Costa Mesa, CA, USA

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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

Costa Mesa Drive-In Concerts, Fair Food and More

Posted on August 31, 2020 | 3:35pm

The drive-in is making a comeback in the age of COVID. Drive-in movies and concerts have been featured in cities all over the country, including Concerts @ The CAMP here in Costa Mesa. This fall promises new, exciting drive-in and drive-thru experiences at OC Fair & Event Center. Find out how you can visit Costa Mesa and enjoy these events from the safety of your car. Masks are required throughout California, also remember to remain at least 6 feet away from those outside of your household and wash your hands frequently. That way, everyone can stay healthy and have fun.

Woman holding funnel cake at the OC Fair.

OC Fair Food Drive-Thru

What’s summer in Orange County without OC Fair funnel cake? The fair may have gone virtual this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your favorite food. From August 28-October 31, the OC Fair Food Drive-Thru is hosting five food vendors: Hawaiian Chicken Bowl, Hot Dog on a Stick, Dippin’ Dots, Cathy’s Cookies and Juicy’s Funnel Cake. The drive-thru is open Friday and Saturday from noon to 8:00pm and Sunday from noon to 6:00pm. It’s drive-thru only; no parking is available. Entry is free. For more information, including menus and pricing, visit the link above. 

Photo courtesy of Autosonic Concerts

Drive-In Concert Series

Visit September 25-27 for the Autosonic Drive-In Concert Series. Each night features two 60-minute concerts with local and national bands. Performances are at 6:30pm and 9:00pm. The concerts offer contactless, QR-code entry and a variety of parking options. Tickets range from $75-$199 per vehicle, up to 4 people. Since you bring your own food, we recommend checking our restaurants page and grabbing a bite from your Costa Mesa favorites to make the night extra special. Bands include Which One’s Pink? (Pink Floyd cover band) on Friday, Queen Nation (Queen cover band) on Saturday and Dead Man’s Party (a Oingo Boingo and Danny Elfman tribute band) on Sunday.

Urban Legends Drive-Thru Haunt

Celebrate Halloween in Costa Mesa with the Urban Legends Drive-Thru Haunt, from the creators of Winter Fest OC. Drive through an immersive, storytelling experience with three unique show zones, special effects, monsters and more. Urban Legends Drive-Thru Haunt is open Wednesday-Sunday from October 1 to November 1. Tickets start at $49.99 per vehicle. The event is for 10-and-over. Due to special effects, pets are not allowed.

OC Fair & Event Center is still a “center of fun,” even if things look a little different right now. Make the most of social distancing with these drive-thru and drive-in events. Coming for Labor Day weekend? Check out our latest hotel deals, hotel safety protocols and our latest COVID-19 information. For the latest socially-distant events, visit our calendar.

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Posted in Events, Food, Misc, Music & Art, Play

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