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Aerial View of Downtown Irvine, CA

Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Irvine in 2024

Moving to Irvine? As one of the best suburbs of Los Angeles, this planned community ranks as one of the top ten healthiest cities in America—and is a growing, family-friendly city with miles of walkable trails, shopping destinations, and beautiful scenery. Check out these five safe, affordable neighborhoods in Irvine!


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  • Home Price: $634,894 median purchase price; $1,464 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 58% of Irvine neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

The neighborhood of Northwood is clean, safe, and full of friendly residents. Located a few minutes from Irvine Spectrum Center, Northwood offers residents an urban-suburban feel—with affordable Craftsman and Spanish Revival-style homes dotting the landscape. Highly-rated schools like Santiago Hills Elementary, Sierra Vista Middle School, and Northwood High School also offer excellent educational opportunities for local kids—plus, Northwood offers a large selection of fine arts schools, including the Southland Ballet Academy and Vienna Music Institute.

Things to Do in Northwood

Check out different shops, restaurants, and businesses at Northwood Town Center. Introduce kids to music theory or private music lessons at the Irvine Conservatory of Music. Enroll in one of the many community classes like ballroom dancing or sign your kids up for a youth sports team at Northwood Community Center. Let your family’s imaginations run wild at Northwood Community Park, more fondly known as Castle Park, where a cinder block castle surrounds the playground area! Bike or walk the 3.5 miles of Jeffery Open Space Trail, which stretches throughout the city of Irvine. Try unique flavors in Persian and Mediterranean cuisine like Filet Mignon Shish Kabob, Caspian Alfredo, or Hummas Kale Soup at Caspian. Build a tasty shabu bowl with ingredients like Gulf White Shrimp, Toro “fat Belly,” Colorado Lamb, and more from Mokkoji Shabu Shabu. Start with Agedashi Tofu before digging into Zaru Soba, Curry Tonkatsu, Tanuki Udon, and more at Hako. Or grab a tea like the Mango Cha-Cha, Brulee YoYo, or Grapefruit Yakult from YOYO Tea Shoppe.

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Oak Creek

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  • Home Price: $610,700 median purchase price; $2,299 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 79% of Irvine neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families

Young professionals and families alike thrive in Oak Creek, a safe neighborhood in Irvine with a warm sense of community—and pet-friendly streets featuring Craftsman-style homes. Families have their choice of top-rated public schools like Oak Creek Elementary School, while local college students can attend nearby Irvine Valley College—which offers programs for liberal arts, business, accounting, and more. Residents can also find all kinds of shops, restaurants, and entertainment in and around Oak Creek!

Things to Do in Oak Creek

Book a tee time and try out your swing at Oak Creek Golf Club. Shop for specialty foods like Manassero Candied Green Tomatoes at Manassero Farms. Explore Oak Creek Community Park, which boasts a bustling playground, shady sycamore trees, and access to the Sand Canyon Side Path. Take a walk or bike ride the nearly four miles of the paved Freeway Trail, or enjoy more than seven miles of views on the San Diego Creek Trail. Visit Oak Creek Shopping Center to shop at a variety of stores like Gelson’s Market and Massage Heights. Start your morning with an Egg and Cheddar Panini, Eggs Benedict, or Croque Madame at Mustard Cafe. Fill up on Empanadas, Criolla Soup, Fish Chorrillana, and more at Inkas. Chow down on seafood favorites like Mahi-mahi, Grilled White Fish Tacos, or a Thai Shrimp Bowl at OC Fish Grill. Or choose from Salmon Aburi Yuzu, Kaisen Salad, or White Fish Carpaccio at Taiko Japanese Restaurant.

University Park

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  • Home Price: $582,867 median purchase price; $1,997 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 83% of Irvine neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families, retirees

University Park may be located close to the bustling University of California-Irvine and Concordia University Irvine, but this neighborhood is quieter than you may think! University Park is surrounded by green space, with the Turtle Rock Nature Center and Sand Canyon Wash Loop Trail, as well as the University Trail, which stretches the length of William R. Mason Regional Park. In addition, as one of the safest neighborhoods in Irvine, University Park offers access to amazing schools in the award-winning Irvine Unified School District!

Things to Do in University Park

Tour Tanaka Farms, where you can take home a pumpkin in the fall, pick strawberries in the spring, or view the Hikari Festival of Lights in the winter. Take the kids to Adventure Playground to play in a treehouse, sensory garden, and fort zone. Check out neighborhood camps and classes like Butterfly Ballerinas, skateboarding, and private tennis lessons at the University Community Center. Visit University Park Library, an Orange County Public Library, for story time events, college preparation, and volunteer opportunities. Order a handcrafted donut like the Whipped Cream Filled, Chocolate Glazed, or Glazed Twist at Mag’s Donuts. Get authentic Vietnamese cuisines like Rare Steak Pho, Special Combo Pho, Brisket Pho, and more at PhoTasia. Devour Korean dishes like Spicy Pork BBQ Rice, Shrimp Tempura Crunch Roll, and Beef Ramen at Kpop Sushi. Or bite into Burrito Los Cabos, Sonora Fish Taco, or a Mexican Chicken Salad at Tacos & Co.


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  • Home Price: $597,469 median purchase price; $2,327 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 50% of Irvine neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

If you’re looking for a quiet, clean, and safe neighborhood, Westpark is a great place to settle down! With plenty of hiking and walking trails nearby, including the multi-season Harvard Side Path, the neighborhood is set up well for residents to enjoy the California outdoors. Community events like the Veterans Day ceremony at 42-acre Bill Barber Park also bring residents together throughout the year. There are other things to do in Westpark, too, like shopping at Crossroads Shopping Mall or Westpark Plaza!

Things to Do in Westpark

Join an adult or youth recreation ice hockey league or practice your skills at The Rinks Irvine Inline. Brighten up your home, backyard, or landscape with drought-tolerant plants like agave, aloe, and haworthia from OC Succulents. See a show at the amphitheater or stroll through the gardens of Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park, which also features athletic fields, recreation areas, and playgrounds for kids. Make a playdate and bring the kiddos to Plaza Neighborhood Park, which sports a tractor slide and a pretend farmer’s market! Order breakfast dishes like an All American Scrambler, Commuter Croissant, or a Fresh Berry & Yogurt Parfait from the Corner Bakery Cafe. Try Indian cuisines like Andhra Chicken Curry, Gongura, Avakai Biryani, and more at Southern Spice. Pick up a Chili Glazed Grilled Tofu Bowl, Surf and Turf Plate, or a Grilled Grass Fed Steak Sandwich at Urban Plates. And don’t forget to hop on over to THE CUT for handcrafted dishes like Poutine, the Bougie Bird Sandwich, and Truffle & Brie Burger.


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

Named for the wooden bridges crossing the community’s North and South Lakes, Woodbridge is a safe, quiet neighborhood in Irvine that’s great for families. Home to a community garden, multiple parks, and athletic fields, Woodbridge offers several areas for outdoor activities and events. Additionally, Woodbridge is home to exceptional schools, including Eastshore Elementary School, Lakeside Middle School, and Woodbridge High School—which offers 26 individual AP courses.

Things to Do in Woodbridge

Head over to the residents-only North Lake Beach Club and enjoy the barbecue area, sand volleyball pit, or the lake’s walking path. Sign up for a class in drawing, watercolor, or oil painting at Mission: Renaissance. Spend a day at Woodbridge Village Center, which offers a playground, music studio, movie theater, and more. Check out a variety of businesses, eateries, and shops at Alton Square. Join the Needle Arts Club, The Village Book Club, or any of the other Woodbridge Village Association Clubs. Drink a Triple Berry Mimosa while eating breakfast dishes like Farmhouse Breakfast Tacos, Cinnamon Roll French Toast, or Florentine Benedict at Mimi’s Cafe. Find Philly cheesesteak sandwiches like the Pizza Steak Philly, Buffalo Chicken Steak, or American Hoagie at Philly’s Best. Create your own Korean hot pot with ingredients like Pork Belly, Lamb, American Style Wagyu Beef Galbi Eye, and more at dPot! Or enjoy a Grapefruit Green Tea, White Peach Creamomo, or Oreo Brulee Green Milk Tea at Omomo Tea Shoppe.


Thinking about moving to Irvine? Extra Space Storage has storage facilities located throughout the Orange County area that can help make your transition easier. Find a self 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.