I spent the summer interning in Irvine and had a chance to explore the “safest city in America” and surrounding areas in Orange County, one of the richer counties in the country.
The open-air, cobblestone shopping malls with palm trees, polished storefronts and $5 ferris wheel rides were a pleasant shock. Yup, I said ferris wheel – the Spectrum Shopping Center has a giant ferris wheel within the shopping mall. The picture above is a view from the top. Apparently, the whole area used to be an amusement park playground before it was converted into a shopping mall so they left the ferris wheel and a carousel in there!
I also visited Fashion Island, which sadly is not an actual island, but another shopping mall. This one had fountains, a koi pond and a Tesla showroom – just the normal things you see in any shopping mall (not really). I saw a higher concentration of Teslas in Irvine than I’ve seen in all other cities combined.
The mall also had a greater selection of retail stores – high end as well as common clothing brands.
I must say living in downtown LA has reverse spoiled me – it has made me think run-down buildings next to skyscrapers is normal. Thus, Irvine was a bit fancy for my taste, but I could easily get used to it if I lived there!
Aside from that, Irvine also has many business complexes with large concentrations of medical device and high tech companies.
Published on September 13th, 2016
Last updated on January 20th, 2021