Time for a staycation! This year I have embarked on some pretty diverse travels abroad. When I come back home, I see my hometown of Southern California from a whole new perspective. It makes me realize all the things I have right in my own backyard that sometimes only tourists fully appreciate!
In the latest vlog, I venture to visit the City of the Arts, Costa Mesa, which is the center point of all the action in Orange County. I am talking about foodie spots like Michelin Star ranked tacos and authentic Cuban food, beaches, shopping, theater, and concerts - all within a stone's throw from the airport.
City of the Arts!
They don't call it City of the Arts for nothing! Costa Mesa has everything from world-class theater, shows, and concerts at the Segerstrom. We grab tickets to Miss Saigon, a legendary musical theater production and love story between a geisha and American GI set in Vietnam. The show was dramatic and entertaining- what a fantastic way to kick off a Friday evening!
Shopping Til You Drop!
Costa Mesa is the epicenter of the best shopping on the West Coast! The city offers two very different shopping experiences. First, we visit the South Coast Plaza, which is world renowned for designer shopping. Next we visit The Lab Anti Mall, a funky shopping district located a few blocks from South Coast Plaza, with eclectic handmade goods, artisanal shops, and art installations.
Time for a Mid-Day Espresso!
We visit Portola Coffee Lab and Vitaly (below) for the best lattes and coffee in town. This time we try the matcha and turmeric lattes.
Taco Tuesday - err, Taco EVERYDAY!
For Michelin Star ranked tacos, we try Taco Maria which is known for creative tacos with handmade blue corn tortillas. Below are the savory mole pollo tacos!
If you want to check out the best of Costa Mesa's food scene (including Habana - below) in an exclusive tasting event, check out Taste coming up October 18th and 19th! We visited last year, and it was a blast and featured live chef cooking demonstrations and creative tasters from the top restaurants. Be sure to arrive hungry and thirsty!
Cheers to the Weekend!
Brunch is one of the best times to visit Costa Mesa. We try Toast, which is known for their fun drink menu, including the OC Juice Cleanse (below) which is sparkling wine with a watermelon paleta!
Hiking and Biking Trails:
To walk off all the delicious food, it's time to do something active! We rent bikes at The Cyclist and ride along Costa Mesa's neighborhoods and parks. The ocean and Newport Back Bay are only a ten minute bike ride away!
Where to Stay:
Whether you are visiting OC for work or play, Costa Mesa truly has everything that makes Orange County a great place to visit (or live!). It is a a few minutes from John Wayne Airport and close to nearby beaches and theme parks.
We recommend staying at the Avenue of the Arts Hotel, which is a four diamond awarded hotel with the comfiest beds and pleasant hospitality. It is located across from the Segerstrom and within walking distance to South Costa Plaza.
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We are two adventurous young professionals who turned our passion for travel into a blog to help others travel more.