Whether you're looking for a romantic retreat, a girlfriends' getaway, or a quick trip to escape the hustle and bustle of Seattle, there's an eclectic city smack-dab between Los Angeles and San Diego that's perfect for a long weekend away. We're talking about Costa Mesa, California, known as the City of the Arts.
With a vibrant, award-winning performing and musical arts scene, celebrity chefs that dominate the local culinary scene, and one of the country's largest concentrations of high-fashion retailers, Costa Mesa offers endless sights, sounds, snacks, and shopping.
Keep reading to find out what this dazzling coastal city can offer you:
Center Stage. Costa Mesa is a city dedicated to the celebration of the arts. And at the center of it is Segerstrom Center for the Arts (SCFTA), Orange County's performing arts and theater complex and home to the world's leading dance companies, Broadway shows, award-winning musical artists, family entertainment, special events, and year-round programs. SCFTA is recognized as one of the nation's premier venues for the major ballet companies of the world. They also present an annual Broadway series with the season's hottest shows like "Hamilton," "The Book of Mormon," "Wicked," and "The Lion King."
Up-and-coming playwrights inspire locals and tourists at the Costa Mesa Playhouse, a 73-seat, not-for-profit, community theater that's been entertaining Orange County for more than 40 years. Watch as talented performers and stage craftspeople come together in an intimate setting to showcase a diverse array of plays and musicals.
And if you love the performing and musical arts, you'll go crazy for the Costa Mesa Art Walk, which traverses through the city and shows off several major works of free public art, including "The Ram," a vibrant 1979 sculpture by artist Charles O. Perry.
Decadent Dining. Costa Mesa is a culinary destination that delights even the most sophisticated of diners, featuring top-rated offerings in Asian delicacies to Spanish tapas to traditional American cuisine and critically acclaimed seafood and steakhouses. With more than 150 restaurants, there's a plate for every palate! A few of our top picks include:
- AnQi Gourmet Bistro & Noodle Bar. The An family, owners of Crustacean in Beverly Hills, serves unique Asian fusion cuisine in a stunning contemporary space in South Coast Plaza. Share small hot and cold plates with your friends before you chow down on the An family's signature garlic noodles.
- The Crack Shack. Consistently included on lists for the Best Fried Chicken in the U.S., Bravo TV's "Top Chef" Richard Blais brings his fried chicken concept restaurant to Westside Costa Mesa. Enjoy classic comfort food (Double Clucker, anyone?) in the sunny SoCal spirit of spacious ambiance, lawn games, and craft cocktails.
- Mastro's Steakhouse. Adored by diners and named "masterful" by the Los Angeles Daily News, Mastro's fine dining serves the finest dry-aged, hand-cut prime steaks and fresh seafood with nightly live music. Oh, and did we mention the expansive wine cellar?
Shop Designer, Shop Local. Costa Mesa offers shopping for every style. From world-renowned retailers that define luxury experiences to one-of-a-kind boutiques filled with designs by local emerging artists, visitors will find that fashion is an essential part of the Costa Mesa lifestyle.
There's South Coast Plaza, which is recognized internationally for housing more designer brands under one roof than most anywhere in the United States. Home to a line of upscale, fashion-forward apparel, local shops, and a luxurious VIP suite encouraging personal shopper appointments and complimentary champagne, visitors are in for a "shop-til-you-drop" kind of day.
But once you're in the shopping spirit, you can't pass up the chance to check out The LAB, a unique enclave of boutique shops, one-of-a-kind eateries, and artistic happenings. The eco-friendly building was repurposed from remnants of what was a goggle-making factory and has creatively been transformed into an "anti-mall" atmosphere. The eclectic array of apparel shops featuring clothing, hats, and sunglasses is what has trendsetting shoppers returning regularly to this distinctive shopping center.
Ready to plan your trip to Costa Mesa, California? Visit www.travelcostamesa.com for more information, and don't forget to follow Costa Mesa on social media @travelcostamesa.