Costa Mesa, CA, USA

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Shop, dine and play in Costa Mesa

Posted on August 31, 2021 | 10:00am

It’s back-to-school time, which means new clothes, gadgets and more. Whether you’re shopping for kids or just want a wardrobe refresh, Costa Mesa has unique boutiques and the largest shopping destination on the West Coast. While you’re here, check out the world-class dining and entertainment options available too. Want to make it a mini-getaway? Check out our summer hotel deals!

Photo courtesy of @aiden_oc_baby

The LAB

The LAB Anti-Mall is a great place for shopping small and, even, environmentally conscious. Buffalo Exchange is a second-hand shop offering basics, designer, trendy and one-of-a-kind fashion. On the opposite side of The LAB, you’ll find an Urban Outfitters too. Looking for sustainable school supplies? Eco Now, a zero-waste shop and refill station offers plastic free lunch containers, bags, utensils and more. There’s also a cosmetic and skincare section. 

There are plenty of restaurants, if you need a bite to eat. The Den Café serves a variety of breakfast and lunch dishes. Seabirds Kitchen is a popular vegan restaurant. Try their avo taco, a vegan version of the fish taco. The LAB also has a Baba’s Hot Chicken. Habana is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. 

Photo courtesy of @johnnybayday

The CAMP

Eco-friendly retail campus The CAMP has several shops that favor environmentally conscious clothing. SEED Peoples Market offers curated fashion from local vendors and responsible brands, such as Patagonia. 2nd Street USA is a second-hand shop where you can find clothes and accessories. Purre Boutique has women’s clothing, home goods and accessories.

Take a break from shopping at one of The CAMP’s Eatcation®-worthy restaurants. Old Vine Kitchen & Bar has something delicious any time you visit. Stop in on the weekend for an incredible brunch (make sure to get a cinnamon roll). Chopped champion Rachel Klemek’s Blackmarket Bakery offers breakfast, lunch, pastries, desserts and a full coffee menu. Vegan diners will love Native Foods. For a quick bite, try East Borough’s take on classic Vietnamese dishes. Vitaly is always a great option for traditional Italian food, including gelato. If you’re visiting after 4, make a reservation at Folks. Their naturally leavened pizza and natural wines are a definite treat. We also recommend trying their amazing meatballs.

South Coast Plaza

The premier destination for shopping on the West Coast has everything you need for back-to-school shopping. Whether you’re picking up new tech from the Apple Store, shopping for clothes at one of the boutiques or department stores, you can find it at South Coast Plaza. For a full list of stores for kids clothes, shoes and accessories, click here

There are more than 30 restaurants to choose from at South Coast Plaza. Try the latest concept, Collage Culinary Experience, a food hall with Paradise Dynasty, Le Shrimp Ramen and Mah Jongs by Chef Mike currently open. The grand opening takes place this fall. You can find a list of all South Coast Plaza restaurants here.

SOCO & The OC Mix

If you’re also shopping for babies or toddlers, check out Whimsical Charm at SOCO & The OC Mix. You’ll find adorable clothes, robes, blankets and shoes. While you’re there, stop for coffee at Portola Coffee Roasters or a meal at one of their restaurants. The Cheese Shop serves sandwiches, get pizza at ARC or have dinner at Michelin star Taco Maria.

Things to Do

Check out our previous blog for Broadway shows and concerts coming to Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Visit our calendar for all the entertainment options coming to Costa Mesa during your visit. 

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Posted in Misc, Play, Shopping

Broadway Shows and Concerts Coming to Costa Mesa

Posted on August 19, 2021 | 7:00am

Indoor performances return to Orange County this fall with the Segerstrom Center for the Arts 2021-2022 season! Broadway shows and popular series – Cabaret, Jazz, and Chamber Music – are back with headliners and exciting productions. Whether you’re visiting Costa Mesa for a quick getaway or an extended stay, you’ll find a performance in the City of the Arts®. While you’re planning your visit, check out our hotel deals page.

All major Orange County arts organizations, including Segerstrom Center for the Arts, require ticket holders to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear a mask while inside the venues.

Arts Orange County

Fall Concerts

Laura Benanti

Laura Benanti – September 23

Broadway fans will be excited that Laura Benanti, Tony Award® winner for her role in Gypsy, makes her Cabaret series debut. Her other Broadway credits include My Fair Lady and Into the Woods. Benanti has also been featured in television shows such as Younger and the reboot of Gossip Girl

Cecile McLorin Salvant

Cecile McLorin Salvant & Sullivan Fortner – September 26

Dazzling jazz vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant returns to Segerstrom Center of the Arts with celebrated jazz pianist Sullivan Fortner in Jazz series delight. The duo won a Grammy award for their collaboration, The Window, in 2020.

Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth – October 2

The one-and-only Kirstin Chenoweth returns to the Center to showcase her new album, For the Girls, a tribute to some of her favorite female singers. Songs include hits from Dolly Parton, Dinah Washington, Barbra Streisand, Leslie Gore, Linda Ronstadt and more. 

BalletX dancer

BalletX – October 16

Renowned company BalletX makes their Segerstrom Center for the Arts debut this fall. The innovative and diverse company celebrates their 15th anniversary this year. They’ve been named “among America’s best” by The New York Times.

Megan Hilty

Megan Hilty – October 21

Actress and singer Megan Hilty returns to the Cabaret series this October. Hilty starred as Ivy Lynn on NBC’s Smash, as well as in Wicked, 9 to 5 and Noises Off on Broadway. Her powerhouse vocals are sure to make for an entertaining evening.

Dianne Reeves, Chucho Valdés and  Joe Lovano.

Duets – October 22

Jazz lovers won’t want to miss a memorable evening of piano duets with three Grammy award-winning jazz greats. Dianne Reeves brings her immense repertoire and vocals, joining influential Afro-Cuban jazz pianist-composer-arranger Chucho Valdés and legendary saxophonist Joe Lovano.

Jesus Christ Superstar Broadway show singing

Jesus Christ Superstar – November 9

Jesus Christ Superstar marks the return of Broadway to Orange County. Called an “an adrenaline-pumping production” by The New York Times, this production reinvents the iconic  Billboard award-winning score. Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice.

Postmodern Jukebox ensemble in period costumes with musical instruments

Postmodern Jukebox – November 18

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox puts a classical twist on modern hits. The ensemble of singers and musicians brings their thrilling live show to Costa Mesa as part of The Grand Reopening Tour. (Fans of the Bridgerton score will definitely want to check this concert out!)

Parsons Dance Company dancers

Parsons Dance Company – November 20

Internationally acclaimed Parsons Dance Company makes their Segerstrom Center for the Arts debut this November. Their athletic style, exuberant performances and innovative choreography make Parsons Dance one of the leading modern/contemporary dance companies.

Upcoming Broadway Shows

My Fair Lady Broadway show cast

My Fair Lady

The Broadway series kicks off in January with My Fair Lady January 11-23. The new production from director Bartlett Sher features classic songs such as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “The Rain in Spain” from Lerner and Loewe. Join Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins in this retelling of Pygmalion.

Wicked Broadway show cast

Wicked

Broadway blockbuster Wicked returns to February 9 – March 6. Travel to the land of Oz for the story of what happens before Dorothy drops in. Wicked has won more than 100 international awards. Music by Stephen Schwartz includes “Popular,” “For Good” and “Defying Gravity.”

Segerstrom Center for the Arts series tickets, including Broadway shows, Cabaret, Jazz and more, can be found here. For a full listing of events in Costa Mesa, visit our calendar.

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Posted in Events, Music & Art, Play

Fun and Free Things to Do at (and around) the OC Fair

Posted on July 30, 2021 | 11:00am

Planning to go to the OC Fair this year? It may be a bit different with limited capacity and advance tickets required, but your favorite rides, games, food and entertainment are there to enjoy. You will also find a number of fun and free things to do at the fair and nearby! With so much to do, why not make it a weekend getaway with one of our “SoCal So Cool” summer hotel deals?

Centennial Farm

Stop by Centennial Farm, a three-acre working farm with livestock, as well as fruit and vegetable gardens. During the fair, there are a number of free things to check out including dairy goats, milking demonstration, OC beekeepers and, of course, the new piglets. (Take a peek at the piglets on the pig cam.) 

California Fresh Exhibit 

The California Fresh Exhibit, located in the OC Promenade, celebrates the diversity of California’s agriculture. You can learn about different crops, grab some recipe cards, play the AR game County Bounty Treasure Hunt or watch a cooking demonstration. Visiting with kids? The exhibit has coloring sheets to dress the California bear for a trip to the OC Fair! 

heroes hall costa mesa

Heroes Hall

Heroes Hall is a museum and education center that honors the legacy of Orange County veterans and others who have served the country. The current exhibit is Private Charles J. Miller WWII Paintings from the South Pacific. You can decorate postcards to veterans and active duty troops which will be distributed by Operation Community Cares.

Entertainment

The OC Fair has a number of free events each day. Live entertainment varies, so be sure to check out the calender of events and OC Fair map. Whether you like magic shows, want to see the pig races or music (even dueling pianos), you’ll find something fun to see. Visual arts displays include everything from dragons to woodworking. 

woman meditating in TeWinkle Park

Costa Mesa Parks

Spending a couple of days in Costa Mesa? Make a trip to one of Costa Mesa’s parks. Popular parks include Fairview Park and TeWinkle Park. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy Costa Mesa Skate Park or Talbert Regional Park, which has a BMX area. If you’re traveling with small children, we also recommend Lions Park, with a newly renovated playground.

Orange County Beaches

Costa Mesa is only a few minutes from popular Orange County beaches, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach. Enjoy beautiful Southern California weather while you surf, swim or relax on the beach.

Find more to do with our itineraries for solo, couple, family and pet-friendly travel. 

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Posted in Events, Hotels, Play

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

Why Costa Mesa is Perfect for Solo Travel

Posted on September 30, 2020 | 8:24pm

You’re independent and ready to travel. You want to go someplace fun, safe and close to home. Hop in the car and head to the heart of Orange County. Whether you’re coming for a weekend getaway or a mid-week retreat, Costa Mesa is the perfect destination for your next solo trip. Before you make plans, be sure to check out our hotel deals.

Relax at the beach

Fall may be here, but the weather is still warm enough to head to the nearest beach. If you want to stay active, start off at one of our beach-adjacent parks and hike or bike to the beach. Otherwise, Orange County beaches are just a short drive for our hotels. Nothing says getaway quite like a day at the beach. We recommend getting a Sidecar donut to take with you.

Go on the Costa Mesa Art Walk

Costa Mesa is the City of the Arts® and no stay would be complete without seeing some of the art the city has to offer. Enjoy your solitude by getting outside and socially distancing on the Costa Mesa Art Walk. Stroll along our self-guided path to see the unique sculptures, as well as the area around Segerstrom Center for the Arts and over to South Coast Plaza. It’s all about you, so take your time. 

Shop at SOCO & The OC Mix

From Michelin star dining to boutique shopping, SOCO & The OC Mix is a must for a solo trip to Costa Mesa. Make some you-time by shopping small boutiques like Local Fare, The Mixing Glass or Bona Spera. Sit outside to sip award-winning Portola Coffee Roasters. Grab takeout from Michelin star Taco Maria. The indoor/outdoor space is great for exploring the shops before relaxing at a quiet table.

Dine at The CAMP

There are tons of amazing restaurants in Costa Mesa. We recommend visiting The CAMP at least once during your stay. The eco-friendly campus is home to great dining. Old Vine Restaurant & Bar has delicious food and extended patio seating, including OVKB The Roof. Stopping by for Sunday brunch? Definitely try the Baked Caramel Apple French Toast. When you’re done, walk across the street to The LAB Anti-Mall for more unique shops, restaurants and Instagram-worthy pics.

Stay safe at our hotels

Our Costa Mesa hotels make your health a priority. They’ve put into place new safety and cleanliness standards, so you can have peace of mind. Some hotels––such as Avenue of the Arts, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, and Ayres Hotel––have restaurants with patio dining open. No matter which hotel you choose, be sure to ask the front desk for the Travel Costa Mesa QR code for our event highlights for that week!

Come to Costa Mesa for a mid-week break or a weekend adventure. There’s plenty to do safely while you’re here. Want more ideas? Visit our Create Your Escape page for a solo itinerary, hotel deals and more. 

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