Costa Mesa, CA, USA

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Sweet Treats to Stay Cool in Costa Mesa This Summer

Posted on July 17, 2020 | 7:00am

Spending more time outdoors? After visiting the beach with your family or swimming in one of our hotel pools, cool off with the best milkshake in the country, a Dole Whip float, an açai bowl and more. Here is our list of sweet treats to grab in Costa Mesa this summer.

Courtesy of The Straw: Modern Milkshakes

The Straw: Modern Milkshakes

Who wouldn’t want to try the best milkshake in the country? Named #1 on the “Best Milkshakes in the U.S. List” by Travel + Leisure, The Straw serves up impressive milkshakes with “boozy” and dairy free options. Try “The Campfire,” a s’mores milkshake with toasted marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers. Be a kid again with “The Street,” with cookies and French vanilla, inspired by everyone’s favorite cookie-loving monster. 

Confetti Italian Ice & Custard

In the mood for Dole Whip? Confetti Italian Ice & Custard serves the popular treat by the cup and as a float with pineapple juice. We recommend trying one of their signature parfaits, layering soft serve frozen custard with ice cream or Italian Ice. The cookie butter frozen custard and Oreo milkshake ice cream is a popular combination.

Vitaly

If your outdoor activities include shopping at The CAMP or The LAB, stop by Vitaly for some authentic gelato. The gelatos and sorbets are homemade using fresh ingredients and techniques from an Italian gelato school. Can’t decide which flavor to get? Try a gelato flight, with 5 mini scoops. Find a favorite and you can take a pint home.

Birdie Bowl and Juicery

If you’re looking for a healthy treat, Birdie Bowl and Juicery in SOCO & The OC Mix is a great option. Their menu includes açai and pitaya bowls, smoothies and date shakes. We like the açai classic bowl and the pitaya sunshine bowl. They’re big enough to share as an afternoon snack too.

Courtesy of Blue Bowl Superfoods

Blue Bowl Superfoods

While their menu isn’t nearly as large as Birdie Bowl and Juicery, Blue Bowl Superfoods offers a customizable bowl with plenty of choices. Pick from an impressive list of bases, granolas, fruits, nut butters, toppings, sweeteners and powders. Too many options? Get the Lazy Blue, their signature bowl featuring açai, pitaya and blue chia pudding, along with a variety of fruits, toppings and honey.

It’s a great time to get outside. Whether you’re playing at the park with your pup or taking in the sculptures on our art walk, end your day in Costa Mesa with one of these sweet options. Check our open Costa Mesa restaurants page for updated information on takeout, delivery and patio dining options. 

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Posted in Food

Create Your Escape in Costa Mesa

Posted on June 30, 2020 | 7:48pm

Ready to get away, but don’t want to go far from home? Costa Mesa is located 35 miles south of Los Angeles, in the heart of Orange County. With plenty of options open, you’ll find something no matter what type of traveler you are. Make it a weekend getaway with one of our “Create Your Escape” hotel deals.

Go to the Park

With 30 parks of all sizes, Costa Mesa has plenty of outdoor space to enjoy. Fairview Park has trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. There are also open spaces for flying kites or playing frisbee. Nearby Talbert Regional Park offers 9 trails, a BMX area and a pond. You can follow along the Santa Ana River Bicycle Trail straight to the beach. If you want a more relaxing atmosphere, head to TeWinkle Park. The lake and waterfall make a perfect backdrop for a picnic, an afternoon reading or some yoga. If you’re traveling with a pup, TeWinkle is also home to Costa Mesa Bark Park for some off leash fun.

Take a Day Trip to the Beach

Take a short drive to one of our nearest beaches to soak up the Southern California sun. Known as Surf City USA®, Huntington Beach is popular for surfing, volleyball or just enjoying the view. It also has one of Southern California’s only dog beaches. World-famous Newport Beach is home to The Wedge, an area where waves can reach up to 30 feet. You can spend the day surfing, sunbathing or even snorkeling. Both Huntington Beach and Newport Beach have fire pits for bonfires, concessions and more.

Please note: Beaches are closed 4th of July weekend.

See the Arts

Costa Mesa is the City of the Arts™ and you’ll find plenty of art around the city. Take a stroll around Segerstrom Center for the Arts, South Coast Repertory and South Coast Plaza on the Costa Mesa Art Walk. You’ll discover more than 20 sculptures, including California Scenario by the acclaimed sculptor Isamu Noguchi. You’ll find art throughout the city too. Even our utility boxes celebrate art. Be sure to snap a selfie in front of one of Costa Mesa’s many murals. If you’re on Instagram, be sure to tag us for a chance to be featured on #MuralMonday.

Enjoy a Little Shopping

A trip to Costa Mesa wouldn’t be complete without a stop at South Coast Plaza. It’s one of the largest shopping destinations on the west coast, with 250 boutiques and 30 restaurants. From designers, like Dior and Gucci, to department stores, like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, South Coast Plaza is a shopper’s dream. There are even two Sephora locations! Find out about their new health and safety procedures here

Looking to shop small? We have options for you too. Visit The LAB Anti-Mall, which celebrates the “little American business,” with independent retailers and restaurants. Across the street you’ll find The CAMP, an eco-friendly retail space with lots of food options.

Eat Award-Winning Food

Stop in TERRACE by Mix Mix at South Coast Plaza for a delicious lunch on a lush patio where you’ll feel you’ve escaped into your personal oasis. Acclaimed chef Ross Pangilinan has crafted a menu of shared and small plates so you can try his popular Pork Cheek Adobo and Albacore Tostado, as well as a variety of pizzas, meats and cheeses. Grab Top Chef winner Richard Blais’ Southern California-style fried chicken on your way to the park or beach at The Crack Shack. Fellow Top Chef alum Amar Santana has two Costa Mesa restaurants, Vaca and The Hall: Global Eatery. You can also get food takeout at chef Carlos Salgado’s Michelin-star Taco María. Find our full list of open Costa Mesa restaurants here.

Want more suggestions? We’ve created itineraries for solo, couple, family and pet-friendly travel. No matter what you choose to do during your visit, be sure to follow California state guidelines and wear a mask, practice social distancing and frequently wash your hands. For more information on how Costa Mesa is doing our part to keep you healthy, visit our hotel safety and cleanliness procedures page.

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Posted in Food, Hotels, Misc, Music & Art, Shopping

Dad’s Day Out: Why You Should Spend Father’s Day in Costa Mesa

Posted on June 12, 2020 | 2:58pm

Father’s Day is June 21. With Orange County moving into Stage 3 of reopening, there’s so much to do in Costa Mesa while keeping your family safe (and making things easy on mom). Here are our recommendations for spending a day in the City of the Arts®.

Activities 

Photo courtesy of Michael Lovato (@michael.arthur.800)


Costa Mesa Country Club offers plenty of fun for golf lovers. You can practice on the range or putting green, or play a full 18 holes on one of two municipal courses. You can even schedule a golf lesson with a PGA pro! Grab lunch at 19th Hole, a restaurant with a full service bar, three televisions and views of the course. Insider tip: for the best rates, book your tee time online.

Photo courtesy of Asher Hung

If golf isn’t his thing, enjoy an afternoon at one of Costa Mesa’s beautiful parks. Most city parks are open for active or passive use, including picnics. Select Fairview Park trails are open as well, though Costa Mesa Skate Park and Bark Park remain closed. Whether you want to bring your bikes, play games, hike or have a picnic, you can enjoy the warm California weather and Costa Mesa scenery.

You can also take dad on a scenic tour of the Costa Mesa Art Walk. The art walk features sculptures around South Coast Plaza, Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory. The tour includes one of the country’s preeminent sculpture gardens, California Scenario (also known as Noguchi Garden). For more information on the sculptures, check out our guide to visual arts here.

Dining

Photo courtesy of The Capital Grille

Celebrate dad (and give mom a night off) by getting dinner from one of Costa Mesa’s acclaimed restaurants. Restaurants are open for dine in and take out, so you can enjoy a night out or keep the party going at home. Find out which restaurants are open on our restaurants updates page

In addition to regular menu items, some restaurants are serving special Father’s Day menus. Get BBQ and beer curbside from Old Vine Kitchen & Bar, which includes a pound of pulled pork confit, corn slaw and cheddar buns for 4. The Capital Grille’s three course “Man of the Hour” dinner, for either 2 or 4, comes with a prime roasted rack of ribeye, mashed potatoes and cheesecake, along with a special gift for dad–a jar of their signature steak sauce. Start the day off with Plum’s Cafe Father’s Day Take Away brunch, for 6 or 8, with a pancake bar, pepper bacon and apple sausage, frittata and more.

However you choose to spend dad’s day in Costa Mesa, be sure to bring your face masks and maintain appropriate social distance to keep your family safest.

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Posted in Events, Food, Locals, Music & Art

March Madness in Costa Mesa

Posted on February 27, 2020 | 4:13pm

From big games to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations there’s a lot to drink to in March. Costa Mesa is home to several unique bars that are great for a night out or a weekend brunch. Whether you want to watch the big game or enjoy happy hour with friends, you’ll find something perfect for you.

Photo by Sarah King, courtesy of The Hall: Global Eatery

The Hall: Global Eatery 

Although the food hall from Top Chef finalist Amar Santana and Ahmed Labbate has been the talk of Orange County, the bar is also making news. Beverage director Michael Rooney’s cocktails and wine selection takes inspiration from The Hall’s global concept. You’ll find everything from Japanese whiskey to Mediterranean wine, but we recommend trying one of his signature cocktails. Bonus: the bar now serves happy hour Monday – Thursday from 3pm – 5pm and 8pm – close, Friday – Saturday from 3pm – 5pm and 9pm – close and all day Sunday.

Photo courtesy of Playa Mesa

Playa Mesa

Last year, OC Weekly named the margaritas at Playa Mesa the best in Orange County. They weren’t kidding. There are 9 margaritas to choose from, but we recommend trying the Margarita A La Casa, the Spicy Cucumber Margarita or, our favorite, the Sandia Margarita with watermelon and strawberry. Their homemade chips and salsa are a must too. The bar is a great spot to watch a game or catch up with friends. They also serve brunch on the weekends from 9am – 2pm. 

The Country Club

Step into The Country Club and you’ll feel like you’re in a mid-century, private club. Think Don Draper sipping an Old Fashioned at the bar. They offer seasonal cocktails, along with staples like the Ladybird, the Ron Burgandy and, of course, the Costa Mesa Old Fashioned. Bourbon fans have to try the Smoking Jacket, with bacon washed bourbon, maple syrup, pecan tincture and chocolate bitters. The showstopper is the smoking gun that gives the drink its name, along with their logo stamped on an ice cube. Don’t miss out on the hangar steak tacos while you’re there. The Country Club turns into a dance club at night and weekends include their boozy brunch.

Photo courtesy of Ruin Bar

Ruin Bar

The eclectic decor and location inside The LAB give Ruin Bar its kitschy feel. Enjoy craft cocktails like DunGINS and Dragons, Chiquita Banana or Lego My Ego. Have fun counting the number of cat objects or play the piano that’s built into the bar. 

Hennessey’s Tavern

Spend St. Patrick’s Day at this popular Irish pub. Hennessey’s Tavern just opened their newest location in Costa Mesa. Cocktails include a signature Bloody Mary and Irish coffee. They offer a selection of mocktails as well. Their menu includes Irish classics like corned beef and hash, Shepherd’s pie, and fish and chips. You can also enjoy a number of California-inspired dishes such as their Cobb salad and Baja fish tacos.

Whatever you’re celebrating this March, enjoy the shopping, dining and activities that Costa Mesa has to offer with a weekend getaway.

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Posted in Food, Play

5 Ways to Show Your Love in Costa Mesa

Posted on January 29, 2020 | 4:33pm

Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day or just a long weekend, show your love with these events over Presidents Day weekend. Make it a special getaway with one of our Valentine hotel deals.

Chris Botti with trumpet
Photo courtesy of Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Valentine’s with Chris Botti

The Grammy Award winning trumpeter Chris Botti is performing February 14 and 15 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. His combination of jazz, classical, pop and rock has earned him acclaim throughout the world. He’s performed with everyone from Frank Sinatra, Steven Tyler and Yo-Yo Ma. Spend Valentine’s with Chris Botti to see his unforgettable new show.

She Loves Me cast at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa
Photo courtesy of South Coast Repertory

She Loves Me

Fans of You’ve Got Mail and The Shop Around the Corner will fall for She Loves Me, at South Coast Repertory until February 22. Georg and Amalia can’t seem to get along working at Maraczek’s Parfumerie. After hours, though, they are both falling in love with each other as secret pen pals. She Loves Me is a charming musical comedy that’s perfect for both Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day.

Couple at a spa getting a massage

Spa Nordstrom

Pamper your Valentine, and yourself, with a visit to Spa Nordstrom at South Coast Plaza. Named one of the top 5 day spas in Orange County, Spa Nordstrom offers facials, massages, body treatments and more. Get a couples massage and relaxing facials. Staying for more of a girls weekend? Try Two Hours in Heaven that includes a full body massage, wrap and facial, scalp and foot pressure-point massage. You can also look at their full menu of services to find the perfect option for you.

Couple at The LAB in Costa Mesa

The LAB

Take a trip to The LAB (Little American Business) for a unique shopping and dining experience, not to mention plenty of selfie spots. Prism Boutique offers a variety of clothing, accessories and home goods or find some jewelry at May Martin. Grab dinner at Habana or drinks at the eclectic Ruin Bar. Be sure to snap a photo while you’re there and share it with us on social media

Dish from Vaca in Costa Mesa
Photo courtesy of Chuck Pebenito

Vaca

Chef Amar Santana has a special menu planned for Valentine’s Day at Vaca. Start with the ostiones, cornmeal crusted fried oysters with wagyu steak tartare and tonnato sauce. Then, try the salchicha de mariscos, a seafood sausage with a shellfish pork butter sauce. Finish your meal with the budino de chocolate, a white chocolate budino with maraschino cherries and toasted pistachios. The cocktails from Vaca Group’s beverage director, Michael Rooney, are a must too.

However you decide to spend your Valentine’s Day, make it a fun weekend getaway with our hotel deals and visitor guide.

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Posted in Food, Hotels, Music & Art, Play, Shopping