Irvine Spectrum Center

Located in the southeast corner of Irvine, California, the Irvine Spectrum Center is an open-air shopping mall built by the Irvine Company. The mall has a Ferris wheel, a 21-screen Regal Cinemas movie theater, a Nordstrom, and a Target.

The facility was opened in two stages, the first in 1995 and the second in 1998. Both took ten years to complete. In 2002, construction wrapped up on the third and final stage. Between 2005 and 2006, the construction of the fourth and fifth stages was finalized. Shots of the fictitious “Mall of Miami” from the Disney Channel’s Austin & Ally sitcom were filmed there.

Near where Interstates 405 and 5 meet in East Irvine is where you’ll find Irvine Spectrum Center on Fortune Drive. Access the center via Enterprise Drive via Irvine Center Drive or Alton Parkway.

The Irvine Spectrum Center is easily identifiable from far away because of the 108-foot-tall Giant Wheel that towers over the stores and walkways inside. At night, the Giant Wheel sparkles with the lights of Irvine and Orange County below, inviting shoppers and diners to take a break and enjoy the view from above.

Of all, the big draws here aren’t the Giant Wheel (or the carousel, or the little train that whistles its way through Irvine Spectrum Center). The shopping is first-rate, with over a hundred stores lining the spacious, well-lit streets.

The Irvine Spectrum Center is more than just a shopping mall; it is also a full-fledged entertainment complex, with a 24-hour fitness center, spa, and more than 30 restaurants serving everything from gourmet cuisine to quick bites like frozen yogurt and lattes on the go, as well as the famous Improv Comedy Club.

More than just a place to shop and eat, Irvine Spectrum Center also features a wide variety of inexpensive and free attractions. Features like a carousel and large Ferris wheel are popular with children, and the meticulously maintained gardens and hardscaping make for a pleasant promenade.

Live music performs throughout the courtyards on the weekends, adding another layer of ambience to the resort. Near Irvine Spectrum Center, you can choose from a wide variety of restaurants that are perfect for both quick bites and gourmet experiences. Don’t forget to stop by one of these fantastic restaurants on your way home from the mall.

While the Spectrum Center is enjoyable at any time of day, it is especially beautiful and comfortable for strolling at night. Across from the Irvine Improv, where top-tier comics perform weekly, a vast plaza is lit up by a gleaming movie theater.

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