Irvine, California is a fantastic destination for those seeking the closest city to John Wayne (Orange County's SNA) Airport. There's a small business center surrounding the airport that includes plenty of great hotels, and just minutes away is the University of California at Irvine. To the south of the airport along the transportation corridor of San Diego Freeway (405 & 5 Freeways) you will discover another business center. There's also a popular outdoor shopping mall, Irvine Spectrum, which is owned and operated by the Irvine Company.
More hotels are situated along this additional business area. Known as a safe city and also a smart one, Irvine consistently ranks high in the U.S. for its intelligent citizens and its lack of crime. For those seeking affordable vacations minus the beach (which is a mere 15 minutes from the Orange County Airport,) weekend stays at Irvine's hotels provide great price points.
Things to do:
Pretend City- As a tourist destination, Irvine is creeping into the radar of guests, thanks to some new attractions such as the kid-friendly, amazing place called Pretend City. This museum opened in 2009 with a huge space and interesting concept. The pint-size rooms and activities mimic a city. Kids can clock in with pretend time clocks to work at the grocery store, or pretend they are buying groceries. There's a bank, restaurant with a little kitchen and counter, there are little cars to "pretend" drive, and there's an entire world made just for children. It really is awesome, and entertaining for adults to watch because of the incredible detail that has been added to each pretend area. pretendcity.org
The Great Park- Includes a tethered hot air balloon ride available when winds and weather permit, and many events throughout the year. Cultural festivals have include Turkish Festival, a Japanase Festival and many more.
University of California Irvine- One of the premier institutions nationally for research into medical fields such as heart research, the campus spans several miles not far from the Newport Coast. The public enjoys campus events such as fundraiser walks and marathons, plus cultural activities, concerts, dance and performing arts at Barclay Theater. thebarclay.org