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The Ultimate Summer Destination for SoCal Travelers

Posted on July 2, 2024 | 12:13pm

If you’re looking for the ultimate location to plan a Southern California vacation, then Costa Mesa is the place to be! It’s the perfect home base if you want to explore Disneyland, Hollywood, and beyond. Experience our incredible dining options, shopping destinations, and exciting summer events —all in one trip.

The Perfect Location

Costa Mesa is located right in the middle of Southern California, which makes it super easy to hit up all your summer bucket list destinations.

  • Disneyland, 15 miles
  • Knott’s Berry Farm, 17 miles
  • Downtown Los Angeles, 40 miles
  • Hollywood, 45 miles
  • Angel’s Stadium, 15 miles
  • Aquarium of the Pacific, 29 miles
  • San Diego, 87 miles

Plus, if you’re all about spending as much time as you can at the beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Huntington Beach are all just a short drive away and we have plenty of beach-close hotels to choose from.

Foodie Paradise

Costa Mesa is the most flavorful destination in Southern California! With the only 2 Michelin Starred restaurants in Orange County plus 6 Michelin Recognized spots,  it’s truly the perfect city to take an Eatcation®. Whether you’re craving artisan coffee, gourmet burgers, or exotic eats, our city has it all. Dive into our insane variety of restaurants and discover new flavors!

Boutique Bliss

Did you know the largest shopping center on the West Coast is located in Costa Mesa?

Experience designer shopping at South Coast Plaza where you can explore over 200 boutiques including a massive two-story Gucci store and the largest Balenciaga boutique in the Americas. But, if you are more into local finds, Costa Mesa has plenty of unique boutiques. Some of our favorites can be found at The LAB and The CAMP.

After Dark Adventures

The fun never ends in Costa Mesa. The nightlife here is lit with cool bars, craft breweries, and plenty of locations to enjoy live music. Whether you’re into dancing, enjoying craft cocktails, or catching a live band, Costa Mesa has you covered. We recommend visiting Mercado Gonzalez, a massive Mexican food hall offering a full cocktail bar and live mariachi music, or newly opened, Westwood Coast for country vibes and line dancing.

Events and Concerts

If you’re in town for the summer then you have to hit up the OC Fair which runs from July 19 – August 18th! It’s one of the top ten largest fairs in the U.S. and has no shortage of rides, carnival games, animals, arts and crafts, beer, food, and live music. Bonus tip: attend a concert at Pacific Amphitheater and get free fair admission. This year’s lineup includes UB40, Stray Cats, Big Time Rush and so many more, check out the full list.  

Arts and Culture

Explore the artsy side of Costa Mesa at Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA). Don’t miss the chance to walk through their new Yves Saint Laurent: Line and Expression exhibit. For the first time in the United States, you can explore the designer’s groundbreaking work from the 1960s until 2002, his last show. Admission is FREE!

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is another great choice if you are looking to catch a Broadway show like Clue and Peter Pan.  This summer, they’re also hosting free events like outdoor movies and dance classes—perfect for making the most of your summer nights!

Get Ready for an Unforgettable Summer

So what are you waiting for? Drop this blog in the group chat, book your hotel stay, and get ready to experience the best SoCal vacation you’ve ever had. We can’t wait to see you here!

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Posted in Events, Food, Hotels, Music & Art, Play, Shopping, Travel

14 Date Ideas for Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) Day

Posted on January 31, 2024 | 5:43pm

There’s nothing wrong with a box of chocolates and a quiet evening staying in on Valentine’s Day. But with the sheer number of things to do in Costa Mesa, why not make it a day or night out on the town. Now, choosing from among the spectrum of activities is a different issue, which is why we put together a curated list of our top 14 date ideas for Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) Day in Costa Mesa.

All of these options are great whether you are out with your partner or a group of friends. Whomever you plan to spend Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) day with, you can count on making memories.

1. Loosen Up With Inspired Art Wine

Photo by Inspired Art Wine

Art and wine have gone together for centuries, and the rise of painting classes with wine is a testament to this fact. Inspired Art Wine uniquely merges an art studio with a wine bar. They offer painting classes (with wine), as well as wine-focused sessions where you can learn about tasting profiles and create custom labels. For Valentine’s Day, they’re hosting a painting class featuring the scene “London Walk,” perfect for the romantic occasion! Seats are limited, though, so we recommend booking your spot sooner rather than later.

2. Feast at the Mercado González Food Hall at Northgate Market

Can’t settle on a single place to eat? The new Mercado González food hall features 20+ stalls, including a well-stocked bar, ensuring you, your date, or your friends will all find something to enjoy. What turns this into a really lively date night is the live music, featuring local artists who know how to add some flair to a night of gastronomic enjoyment. Don’t forget to try their limited edition heart shaped churros and sweet bread conchas while you are there!

3. Get Crafty at Lovely Curated Things

Photo by Lovely Curated Things

Boutique store, Lovely Curated Things is hosting a special Galentine’s Candle-Making Workshop on February 10th. This event comes with some extra perks, including in-store discounts, drinks and a light appetizer, and personal instruction. Tickets are sold beforehand, so be sure to book yours in advance.

4. Break a Sweat at Rockreation

Photo by Rockreation

Beginners and experienced climbers alike are welcome at Rockreation, a Costa Mesa climbing center with a focus on health, fitness, inclusion, and community. Book a climbing class matched to your level and goals (fitness, speed, or technique), or even set up a private instruction session for you and your partner. Nothing strengthens bonds more than a little healthy competition!

5. Stay Classy with Dinner and a Show

Photo by Silver Trumpet

No date is more iconic than dinner and a show! Start with a Valentine’s Day dinner at Silver Trumpet, treating you and your partner to a 4-course prix-fixe meal. Dishes include saffron lobster risotto, wild mushroom bisque, hand-crafted desserts, and more. Then take a two-minute stroll across the street for a striking live performance of Disney’s The Lion King at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. This award-winning spectacle features breathtaking music by Elton John, dazzling visuals, and a classic story of courage.

6. Make Something Special at Color Me Mine

Color Me Mine is always ready to provide a calm and creative night out! On February 14th they have planned a special Valentine’s Day celebration with the unique feature of BYO (bring your own) champagne, wine, or other drink. Bookings are made for two people at a time, and spaces are limited. So don’t hesitate to lock in your reservation for a night of painting ceramic artworks that you get to keep.

7. Treat Yourselves at South Coast Plaza

Photo by South Coast Plaza

Shopping at South Coast Plaza is not your usual shopping experience. The extensive list of luxury brands, flagship stores, boutique shops, unique eateries, and striking architecture make a visit to this shopping destination an experience in itself. Treat yourself or your partner to something new to remember the day by, and don’t forget to stop by Laderach while you are there for artisanal chocolate that will have you melting.

8. Be Inspired at OCMA

Photo by Jeff Gritchen

A visit to the Orange County Museum of Art might not be your first thought for a date night, but there is something special about meandering through halls of impactful artwork with a partner or friends. Walk hand in hand as you treat your eyes to works by California-based artists, as well as a growing collection of international works. Did we mention that admission to OCMA is free? 

9. Learn Some Moves at Café Sevilla

Photo by Café Sevilla

Take a Salsa & Bachata dance class at Café Sevilla this Valentine’s Day to learn some impressive moves and dance the night away with someone special. No reservation is needed. Just show up with a readiness for fun (and maybe a pair of comfortable shoes) and let the music sweep you away. The night first features a salsa class followed by a bachata class, and then you can put your new skills to work for the next four hours, with the dancing wrapping up at 1:30 am.

10. Axe Your Ex at Slashers Axe Throwing & Ales

Photo by Slashers Axe Throwing & Ales

Break free from Valentine’s clichés and axe your ex this February 14th at Slashers Axe Throwing & Ales! You read that right. Bring a printed or digital picture of your ex and let out your frustrations by throwing some axes. Make sure to enjoy their wide selection of craft beers while you are there.

11. Get Rustic at ARTime Barro

Photo by ARTime Barro

For a couple that likes a hands-on approach, we recommend taking a wheel-throwing class at ARTime Barro. Learn core techniques for using a pottery wheel alongside your favorite people with lessons for all levels given by lifelong ceramic experts. 

12. Unwind at Facial Lounge

Photo by Facial Lounge

The first few months of the year can be a stressful time, so unwinding on Valentine’s Day is as valid as any date. We recommend booking organic vegan facials at Facial Lounge in Costa Mesa, a spa and lounge where even a few hours can feel like days of relaxation.

13. Reward Your Skin at ECO Now

Photo by ECO Now

The Valentine’s Day Lotion Bar Making Workshop at ECO Now is your chance to make beautiful, luxurious lotion bars with custom fragrances. Control the ingredients that go into your bar for a blend that suits your skin’s needs perfectly. Take home your creations for yourself, or use them as gifts. Tickets are sold in advance, with a discount available when you purchase two tickets at a time.

14. End the Night Right with an Overnight Stay

Photo by Ayres Hotel

Having a breathtaking night out is well and good. But wrapping up the night in luxury and privacy is what creates something truly memorable. Booking an overnight stay at a Costa Mesa Hotel gives you and your partner a space of your own for a night of well-deserved comfort.

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Posted in Events, Food, Hotels, Music & Art, Shopping

7 Ways to Ring in the New Year in Costa Mesa

Posted on December 13, 2023 | 6:19pm

Get ready to wrap up the year with a celebration to remember! Costa Mesa is gearing up for an epic New Year’s Eve, and there’s no shortage of things to do. Whether you’re in the mood to dance the night away or indulge in a delicious dinner, there’s something special for everyone.

1. Catch Deadmau5 at TIME Nightclub

– photo by TIME Nightclub

Ring in the New Year at TIME Nightclub, featuring the legendary Deadmau5! Join the celebration starting at 9pm, where pulsating beats and infectious rhythms will keep you dancing all night long. Elevate your experience with a VIP Table package for an New Year’s Eve party for the record books. 

2. New Year’s Eve 4-Course Menu at Water Grill

– photo by Water Grill

Make your New Year’s Eve truly special with at delicious 4-course prix-fixe menu at Water Grill. Elevate your experience with a thoughtfully curated $50 wine pairing option. Cheers to a night of indulgence, celebration, and culinary perfection!

3. Party at Sevilla Nightclub

– photo by Sevilla Nightclub

Add spice to your NYE bash at the vibrant Sevilla Nightclub! Be sure to secure your spot for the party by making reservation now. Dazzling lights, salsa beats and an electrifying atmosphere, this promises to be the biggest NYE party in Costa Mesa.

4. Attend a NYE VIP Celebration at MESA

– photo by Mesa

Elevate your New Year’s Eve experience at Mesa with the NYE VIP celebration! Join the festivities starting at 8pm for an exclusive night of glamour and excitement. Indulge in premium champagne, savor tray-passed appetizers, and revel in the joy of the countdown.

5. Bling in the New Year at The Country Club

– photo by The Country Club

Start 2024 with a bang at The Country Club! Sip on bottomless champagne, treat yourself to a special Surf & Turf dinner, dance the night away with a killer DJ, and watch the magic happen with a balloon drop at midnight.

6. Don’t Miss an Epic Y2K Dance Party at Wayfarer

– photo by Wayfarer

Dance the night away at the New Year’s Eve Y2K Dance Party at Wayfarer! An unforgettable night of 90’s and 00’s covers by local favorite Sega Genecide. Tickets are just $20 in advanced and $25 at the door.

7. Keep the Party Going at a Hotel in Costa Mesa

– photo by The Westin South Coast Plaza

A stay at a Costa Mesa hotel is the epitome of a New Year’s Eve well spent – glamorous, carefree, and infused with a touch of luxury. Embrace the freedom to dance the night away without worrying about late-night transportation and wake up in the comfort of a hotel room instead!

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Posted in Events, Food, Hotels, Locals, Misc

Ten Ways to Heat Up Your Summer in Costa Mesa

Posted on May 30, 2023 | 8:23am

The joy of summer is back, and Costa Mesa is ready to welcome you for a summer full of fun in Orange County. From exciting new dining to Broadway shows to one of the biggest fairs on the West Coast, there’s just so much to see in Costa Mesa.

Great New Dining

Costa Mesa offers Orange County’s only Michelin-starred restaurants – three of them, to be
exact. A slate of new dining destinations are popping up around the city, adding to its already
robust varieties of cuisine. But that’s not all! A host of exciting new restaurant concepts have opened or are opening this summer, and the new dining continues to raise the bar as a perfect spot for an Eatcation®.

Read more about the hot new restaurants in Costa Mesa in our latest press release, including Blossoms and Brass pictured below – a European, cocktail-forward restaurant with surprising Japanese influences.

Tickets to a Show

Segerstrom Center for the Arts (SCFTA) offers not only Broadway plays and musicals, but lots of other great outdoor summer events as well. The hottest ticket of the summer will be Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, playing July 11-23, 2023. With the world’s recent loss of legendary singer Tina Turner, watching this show will be bittersweet, but an absolute must to appreciate the life and music of this phenomenal artist.

Another show coming this summer is Six, June 13-25. From Tudor Queens to Pop Icons, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the microphone to remix 500 years of historical heartbreak into a celebration of 21st century girl power. For outdoor fun, be sure to check SCFTA’s calendar, including free dance events and their famous Movie Mondays free on the Plaza starting with The Lion King on July 10. Don’t forget to take a stroll through Costa Mesa’s Art Walk.

OC Fair

Costa Mesa’s biggest event of the year, the OC Fair returns July 14 – August 13 with the theme “Happy Together.” The Orange County Fair is the 9th-largest fair in the United States and dazzles visitors every year with its wide array of events, rides, carnival, fantastic food, and the biggest Ferris wheel on the West Coast. Tickets are on sale now – choose dates carefully as there are no refunds or exchanges. Fairgoers must choose a specific date due to a certain number of guests allowed per day.

Pacific Amphitheater

PacAmp concerts are one of the highlights of Costa Mesa’s summer roster, and this year’s slate of artists is an exciting one. Pacific Amphitheatre is the 3,000-seat outdoor stadium located on the OC Fair grounds, and offers months of summer concerts for music lovers of every genre. Enjoy artists like Robin Thicke, Neyo and Mario, Dwight Yoakam, Smokey Robinson and more. See PacAmp’s concert lineup here – and remember, your concert ticket purchase gets your free admission to the OC Fair as well!

Centennial Farm

Centennial Farm is a 3-acre working farm at Costa Mesa’s OC Fair & Event Center. Created to educate youth about agriculture and its importance to daily life. Centennial Farm is home to fruit and vegetable gardens, livestock, and the Millennium Barn. Two youth educational tour programs are offered, Discovery Days and Junior Farmer Tours – as well as year-round daily hours so the public can visit the farm. The Farm is well known for its Pig Cam, a live feed of the adorable Centennial Farm pigs. Check the Centennial Farm calendar for hours, and find out more about the farm’s programs here.


With free admission to all visitors, there’s no reason to not make a visit to Orange County’s newest museum. On the Segerstrom Center for the Arts campus, the Orange County Museum of Art houses a collection of Check the OCMA calendar to see current exhibits and events happening this summer, including their monthly happy hour and pop-up talks!

Outdoor Shopping

Summer means being outside, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite pasttime of shopping the day away! Costa Mesa has multiple outdoor shopping, dining and retail environments including The LAB, pictured here. Its sister facility The CAMP is directly across Bristol Street with a crosswalk connecting the two. Both of these shopping and dining centers offer relaxing and kitschy outdoor space (even hammocks!) along with a great collection of restaurants – in fact, The LAB even has a Michelin Star restaurant, Hana re sushi. Find a brewery, sustainable shopping, wine tasting, a tattoo shop, eclectic bars and so much more – and spend the majority of your day strolling outside in the California sunshine.

Don’t miss SoCo and The OC Mix – you’ll find one of Costa Mesa’s Michelin Star restaurants here, Taco Maria – plus unique local boutique shopping. Triangle Square houses a movie theater plus wonderful outdoor dining and OC’s only nightclub, Time.

Orange County Beaches

Costa Mesa’s just minutes from some of the country’s most sought-after Orange County beaches. A short ride away from the Newport Beach and Huntington Beach crowds, Costa Mesa offers reasonable hotel rates plus incredible shopping and dining, frequently within walking distance of your hotel. Here’s some secret OC beach spots you may not know about.

Lions Park Fish Fry

A cherished favorite local event, summer brings Costa Mesa’s 76th Fish Fry & Carnival in Lions Park, 570 18th Street, Costa Mesa. This year the number of carnival rides will triple in size, as the carnival will expand onto Davis Baseball field. The Fish Fry is run by the Costa Mesa/Newport Harbor Lions Club, which has been serving the community for over 100 years.

Join in for three days of family fun June 23-25! Fish fry dinners, carnival rides, games, booths, listen to headliner bands, additional food stations, wine/beer garden, free giveaways, opportunity drawings, and more! All the money raised goes to support youth activities, sight and hearing conservation and other community needs.

Admission is FREE! Fish Dinners $15 – Food & Entertainment – Fish Dinners – Beer and Wine Garden – Carnival Rides – Games – Blues and Rock Bands – Booths – Opportunity Drawing –

Date & Time

Friday, June 23 · 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Saturday, June 24 · 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Sunday, June 25 · 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Goat Hill Junction Railroad

All aboard! A great family activity for locals and visitors, ride the model train for a 15-minute loop around Fairview Park on over 5 miles of track! Did you know Goat Hill Junction has one of the largest miniature train layouts on the West Coast? Managed by Orange County Model Engineers, club members operate over 40 gas and steam-powered model locomotives on the miniature railway. Riding Goat Hill Junction trains is great fun for both adults and kids. Free train rides every 3rd weekend of the month from 10am-3:30pm, weather permitting. Goathill Junction Railroad is located in Costa Mesa’s Fairview Park. It’s at 2520 Placentia Avenue between Adams Avenue and Victoria Street.

We know you’ll enjoy the summer in Costa Mesa! With its proximity to the beach and great OC hotel rates, Costa Mesa is your perfect home base to visit Orange County this summer.

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Posted in Events, Food, Hotels, Locals, Misc

Best Valentine’s Day Ideas in Orange County

Posted on February 5, 2023 | 11:27pm

Whether you’re looking for a classic white tablecloth dinner and night out, romantic weekend escape or casual and adventurous date night, Costa Mesa is home to some of the best Valentine’s Day ideas in Orange County.

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Posted in Events, Hotels, Play