Why is Costa Mesa the City of the Arts®?
With a vibrant performing arts scene, a Tony® Award-winning play production house and an incredible public art walk, Costa Mesa is a city dedicated to celebration of the arts. 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 classical, jazz and cabaret artists, family entertainment, special events and year-round educational programs.
The center's International Dance Series is unrivaled anywhere in the Western United States, and SCFTA is recognized as one of the nation's premier venues for the major ballet companies of the world. The center also presents an annual Broadway Series. The success of these engagements has made Costa Mesa a required stop for all national Broadway tours like “Hamilton,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Wicked” and “The Lion King.” Performances in the center’s concert series and its partnership with Orange County’s Pacific Symphony include today's most celebrated classical chamber ensembles and solo performers.
Just next door to Segerstrom Center for the Arts is South Coast Repertory, one of America’s foremost producers of new plays. Founded in 1964, South Coast Repertory has established an extensive theater development program that includes commissions, residencies, readings and workshops.
Costa Mesa Art Walk
In addition to the performance and musical arts, Costa Mesa is full of stunning public artwork. The Costa Mesa Art Walk traverses through the city, showing off several works, including “The Ram,” a vibrant 1979 sculpture by artist Charles O. Perry. Download the Costa Mesa Art Walk map.
Several of Costa Mesa’s public centers are also dedicated to celebrating the arts. The LAB Anti-Mall and The CAMP shopping centers both embrace Orange County’s creative community through unique shops and public art displays. From vibrant wall installations to permanent gallery displays and interactive public art projects, both The LAB and The CAMP offer some of the best for lovers of art and music.
SOCO and The OC Mix is home to the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring the creative spirit in all levels of artists through classes, exhibitions and lectures. The center was founded by legendary animation artist and director Chuck Jones, who received four Academy Awards for his work. There are also several other private art galleries and community exhibition and event spaces – like the Westside Museum and Location 1980 – spread throughout Costa Mesa.
The Art of Dining in Costa Mesa
Costa Mesa serves as not just the heart of the traditional arts but also as the heart of the culinary arts of Orange County. It's easy to find yourself tempted to take an Eatcation™, or food-centric vacation in the City of the Arts®. Costa Mesa is full of award-winning and celebrity chefs from James Beard Award nominated Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria to Top Chef's Amar Santana of Vaca. There are endless opportunities for foodies to explore the burgeoning Southern California culinary scene right in the heart of Orange County!
Shopping in Costa Mesa
Costa Mesa is great for those who appreciate the art of shopping, too! The city offers shopping for every individual style, from high-end designer to boutique or handmade pieces. Costa Mesa is home to South Coast Plaza, one of the most popular shopping destinations in the world that also houses one of the largest concentrations of high-fashion retailers.
If boutique shopping is your taste, try out The LAB, The CAMP and SOCO and The OC Mix. All three offer unique boutiques with the latest fashions along with creative lounging spaces and incomparable dining experiences.