In southern California, we don’t have to deal with much of a winter. No one is shoveling snow or salting sidewalks. No one stays indoors for weeks just praying for the return of the sun. We live a pretty lucky life! One of the best parts of year-round sun is there is no bad day for a day at the park. Whether you are out for a picnic or a pickup basketball game, a leisurely bike ride or a nap in the shade of a tree, Irvine has plenty of beautiful options. With so many parks around, it can be hard to choose where to go. Here is a break down of a few of our favorite parks in Irvine.

Bill Barber Memorial Park

The tranquility of a stroll through the garden at Bill Barber Park can’t be overstated. This park is a beautiful getaway from the busy hustle of everyday life. The vibrant colors make it the perfect place to relax on a lazy afternoon. There are covered areas to eat in the shade and an adorable playground for kids to run around and explore. Take in a softball game or watch the next tennis star take a few practice swings. Or catch a concert in the amphitheater. Bill Barber park has something for everyone!

North Lake Park

It may be a man-made lake, but you can’t deny the beauty of North Lake. The park on the lake’s shore is a central point of the Woodbridge Village community, and it is a perfect place to sit back and unwind. The Woodbridge Village Association also puts on a lot of events that are open to Woodbridge residents and non-residents alike! Catch evening movies under the stars every Friday in July. Rock out to free concerts on the lake. Or even sign your kid up for swim lessons. All free outdoor events are open to all, but there is a small extra fee for non Woodbridge residents for swim lessons. Learn more about the summer events here.

Upper Newport Bay Nature Reserve

For the nature enthusiast, you can’t beat the grandeur of the Upper Newport Bay Nature Reserve. Admittedly, this one is not technically in Irvine, but it’s so pretty, and close, that we made an exception. With more than 135 acres of gorgeously preserved nature area, this is the best place to see rare and endangered wildlife. It’s great for hiking, birdwatching, biking, and- if you have connections- horseback riding. Take in the splendor of Mother Earth at this nature reserve. You won’t regret it!

Parks are a welcome relief from the concrete and steel of the city. Head out to one of these parks and get a little green in your life! Do you have another favorite park around Irvine? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram. And keep following our blog here for more Irvine treasures.