Saturday, October 8, 2016 / No comments

Visiting Costa Mesa

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As life gets busy it's sometimes hard to get away for more than a long weekend. This is especially true since I started film school.

But the irony of a busy life is that to continue to create I need breaks to recharge and reconnect with that inspiration, that drive, that mojo, and that "spark" that makes me, me.

I need to get away.

My hubby has learned that inspiration to me is so much more than a big idea at work or a beautiful photo project.

That having a permanent "light bulb" is a huge part of what keeps me happy, grounded and in love with my life; And...Centered enough to be in love with him for being "him."

Costa Mesa happens to be the place that I needed to visit to regroup before I started my fall term.
Allow me to be honest: I have family in Costa Mesa. My parents actually lived in Orange County when they got pregnant with me (so to a certain extent a little bit of me is rooted in the OC).

Through the years Costa Mesa has become a place that I have relegated to shopping trips haphazardly nestled between family gatherings. I didn't, we didn't, know much Costa Mesa has to offer.

So when the city invited me to spend my first school break in Costa Mesa I was prepared to relax and unwind.

Do nothing.

I wasn't prepared to be as inspired as I was from finding so much art, culture, and foodie gems within a short drive of each other. Some? Within walking distance. All so close, yet far, from my WLA home.

WHERE TO STAY WHEN VISITING COSTA MESA


I can't say enough about Avenue of the Arts Hotel who hosted our weekend stay.

This stylish resort-style boutique hotel is a dog-friendly property that prides itself in offering personalized service to cater to the adult traveler. They not only have a pool next to the Costa Mesa (man-made) lake, but many of the rooms have private balconies with a view of the pool, lake and gardens.

Speaking of which, Avenue of the Arts Hotel also has a zen garden, is home to Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar, and located within a five-minute walk to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Plaza!

WHERE TO DINE IN COSTA MESA


One of our biggest worries when my hubby and I travel (or go anywhere for that matter) is the accessibility to good and quality food. We are, for all intents and purposes, picky eaters.

Traveling foodies like ourselves need not to worry. Costa Mesa has a diverse selection of restaurants that will satisfy even the most refined palates

From start to finish, every. single. meal. we enjoyed in Costa Mesa was not just amazingly well prepared with quality artisanal and imported ingredients; but it was the attention to service, coupled with the experience of dining in some of the most unique restaurants we have been to in So Cal - even dining in a restaurant located inside of a shopping mall - if only for that, reason enough to spend an entire weekend in Costa Mesa.

Restaurants of note include:

French bistro cuisine, perfect for a special occasion lunch or dinner.

Modern Spanish cuisine and tapas. Ideal for dinner or drinks & tapas pre-theater.

Lovely artisanal brunch, breakfast or lunch spot with plenty of outdoor seating.

THE ARTS

While initially I expected to do nothing other than lounge by the pool during my weekend away, I soon learned that Costa Mesa has an internationally acclaimed arts and theater district named after one of the most prolific Orange County philanthropists, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

The performing arts district has a state of the art concert venue that hosts award-winning concerts and acclaimed theater productions that travel from NY, all located within walking distance of various art installations and galleries.

While the experience of watching a musical at the Theater was bar none one of the best we've had, I found myself discovering sculpture gardens and even finding that the local shopping district has art incorporated within their retail environment, which makes Costa Mesa a feast for the eyes and senses.

A Fall or Winter weekend away to Costa Mesa is the perfect reason to head South to the OC and see one of these award winning productions:

Beautiful: the Carole King Musical starting on October 4, 2016
Ringo Starr and his All Star Band starting on October 20, 2016
Mamma Mia, starting on November 22.
Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
WHERE TO SHOP

If you live in So Cal you know that one of the best luxury shopping destinations is in Costa Mesa. But did you know that The Lab anchors the SoBeCa District, an acronym for "South on Bristol Entertainment, Culture and Arts?"

The Lab is a unique enclave of boutique shops, one-of-a-kind eateries and artistic happenings from art showings, poetry readings, musical offerings and seasonal festivals. It is definitely a fun place to visit for both dining and shopping.

My hubby and I spent our Sunday having brunch at one of their many eatiers and shopping at some of the most unique boutiquess you can't find anywhere else. Completely worth a stop when you head south.
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Thankfully Costa Mesa is not horribly far from us, but far enough to experience something different from L.A. Definately worth a weekend away for my friends that are looking to unwind but still be connected to everything So Cal has to offer; and especially worth planning a visit to when you want to see a play or musical in a beautiful setting surrounded by art, culture, and good food.

Special events and shows are always added to the Travel Costa Mesa Calendar.  Make sure to stop by to plan your next visit.


Wishing you happy travels!

Like this post? Check Out "Touring The Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit In Las Vegas"
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