Costa Mesa, CA, USA

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7 Eatcation-worthy Happy Hours in Costa Mesa

Posted on September 23, 2019 | 10:54am

Whether you’re a local Orange County resident or traveling and staying in one of our hotels, knowing which happy hour to choose can be tough. How can you find great deals on drinks and delicious food? That’s why we’ve put together a list of happy hours worthy of an Eatcation™.

Playa Mesa margarita, quesito, and pork confit ribs

Playa Mesa Mexican Kitchen

Named “Best New Mexican Restaurant 2019,” Playa Mesa Mexican Kitchen offers up some tasty treats on their happy hour menu. Try the pork confit spare ribs with chives and a piloncillo glaze ($8) or the quesito with scallions and house-made chorizo ($6). Their drafts are $1 off, along with a wine, beer and margarita selection. Playa Mesa serves happy hour Monday-Friday from 3-6pm. They also have a “Tacos & Tequila Tuesday” with $6 margaritas and $3.50 tacos.

Old Vine cocktail and focaccia

Old Vine Kitchen & Bar

You can find half-off bar bites and $3 off classic cocktails at Old Vine Kitchen & Bar. The house-baked focaccia ($5) and the borlotti bean dip ($5) showcase Chef Mark McDonald’s Italian training. Old Vine’s happy hour is available Tuesday-Friday and Sunday from 3-6pm. There’s also a late night happy hour, also Tuesday-Friday and Sunday, from 10pm-midnight with $5 draft Hefeweizen Weihenstephaner and $9 Old Vine classic cocktails.

Wine Lab wine glass with logo and wine flight

Wine Lab

Wine and cheese lovers, rejoice! Not only does Wine Lab offer cheese and charcuterie plates ($13) on their happy hour menu, but they also serve an early-bird cheese plate ($9) until 4pm on weekdays and 3pm on weekends. All beer and selected wines are $2 off, or try the happy hour wine fight for $10.

Memphis Cafe cocktail and crab cakes

Memphis Cafe

A homestyle Southern restaurant may not be an obvious choice for happy hour, but Memphis Cafe’s extensive food selection makes it one of our Eatcation-worthy picks. Chef and co-founder Diego Velasco serves everything from gumbo cheese fries ($7) to steamed mussles and clams with andouille sausage in a tomato broth ($8). You can find $1 off drafts and $2 off wine by the glass. Crafted cocktails are $6 and specialty cocktails are $8. Stop by Memphis Cafe Monday-Friday from 3-6pm for their happy hour menu and specials.

Seasons 52 broccoli flatbread and white wine

Seasons 52

The Seasons 52 happy hour menu is not to be missed. Their small plates are just $5 and include dishes such as Kona-crusted lamb, caramelized grilled sea scallops with lemon mosto and micro greens, and ginger-sesame chicken skewers. They offer a selection wines ($6), cocktails ($6), specialty cocktails ($7) and beers ($4) on the menu. They also have a glass of wine and flatbread special ($12). Seasons 52 serves happy hour Monday-Friday from 3-6pm and is located in South Coast Plaza.

Silver Trumpet cocktail close up

Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar

Conveniently in Avenue of the Arts hotel, Silver Trumpet offers a selection of their bar menu items during their happy hour. Try a chophouse slider with caper remoulade, brie and crispy onions ($3), charred Brussels sprouts with toasted cashews and cilantro ($8) or calamari with pickled vegetables and sweet cilantro glaze ($11). Beers are $1 off, well drinks and happy hour wines are $7. You can stop by Monday-Thursday from 2-6pm and 9:30-close, as well as Friday from 2-6pm and all day Sunday.

For even more great Costa Mesa happy hour ideas, check out the “Happiest of Happy Hours.” What’s your favorite happy hour in Costa Mesa?

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Posted in Food, Play

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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Posted in Events, Misc, Music & Art, Play

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

3 Great Places to Drink Wine in Costa Mesa on National Wine Day

Posted on May 25, 2016 | 10:10am

The delicious bounty of the fermented grape is something to be enjoyed all year long…but especially on National Wine Day! Today, May 25th, we share just a few of our favorite spots in Costa Mesa to taste, savor and enjoy wines from all over the world.

national wine day costa mesa

 

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Posted in Misc

Wine Tasting and Wine Events in Costa Mesa

Posted on August 7, 2014 | 8:14pm

Costa Mesa is a foodie’s hotspot in Orange County, and wine naturally goes with great food. Many restaurants in the city have expansive and unique wine cellars, along with weekly and monthly events. Read on to find out some of the great grape events in store in Costa Mesa this summer.costa mesa wine tasting

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Posted in Events, Food