An Interview with Paulette Lombardi-Fries
President, Costa Mesa CVB
Q: What is the Costa Mesa Conference & Visitor Bureau?
A: We are a nonprofit organization that works to increase tourism to the city of Costa Mesa.
Q: Where is the city of Costa Mesa?
A: Costa Mesa, California is centrally located in OC (Orange County, CA), between Newport Beach and Anaheim and about midway between Los Angeles and San Diego. Costa Mesa has the advantage of being in a coastal region while offering fast freeway access to all of Southern California's attractions - and is minutes away from Orange County/John Wayne Airport.
Q: What does Costa Mesa offer tourists?
A: A person can stay in Costa Mesa, stroll in a pedestrian-friendly environment to world-class shopping and award-winning restaurants at South Coast Plaza, and then enjoy an evening of premier entertainment at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, which includes South Coast Repertory and the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The Center has all the top touring Broadway musicals and concerts by legends in music! The city is also convenient to all Southern California's major attractions, such as Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure, Knott's Berry Farm, Legoland, Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, Universal Studios, Six Flags Magic Mountain, The Getty Museum of Art, professional sports venues and much more.
Golfers will be delighted with the Costa Mesa's excellent courses. The Costa Mesa Country Club is open to the public and offers 36 holes to suit all levels of play, while the private Mesa Verde and Santa Ana Country Clubs have reciprocal privileges with a number of clubs in the United States and abroad. Many other professional quality golf courses are minutes away, as is the beach for a fun day of swimming, surfing or sailing.
Q: What airport serves Costa Mesa and what transportation options are available to visitors?
A: Orange County/John Wayne Airport sits at the Costa Mesa border and is served by major airlines. Tourists can take advantage of the several major car rental agencies or taxi service at or near the airport. Most of the hotels in Costa Mesa offer convenient free airport shuttle service to and from the airport.
Q: What kind of shopping is available in Costa Mesa?
A: In Costa Mesa, tourists will find a shopping experience like no other – at the world-class South Coast Plaza. With more than two million square feet and holding the largest concentration of retail designers in the U.S., South Coast Plaza attracts visitors, royalty and celebrities from around the world. For a refreshing break, shoppers can dine at a variety of delightful cafes and restaurants or relax in the VIP Access Suite. Guests can learn more about all the great shopping opportunities in Costa Mesa on our Shop page.
Q: What about accommodations?
A: Costa Mesa offers a variety of accommodation options from deluxe hotels with resort amenities and extended-stay hotels, to charming European-style facilities. Visitors to our website can go to our Hotels page to get more information on our Costa Mesa hotels and see special offers.
Q: Are there many restaurants in Costa Mesa?
A: Costa Mesa has one of the richest mixes of restaurants found anywhere – more than 100, in fact. Besides establishments found at the major hotels and shopping areas, the city is home to many award-winning restaurants, as well as a number of cafes, health food restaurants and eateries specializing in a variety of cuisines to suit all palates.
Q: Why is Costa Mesa considered an art and cultural center?
A: We are trademarked as the "City of the Arts"! Costa Mesa is home to Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Segerstrom Center for the Arts is a year-round showcase for professional performances of music, opera, dance, musical theater and other special attractions. The Orange County Philharmonic Society brings top entertainment to the District, such as the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Kirov Opera, Ballet and Orchestra. The concert hall is home to Orange County's acclaimed Pacific Symphony. Broadway productions, internationally known performers, and stellar ballet and modern dance companies appear here frequently. The Center has been the regional home for the New York City Ballet, the New York City Opera and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Next to the Center and the concert hall, South Coast Repertory is on the cutting edge of creative drama, and is one of America's leading resident theaters for the development and production of new plays. Costa Mesa is also home to the unique California Scenario sculpture garden created by Isamu Noguchi, and a stunning variety of indoor and outdoor contemporary sculptures and other art works by prominent artists, including Richard Serra, whose Costa Mesa sculpture The Connector is adjacent to the concert hall. Visitors can get more information in our Visual Arts section.
Q: How about Costa Mesa's nightlife?
A: In Costa Mesa, a pleasant day turns into a delightful evening. In addition to our cultural events, Costa Mesa has a variety of nightspots and coffeehouses to suit all tastes and ages, and is truly an "18-hour" destination for work and play. Visitors to our site can review our Bars and Nightlife section.
Q: How far is Costa Mesa from Disneyland and other Southern California attractions?
A: Costa Mesa is the ideal "home base" for visitors to Southern California. Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure and Knott's Berry Farm are an easy freeway drive of about 20 minutes. Newport Beach is right next door; Laguna Beach, 15 minutes; Hollywood, 45 minutes; Legoland is just 60 minutes away; and Sea World in San Diego and snow skiing in mountain resorts are about 90 minutes away.
Q: What time of the year is best for a visit to Costa Mesa?
A: Costa Mesa enjoys sunshine 95 percent of the year, with an average temperature of about 70°F – perfect for shopping, sightseeing, golf or a trip to the beach at just about any time of the year.
Q: Are there any historical sites to visit?
A: Yes, the Diego Sepulveda Adobe Estancia. It was built by the padres of San Juan Capistrano between 1823 and 1828 as a way station for vaqueros herding California mission cattle.
AGENDAS/MINUTES for the Costa Mesa Conference & Visitor Bureau