In search of the best and fun things to do in Costa Mesa, CA?
Welcome to Costa Mesa, a beautiful city located in Orange County, California. It was created in 1953 and has developed from a semi-rural farming village of about 16,840 residents to a suburban town including part of the South Coast Plaza, John Wayne Airport edge city (one of the area’s largest commercial clusters).
According to the 2010 United States Census, Costa Mesa has an estimated population of about 109,960. You will find interesting, fun, and educative things to do in Costa Mesa, California; ranging from the pacific amphitheater, playhouse, symphony, Crevier classic cars, etc.
Here are the top things to do in Costa Mesa, CA.
Things to Do in Costa Mesa
1. Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Amongst the best things to do in Costa Mesa is a visit to Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
This museum of art was established in 1986, with the name Orange County Performing Arts Center, and was later renamed Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
Known as one of the top Costa Mesa attractions, this art center gives you the best performing arts during your visit to Costa Mesa. Cesar Pelli designed Segerstrom Center for the Arts; he is a famous architect.
Home to the Pacific Symphony, Pacific Chorale, and Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Segerstrom Center for the Arts is just the place for the best of melodies.
There are several performance Venues in the center, such as Segerstrom Hall, which features 3000 seats, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, which features 2000 seats; and the multi-functional Samueli Theater, having a seating capacity of 375.
You will also find the Judy Morr Theater with 250-seat and the renowned Arts Plaza, which measures 46,000-square-foot.
There are also several educational programs hosted in Segerstrom Center for the Arts, including summer camps, Broadway classes, and ABT William J. Gillespie Dance School.
Consider an addition to your list of places to visit in Costa Mesa for a fun time.
Address: 600 Town Center Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
2. Crevier Classic Cars
Crevier Classic Cars is an automobile company founded in 2006 by Donnie Crevier. He started his automotive career in 1966 at Theodore Robins Ford, where he worked as a marketer before making a sales manager from 1969-1974.
One year later (1975), he partnered with his father and uncle, Bob and Bill, respectively, to manage and run their company, Crevier BMW, until 2011. Meanwhile, while still helping out with the operations in his father’s company, he founded the Crevier Classic Cars in 2006 and became the CEO.
Not only is it a modern, state-of-the-art storage facility that deals in the storage of special, outstanding, collectible, and flashy vehicles, Crevier Classic Cars is an active environment of classic car owners, fun lovers, and enthusiasts who often comes together to share similar interests and inspirations.
The company is a dealer of several kinds of flashy and durable cars. It also creates a special event of any type of occasion, be it wedding receptions, tradeshows, corporate/business meetings, holiday camping, etc., with more than 100 exotic and flashy cars offering a beautiful backdrop and view for the events.
Address: 2995 Airway Avenue Suite B, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, United States.
3. Fairview Park
During your trip to Costa Mesa, CA, take to explore fun activities in one of its extensive parks, the Fairview Park.
This is a 208-acre park that features rolling hills, open fields, a beautiful beach, and a tranquil forested sanctuary.
There are quite some trails that cut across the park, perfect for hiking, walking, running, horseback riding, and biking.
You will also find shady picnic areas that feature tables and coves, all available for your relaxation.
There are also large grassy areas in the park that are best for model airplane flying and kite flying. You will also find free model trains here, available on the third weekend of every month.
This park also hosts several events held in the area throughout the year, such as the annual Fish Fry event, which features various entertainment, prize drawings, carnival rides, and more.
Are you wondering what to do in Costa Mesa for a fun time? Add a visit to Fairview Park in your list of Costa Mesa attractions to explore.
Address: 2525 Placentia Avenue, Costa Mesa, 92627
4. Diego Sepulveda AdobeOn the bluff which overlooks the Santa Ana River is Diego Sepulveda Adobe. This adobe is also called the Santa Ana Estancia or the Costa Mesa Estancia.
Today it stands as a memorial to those who had lived here in the early days, as it is one of the oldest structures in Orange County, precisely the second oldest.
This structure was constructed between 1817 and 1823 to give shelter to traveling herdsmen tending to cattle and horses as they traveled from Mission San Juan Capistrano to Alta.
It was later purchased by the Segerstrom family and restored in 1940. This purchase included the surrounding lands, and today the structure stands as a history museum in the area.
Costa Mesa Historical Society manages this museum operation, and it is arranged to represent the four periods in the history of Orange County, which are Mission, Indian, Spanish, and Victorian.
Address: 1900 Adams Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626
5. Metro Pointe @ South Coast
Located at South Coast in California, Metro pointe is an open-air shopping mall that accommodates different shopping and customer stores, like Best Buy, Nordstrom Rack, and Marshalls, alongside specialized retailers like DSW Shoes, Saks Off 5th, and The Container Store.
Metro Pointe features standard California or Italian-made architecture with lots of flowers and lush cascading foliage. The mall is a famous and one of the best all-rounders in Costa Mesa for shopping, eatery, and entertainment. Here, visitors are welcome, as they will possibly see whatever they need.
The mall houses shopping centers for various things, including bookshops, electronic shops, house equipment, furniture, apparel shops, wonderfully handcrafted architecture from some of the best artists, flower galore, attractive retail shops for confectionaries, and others.
Did we mention that Metro Pointe also offers space for event hosting? Not only does it provide space for meetings and events, but it also hosts a series of entertainment. Talking about entertainment, you can tag along to enjoy music and a movie at the luxurious Edwards Stadium 12 Movie Theater, gagged with relaxing seats and the latest in sound technology.
Address: 901 S Coast Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, United States.
6. TeWinkle Park
TeWinkle Park was named after the first mayor of Costa Mesa, Charles TeWinkle. He was also a famous businessman in the area.
This is a 49-acre park that offers residents and visitors to Costa Mesa a fun outdoor relaxation space.
The park has many modern amenities such as picnic tables, barbecue areas, shady shelters, and restrooms. You will also find some sports and utility fields here.
Take to enjoying a baseball or softball game here in its full-sized fields, or play a tennis match in one of its 12 courts.
To have a lake view, locate its lovely lake, which features a waterfall, perfect for a picnic with the kids and featuring play areas for children.
This is one of the best things to do in Costa Mesa, CA, do add to your bucket list of places to explore in Costa Mesa.
Address: 970 Arlington Avenue, Costa Mesa, 92626
7. South Coast Plaza
Amongst the best things to do in Costa Mesa is visiting South Coast Plaza to have the best shopping experience in the area.
South Coast Plaza is a popular shopping center that gives its visitors the best experience they could imagine.
This center is home to different brands and deluxe boutiques, personal shopping services, restaurants, and many modern amenities. South Coast Plaza is popularly known for its vast retail collections.
The shopping center is just within walking distance from the beautiful beaches of Costa Mesa, and you will find here popular brands such as Massimo, Hermés, Dior, Chanel, and lots more.
You will also find department stores like Nordstrom, Sears, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, and Macy’s.
Are you in for some dining experience? Visit its numerous dining options to have a bite of their specialties.
You will also meet lots of cafes, lounges, bars, which all aim to give you the best of relaxation time during your visit.
South Coast Plaza is the place to be if you want the best shopping and dining experience, do add to your checklist of places to visit in Costa Mesa.
Address: 3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626.
8. Pacific Amphitheater
Located in Costa Mesa, Orange County, California, the Pacific Amphitheater was established in July 1983 on the model railroad building of the fairgrounds. It was housed on the OC Fair and Event Center grounds and featured Barry Manilow as the first performer.
It is a carefree and friendly environment where you are free to come with your family, friends, and loved ones to enjoy a wide range of patriotic tunes, pops, and classics, as well as impressive fireworks. It provides picnicking areas such as its brand-new lobby and entrance area and the Plaza Pacifica, with different picnic tables.
You are free to come with your picnic. But all varieties of picnicking items are available for purchase from online traders, such as purchase on the Pacific symphony platform, available for delivery on the Plaza Pacifica, just nearby. Note that you cannot bring in beer, as beers are available for sale also from online vendors.
Address: 100 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, United States.
9. The LAB Anti-Mall
During your trip to Costa Mesa, CA, do not fail to visit LAB Anti-Mall for your relaxation.
LAB (Little American Business) is an indoor-outdoor gathering area that includes restaurants and shops aimed towards giving you the best relaxation time.
LAB is located in a restored google factory, and it features different non-conformist stores and restaurants that will not typically be found on your regular shopping mall.
Some of the businesses featured in this location are Honey & Butter, Crew, The Gypsy Den, and Crème Tangerine.
The LAB also takes to hosting a wide range of events throughout the year, such as ‘BLOOM’ – a SoBECA Festival, Full Moon Night Market, and the Happy Lunar New Year festival.
This answers what to do in Costa Mesa, CA, for a fun time, do add to your bucket list of things to do in Costa Mesa, CA.
Address: 2930 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
10. Bad Coffee
Though named Bad Coffee, this is the perfect example of reverse psychology because its visitors have confirmed it to be good.
Bad Coffee was launched in 2016 by a group of coffee snobs who aim at bringing the best of beverages to Costa Mesa.
Visitors enjoy their comfy chairs, great natural lighting, electric outlets as well as super-speed Wi-Fi.
You can find Bad Coffee located on Adams Avenue. their menu includes a selection of teas, sparkling water, juice, and baked meals such as pastries and muffins.
This answers what to do in Costa Mesa for some relaxation. Do add to your list of things to do in Costa Mesa, CA.
11. Costa Mesa Playhouse
Costa Mesa Playhouse is a 73-seat, non-profit community theater that was and remains dedicated to serving the Orange County populates, both indigenes and non-indigenes, for more than forty years. Its aims at providing cheaper, standard, and outstanding live theater in a comfortable and intimate setting.
It is also determined to integrate talented actors, musicians, dancers, entertainers, and stage craftspeople of Orange County into intimate environs to actualize their craft. The playhouse provides a wide range of dramas and songs to their fun-loving public. Its staff & crew members are very dedicated and aim to share their fun with the outside world.
Address: 661 Hamilton Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, United States
12. California Scenario (Noguchi Garden)
Also known as Noguchi Garden, Isamu Noguchi’s California Scenario is a popular sculpture center in Costa Mesa.
This garden was commissioned in 1979 by Henry Segerstrom; it features a 1.6 acres garden, all designed to represent the geographical characters of California, using ingenious plants and ingenious designs.
The garden Al’s features six sections that make up the “California Scenario,” they include Desert Land, Water Use, Water Source, Energy Fountain, and Spirit of the Lima Bean, which is a dramatic centerpiece.
This garden is open to the public daily and is one place you should stop by during your visit to Costa Mesa.
Address: 611 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, 92626
13. Orange County Museum of ArtJust a few kilometers from Costa Mesa is the Orange County Museum of Art(OCMA), one of the best things to do near Costa Mesa and worth a visit during your stay in Costa Mesa.
Orange County Museum of Art is a welcome visit for those who want more than the many beaches and shopping centers in the area.
This museum is located in the South Coast village, featuring a vast collection of items from California history, dating back from the early 20th century to this present day.
Items on display include sculptures, historical photos, Native American art contemporary digital, multimedia works, and videos.
This is a fun place to visit, and it is worth adding to your list of attractions to visit in the area.
14. SoCo Farmers Market
Founded in April 2020, the SoCo Farmers Market is managed by Sprouts of Promise Foundation (a non-profit institution) to support local subsistent farmers and promote healthy eating. They’ve a mission to grow and support the local food and agricultural economy significantly.
They do this by creating an enabling environment for farmers, food producers, and a few artisans and integrating them into working tirelessly to achieve the increasing demand for convenient, local, regenerative food in Southern Colorado.
Here, farmers are only permitted to sell approved California grown farm products directly to the masses, which should be done every Saturday. You can come with your shopping bag as you will see varieties of products, including fresh fruits & vegetables, local raw honey, fresh-cut flowers, cage-free eggs, and pasture-raised meat, amongst others.
You will also find the best local Orange County gourmet food trucks and artisan foods, including bread, hummus, Salvadorian Pupusas, and many different sweet treats. This is why it is considered one of the best farmers’ markets in Orange County and California as a whole and is always on the page of the New York Times.
Address: 3315 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, United States.
15. South Coast Repertory TheaterAre you a theater lover? One of the top things to do in Costa Mesa for some theater time is a visit to South Coast Repertory Theater(SRC)
Established by David Emmes and Martin Benson in 1964, SRC is a professional theater company serving the resident of Costa Mesa.
Known as one of the top producers of new plays in America, you will surely have a fun time here.
South Coast Repertory Theater also features a new play development program, which cuts across commissions, workshops, residencies, and readings, producing up to five premiers each season.
Theater season runs between September and June every year. During a visit, you will get to see works drawn from modern and classic theater repertoires presented at various stages.
They also offer several outreach programs and educational programs, which has gotten them the Regional Theatre Tony Award for Distinguished Achievement for new play development.
Do add to your list of Costa Mesa attractions to visit for a fun theater time with friends and family.
Address: 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
16. The CAMP
In Costa Mesa’s SoBeCa District, you can locate The CAMP, a retail community that features a vibrant and casual ambiance.
Here, you will find stores that range from organic and wellness to fitness-related and health-conscious stores, aiming to help give people the best of a healthy lifestyle.
You will also find here a range of organic culinary delights and gourmet vegetarian, vegan which range across Southern Italian-style organic cuisine, freshly brewed coffee and tea with several pairs of wines at Old Vine Café
Would you want some vegetarian favorite, head to Native Foods and join the SoBECA ARTwalk, and other special events hosted here.
Address: 2937 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.
17. OC Night Market
OC Night Market is a variety market that features different kinds of interesting merchandise and activities for people of other races across countries, especially in Asia. It is widely regarded as the biggest Asian-themed market in the U.S. and is highly concentrated on youths.
The market comes with aspirations to provide marketing experience to the U.S, and a place for everyone would come together, socialize and explore Asian recipes. It does feature not only varieties of epic food, but also entertainment festivals at the OC Fair & Event Center.
The market also features more than 200 food, products, crafts, arts, games, music, and entertainment galore. In a day, the estimated number of persons that patronize the OC Night Market is 40,000. It also features live music on a concert stage, such as local acts including Priya, Mad, 8-Bit Jazz Heroes, Jenni Marie, etc.
Address: 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, United States
18. Taco Maria
Are you a lover of taco and would like the best of Taco in Costa Mesa, CA? do add a trip to Taco Maria to your list of Costa Mesa attractions to visit
Taco Maria is a popular family-owned Mexican restaurant that has won quite some awards, such as “Best Restaurant.”
Meals here are prepared using locally sourced ingredients drawing from Mexican traditions and flavors.
Its head chef is Carlos Salgado, who aims to fuse this component into the best dishes with a bit of Southern Californian twist.
Select from their menu available meals for prix fixe to a la carte and brunch, which all feature Mexican signatures such as esquidas, carnitas, tacos, and enmolada.
Address: 3313 Hyland Avenue, STE, C21, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626.
19. Old Vine Kitchen and Bar
During your trip to Costa Mesa, pay a visit to this award-winning restaurant by Old Vine Kitchen and Bar.
Old Vine Kitchen and Bar lunched its operations in 2007, with Mark McDonald and Kate Perry as its chief chef.
Since its lunch, the restaurant has long expanded to include a space for a wine bar which includes over 80 paintings and metalwork designs done by Mark Gerardi.
Visit this restaurant for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a late-night meal any day of the week. Their menu includes flash-fried gnocchi, beef tenderloin stroganoff, and handmade pappardelle.
You can also opt for their Land and sea entrees such as Indonesian curry shrimp, queso fresco, and pulled duck leg with smoked poblano and pepita emulsion.
Enter its bar, which serves a wide range of wines and cocktails in the evening, and it consists of a lounge and an enclosed outdoor patio.
Address: 2937 Bristol St A103, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
20. Seabirds Kitchen
Seabirds Kitchen started as a food truck in 2010 and has grown to one of the best places to visit in Costa Mesa for the best vegan meals.
This restaurant aims to serve only plant-based meals sourced locally from farms, all presented in a unique combination.
For the best organic dining experience, add Seabirds Kitchen to your list of things to do in Costa Mesa, CA.
During your visit, get to have their pumpkin bisque, artichoke drumsticks, and warm kale salad.
Their mains feature butternut enchiladas, chorizo tamales, brown rice, and black beans bowl served with ancho salsa, tortilla strips, and fresh cilantro.
This restaurant is open every day of the week for lunch, and early dinner, and they offer a special brunch menu during the weekend.
Address: 2930 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
21. Avila’s El Ranchito Mexican Restaurant
Avila’s El Ranchito Mexican Restaurant was launched by Maria Elena in 1977, is a family-friendly spot that serves the best of Mexican meals to its visitors.
Situated in a Laguna Landmark building in the ocean area of the town, this restaurant gives you a view of the beautiful sea and nice sunset views.
Their menu features a range of homemade Mexican dishes such as nachos, mahi-mahi ceviche, platillos, quesadillas, burritos, fajitas, and handmade tortillas.
Are you in search of one of the best places for a romantic date idea? Avila’s should be on your list of things to do in Costa Mesa.
Also, discover their exclusive Ranchito specials, including Botana Carnitas and Asada Encebollado, which is served with a skillet, grilled onions, and accented with Chile Negro.
They also have a separate children’s menu which serves children’s specials such as burgers and chicken fingers, and they also have a banquet and catering menu which you can order for your occasions.
Address: 2101 Placentia Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA
22. Heroes Hall
Situated in a renovated 1942 Santa Ana Army Air Base barracks building, the Heroes Hall is a free, permanent, annual museum and education center. It features exhibitions, shows, and educational programs and activities that celebrate the legacy of Orange County legends and other heroes who have fought bravely for the nation’s course.
The hall comprises 3,600 square feet of exhibition space and the Medal of Honor Courtyard and Walk of Honor, made up of 5,000 square feet, spacious enough for events and more significant gatherings of any kind, be it wedding receptions, business/corporate meetings, family get-togethers, etc.
Its two-story exhibition building tends to rotate themes semi-annually, each focusing on an aspect of the individual tales and experiences of heroes past. Heroes Hall welcomes its most recent exhibit, Victory from Within – The American Prisoner of War Experience, featuring themes like capture, prison life, those who wait, and freedom.
Address: 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
23. ST Patisserie Chocolat
Included in this list of things to do in Costa Mesa is ST Pâtisserie Chocolat, a pastry and confectionery shop which Master chef Stéphane Tréand MOF owns. Next door, you will find his culinary school.
This Pastry School gives residents and visitors to Costa Mesa a touch of the glamor of Parisian pastry.
Once the winner of the “Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France” (MOF) title, a competition of craftsmen held in France every four years.
Dedicated to sharing his love for pastry art, Stephane uses his innovative technique and knowledge in his art.
During your visit here, get to choose from the wide range of chocolate and sweets, ranging from éclairs, bonbons, mille-feuilles, petit gâteaux, macarons, and cannelés.
Address: The SoCo Collection, Unit H, 3321 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626,
Plan a Trip to Costa Mesa
You’ll certainly find lots of fun things to do in Costa Mesa, California. What are you waiting for? Why not join the moving train to tour the city and partake in lots of fun exercises and other activities in attraction centers like Pacific Amphitheaters, Heroes Hall, Costa Mesa Play House, SoCo Farmers’ Market, etc.
Start Planning your trip to Costa Mesa, CA, pin this guide as you create your bucket list of places to visit in Costa Mesa, CA.