Northwood is a community encompassing the northern portions of the city of Irvine, in Orange County, California. It covers the area enclosed by the Santa Ana Freeway, Culver Drive, Portola Parkway and Jeffrey Road. Northwood, which began construction in the early 1970s, is the only community in Irvine that was developed independent of the Irvine Company. Like most of Irvine’s villages, Northwood is known for certain unique characteristics, the most prominent of which are the eucalyptus windrows that enclose neighborhoods and line main thoroughfares, and include many of the trees that were planted when the land was farmed, as crop protection against fierce Santa Ana Winds. These windrows are more frequent and closer together in the Northwood area than in other parts of Irvine. Also characteristic of the village are views of the Santa Ana Mountains to the north and a preponderance of single-family dwellings often situated on somewhat larger lots.
Northwood is within the Irvine Unified School District. All four of the elementary schools in Northwood, Santiago Hills Elementary School, Canyon View Elementary School, Brywood Elementary School, and Northwood Elementary School perform well. The elementary schools scored between 889 and 951 out of a possible 1,000 on the 2007 Academic Performance Index Base Report. Northwood Elementary was named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2008.