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February Feed: Costa Mesa’s Trending News & Reads

Posted on February 23, 2024 | 3:17pm

Costa Mesa has been gaining attention in the media lately as the cultural epicenter of Orange County. From our Kobe Bryant murals to fun Leap Year activities and Lunar New Year celebrations throughout the city, there’s clearly so many reasons everyone is flocking to Costa Mesa! Check out four stories of Costa Mesa featured in the press.

1. Kobe Bryant Murals Featured on ESPN

The legacy of Kobe Bryant lives on in Costa Mesa. ESPN recently recognized the Kobe Bryant mural created by Andaluz outside Social Costa Mesa as one of over 600 murals worldwide honoring his memory and the lives of those lost in the accident.

2. Leap Year Itineraries Curated by Locale

Local Magazine curated five unique itineraries showcasing Costa Mesa’s best offerings and hotel accommodations in “5 Unique Ways to Spend Your Extra Leap Year Day in Costa Mesa,” a handy guide for planning February 29th, or any free day on your calendar!

3. South Coast Plaza Year of the Dragon Celebration Highlighted in Business Wire

Business Wire highlighted South Coast Plaza for hosting the largest Lunar New Year celebration on the West Coast. The 19-day celebration features colorful performances, exclusive products, traditional cuisine, and captivating installations that bring the community together in celebration.

4. LA Times Showcases Costa Mesa as a Cultural Haven

The Los Angeles Times article, “Unveiling Costa Mesa: A Haven for Culture, Cuisine, and Community,” captures the essence of the city, emphasizing its diverse culinary scene, rich cultural experiences, and a strong sense of community that is weaved together through it’s seven diverse neighborhoods.

These recent features and publications underscore Costa Mesa’s rising prominence as the cultural hub of Orange County. So, when planning your Southern California getaway, be sure to make a visit to Costa Mesa to experience everything we have to offer!

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Posted in Events, Misc, Music & Art, News, Shopping

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

Winter Wonders in Costa Mesa: 5 Activities for a Magical Holiday Escape

Posted on December 11, 2023 | 9:36am

‘Tis the season, and if you’re in the mood for some festive fun, look no further. Grab your beanies, charge up your phones, and get ready to experience five totally Instagrammable Costa Mesa activities that scream holiday vibes!

1. Winter Fest OC, Where the Fun Never Ends

Dive headfirst into the holiday spirit at Winter Fest OC, Southern California’s largest winter festival! Glide through their enchanting ice-skating trail, enjoy winter themed cocktails inside a cozy fireside igloo, speed down a 150 foot ice tubing slide, and experience a dazzling light show perfectly synchronized to your favorite holiday songs. It’s a must-do event with plenty of attractions for all ages and so many festive photo ops to fill your IG stories!

2. Experience Holiday Shopping at South Coast Plaza

It’s time to get your holiday shopping done and where better to do it than at South Coast Plaza? The magical holiday décor transforms this shopping destination into a winter wonderland complete with a reindeer carousel and whimsical Santa Express train inside its festive corridors. With an unparalleled selection of high-end stores and holiday essentials, it offers a luxurious and memorable shopping experience for finding the perfect gifts.

3. Snap-Worthy Moments at the Town Center Park Tree 

This season is all about capturing the holiday spirit so don’t forget to take pictures at the massive Christmas tree in Town Center Park, right in front of The Westin South Coast Plaza. If you’re in the mood for a tasty meal, try Vaca, a local Spanish restaurant with a perfect view of the tree. And here’s a bonus – it’s just steps away from Segerstrom Center for Arts and South Coast Repertory if you are looking to top off your night with a live holiday performance!

4. Indulge in Sweet Delights at Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

– photo by Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

Satisfy your craving for a sweet treat with freshly made donuts from Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee. With accolades from Condé Nast, this eatery has become a culinary sensation, and you must try their limited-time holiday-themed options. From bourbon delights to peppermint perfection, experience the joy of the season in every bite.

5. Watch A Christmas Carol at South Coast Repertory 

– photo by Jenny Graham

The holidays in Costa Mesa aren’t complete without watching a performance of “A Christmas Carol” at Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory. This long-held tradition is the absolute best way to enjoy a captivating performance of a heartwarming classic tale.

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

Shop Unique, Support Local: 15 Must-Visit Small Businesses in Costa Mesa

Posted on November 20, 2023 | 12:19pm

It’s …TIMEEE! Small Business Saturday is coming up on November 25th and you don’t have to look very far to find unique small shops in Costa Mesa. We’ve rounded up a list of 15 independently owned business you’ll want to support this holiday season.

1. Mellowist

You can take home a piece of living art when you shop at Mellowist on Randolph Street! Owners Jessica and DJ have carefully curated a unique selection of plants that are beautiful paired with locally crafted pottery.

2. SISU

If you need a gift for someone who loves exploring the outdoors, you have to check out SISU at the SOCO & The OC Mix. This sibling owned shop carries camping gear and home goods from brands you won’t be able to find anywhere else!

3. Lovely Curated Things

– photo by Lovely Curated Things

Female-owned women’s clothing boutique, Lovely Curated Things has a great selection of trendy and fashionable items. Score on unique vintage pieces, stylish boho clothes, and workwear staples without breaking your bank.

4. Work in Progress

– photo by @koralanne IG

If you love coffee and wine, make sure to visit Work in Progress at The CAMP. The relaxing environment and aesthetic décor make it the perfect spot for a midday caffeine or vino fix. And for those unexpected gifting situations, they offer bottled wine and a fun range of greeting cards.

5. Inspired Art Wine 

– photo by Inspired Art Wine

If you are looking for a fun group night out or memorable date night, we recommend booking a class at Inspired Art WineTake a step-by-step painting class while sipping on your favorite glass of wine! This relaxed space is a great way to tap into your inner artist and take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle.

6. Landers Supply House 

Landers Supply House is a must-visit unique hidden gem for shopping during the holidays. Their impressive range of vintage denim, jackets, jewelry, and western apparel is the perfect place to find a gift for someone who appreciates a unique, timeless piece.

7. Hadley & Ren Floral Co.

– photo by @phoebe_eats IG

Elevate your décor game this season with an everlasting floral bouquet from Hadley & Ren Floral Co. Their stunning collection of thoughtfully curated dried flowers are perfect for adding a unique, sophisticated touch to your holiday.

8. NEAT

– photo by NEAT

Nestled in the heart of a local neighborhood, NEAT is a top choice for anyone looking for freshly brewed coffee and a warm welcoming vibe. If you need stocking stuffers, they have coffee bags from around the world, available for purchase!

9. Pürre Boutique

– photo by Pürre Boutique

Pürre Boutique is dedicated to offering organic, sustainable products, from natural apothecary items to timeless home goods and jewelry. Whether you’re treating yourself or looking for a thoughtful gift, they’ve got you covered.

10. Costa Mesa Ceramics Studio

– photo by @strelitzia_photo IG

Book a wheel-throwing class at Costa Mesa Ceramics Studio, where you can mold and shape clay into unique pottery pieces. Not much of an artist? Don’t worry, they have a lovely selection of handcrafted dinnerware and vases ready for purchase!

11. Fleur De Lys

– photo by Fleur De Lys

Started by two friends who envisioned a workplace where their dogs could tag along, Fleur De Lys has become one of Costa Mesa’s most popular shops! They have everything from beautiful stationery and home décor to well-appointed kitchenware. It’s almost impossible to walk out empty handed.

12. Fill Up Butter Cup 

– photo by Fill Up Butter Cup

Looking to shop more sustainably this holiday season? Fill Up Butter Cup is your one stop shop for home and body essentials that are biodegradable, compostable or can be easily recycled!

 13. Hola Adios Coffee

– photo by Hola Adios

Hola Adios Coffee is no ordinary coffee shop, it is inspired by the intrepid journeys of their green buyers, who spend weeks visiting coffee farmers across North, Central, and South America! They even offer a variety of artisan made products like blankets, baskets, and bags.

14. Period Correct

– photo by Period Correct

If someone on your list a self-described “car guy,” you can’t miss Period Correct. Their high-quality gear is influenced by racing, architecture, watches, and more. It’s all about premium materials, unique style, and exclusive collabs.

15. Rococo Boutique

Spoil the women in your life at Rococo Boutique. They offer a curated selection of high-quality clothing, jewelry, accessories and home goods.


Ready to shop small in Costa Mesa? Be sure to tag us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Threads. Don’t forget to use #ShopSmall and #ShopLocalCM!

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Posted in Shopping

Fall into Fun: Costa Mesa’s Ultimate Weekend Guide

Posted on November 8, 2023 | 4:53pm

Welcome, weekend wanderers! Whether you’re a Southern California local or a jet setter extending a business trip, Costa Mesa has a cornucopia of fall delights waiting just for you. From sizzling dining experiences to electrifying performances, this vibrant city has everything you need to make this fall one for the books.

Dining Delights

Costa Mesa’s culinary scene is a feast for the senses, and Thanksgiving is no exception. Gather your friends at the iconic Mastro’s Steakhouse for a mouthwatering holiday meal with a touch of sophistication. If you’re craving a more laid-back atmosphere, Playa Mesa Kitchen offers a modern twist on traditional Mexican dishes, perfect for a festive celebration with a SoCal flair. Looking to skip the cooking on “Turkey Day” and have someone else do all the heavy lifting? Then, make a reservation at Silver Trumpet for a Thanksgiving brunch buffet or at La Chateau Bistro for a mouthwatering holiday meal.

Cozy Coffee

Kickstart your weekend with a caffeine fix at Costa Mesa’s trendiest coffee shops. Nook Coffee is a local gem known for its artisanal brews and cozy ambiance—a great spot to recharge before hitting the town. Don’t miss out on the seasonal specials at Portola Coffee Lab, where the baristas are true coffee artisans, turning your cup of joe into a masterpiece.

Performing Arts Extravaganza

For those seeking a dose of culture and entertainment, Costa Mesa’s performing arts scene is a treasure trove. Segerstrom Center for the Arts hosts captivating performances, from Broadway shows to world-class concerts. Check out their schedule for November—it’s bound to be a spectacular experience that’ll leave you in awe. Orange County Art Museum (OCMA) celebrates its one-year anniversary with an array of events and free admission.

Retail Therapy

-photo by SOCO

Indulge your shopping cravings in Costa Mesa’s eclectic retail landscape. South Coast Plaza, a shopper’s ultimate paradise, boasts an array of high-end brands and boutique shops. Take advantage of Thanksgiving weekend sales and treat yourself to some well-deserved retail therapy. If you’re into unique finds, explore the nearby SOCO and The OC Mix, where local artisans showcase their crafts in a hip, industrial setting.

Outdoor Adventure

-photo by @Farmersmarkoc

Burn off those fall-time calories with some outdoor fun in Costa Mesa’s beautiful parks. Grab a bike and explore the scenic trails at Fairview Park, or enjoy a leisurely stroll through the landscape and pond of TeWinkle Park. Or skate your way into the sunset at the Costa Mesa Skate Park.

Nightlife Excitement

-photo by Country Club

As the sun sets, Costa Mesa comes alive with vibrant nightlife options. Head to The Triangle for a mix of trendy bars and live music venues. The Country Club offers a stylish setting for cocktails and dancing, making it the ideal spot to cap off your night with a bang.


Costa Mesa is a dazzling blend of culinary delights, cultural experiences, and outdoor adventures. Whether you’re a weekend traveler, a business nomad extending your stay, or a SoCal resident looking for excitement, this vibrant city has something for everyone. Embrace the energy, savor the flavors, and make it an unforgettable overnight celebration of fall festivities!

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Posted in Events, Food, Shopping