California ranch and Mediterranean styles. Residents appreciate access to quality education for their children with schools like Turtle Rock Elementary, the number one school in the Irvine Unified School District. And for families with kids in college, Turtle Rock is home to Concordia University Irvine and is located just minutes from the University of California, Irvine. Although this gorgeous, affluent neighborhood is a serene retreat from busier sections of the city, proximity to the San Diego Fwy and California State Route 73 means you’ll never be disconnected from surrounding areas!

Things to Do in Turtle Rock

Wind through shaded trails, native plant gardens, and a rock labyrinth at the Turtle Rock Nature Center, a haven to local wildlife and conservation efforts. Catch jaw-dropping natural vistas and cityscapes on the Turtle Rock Trail before stopping to visit the Turtle Rock Outcropping. Take a short 15-minute drive south to access the numerous beaches and attractions found at Crystal Cove State Park. Book your tee time on the 6,700 yard, 18-hole course at Strawberry Farms Golf Club. After a day of golfing, sit down for a hearty meal of the SFGC French Dip, Southwest Chicken Pasta, or Beer Battered Fish & Chips at Strawberry Farm Golf Club’s Farmhouse Grill. Sample Mediterranean cuisine like the Beef Shish Kabob, Gheymeh Stew, or Chicken Koobideh Wrap at Irvine Grill. Take a quick jaunt over to the UCI campus to try delicious sandwiches like the Hot Honey Peach & Prosciutto, Peruvian Steak, or Vegan Banh Mi at Mendocino Farm. Or try delicious Persian ice cream flavors such as Saffron Pistachio, White Rose, Cucumber, or Taro and Ube from Saffron & Rose Persian Ice Cream.

University Park

    A post shared by @instagram

  • Home Price: $582,867 median purchase price; $1,997 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 83% of Irvine neighborhoods

Bordered by I-405 on the north side and lush parks on the west and south sides, University Park is a safe, family-friendly neighborhood that’s mostly residential. In addition to Craftsman bungalows, many of the beautiful homes in this area have features like stucco and tile roofs that evoke Spanish styles. There are plenty of green spaces like University Community Park that allow your children to run, play, and socialize safely—and also provide opportunities for you to hit the trails. This neighborhood is also home to high-ranking schools like University Park Elementary and Rancho San Joaquin Middle School. Additionally, University Park has great venues for shopping and dining, including the Parkview Center shopping mall.

Things to Do in University Park

Bring the kids out for a day of self-directed play scaling the treehouse, experiencing the sensory garden, going down the slides, and much more at the popular Adventure Playground. Join a book club or start learning a new language at the Irvine University Park Library. Play a few sets of tennis with friends or take advantage of the residents-only pool at Dave Robins Park. Enjoy a family outing with picnicking, bird watching, equestrian rides, model boat racing, hiking, and much more at the expansive William R. Mason Regional Park. Indulge your sweet tooth with a Maple Bar, Bear Claw, Glazed French Cruller, or Sugar Twist donut from Mag’s Donuts. Order a bowl of Meatball Pho, Chicken Pho, or a plate of the Grilled Shrimp Vermicelli from PhoTasia. Dig into delicious Korean barbecue dishes like the Braised Beef Short Rib, Spicy Marinated Pork, or the Beef Bulgogi paired with soju or a beer at Seoul N Spirits BBQ. Or grab a slice from gourmet specialty pies like the White Knight Pizza, PB&J Pizza, or the Veggie Alfredo Pizza from Ameci Pizza Kitchen.


    A post shared by @instagram

  • Home Price: $597,469 median purchase price; $2,327 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 50% of Irvine neighborhoods

Westpark is one of the safest, most affordable places to live in Irvine, so it’s no wonder why families are drawn to live in this centrally-located neighborhood. Quiet, serene, and walkable, this planned development is studded with parks and trails, giving families plenty of access to the great outdoors. Residents can choose from single-family homes, townhouses, condos, and villas—and the homeowner’s association in the area provides great amenities like pools, picnicking areas, tennis courts, and more. While living in Westpark, you can give your children a quality education at institutions like Westpark Montessori and Culverdale Elementary. And centers like Westpark Plaza provide various opportunities for shopping, dining, and entertainment, so you’ll always have things to do!

Things to Do in Westpark

Immerse yourself in the action as you play new and classic video games in full VR at Fire Loop Virtual Reality. Stroll through the stone paths, archways, and lush trees at Bill Barber Memorial Park—or make use of the athletic fields and picnic areas provided there. Sign up for inline hockey youth and adult rec leagues, or take your family to public skate times at The Rinks. Get a dose of adrenaline as you ride the spinning Starship, race around the Thunder Road Go Kart track, or conquer the whirling Flame Thrower ride at Boomers Irvine. Start with an appetizer of Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders or Nachos before graduating to an order of Baby Back Ribs or a Grilled Salmon Filet at Stonefire Grill. Savor modern American cuisine like Braised Beef & Mushrooms, Chimichurri Grass Fed Steak, or the Nashville Hot Tender Sandwich at Urban Plates. Satisfy your appetite with speciality sushi rolls like the Caterpillar Roll, Fire Crunchy Roll, or the Go Go Roll from Sagami Restaurant. Or enjoy delicious Indian dishes like Prawn Mango Curry, Tikka Masala, Tandoori Chicken, and more at Southern Spice.


    • A post shared by @instagram

  • Home Price: $633,965 median purchase price; $1,927 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 71% of Irvine neighborhoods

With renovated single-family homes, condos, and villas, Woodbridge is an upscale Irvine neighborhood conveniently located near the city center, giving residents easy access to all of Irvine and other nearby California cities. Not that you’ll need to leave often—Woodbridge has a range of fantastic amenities that’ll make you feel right at home! Families will love the area’s numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation at parks like Mike Ward Community Park and North Lake Park. There are also shopping centers, restaurants, and great schools like Stone Creek Elementary, Lakeside Middle School, and Woodbridge High School. The Woodbridge Village Association helps tie the community together with annual events like lake outings, swim clubs, comedy nights, and more!

Things to Do in Woodbridge

Take advantage of resident-exclusive access to the North Lake and South Lake Beach Clubs, where you can picnic, walk scenic trails, swim, go boating, and more. Spend a day shopping, dining out, and catching a movie at Woodbridge Village Center. Break out your golf clubs and play a round at Oak Creek Golf Club, just northeast of Irvine Center Drive. Bring your pups out for a day of fun and play at Irvine Central Bark Dog Park. Start your day right with organic coffee or tea drinks like the Lavender Honey Latte, Monkey Mocha, or Iced Eye Opener at The Lost Bean. Pick up a Club, Chicken Pesto, or Chicken Chipotle sandwich made with fresh ingredients at Mustard Cafe. Dig into homestyle Vietnamese cuisine with dishes like Pho Brisket, Mi Char Siu Pork, or Grilled Beef Vermicelli at Pho Ba Co Irvine. Or get your seafood fix with delicious options like the Ahi Poke Bowl, Barramundi Sea Bass, or Shrimp Skewers from OC Fish Grill.


Are you moving to Irvine, CA? Extra Space Storage has locations across the U.S., with plenty of storage unit sizes and amenities to help make your transition smooth and hassle-free. Find the perfect storage unit near you!

Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.