It is known as the “City of the Arts,” and Costa Mesa certainly lives up to that reputation. From galleries to symphony, ballet to circus theater, this laid-back, southern-California symbolizes artistry. Stay at one of the Costa Mesa hotels listed below to explore all the arts and other attractions, which include:
Want music, dance, theater … or all of the above? Then head over to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts (formerly the Orange Country Performing Arts Center), where there is sure to be something you will want to watch. It offers several venues: the 3,000-seat Segerstrom Hall, the intimate 250-seat Founders Hall, the 2,000-seat Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, the 500-seat Samueli Theater, and the Lawrence and Kristina Dodge Education Center’s studio performance space and Boeing Education Lab. At any time of the year that you happen to be in town, you will be able to see some spectacular performances at one or more of those venues, including ballet, comedy, family-friendly shows, kids’ shows, and music that embraces Broadway, cabaret, choral, classical, jazz, pop/rock and world music.
For something a little lighter, choose an evening of dinner theater at the Teatro Zinzanni, where you will enjoy a five-course gourmet meal—if you can eat while laughing uncontrollably at the comedic theater on offer. There is dancing, singing, costumes, trapeze acrobatics, juggling and terrific audience participation. Watch out—the actors are prone to pulling people out of their seats to help with the show!
From the comically absurd to the musically elegant, make sure that you check out the Pacific Symphony, which presents 100 concerts every year with a repertoire ranging from orchestral masterworks to prominent contemporary composers. The Symphony has a summer program with outdoor concerts, so that you can relax and enjoy a picnic while listening, and there are children’s workshops year-round. The Segerstrom Center is a fitting home for the orchestra, the prices are surprisingly reasonable and it is a good way to introduce your children to wold-class music.
That said, by now your kids have probably had enough music and are itching to do something with their excess energy: so take them over to spend an afternoon at Teawinkle Park. It is a beautiful area, with a pond, fountain and rock formations, and there is plenty of room for throwing a ball or a Frisbee. Add in a skate park, a bark park for your canine companion and a playground, and you have a perfect family afternoon. There are lovely places to walk with streams and bridges to cross (all of which are handicapped-accessible), and your older children may like to try a little rock-climbing if the walking paths are too tame for them. The cliché of having something for everyone is perfectly fitting here.
Imagine a neighborhood center, add in shops and restaurants, and you will have the OC Mix, where you can support the local community while shopping for mementos of Costa Mesa, enjoying a meal, and viewing/participating in the myriad events on offer. Unlike most malls, chain stores are not the focus of the OC Mix. Instead you will experience the best of locally owned and sourced food and boutiques—and all of it with that special southern California twist. Start at Portola’s six-seat "craft coffee lab" that adds barrel-aged bitters to caffeinated drinks and creates iced-coffee old-fashioneds and a liquid-nitrogen affogato. Move on to check out the vintage mechanical and rustic pieces used for displays throughout the complex—very retro—and be sure to visit Analog, a shop specializing in sound-and-art handmade items (modern electronics in old radio cases and vintage suitcases, for example). Do not neglect Christopher Garren’s bakery for amazing confections as well as taking home something from the Olive Oil & Wine Bar.
Or you may want to wait on the wine—until you have had a chance to visit the Wine Bar Newport, that is. This is truly a great place to find your next favorite wine, and with a focus on family vineyards and small artisan producers, you will certainly find something new and unique here. The Wine Lab offers tasting flights that change weekly, 50 different wines available by the glass, and more than 180 bottles for $20 or less that you can take with you. The Wine Bar also presents craft beers on tap and by bottle, artisan cheese plates, tapas and desserts to accompany and complement your tasting.
Great shopping, great dining, great activities, and all of it just minutes from the beach. Stay at one of the Costa Mesa hotels listed below for a warm southern-California vacation in an area that is simultaneously hip and timeless.
Santa Ana, CA, US, 92705
Anaheim, CA, US, 92802
Lake Forest, CA, US, 92630
Laguna Hills, CA, US, 92653
Long Beach, CA, US, 90755
Long Beach, CA, US, 90806
Capistrano Beach, CA, US, 92624
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