Costa Mesa can be safely described as a region that offers something for everyone. From the best in shopping to the range of dining and entertainment options, this is the place to be for a fun-filled summer getaway.
From its street art to its theater district, Costa Mesa, located in the heart of Orange County, has clearly earned its designation as the City of the Arts®. The area is easy to navigate and a drive through town will lead visitors past inspiring sculptures and illustrated murals, as the sound of outdoor performers entertaining a dinner crowd chimes in the air.
Best known for its internationally acclaimed arts and theater district, The Segerstrom Center for the Arts has hosted headliners such as Tony Bennett, and YoYo Ma, and offers an annual concert series that includes jazz, pop, opera, and classical music. Formerly known as the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Center for the Arts features the world’s leading dance companies, Broadway shows, family entertainment, and special events throughout the year.
Besides hosting outstanding performances indoors, each structure in the Center is an architectural masterpiece. The Center includes Segerstrom Hall, Samueli Theater, the Judy Morr Theater, the Julianne and George Argyros Arts Plaza, and the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The Lawrence and Kristina Dodge Education Center features an impressive Boeing Education Lab. Currently undergoing an extensive renovation, when the complex reopens it will host a world-class museum as well.
A short walk from the Segerstrom Center is the Avenue of the Arts Hotel, considered one of the most Instagramable hotels in Orange County, and an ideal place to stay given its convenient location. This boutique property is a reflection of Costa Mesa’s art theme, with creativity and charm at every turn. With a lakeside setting, this Tribute Portfolio Hotel is stylish, chic and pet-friendly. The contemporary décor features hardwoods, bold colors of purple and gold, modern artwork, and scenic balconies. There is a pool, fitness center, free WIFI, and ample seating spaces in the elegant lobby and serene outdoor spaces.
Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar, located in the Avenue of the Arts Hotel, features a seasonally inspired menu, and the food is tasty and visually amazing. The bar area is exceptionally styled with white leather furnishings and cutting-edge character. Seats, tables, and sofas are casually situated to accommodate mixing and mingling.
Shopping is an art form in Costa Mesa, beginning with the prestigious South Coast Plaza. Privately owned by the Segerstrom family, the shopping center is a haven for consumers who know their brands and seek the best in luxury shopping. With more than 250 boutiques and restaurants, good walking shoes and a map are highly recommended. With upscale stores like Gucci, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Harry Winston, Prada, and Rolex, the mall is considered one of the leading shopping destinations in California for designer labels.
Visitors can spend an entire day at South Coast Plaza, grabbing quick bite breaks or relaxing meals at one of the many fine-dining restaurants available. The Blue Box Café, a Tiffany & Company store, is the only West Coast restaurant location, and a lovely place to enjoy food and a beverage.
Other shopping destinations include The LAB Anti-Mall, which is constructed of remnants of what was once a goggle-making factory. This is an eclectic shopping area that maintains its “anti-mall” ambiance with an artsy vibe and small retailers. There are clothing shops and restaurants like Habana, a delicious spot for authentic Cuban cuisine. To enter, diners walk through an inventive tunnel of CDs, which makes the entry not just unique but very Instagramable. The Lab is an outdoor space with a social atmosphere that’s comfortable and easy.
The Camp, also a great selfie spot, is health and fitness-focused, and one of the few environmentally sensitive retail destinations in the country. Dining options include vegan, Vietnamese, Italian and American foods, and each retailer features organic goods. The location is lined with Adirondack chairs to give shoppers a chance to rest and enjoy the moment as well as the free, outdoor concerts that take place at The Camp every Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m.
South Coast Collection, or SoCo and the OC Mix, is home to more than 70 restaurants, designer showrooms and retailers. SoCo is a decorator’s dream, featuring home and outdoor furnishings, antiques, and design services. The OC MIX, located within SoCo, includes an assortment of boutiques and specialty food spots, and a schedule of special educational and entertaining events.
Costa Mesa offers a free, self-guided Art Walk that can be accessed from a mobile device, featuring more than 20 pieces of public art to explore throughout the area. The audio tour can be accessed at travelcostamesa.com.
Street art is dotted around town and the Dolly Parton mural at the Strut Bar and Club, as well as the Kobe Bryant memorial mural on 19th street, are not to be missed.
A Costa Mesa getaway is particularly entertaining in the summer, considering the line-up of special events. The city is ready to welcome back tourists and dazzle them with all its unique creativity and original artistry.
For more information visit: www.travelcostamesa.com
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