The UCI campus is located 5 miles from the famous beaches of southern California, in the city of Irvine. At the center of Orange County, Irvine offers the friendly atmosphere of a small town with the educational, recreational, and cultural opportunities of a large city. Irvine is minutes from world-renowned shopping, championship golf courses, spectacular beaches, beautiful wilderness areas, award-winning restaurants, theme parks and prominent arts and culture.
The temperate Mediteranean climate is conducive to year round outdoor activities, including surfing, diving, sailing, hiking and field sport; Irvine offers more "green" space than any other city in Orange County and within a two hour drive, there are facilities for superb snow skiing, snow boarding and desert hiking below the mountains.
Students can choose to live in convenient and comfortable campus apartments, or in the surrounding beach communities. The UCI campus is located adjacent to University Center, a commercial and residential site that includes a movie theatre complex, restaurants, clothing stores, book stores, video/music stores, gift shops, a small market, and the weekly Saturday Farmers' Market.
UCI is bordered by thriving commercial centers that include major department stores, world-renowned boutiques, a wide variety of restaurants and major hotels. The greater Irvine area boasts numerous cultural opportunities, including the Irvine Barclay Theatre, the Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory Theater, the UCI Symphony Orchestra, The Irvine Museum, the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, and the Orange County Performing Arts Center. The city of Los Angeles, less than a 1 hour drive to the North, and the city of San Diego, an hour's drive to the South, offer additional cultural, intellectual, and sports activities.