"Can't-Miss Costa Mesa!" Top 5 Page for this destination Costa Mesa by marinarena

Costa Mesa Travel Guide: 78 reviews and 207 photos

Coool Costa

She's not a beach, but she'll do!!

Costa Mesa, not along but just a few miles away from the Pacific, is an alluring suburb of Orange County, quite business savvy, friendly, clean and fashion-forward.

Don't miss Costa Mesa, especially if you happen to be in Orange County for a Disneyland visit. If you want to be entertained outside of D-Land and do some great shopping while being close to the ocean, you must come down here.

In simple Spanish, Costa Mesa means "Table Coast" or "Coastal Tableland". Hmm...not so attractive in English translation but for the most part, she is a beauty of a suburb.

Clockwork Orange- Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa fits into my "Crushed Orange" concept well. The idea came partly from the film/book, "A Clockwork Orange ". I had always wondered the meaning behind the title and found out that it related to an old Cockney phrase "queer as a clockwork orange"-basically, a thing or person deemed a clockwork orange was internally bizarre but appeared normal on the surface...

For the most part, Orange County is a subdued American suburb with a wholesome, family atmosphere image. But as one discovers more within the county, one finds areas like Costa Mesa which has its share of deviation from "the norm". There are quite a number of some eccletic, independent shops down Newport Blvd which appeal to the youthful, alternative crowd. For the square folks out there, some city spots get a bit racy but nothing very shocking to drive away the many families who come to live and visit.

South Coast Plaza

Little Kae on the carousel at South Coast Plaza.

Here are some premier spots in Costa Mesa:

South Coast Plaza (biggest, most luxurious mall in southern CA)

Fair Grounds (the official Orange County Fair location in the summer, with roller coasters, ridiculously/delicious fatty food, concerts and more!

South Coast Repertory (A premier playhouse in all of Orange county!)

Segestrom Hall, Performing Arts Center (An absolutely splendid venue to see various performances- opera, pop, theater productions, etc Some years ago, I saw a version of La Boheme here!)

Plus - a variety of pubs and clubs spinning out tunes of pop, rock, swing, hip hop and more.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:right by the beach, unique/varied shopping, great entertainment for a small town,hip nightlife and restaurants, 10-20 min from Disneyland
  • Cons:traffic on Newport Blvd!, 405 fwy at peak times
  • In a nutshell:A California place you may not know but one where to go!
  • Intro Updated Oct 28, 2011
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marinarena Visits Here Frequently!


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