Costa Mesa, CA, USA

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Labor Day Weekend Events in Orange County

Posted on August 18, 2017 | 10:17am

 

Thinking summer is coming to an end too quickly? Not to worry, there’s still time to enjoy the warm Southern California weather. With Labor Day Weekend right around the corner, why not plan one last weekend getaway? You could sit by the pool and relax, or get out and explore Orange County to make the most of your time and enjoy Labor Day Weekend events. Be at the center of all the fun and stay in Orange County’s theater and arts district, Costa Mesa.

 

Costa Mesa has all the right elements for a perfect Labor Day weekend away – food, shopping, arts and entertainment. Many Costa Mesa hotels offer special weekend rates and packages so you can make the most of your time away. With Costa Mesa’s close proximity to the beaches in Huntington, Newport and Laguna, it’s hard to pass up a visit to Orange County’s beautiful coastline. Make a full day of it, enjoy water sports, cruise the harbor or take an evening stroll on the beach and enjoy a stunning Southern California sunset.

PC:Visit Newport Beach

 

Costa Mesa Events

Great Labor Day Cruise – September 1 – 3, 2017

Head over to the OC Fair & Event Center for the 35th Annual Great Labor Day Cruise where 1,200 muscle cars, street rods and classics will be on display and paraded along a 1.25-mile route. There will be food, music and fun for the whole family. The three-day event is $15 for adults and free for children under age 11.

 

Heroes Hall, also on site of the OC Fair & Event Center, is a free museum open year round, serving as a tribute to Orange County veterans and others who have served our nation.

 

The Capital Grille Generous Pour – through September 3, 2017

Wine lovers will toast to one of the largest wine events in the U.S.! Labor Day is the last weekend to experience The Capital Grille’s “Generous Pour,” where you can sit back, relax and savor seven varieties of wine when you purchase an entree. The best part is that you can enjoy the flight of these seven wines over and over again. Or, select your favorite and your server will generously refill your glass throughout the evening, all for one price. Located at South Coast Plaza, this popular summer event ends September 3, so be sure to reserve your spot soon.

 

Costa Mesa Activities

Spend a day at South Coast Plaza, where this international shopping destination continues to celebrate its golden anniversary with exclusive merchandise such as Gucci’s limited edition Large Sylvie Top handbag and Porsche Design sunglasses for men and women. Starbucks even has a special Carousel Blend coffee to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. Stop by the new boutique by ladies’ luxury Italian footwear Aquazzura, and when you’re ready for a break, enjoy a gourmet pizza or other Italian favorites and specialty cocktails at newly reopened Wolfgang Puck Kitchen. If you’re in need a few more things for back-to-school, South Coast Plaza is just the place for the hot, new trends.

If being a kid at heart is what inspires your weekend away, or merely keeping the kids entertained is the goal, add Disneyland to the weekend itinerary. Staying in Costa Mesa makes it even easier to create just the right itinerary for all family members. Most Costa Mesa hotels offer convenient shuttle transportation to and from your hotel direct to the Disneyland Resort. This is definitely a perk if you want to see Minnie and Mickey while also enjoying a relaxing weekend retreat.

 

Costa Mesa’s SOCO and The OC Mix is an inspirational and creative center where you can shop, dine or simply chill out. Grab a carefully crafted and freshly brewed latte at one of the best coffee roasters around, Portola Coffee Lab. Browse new retailers like women’s athletic clothing and Korean-inspired skincare products by Bono Spera (meaning ‘Good Hope’ in Latin), or home furnishings from luxury Italian brand Natuzzi Italia and stylish multimedia products by the iconic Bang & Olufsen.

PC: Anne Watson Photography

 

A Saturday visit to this indoor/outdoor area is a must in order to experience one of Orange County’s best Farmer’s Markets – Saturday’s from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Looney Tunes lovers and art collectors can appreciate not one, but two galleries by Chuck Jones’ Center for Creativity – ‘the’ gallery for pop culture collections; the second location recently opened in The OC Mix. View and purchase from the extensive fine arts collections and various Looney Tunes-inspired gifts to take home. Think Snoopy, the Peanuts Gang, Bugs Bunny, and more.

 

If you happen to stop at SOCO and The OC Mix on Monday of Labor Day, you’re in for a real treat. Grab a bite at a new popup breakfast spot open for a limited time. Eggslice, open from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., creates perfectly crafted breakfast sandwiches, featuring unique locally made Chili Jam, combined with fresh, local ingredients from OC Baking Company, Billy’s Egg Farm, Francisco’s Meat Company, West Coast Prime Meats and Penjoyan Produce.

 

Don’t wait; start planning your weekend away now! Explore the Calendar of Events to see all the Labor Day weekend events in Costa Mesa and around Orange County.

 

 

 

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Posted in Events, Food, Hotels, Misc, Play, Shopping

FREE THINGS TO DO THIS SUMMER IN ORANGE COUNTY

Posted on June 30, 2017 | 7:24am

summer in Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa is Orange County’s City of the Arts™, featuring free things to do all summer – live performances at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, public art and sculptures throughout the city and eclectic art galleries featuring both world-renowned and local, up-and-coming artists’ talents. There are endless possibilities for free things to do, including getting your fill of arts and culture in Costa Mesa. Look beyond Costa Mesa, and you’ll see that Orange County makes a serious commitment to exposing its culture and landscape, while entertaining its residents and visitors with free things to do all summer long.

 

Laguna Beach Free Things to Do

Hit the Orange County Beaches

Toes in the sand, cool ocean breeze and endless sunshine…it’s what Southern California is known for. What better way to spend a day soaking up the rays, taking a leisurely walk along the shoreline, or playing some beach volleyball? All of this is free, and a way to spend a day, or two, along the 42 miles of Orange County’s coastline from Dana Point Harbor to Laguna Beach, Newport Beach to “Surf City USA” Huntington Beach, both of the latter neighboring Costa Mesa. There are endless ways to spend the day in these seaside communities, including art festivals, surf competitions and events throughout the year.

 

Costa Mesa Line Free Things to Do

Free City Line to get you around

Costa Mesa is already an easy city to get around, and many of the shopping and dining experiences are within a short walk of the city’s hotels. A new route of the city’s free shuttle service is making it even more convenient to get to some of the best restaurants, South Coast Plaza for retail therapy, and various local centers for nightlife and outdoor entertainment. This service runs from approximately 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days per week. Learn more about Costa Mesa’s free shuttle service and the local stops, as well as a low-cost option to ride from Costa Mesa to Disneyland for the day.

 

CHILL OUT WITH LIVE MUSIC

 The Camp Live Music Free Things to Do in Costa Mesa

Summer Sounds at The CAMP

Every Sunday from 12 – 2 p.m., local musicians play a free live show in the courtyard in front of SEED People’s Market at The CAMP in Costa Mesa. Enjoy the warm Southern California weather and relax at one of the first-known environmentally friendly retail and dining centers. At The CAMP, you will find a variety of culinary delights like Native Foods, offering gourmet vegetarian cuisine or Old Vine Café with fresh, locally sourced organic cuisine in the style of southern Italy, and an incredible brunch served daily until 3 p.m. So come on out, grab a bite and stake a spot at one of the picnic tables, then kick back in a hammock and enjoy an afternoon chilling out with the locals.

 

SOCO After Dark Live Music Mondays

On the last Monday of each month, step outside to enjoy live music in the courtyard at SOCO and The OC Mix. South Coast Collection, also known as SOCO Costa Mesa, defines the ultimate home design and culinary experience in Southern California. SOCO is home to more than 70 specifically curated showrooms, restaurants and stores. Make it a date or a fun evening with friends and enjoy Happy Hour at We Olive Wine Bar while listening to the lively music by the swing band Riff Raff.  For any decorator, designer, chef or creative mind in Orange County, SOCO is a shopping destination that is sure to inspire.

 

Summer Music Series at The Triangle

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, The Triangle kicks off a weekly music series on July 12 from 5 to 8 p.m., with live music continuing every Wednesday evening through August 23. The live music, held in the upper level courtyard between Saddle Ranch Chop House and La Vida Cantina, will feature guitarists, duos and solo artists performing a variety of genres including “Back to the Beach” classics, hits of the 80s and 90s and reggae.

 

MOVIES UNDER THE STARS

 Free Movie Mondays in Costa Mesa

Movie Mondays

Families, friends and visitors from all over can claim their space at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts complex to enjoy a film under the stars as it is projected on the side of the concert hall. Spend a casual evening full of fun-filled activities, picnic dinners or specialties from popular food trucks and watch one of five fan-favorite films on consecutive Mondays in July and August. Come as early as 5:30 p.m., bring beach chairs or blankets, snacks and drinks and get comfortable with fellow moviegoers starting at dusk (approximately 8 p.m.).

 

Saturdays at Orange County Great Park

If you haven’t experienced Orange County’s Great Park, it’s a former military air base in the City of Irvine, designed for sporting events, concerts, farmers markets and community activities and is stunning venue to see a movie on the lawn. Head over a little early and enjoy the carousel, aviation museum and food vendors. Look out for the big orange balloon to help guide you to the venue, and you can even take a ride up in the sky to see Orange County’s skyline.

San Clemente Ocean Festival

San Clemente Ocean Festival

Explore “The Greatest Show on Surf” as lifeguards, locals and visitors take to the beach to participate in activities to promote and support ocean safety, and the environment. During this two-day event on July 15 & 16, participants and spectators of all ages will enjoy surf skiing and rescue relays, as well as Stand Up Paddleboard competitions and a Dolphin Dash kids run on the sand. This event is a perfect opportunity to spend the day and experience San Clemente’s beaches and pier.

Los Angeles Charger training camp

Los Angeles Chargers Training Camp

The Los Angeles Chargers are now calling Costa Mesa home! The team will kick off the 2017 season with its training camp at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa (2750 Fairview Road). Practices are free and open to the public between July 30 and August 22. No tickets are required and walk-ups are welcome; however, fans are encouraged to reserve free bleacher seating passes – available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning July 1. Don’t miss exciting practice times between the Chargers and New Orleans Saints on August 22, the week before their exhibition game. If you plan to attend the OC Fair during your visit, July 21 is the day to also get up close with The Chargers as we celebrate Costa Mesa Day at the Fair.

California Scenario Noguchi Gardens

Costa Mesa Artwalk

Whether you have a special appreciation for art and culture, or you’re looking to learn more about the heart of Orange County’s City of the Arts™, take a free walking tour of the Costa Mesa Artwalk. Get a copy of the easy-to-follow map and start exploring the 15 public art pieces and spaces in and around the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, including the Unity Bridge connecting you to luxury shopping at South Coast Plaza, and the beautiful Neptune Water Spouts fountain flowing in the lobby at The Westin South Coast Plaza. One of the lovely hidden gems of the city is California Scenario, a 1.6-acre outdoor sculpture garden created by Isamu Noguchi with native California landscapes and vegetation. With some of the finest visual arts installations and performing arts venues in the world, it’s easy to see why Costa Mesa is The City of the Arts™.

Art Crawl Experience in Anaheim

Anaheim Art Crawl Experience

Known to locals as the Downtown Anaheim A.C.E. Festival, arts and culture enthusiasts can walk, crawl or climb aboard the Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) for complimentary rides throughout Anaheim’s Art Crawl Experience (A.C.E.) on August 19 from 6-10 p.m. You’ll see art in public places, street artisans, pop-up galleries, and the brick-and-mortar galleries. And, along the way there are plenty of places to dine or grab a bite from one of the gourmet food trucks along the route.

Segerstrom Pioneering Innovation Exhibit at South Coast Plaza Costa Mesa

South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary: Segerstrom Pioneering Spirit: An American Dream Exhibit

One of the best-known shopping destinations in California is South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Easily accessible at the heart of the city, and a short walk from Costa Mesa hotels, South Coast Plaza welcomes 22 million visitors each year. As a leader in luxury brands, one-of-a-kind boutiques and dozens of acclaimed restaurants, South Coast Plaza in Southern California is where many fashion trends and runway-only creations make their debut. In celebration of the vision for this shopping experience that began more than 50 years ago, built upon the Segerstrom family’s lima bean fields, a free exhibit has been created and is on display in Jewel Court at South Coast Plaza through July 31. Grab a latte and dig into the roots of this historical landmark.

 US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach

Vans US Open of Surfing

Every summer, “Surf City USA” is transformed to the world’s ultimate surfing arena for nine days of surfing and surf culture in Huntington Beach, California. This free event is showcases more than 300 world-class surfers competing in the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing along by BMX riders and skateboarders exhibiting their talents in arenas on the sand. If you’re in Southern California between July 29 and August 9, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

 

Thursday art walk in Laguna Beach

Laguna Art Walk

In the coastal city about 20 minutes south of Costa Mesa, you’ll find another extraordinary arts community in Laguna Beach. Head down the coast on the first Thursday of the month to experience Laguna’s vibrant arts scene by joining the free First Thursday Art Walk from 6 to 9 p.m. where you’ll gain a understanding and appreciation arts in Orange County.

 

Free Yoga in The Treehouse in Costa Mesa

Free Yoga at The Treehouse

On Sunday, July 19 and August 13, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. head over to the Treehouse to stretch out, get centered and find your Zen at The CAMP in Costa Mesa with free yoga by The Yoga Mat.

 

Will you spend an evening at a movie, the day at one of Orange County’s beautiful beaches, or exploring Costa Mesa’s art scene? You’ve got all summer and there are plenty of free things to do, so get out here and have fun!

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Stay All Weekend and get $100 While Enjoying Costa Mesa Events

Posted on May 19, 2017 | 2:05pm

Looking for events this weekend or for Memorial Day? The Costa Mesa events calendar has something for the everyone. And, if you stay two nights, you’ll enjoy $100 to dine in the City of Costa Mesa.

Make a night out at the original and largest Asian-themed Night Market in the U.S. when it returns to OC Fair & Event Center May 19-21. The event hosts more than 200 attractions including food vendors, crafts, music and live entertainment and merchandise. The Night Market is open from 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday and from 4 to 11 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 and parking is $8. Children under 6 get in free.

Stay with Us, Dine on Us

Stay all weekend and experience Costa Mesa events and some of the top attractions in Orange County. Right now, through Memorial Day, Costa Mesa hotels are offering some great packages to help you extend your stay and put a little money back in your pocket. Select Costa Mesa hotels and the trendy dining and retail center, SOCO and The OC Mix invite you stay with us and dine on us.

SOCO and The OC Mix Courtyard Costa Mesa

Book a two-night stay through May 29. Costa Mesa hotel guests will receive $100 to experience some of the best dining in Southern California. Choose from more than 20 restaurants including authentic French crepes at Bistro Papillote, or Spanish tapas at Pueblo, or make your own plate with hand-cut cheese from The Cheese Shop, with olive oil and wine tasting at We Olive Wine Bar. These are just a few of the flavors you’ll find at SOCO and The OC Mix.

Cheese Shop SOCO and The OC Mix Costa Mesa

If you’re wondering what to do this Memorial Day weekend, we have some ideas.

Friday, May 26, check into your hotel; take in an early dinner at Leatherby’s Café Rouge, or Water Grill…walking distance from most hotels. Get tickets to see to the popular Celtic Women at Segerstrom Center for the Arts that evening. Experience the live stage performance of the Voices of Angels. Enjoy the angelic sound of the three Celtic women while they perform alongside new Celtic violinist Tara McNeill and watch as the trio makes stunning wardrobe changes throughout the evening.

Celtic Women and Voices of Angels in Costa Mesa

Saturday, May 27, head over to SOCO and The OC Mix where you can start putting your $100 gift card from your Stay and Shop package to use. Grab a seat on the patio for a late breakfast or lunch at Restaurant Marin…you’ll feel like you’ve been swept away to a different time in this charming location while you enjoy the comfort of freshly crafted menu items. Be sure to take the time to visit one of Orange County’s largest farmer’s markets from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during your trip to SOCO and The OC Mix. There is plenty of fresh produce, floral arrangements and crafts for kids (gift card not redeemable at Farmer’s Market). Be sure to stroll around the center to see the creative boutiques and designer showrooms at this location.

Pueblo tapas and scallops in Costa Mesa

Memorial Day weekend also brings the Scottish Festival to Costa Mesa at OC Fair & Event Center on Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27. Whether or not you’re of Scottish heritage, the Highland Games are a great form of entertainment and showmanship. Spend the day outside enjoying traditional food and music while experiencing this annual Southern California event.

Scottish Fest and Highland Games Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa dining, shopping and attractions are all within minutes of each other so it’s easy to head back to SOCO and The OC Mix anytime throughout the weekend to try the exceptional brew at Portola Coffee, sample the Kombucha sodas from Farm & Culture Co., or pick up a sweet treat at ST Patisserie Chocolat, you will find the best food trucks all around the city, ice cream trucks with unique flavors, and great texture thanks to the refrigerator container options they use.

Kombucha Farm and Culture SOCO and The OC Mix Costa mesa

In the City of the Arts™, you won’t want to miss the experiential Costa Mesa Art Walk around Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Sculptures can be found in a hotel, concert hall, along pathways throughout the performing arts complex, and at South Coast Plaza – one of the largest shopping centers in California with hundreds of retailers, unique boutiques, designer retailers and restaurants.

Art Walk Costa Mesa Samueli Theater

Getting to Costa Mesa is easy being just 90 minutes north of San Diego, one hour south of Los Angeles and an hour flight by air from San Francisco, Phoenix and Las Vegas into John Wayne Airport, Orange County.

See you soon!

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

Become a Pastry Chef in a Day! Baking and Pastry School at ST Patisserie Costa Mesa

Posted on April 24, 2017 | 4:25pm

Do you aspire to be a pastry chef, but you don’t have the nerve to share your creations outside of your own kitchen? Costa Mesa has its very own baking and pastry school at SOCO and The OC Mix! We’re sure you’ll feel more confident about sharing your homemade dessert creations after taking a class with world-famous French Pastry Chef Stéphane Tréand of The Pastry School and ST Pâtisserie Chocolat. This may sound intimidating, but The Pastry School offers a variety of classes designed to teach beginners, and seasoned professionals, the techniques to take their pastry techniques to the next level.

It’s a great way to turn a vacation to Costa Mesa into an Eatcation!

Pastry Chef ST Patisserie Costa Mesa (John Gilhooley)

Chef Stéphane recently offered a sneak peak of his classes when he was featured on an episode of the California Dream Eater. The show’s host, Chase Ramsey, dropped in on Chef Stéphane to congratulate him for being selected as part of Visit California’s #DreamEats program. Chef Stéphane took that opportunity to show Ramsey a few of the secrets to making amazing desserts.

Classes at The Pastry School vary from 5-day weeklong sessions to a single day, depending how intense one wants to get with the craft. The one-day classes are also a great opportunity for a date, or outing with girlfriends. For those who are seriously thinking about developing their skills, and can dedicate more time, a Master Series is also available. These have been making waves online, being mentioned on articles like https://educationspeaks.org/gordon-ramsay-masterclass-review/ have increased their visibility in a marked way. Reviews like that don’t come often and they have to be pleased by it for sure.

Chef Stéphane teaches “the joy of baking and arts” and has been doing so in the U.S. since 2012 when he relocated from Paris and opened his first pastry school in Southern California. Within a few years, he moved his school from San Clemente to Costa Mesa’s SOCO and The OC Mix where he opened ST Pâtisserie Chocolat in two locations to share his delightful creations with visitors.

Stephane Treand Pastry Chef

Chef Stéphane is just one of four artisans in the U.S. with the prestigious title of Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF), which is awarded by the French Ministry of Labour in Paris and given to artists and chefs competing to create their perfect masterpiece.

To learn more about the California Dream Eater and Costa Mesa being designated as a #DreamEats destination, see our blog about Costa Mesa’s Amazing Aged Steaks.

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Springtime Family Events and Easter Brunch

Posted on April 5, 2017 | 12:47pm

Springtime has arrived and brings great weather, beautiful blooms, and maybe a weekend escape! If you’re looking for a spring break getaway with the kids, or you just want to get out and enjoy the warm weather and sunshine, head to Costa Mesa for your springtime activities. We’ve got a roundup of free events you won’t want to miss this month, especially if a visit with the Easter Bunny is on your list.

Easter Eggs and Bunny display on table

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Posted in Events, Food, Misc