Irvine is a planned city developed by the Irvine Company in the 1960’s, and is notorious for its jobs and housing, low crime rate, high ranking schools, and high median income. Thus it was little surprise when in 2008, chose Irvine to be the fourth best place to live in the United States. Irvine lacks a downtown center, and instead consists of a series of about 40 villages, each with its own architectural theme and style. Some of the more notorious villages include Quail Hill, Turtle Ridge, University Town Center, Woodbridge, and Northwood.

Quail Hill
Quail Hill is one of the premier communities in Irvine, located minutes from the Irvine Spectrum while also having access to hiking and bicycling trails that connects to over 50,000 acres of preserved open space. The Spanish-style community is named after a rock formation that can be seen from miles away, which gives the impression of seclusion while also having the luxuries of access to the prestigious University of California Irvine, shopping centers, and cultural arts.

Turtle Ridge
The Tuscan-styled village of Turtle Ridge contains over 1,600 homes that are nestled in the foothills of Bommer Canyon. This area is divided into many neighborhoods that contain a wide range of affordability in housing choices, from town homes to luxury hillside estates. This development is popular among families because of its highly regarded Irvine Unified School District, where the students in these schools consistently perform the highest on SAT test scores. This area is also within close proximity to shopping and entertainment centers.

University Town Center
The University Town Center is located between the UCI campus and William R. Mason Regional Park. This unique city-style community is where townhomes, condominiums and apartments are conveniently located near a blend of shops, offices, theatres, services, and schools. It is easily navigated without a car, and connects neighborhoods with a multi-use pathway that provides opportunities for jogging, bicycling, and strolling. The Orange County Transit Authority is also available for car-free transportation.

Woodbridge is a housing development that contains five elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school. This community is divided into North Lake and South Lake, and as the names indicate, each half of Woodbridge features a lake at its center with a beach club on each shore. The gated community also has twenty-four tennis courts, pathways, and regional parks that attract young families and retirees.

The village of Northwood is designed for families with young children. Rows of Eucalyptus trees were planted as wind breaks prior to development, and now shade a multi-use path that links neighborhoods together. Located within the Irvine Unified School District, every street in the neighborhood leads to a cul-de-sac, and all students can walk to the local elementary schools from Park Place without crossing a street. All five elementary schools in the village scored high on the Academic Performance Index Base Report. Northwood Elementary, for example, was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2008.

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