California, Destination

Costa Mesa Bucket List

Segerstrom Center Hall, Costa Mesa, California

My favorite place in the world for arts and theater is Costa Mesa, California. You can enjoy everything from Broadway productions to concerts at Segerstrom Center for the Arts and the city is actually trademarked City of the Arts. Couple their theater culture with designer shopping at South Coast Plaza, award-winning local hotspots, delicious dining, and adventure and you have one of the best cities nestled within Southern California. Just minutes from top-rated beaches and a short drive to major Southern California attractions, Costa Mesa is the perfect bucket list destination. Here’s our top picks for your Costa Mesa Bucket List.

Costa Mesa Bucket List 

Number One: South Coast Plaza

South Coast Plaza Holiday DisplaySouth Coast Plaza defines the luxury shopping experience with boutiques, personal service, and upscale amenities. It’s one of the most prestigious shopping destinations in the world. This luxury shopping destination has one of the largest concentration of high-fashion retailers in the world. It makes children feel special with a playful Carousel Court and a Disney Store with magical openings. It makes everyone feel extra special with the welcoming amenities and personalized services at South Coast Plaza’s Concierge. This year, South Coast Plaza celebrates its 50th Anniversary! Celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th anniversary all year long with special events, fashion shows, and community celebrations.

From November 11 through January 7, stay two nights in one of Costa Mesa’s partnering hotels and receive a $100 gift certificate to South Coast Plaza.

Number Two: Segerstrom Center for the Arts 
Segerstrom Center for the Arts - Costa Mesa Bucket ListWith four performance halls and an outdoor arts plaza spread out over 14 acres, this outstanding complex is a one-stop shop for everything musical and artistic. Hear symphonies in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and see plays at the South Coast Repertory. Throughout the year, there are free concerts, movies, and dance performances in the outdoor plaza.

Our annual favorite at Segerstrom Center for the Arts is Pacific Chorale’s Tis the Season. This tradition for Southern California audiences celebrates the spirit of the season with song and cheer. Pacific Chorale’s Associate Conductor Robert Istad takes the podium to conduct the festivities. Resounding brass and organ, angelic children’s voices, and the splendid singers bring seasonal classics to life.

Number Three: The CAMP 

The CAMP is an eco-friendly shopping center with a focus on outdoor stores and green living. At The CAMP, you’ll find a variety of culinary delights including Native Foods, offering gourmet vegetarian cuisine, Old Vine Café, offering fresh, locally sourced organic cuisine, and Milk+Honey, offering a nice warm cup of coffee or tea.

Number Four: Maggiano’s Little Italy

A semi-upscale chain for classic Italian fare served family-style in a relaxed, polished space, Maggiano’s Little Italy is at the heart of Costa Mesa. Try any one of the made-from-scratch dishes like the Lobster Fettuccine or the Baked Ziti and Sausage. You’ll taste all the passion that goes into the food and truly understand what the restaurant means when its staff says, “Food is love.”

Number Five: Ayres Hotel & Suites

Ayres Hotel & Suites, Costa Mesa, CaliforniaThis charming French Provincial-inspired inn features a cobblestone courtyard with outdoor dining service, two outdoor, heated pools and jacuzzis, plus beautifully landscaped gardens and a central cascading water fountain. Indoors, you will find marble fireplaces, antiques, oil paintings, and tapestries. This centrally located property offers 284 deluxe guestrooms and suites, award-winning dining, and 12,200 sq. ft. of meeting and event space.

Ayres Hotel & Suites is part of the Indulge in Style campaign running now in Costa Mesa.

***If you don’t have a vehicle during your stay in Costa Mesa, Avenue Of The Arts, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel is located in the hub of Orange County’s Theater and Arts District. It’s just steps away from the acclaimed Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Number Six: The OC Fair & Event Center

The OC Fair, Costa Mesa, California

****The Carnival on Day 4 of the Orange County Fair, July 19, 2017. Via Travel Costa Mesa

The OC Fair & Event Center is a 150-acre event venue that hosts more than 150 events annually. It’s home to Centennial Farm, Heroes Hall, Pacific Amphitheatre, and the OC Fair, a 23-day festival.

Our favorite event at The OC Fair Grounds is Winter Fest. Featuring 8 lanes of ice tubing on a 150 foot mountain, a snow play area, an ice skating rink, nightly Christmas tree lighting ceremony, over 20 carnival rides and attractions, and Santa visits, Winter Fest is a lot of winter magic in the heart of sunny California.

Number Seven: TrapZone Rooms 

TrapZone Costa Mesa

Via www.trapzonerooms.com

TrapZone rooms are designed by escape room lovers, for escape room lovers! Their game is designed to completely immerse players into the story.  The game is developed for your enjoyment and fun, not to scare you (no one’s going to grab you)! At TrapZone, they strive to provide an experience that has everyone collaborating to think outside the box while your adrenaline is pumping as it’s a race against time! Are you ready for a challenge to your Costa Mesa bucket list?

Number Eight: The Lab

The LAB is a relaxed, indoor-outdoor gathering space with shops and restaurants. It’s home to an array of non-conformist stores and artisanal restaurants that would not typically be found in regular shopping malls, such as Honey & Butter, The Gypsy Den, Crew, and Crème Tangerine.

The LAB also hosts a number of events throughout the year, including the Full Moon Night Market, ‘BLOOM’, LAB Earth Day Night Market, and Happy Lunar New Year.

Number Nine: Victor Paul Salon

Known as the “Hair and Makeup Stylist to the Real Housewives,” Victor is the stylist for Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Orange County” stars Gretchen Rossi and others. The salon features 17 styling stations, a color processing room, facial facilities, and a spacious retail area, which includes accessories, hair and skin care as well as make up and handbags by Gretchen Rossi.

Number Ten: Have Fun Tours 
Extra's Mario LopezThis couple grew up in Southern California and they have all the connections. Regardless if you want to stay in Costa Mesa, where they use to own an art gallery or if you want to travel up to LA to meet celebrities like Mario Lopez, Lou and Jill of Have Fun Tours have the hook-up. They know just how to make all of your Costa Mesa bucket list dreams a reality.
South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa Bucket List, CaliforniaYou can have it all on your Costa Mesa bucket list. From arts and culture to fine dining and a splash of adventure, Costa Mesa is a top choice for bucket list seekers.

What did I miss? What’s on your Costa Mesa bucket list? 

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30 thoughts on “Costa Mesa Bucket List

  1. Anna says:

    We’re heading down to OC in two weeks. We were going to stay in Newport but now we’ll book in Costa Mesa. Thanks for the heads up.

    Anna

  2. Anna says:

    We’re heading down to OC in two weeks. We were going to stay in Newport but now we’ll book in Costa Mesa. Thanks for the heads up.

    Anna

  3. We will be heading to Cali later this year. I’m definitely putting some of these on our bucket list. Costa Mesa looks amazing.

  4. We will be heading to Cali later this year. I’m definitely putting some of these on our bucket list. Costa Mesa looks amazing.

  5. Costa Mesa looks like an awesome place to go! I’m always down for some good culture and food!

  6. I have never heard of Costa Mesa and have no plan to visit the west coast now but with a great arts center and shopping this seems like one of the places to see if we can get the chance.

  7. I have never heard of Costa Mesa and have no plan to visit the west coast now but with a great arts center and shopping this seems like one of the places to see if we can get the chance.

  8. Bird says:

    I’m in the UK but would love to go to California one day! & this looks like an amazing place to visit! Thanks for sharing x

  9. Dena says:

    I live in Florida, and I love creating bucket lists for other states. This looks like such a fun and vibrant place to visit.

  10. Dena says:

    I live in Florida, and I love creating bucket lists for other states. This looks like such a fun and vibrant place to visit.

  11. Omg that courtyard is so dreamy!!!! I would love to do a photoshoot there.

  12. Omg that courtyard is so dreamy!!!! I would love to do a photoshoot there.

  13. Britney Kaufman says:

    I love escape rooms! This place totally looks like a blast. I’ve never visited Costa Mesa before!

  14. Britney Kaufman says:

    I love escape rooms! This place totally looks like a blast. I’ve never visited Costa Mesa before!

  15. Hirra Pervaiz says:

    This looks like an awesome place to visit with so many attractions. Adding it to my bucket list.

  16. Hirra Pervaiz says:

    This looks like an awesome place to visit with so many attractions. Adding it to my bucket list.

  17. I have never been to Costa Mesa. But reading this post makes me want to go. It definitely looks amazing and so beautiful.

  18. I have never been to Costa Mesa. But reading this post makes me want to go. It definitely looks amazing and so beautiful.

  19. Costa Mesa looks like an great place to enjoy good culture and good food ! Pictures in your post also looks so beautiful

  20. Costa Mesa looks like an great place to enjoy good culture and good food ! Pictures in your post also looks so beautiful

  21. kimberly lewis says:

    what a great bucket list! I keep adding to my bucket list because I see something each day that I would love to do or try.

  22. kimberly lewis says:

    what a great bucket list! I keep adding to my bucket list because I see something each day that I would love to do or try.

  23. Rachel says:

    I haven’t ever heard of Costa Mesa but it looks absolutely beautiful. This looks like a great list of things to do.

  24. Rachel says:

    I haven’t ever heard of Costa Mesa but it looks absolutely beautiful. This looks like a great list of things to do.

  25. Lisa says:

    Sounds amazing. I would love to visit one day. Great adventure.

  26. Lisa says:

    Sounds amazing. I would love to visit one day. Great adventure.

  27. I LOVE the idea of an eco-friendly shopping center! I wonder if there is a place like that on the East Coast?

  28. I LOVE the idea of an eco-friendly shopping center! I wonder if there is a place like that on the East Coast?

  29. Melissa says:

    Costa Mesa looks like it has a lot of fun things to offer 🙂 I love Mario Lopez! So cool that you met him. This is somewhere I’d love to visit.

  30. Melissa says:

    Costa Mesa looks like it has a lot of fun things to offer 🙂 I love Mario Lopez! So cool that you met him. This is somewhere I’d love to visit.

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