Costa Mesa is a city at the crossroads, easy to access via the 405 Freeway, about halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles. It's also one of Orange County's gems, right between Anaheim and Newport Beach. But there's more to the city than its proximity to other places; Costa Mesa itself has a lot to discover. Known as the City of the Arts, the vibrant city hosts a number of venues for theater, art, and other creative expressions.
Shoppers from around the world known Costa Mesa California as the home of South Coast Plaza. The Costa Mesa mall isn't the typical neighborhood shopping center. It's packed with designer boutiques, with names as chic as you'd find along Rodeo Drive. The collection includes luxury shops and gourmet restaurants, just off the 405 Freeway.
Costa Mesa Fair
Costa Mesa Fair Image: ryarwood (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0
South Coast Plaza is one of the largest shopping centers in California, but it's not the only thing the city does big. The Orange County Fair is one of the biggest fairs in the country, bringing more than 20 days of fun every July and August. It takes more than three weeks to set up the largest ride at the fair. Called La Grande Wheel, the Ferris wheel is designed after the Paris wheel overlooking the Champs Elysees. The fair also features the typical fun you'd expect, including games, live entertainment, and competitions. On the weekends, free shuttles make it quick and easy to get to the fairgrounds.
Costa Mesa Hotels
Costa Mesa Hotels
Whether you're coming to enjoy the fair, go shopping, or seeing a show, you can extend your stay at one of the Costa Mesa hotels. Many familiar brands have a location in Costa Mesa California, offering everything from budget rooms to luxury vacation packages. Several of the airport hotels offer free shuttles to the John Wayne International Airport. Costa Mesa is just four miles from the only commercial passenger airport in Orange County. If you'd prefer to travel by train, the Amtrak station is also close to many of the Costa Mesa properties. The Pacific Surfliner links the city with several other coastal destinations, including San Diego, L.A., San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara.
Costa Mesa Beach
Costa Mesa Beach
Almost every day in Costa Mesa is a good day to visit the beach. The weather is relatively stable, with most days featuring sun and pleasant temperatures. Neighboring Newport Beach and Huntington Beach are within minutes of Costa Mesa, with some of the best surfing and beachcombing in Southern California. Two state parks are close to Costa Mesa, too—Huntington Beach State Park and Bolsa Chica. All of the state parks and cities beaches offer some amazing views of the Pacific Ocean or Bolsa Bay.
Nestled on the grounds of the Orange County Fair, the Pacific Amphitheatre hosts concerts when the fair is in session. Year-round entertainment is available at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Formerly called the Orange County Performing Arts Center, the venue is home Segerstrom Hall, which seats 3,000 people, the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall (2,000 seats), a 500-seat theater and 250-seat Founders Hall. Branching out, the campus also is home to the South Coast Repertory Theater and will be the home of the Orange County Museum of Art moving forward. The City of Arts also has art galleries and public sculptures to enjoy underneath the California sunshine.
Top image: McDeez (flickr)