Costa Mesa, CA, USA

Travel Costa Mesa Blog

Posts Tagged ‘orange county’

Top Tips for Mother’s Day Brunch in Costa Mesa

Posted on May 4, 2022 | 11:00am

Costa Mesa has every option you need to treat mom to a perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Whether mom’s up for an elegant Michelin-star experience or a lively brunch, the table’s set for you, mom and the family to enjoy the special celebration. Read on for some ideas of where to brunch in Costa Mesa.

Read More

No Comments

Posted in Food, Locals, Misc

Holiday Events This November and December in Orange County

Posted on October 29, 2021 | 4:00pm

What if the holidays were exciting again? With theme parks, live theatre and more, the holidays are back in Orange County! Want to stay in the center of it all? Costa Mesa’s location makes an ideal home base for all the exciting holiday events happening in Orange County this year. Check out our holiday hotel deals for great packages and prices!

South Coast Plaza Tree Lighting

November 18

The annual South Coast Plaza Tree Lighting begins with a performance by the Orange County School for the Performing Arts with special guest Matthew Morrison. The celebration includes snow and an appearance by Santa! Then, watch as the 90-foot tree sparkles with nearly 100,000 lights. The event is free.

Winter Fest Presents Night of Lights OC at OC Fair & Event Center

November 26 – January 2

Winter Fest returns as Night of Lights OC, a drive-thru winter wonderland experience. The interactive drive-thru features over one million lights, tree lighting, holiday characters and an appearance by Santa. It’s a fun event for the whole family (pets are not permitted). You can even pre-order holiday treats to enjoy in your car through the drive. Night of Lights OC does include fog, haze and strobe light effects.

Photo by Doug Gifford

The Nutcracker at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

December 10 – 19

American Ballet Theatre’s exciting production of The Nutcracker returns to Orange County! Follow Clara and the Nutcracker Prince along a journey with toy soldiers, mischievous mice, snowflakes and a dazzling Christmas tree. Pacific Symphony performs Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score. A holiday treat for the whole family!

Photo courtesy of Disneyland Resort

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort

November 12 – January 9

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort return this year! See both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure decorated for the holiday season. Both parks have a variety of holiday events and decorations. Enjoy the Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park, a celebration of multicultural music, food and traditions. Try tasty bites and spirits from diverse cultures and celebrations too. Rides getting a holiday makeover such as Mater’s Jingle Jamboree and Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl. Watch the tree lighting on Buena Vista Street and visit Santa at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. At Disneyland Park, see the Wintertime Enchantment of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, the “it’s a small world” Holiday Lighting and the Haunted Mansion Holiday. “Believe…In Holiday Magic” fireworks display lights up the sky on select nights!

Photo courtesy of Sawdust Art Festival

Winter Fantasy at Sawdust Art Festival

November 20 – December 19

Visit the famous Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach for Winter Fantasy. The holiday art festival features a wonderland of lights, decorations and falling snow! Shop handcrafted items from 150 makers and artists, take festival holiday classes with hands-on demonstrations and visit with Santa. There are also three stages of live entertainment from carolers, puppeteers, community performances and music. Winter Fantasy is open on Saturdays and Sundays, plus Black Friday, from 10 am to 7pm. 

Photo courtesy of Mission San Juan Capistrano

Capistrano Lights at Mission San Juan Capistrano

December 4 – December 30

Visit Mission San Juan Capistrano on select days in December for Capistrano Lights, an evening of holiday festivities. The evening includes a tree lighting of the Mission’s 30-foot tree, Dickensian carolers, surprise performers and photo opportunities under the 10-foot wreath and with Santa. The Serra Chapel will also be open after hours, along with the Mission Store and vendors with sweet treats and kids crafts. Tickets include daytime admission to Mission San Juan Capistrano, with multi-language audio tour, and holiday programming from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Please visit individual venue websites for COVID-19 safety requirements.

No Comments

Posted in Events, Play

5 agritourism spots in Costa Mesa

Posted on October 22, 2021 | 9:00pm

National Farmers Day may be in October, but Costa Mesa has some pretty awesome agritourism experiences year round. According to Visit California, “California farms produce over a third of the United States’ vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts—not to mention a lot of wine.” You can celebrate the bounty of California agriculture at these 5 places right here in Costa Mesa.

Centennial Farm

Centennial Farm, at OC Fair & Event Center, is a three-acre working farm dedicated to fun and education for the whole family. The farm is home to oxen, peafowl, chickens, rabbits, goats, sheep, pigs and cattle. There’s also a beehive in the back garden. Crops on the farm rotate seasonally. There are 10 raised garden beds where you might find anything from artichokes to strawberries, depending on the time of year you visit. 

Centennial Farm offers tours through their Discovery Days and Junior Farmers programs. Both require reservations and capacity is limited for the 2021/2022 season. You can find out more or make a reservation here

Photo courtesy of Brooke Ann Nowogrodski

Hana Field by Tanaka Farms

Hana Field by Tanaka Farms is an eight-acre working farm with fields of flowers, or hana in Japanese. Flowers include ​​sunflowers, zinnias, herbs and more, depending on the season. You can visit Hana Field year round for U-Pick flowers, as well as a small barnyard animal exhibit with chickens, goats and bunnies. You’ll also find a tractor pull ride, play area, a straw bale maze and mountain, plus an arts & crafts station. In October, U-Pick pumpkins are available too.

Reservations are required for visiting and can be booked through the website. We also recommend reading the rules and regulations section. 

The CAMP

We can’t forget The CAMP, an eco-friendly retail campus with exciting dining and shopping options. The CAMP features 12 gardens with fruits, vegetables and herbs for restaurants to source local ingredients. Whether you shop for sustainable items at one of the shops or dine at a restaurant with locally sourced ingredients, visiting The CAMP is unique spot to honor California’s agriculture.

Photo courtesy of @jaynelane32 on Instagram

Farmers Markets

Enjoy local California agriculture by visiting one of Costa Mesa’s two weekly farmers markets. The Farmers Market at OC Fair & Event Center is an OC Farm Bureau certified farmers market. Open every Thursday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and offers fresh produce, local honey and hot food vendors. On Saturdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, SOCO Farmers Market at SOCO & The OC Mix features farm-fresh produce, free-range meat, eggs, baked goods and more. Hot food options include vegan Japanese fare and tacos. Local musicians often play in front of The OC Mix, making for a festive experience.

Photo courtesy of henrysegerstrom.com

Segerstrom Ranch Historic Site

Costa Mesa was once home to fields of lima beans on land that became, among other things, South Coast Plaza and Segerstrom Center for the Arts. In fact, C.J. Segerstrom & Sons was the largest independent producer of lima beans in the United States. The Segerstrom Ranch Historic Site, which still produces a small amount of lima beans, offers a once-a-year tour that traditionally takes place the first weekend in December. A 2021 tour has not been announced yet.

No Comments

Posted in Misc

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. 

No Comments

Posted in Misc, Play, Shopping

10 Not-To-Miss Holiday Events in Costa Mesa

Posted on December 2, 2019 | 9:52am

We love the holidays in Costa Mesa! It’s the perfect time to spend with loved ones and make memories together. Get into the holiday spirit with these festive holiday events. Make it a weekend getaway with our holiday hotel packages!

Holidays at South Coast Plaza

Visit Santa at Santa’s Village & The North Pole November 22 through December 24 in the Macy’s Home Store Wing of South Coast Plaza. There are crafts and activities for children. Photo packages available starting at $15, or bring your own camera for $10. You can also ride the Reindeer Carousel in Carousel Court or Santa’s Express Train in the Macy’s Home Store Wing for $1.

Holidays by Design

Stop by SOCO & The OC Mix on Saturdays from November 30 to December 21 for Holidays by Design. Listen to live music while you shop and dine at The OC Mix. There’s also storytime with Mrs. Claus, followed by art and crafts. Each week features a different storybook and craft project to take home. The event is free, but tickets are required for storytime.

The Polar Express

The Polar Express comes to Costa Mesa on December 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Kids can ride the train, write letters to Santa and get their pictures taken with him too. There are also other fun activities like face painting, cooking decorating and ornament making. This event is free.

A Christmas Carol

The 40th annual South Coast Repertory production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is a holiday tradition. Step back in time to Victorian-era London as Tiny Tim, the Cratchit family and  the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come teach Ebenezer Scrooge the meaning of Christmas. See Hal Landon Jr. take his final bow as Scrooge November 30 to December 24. Tickets are limited.

Snoopy House

The Snoopy House display, now in its 50th year, attracts an estimated 80,000 visitors annually. See the Peanuts gang as they celebrate the holidays, enjoy live music and train rides for kids. Children and families can also get their photos with Santa, who visits nightly at 6. Snoopy House is available for viewing from 5:30-9:00 p.m. December 13-22 at Costa Mesa City Hall. This event is free.

The Nutcracker

Costa Mesa has three productions of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” this holiday season! “The Nutcracker” for Kids, with two performaces on December 7, is a shortened version featuring a grand finale sing-along and a visit from Santa. There are also free activities at each performance including an instrument petting zoo and opportunities to meet Pacfic Symphony musicians. 

With an impressive cast of over 100 performers, the American Ballet Theatre production will have sugar plum fairies dancing through your head. The featured performers alternate, so be sure to check the schedule before booking your tickets. The ABT “The Nutcracker” runs from December 13-22.

The Duke Ellington Orchestra will dazzle audiences with Duke Ellington’s “Nutcracker” on December 15. Arranged by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, this performance combines the Tchaikovsky score with the jazz. The Duke Ellington Orchestra is the only ensemble carrying on the tradition directling from Duke Ellington.

Holidays Around the World

The Julianne and George Argyros Plaza becomes a winter wonderland for “Holidays Around the World” from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. December 14-15. Live performances celebrate global holiday traditions like Chinese lion dance, Indian Bollywood dance, German holiday folk dances and Mexican ballet folklorico and more. The festivities also include rides on the Holiday Express train, seasonal crafts and snowfall. This event is free.

WinterFest OC

Did you know you can ice skate and watch snowfall in the heart of Orange County? Returning for its fifth year, Winter Fest OC brings a magical winter experience to the OC Fair & Events Center from December 19 through January 5. The immersive event includes a Victorian village, ice skating trail, carnival rides, entertainment and visits by Santa. This year, there’s also Winter Fest After Dark with drink specials, live music and more. 
There are so many holiday events in Costa Mesa that we can’t fit them all into one blog. To find all the events, check out our calendar. You can also download our Visitor Guide for more things to do and see in Costa Mesa and Orange County. Stay for more festive fun with our holiday hotel deals.

No Comments

Posted in Misc