Costa Mesa, CA, USA

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Family-Friendly February in Costa Mesa

Posted on January 31, 2021 | 9:00pm

You’re probably ready to enjoy a few safe, socially distanced activities with the whole family, now that the stay-at-home order has been lifted. Costa Mesa has some exciting options in February. There are also plenty of outdoor dining options, outdoor shopping and more. Be sure to check our calendar for the latest updates!

Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru Experience

Jurassic Quest returns to OC Fair & Event Center February 5-14. This year, experience over 70 realistic dinosaurs, including the popular T. Rex. Drive through scenes with Jurassic Quest’s animatronic herd as they roar and move. Listen to the digital audio tour featuring performers and dino wranglers. Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru lasts about an hour, ending with a free family-photo. Tickets start at $49 per vehicle. 

Costa Mesa Art Walk Audio Tour

Our new Costa Mesa Art Walk Audio Tour is a great way to get in some education (and exercise). The tour starts at California Scenario by the acclaimed Isamu Noguchi, then goes by Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory. The art walk ends at Jewel Court in  South Coast Plaza, the perfect place to grab a bite.

Photo courtesy of @aiden_oc_baby

The LAB & The CAMP

A trip to Costa Mesa isn’t complete without a visit to The LAB Anti-Mall or The CAMP. These two outdoor retail centers are home to unique shops, delicious food and some of Costa Mesa’s most Instagrammable spots.

There are plenty of family-friendly activities this February in Costa Mesa. Whether you’re visiting for an event or spending time exploring the city, be sure to stay safe. Be sure to bring your face masks, stay at least 6 feet away from people not in your household and wash your hands frequently. And please continue to support local Costa Mesa restaurants when you can!

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Posted in Events, Misc

6 Ways to Get Ready for National Plan for Vacation Day

Posted on January 20, 2021 | 11:49am

You’re probably already thinking about your travel plans post-COVID. Travel Costa Mesa is excited to announce it is supporting National Plan for Vacation Day (NPVD), the annual day for Americans to plan their vacation for the entire year at the start of the year, on January 26. 

Though most of us are not ready or able to take a trip just yet, there is a wealth of information that says simply planning a vacation can increase happiness. In fact, 97% of survey respondents say having a trip planned makes them happier—and that’s exactly what we will encourage you to do this year. Here are some ideas to plan your next trip to Costa Mesa.

Learn about the area

Costa Mesa has 6 distinct neighborhoods, including the famous South Coast Metro area that is home to Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Plaza. Looking for a beach vibe? Eastside Costa Mesa is definitely for you, with easy access to local beaches as well as shopping and dining on 17th Street. 

Check for deals

You can find great hotel deals year round here. Check our website regularly for seasonal promotions, when leisure travel is permitted. You can also find out what Costa Mesa hotels are doing to keep guests safe during your stay.

Take an Eatcation®

Costa Mesa is home to some of Orange County’s best dining, so it’s a great destination for foodies. Read up on the latest food accolades and visit our Eatcation® page to plan your must visit restaurants.

Enjoy a unique shopping experience

Visit the largest shopping destination on the west coast, South Coast Plaza, for designer boutiques, department stores and world-class dining. If you prefer to shop small, visit local favorites The LAB, The CAMP and SOCO & The OC Mix for an eclectic range of shops and award-winning restaurants.

Explore the City of the Arts®

As the City of the Arts®, there are plenty of options to enjoy. Take our free Costa Mesa Art Walk audio tour or snap a photo in front of one of the city’s many murals and street art. In the fall of 2021, Segerstrom Center for the Arts reopens and the new Orange County Museum of Art location will open in early 2022. Visit our calendar page for the latest events.

TIP: add the Costa Mesa Art Walk Audio Tour to your home screen for easy access.

Get outdoors

Whether you want to go on a hike at a park or spend the day at the beach, Costa Mesa’s convenient location makes an outdoor adventure easy to plan.

Travel Costa Mesa encourages you to continue to adhere to healthy travel practices—whether planning a vacation in the short term or for later this year. U.S. Travel Association’s Travel Confidently toolkit for resources and guidance to encourage safe and healthy travel, which includes wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, maintaining physical distance when possible and staying home if feeling sick. 

This year’s NPVD is taking place amid challenging times, but we can still look forward to—and plan for—brighter days. On January 26, use the hashtags #PlanForVacation and #TravelCostaMesa to tell us your vacation plans. 

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Posted in Misc

Costa Mesa’s Best Family-Friendly Outdoor Activities During Winter Break

Posted on December 19, 2020 | 4:26pm

School is out and you might be thinking there’s nothing for the kids to do. It’s important for everyone to get fresh air, though, and Costa Mesa has some great family-friendly outdoor activities. Spend an afternoon or a day in the City of the Arts to beat those winter blues. Be sure to wear your masks and socially distance from others.

Art Walk Audio Tour

Our newly launched Costa Mesa Art Walk Audio Tour is fun, educational and will help burn off some of that out-of-school energy. Walk through California Scenario, also known as Noguchi Garden, by famed sculptor Isamu Noguchi. The Art Walk then takes you over to Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory, ending at South Coast Plaza. 

Parks

Want to spend a little time in nature? Costa Mesa has several parks that are perfect for biking, hiking, horseback riding and more. Fairview Park is the city’s largest park, so there’s plenty of space for social distancing. Talbert Regional Park includes a BMX area, along with 9 hiking trails. Both are near enough to the beach to hike or bike there. Grab takeout from one of Costa Mesa’s restaurants and head over to TeWinkle Park, a relaxing setting for a family picnic. You can enjoy the lake and waterfall or continue on with the fun at Costa Mesa Skate Park.

Night of Lights

Not technically an outdoor activity, Night of Lights is a drive-thru winter wonderland experience with a tree lighting, music and more. You can preorder holiday treats, including tamales, cookies and hot chocolate. Then, drive through a million magical holiday lights. Appearances by Santa until December 24. It’s a perfect way to end your day in Costa Mesa. 

Travel Costa Mesa wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

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Posted in Misc, Play

4 Ways to Shop Local in Costa Mesa This Holiday

Posted on November 25, 2020 | 2:00pm

We may not be able to shop quite the same this year. Fortunately, there are more shopping options than ever, so you can still shop small while staying safe. We’ve put together a list of ways for you to find the perfect gift while shopping local. 

Shop Online

Whether you live nearby or across the country, shop your favorite Costa Mesa businesses from the convenience of home. Our Costa Mesa Business Updates page includes links to their online stores. Looking for something for the home? Try businesses in SOCO & The OC Mix. If you’re shopping for ethical, eco-friendly items, the stores in The CAMP are for you. For something unique, try The LAB businesses for that perfect gift. 

Pick Up Curbside

If you live within driving distance and want to get out of the house, you can opt for curbside pickup. Many businesses in Costa Mesa are offering this service, so be sure to check if this is an option. SCP2Go at South Coast Plaza includes several boutiques and restaurants that provide curbside delivery. Visit their website for more information.

Shop Safely In Person

There are also several great options for shopping safely in person. The LAB and The CAMP are open air retail campuses. SOCO & The OC Mix also has plenty of open air space, including outdoor seating. If you want to visit South Coast Plaza, you can opt for boutique appointments or visiting during off-peak hours, either early in the day or after 4:00pm. Remember to bring a mask when visiting Costa Mesa and maintain, at least, 6 feet of social distance if you do shop in person. 

Buy Gift Cards

Not sure what to buy? Gift cards are a great way to support local businesses during this difficult time. For a list of restaurants that offer gift cards, visit our restaurants page. You can also check out Give & Get Local for more businesses offering gift cards this holiday season.

With so many ways to shop, you can find the perfect gift and support local businesses.

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Posted in Misc

Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas to Dine in Costa Mesa (or Take Home)

Posted on November 10, 2020 | 12:28pm

Not sure what to cook for Thanksgiving? Treat yourself, and your family, with Thanksgiving dinner from one of Costa Mesa’s great restaurants. Several favorites are open for dine in service, while others are offering amazing family-style menus for you to take home. If you’re coming to Costa Mesa, take advantage of our holiday gift by staying 2 nights and getting a $100 South Coast Plaza gift card! 

Update: Orange County has been moved to the Purple Tier. Indoor dining is no longer permitted. Please check with restaurants about their updated Thanksgiving dining options.

Café Sevilla

Celebrate Thanksgiving with a Spanish flair at Café Sevilla. Enjoy 3 courses for adults ($49.50) or 2 courses for kids 10 and under ($24.50). Choices include butternut squash soup or baby mixed winter greens, roasted turkey breast and Blackforest ham or duet of salmon and shrimp and, for dessert, pumpkin pie or chocolate and Licor 43 ganache tart. The full dinner menu is also available.

Water Grill

For the first time, Water Grill will be open Thanksgiving Day from 11:00am-8:00pm. The 3-course Thanksgiving menu begins with signature clam chowder or mixed greens, followed by Diestel Farms roasted turkey, cranberry relish, sourdough-apple stuffing, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and gravy. Dessert is your choice of pumpkin cheesecake or caramel bread pudding. The Thanksgiving menu is $68 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under. The a la carte menu is also available. For reservations, call 949.208.7060.

Photo courtesy of The Vaca Group

Vaca and The Hall: Global Eatery

It’s a Top Chef Thanksgiving with Amar Santana. Take home a whole roasted turkey, Yukon gold mashed potatoes and gravy, sausage cornbread stuffing stuffing, maple glazed yams with pomegranate, green beans with toasted almonds, cream of mushroom soup and a pecan pie tart. The Thanksgiving family feast serves 8-10 ($495) and can be preordered at Vaca or The Hall: Global Eatery by November 23.

The Capital Grille

Dine on slow-roasted turkey, French green beans, cranberry-pear chutney and Brioche stuffing, along with Sam’s mashed potatoes to share ($45 for adults; $15 for children 12 and under) at The Capital Grille. The Thanksgiving menu, along with the full dinner menu, is available 11:30am-9:30pm on November 26. A family-style take home dinner ($125) for 4-6 people is also available for preorder, with pickup November 24-25.

Silver Trumpet

Silver Trumpet Restaurant at Avenue of the Arts hotel is offering a sumptuous Thanksgiving buffet spread!

Seating available every 2 hours. Gourmet carving station, a la carte menu, sides, dessert and more. $45 per adult, $21 per child (12 & under). Tax and gratuity not included. For reservations, please call (714) 442-8593.

Seasons 52

The Thanksgiving plate at Seasons 52 ($25 for adults; $15 for children 12 and under) includes antibiotic-free roasted turkey and gravy, Yukon mashed potatoes, mashed butternut squash, French green beans, herb stuffing and cranberry relish. For dessert, enjoy a mini pumpkin pie. Seasons 52 is open from 10:00am-9:00pm on Thanksgiving. A family meal for 4-6 is available too, with a choice between field greens or Caesar salad and six mini indulgences ($150). The take home meal must be preordered by November 25.

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop

Don’t want to deal with a whole turkey? Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop is the way to go. The Thanksgiving Feast features slow roasted turkey breast with garlic and rosemary. Sides include whole grain stuffing, mashed potatoes, their popular roast “garlicky” broccolini, roasted cauliflower and arugula salad, biscuits with apple butter and pumpkin pie. It serves 6-8 people ($175). Greenleaf also offers individual Thanksgiving meals ($21). Preorder from now until November 24.

Photo courtesy of Toast Kitchen & Bakery

Toast Kitchen & Bakery

Make Thanksgiving dessert extra special with the Toast Kitchen & Bakery annual Pie and Pint Sale. From now until November 22, you can preorder a nine-inch pie and a pint of ice cream. The homemade pairs ($39) include taro blueberry pie with blueberry pie ice cream, chocolate banana cream pie with Thai tea ice cream, POG pie with strawberry shortcake ice cream, strawberry rhubarb pie with Sakura ice cream or apple pie with mulled wine ice cream. Orders are available for pickup on Wednesday, November 25 from 8:00am – 7:00pm. 

Whether you want to stay home or get away, Costa Mesa restaurants have you covered this Thanksgiving. If you’re planning on visiting, make sure to check out our holiday hotel deals. Be sure to ask about our QR code, located at the front desk, for the latest events. 

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Posted in Food, Misc