Costa Mesa is a city located in Orange County, California, in the United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of Costa Mesa was approximately 111,000 people. The city covers an area of about 16 square miles (41 square kilometers) and is bordered by Newport Beach to the south, Irvine to the east, and Huntington Beach to the west.
Costa Mesa has a diverse economy, with major industries including retail, manufacturing, and healthcare. The city is home to South Coast Plaza, a major shopping destination with over 250 retailers and restaurants. Other notable attractions in Costa Mesa include the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, which features world-class performing arts venues, and the Orange County Fairgrounds, which hosts the annual Orange County Fair.
The city also has a number of parks and recreational areas, including Fairview Park, TeWinkle Park, and the Mesa Verde Country Club. Costa Mesa is served by the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, which includes several elementary, middle, and high schools. The city is also home to several private schools and colleges, including Orange Coast College and Vanguard University.
Overall, Costa Mesa is a vibrant and growing city with a diverse population and a thriving economy.
Here are 30 fun things to do in Costa Mesa, California:
- Visit South Coast Plaza – South Coast Plaza is a premier shopping destination in Orange County, featuring over 250 retailers and restaurants.
- Attend a show at Segerstrom Center for the Arts – The Segerstrom Center for the Arts is a world-class performing arts venue, hosting a variety of concerts, plays, and musicals.
- Explore the Orange County Fairgrounds – The Orange County Fairgrounds hosts the annual Orange County Fair, as well as a variety of other events throughout the year.
- Visit the Pacific Amphitheatre – The Pacific Amphitheatre is an outdoor concert venue located on the Orange County Fairgrounds, hosting a variety of musical acts.
- Check out the Costa Mesa Historical Society Museum – The Costa Mesa Historical Society Museum features exhibits and artifacts related to the history of Costa Mesa.
- Go shopping at The LAB Anti-Mall – The LAB Anti-Mall is an alternative shopping destination in Costa Mesa, featuring unique stores and restaurants.
- Visit The Camp – The Camp is a shopping and dining destination focused on sustainability and eco-friendliness.
- Go on a culinary tour of Costa Mesa – Costa Mesa has a variety of great restaurants, ranging from casual eateries to high-end dining experiences.
- Attend the annual Sand Sculpting Festival – The Sand Sculpting Festival is held each year in Huntington Beach, just a short drive from Costa Mesa.
- Go on a sunset kayak tour of Newport Harbor – Newport Harbor is located just south of Costa Mesa and offers beautiful views of the sunset from a kayak.
- Go hiking in the nearby Santa Ana Mountains – The Santa Ana Mountains offer a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy to challenging.
- Visit the Orange County Museum of Art – The Orange County Museum of Art features a variety of exhibits and events showcasing contemporary art.
- Attend a concert at The Wayfarer – The Wayfarer is a popular music venue in Costa Mesa, hosting a variety of local and touring acts.
- Visit the Costa Mesa Farmers Market – The Costa Mesa Farmers Market is held every Thursday and features fresh produce, artisanal goods, and more.
- Go on a whale watching tour – Newport Beach, just south of Costa Mesa, is a popular spot for whale watching tours.
- Check out the Orange County Great Park – The Orange County Great Park features a variety of recreational activities, including sports fields and playgrounds.
- Attend the annual OC Marathon – The OC Marathon is a popular running event held each year in Orange County.
- Go on a hot air balloon ride – Hot air balloon rides are available in nearby areas such as Irvine and Temecula.
- Visit the Newport Beach Pier – The Newport Beach Pier is a popular spot for fishing, strolling, and people watching.
- Attend the annual Newport Beach Film Festival – The Newport Beach Film Festival showcases a variety of independent films from around the world.
- Visit the Balboa Fun Zone – The Balboa Fun Zone is an amusement park located on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach.
- Go stand-up paddleboarding in Newport Harbor – Stand-up paddleboarding is a fun and relaxing way to explore Newport Harbor.
- Attend a Newport Beach Boat Parade – The Newport Beach Boat Parade is a festive holiday event featuring decorated boats cruising through the harbor.
- Visit the Orange County Zoo – The Orange County Zoo is located in nearby Irvine and features a variety of animals native to California.
- Go on a brewery tour – Costa Mesa has several breweries offering tours and tastings.
- Attend a comedy show at the Irvine Improv – The Irvine Improv is a popular comedy club featuring both local and nationally touring comedians.
- Visit the Bowers Museum – The Bowers Museum in nearby Santa Ana features exhibits and events showcasing art and artifacts from around the world.
- Go indoor skydiving at iFLY – iFLY in nearby Tustin offers the experience of skydiving in a safe and controlled indoor environment.
- Attend a sporting event at Angel Stadium – Angel Stadium in nearby Anaheim is home to the Los Angeles Angels baseball team.
- Visit the Discovery Cube Orange County – The Discovery Cube Orange County is a hands-on science museum located in Santa Ana, featuring interactive exhibits and activities for all ages.