Provided by: Destination Irvine
Do & See

Orange County Great Park

The park offers fun activities with events throughout the year, a rotating art gallery and a farmers market every Sunday, including: The Great Park Balloon is a 118-foot-high helium balloon that's become an O.C. icon, soaring to 400 feet, and offering a 360 degree view of up to 40 miles. The Great Park Carousel is a favorite for kids of all ages. The Kids' Area includes the Farm + Food Lab, Kids Rock Playground, the Incredible Edible Farm, Walkable Historical Timeline, North Lawn recreation area, a 105-acre Great Park Farm and Historic Hanger 244.
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Historic Irvine

The history of Irvine is not a long one -- in fact, today's growing city celebrated its 40th anniversary in December 2011. But the Irvine region has a long and rich history, dating back to 1878 when James Irvine acquired his business partners’ interests in 168 square miles of future Orange County land for $150,000; today, that amount would equate to $3.56 million. The acquisition created the great Irvine Ranch consisting of 110,000 acres stretching 23 miles from the Santa Ana River to the Pacific Ocean. Visitors can explore the oldest standing structure within the original boundaries of Irvine Ranch, and the first wooden house erected between Anaheim and San Diego at the Irvine Historical Museum. In addition, the Irvine Ranch Historic Park, site of the original Irvine Ranch headquarters, features several of the original structures, including the home of James Irvine II, numerous barns and residential buildings. Step back in time at the La Quinta Inn in Old Town Irvine where101 rooms of the hotel once served as the silos of a former lima bean and grain warehouse. In 1986, the silos were converted to the hotel. The center hexagonal concrete silos are now the interior corridors serving the rooms located in the exterior facing silos and the tin shed, kept mostly intact including the original main lift, is utilized as the area where the hotel serves breakfast. The hotel has a picture display including a brief history and description of "Historic Old Town Irvine."
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