Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa is a city in Orange County, a region of Southern California.


Throughout the 1800s, this area consisted mostly of a few farms and some apple orchards. Costa Mesa was officially incorporated in 1920; its name meaning "coast tableland" in Spanish. During World War II, Costa Mesa was the site of the Santa Ana Army Air Base, a military installation that existed from 1942-1946. Today, Costa Mesa has expanded into a robust community that features a focus on performing arts and entertainment. Costa Mesa provides a city-like feel in a suburban setting with a vast amount of storefront shops and residential areas. The west side of the city features industrial properties that specialize in manufacturing while the northern part of the city features commercial properties that specialize in business.

Get in

By plane

John Wayne Airport (IATA: SNA) is just on the other side of the Costa Mesa/Santa Ana border. From there you can either rent a vehicle, obtain a taxi, or use the bus system to get around.

By road

Home to one Interstate 405 and California highways 55 and 73; driving into the city is not hard. Harbor Boulevard, Newport Boulevard, and Bristol Street are important North-South roads in the city while Baker Street, 17th Street, and 19th Street are important East-West roads in the city.

Get around

OCTA operates a myriad of buses in the city. The most important ones are those that serve South Coast Plaza. Routes 51, 55, 57, 76, 86, 145, 172, 173, 211, 216 and 464 all serve the mall, which basically means that SCP is accessible almost anywhere in the county.

Cab Service, Cab companies are plentiful in O.C.

Don't underestimate the distance between blocks--especially if walking. Costa Mesa has longer address blocks than most other U.S. cities. For example, it's about a third of a mile (over 500m) from 2500 to 2600 Fairview Blvd with three intersections in-between.


Diego Sepúlveda Adobe, built in the 1820s

Costa Mesa offers quality variety of shopping, fine dining, and entertainment options. Costa Mesa also features plenty of golf courses and parks in addition to being mere minutes away from the Pacific Ocean for people who want to spend time outdoors.


Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts

There are also many outstanding works of art, including Connector, a towering sculpture designed by Richard Sera that graces the plaza. Visitors are encouraged to take a walking tour of the district to experience the spectacular works of Jean Dubuffet, Henry Moore, Joan Miro, Charles O. Perry, and Isamu Noguchi, among other world-class figures whose artistry is on public display locally. A centerpiece is Noguchi’s 1.6-acre collection of sculptures and plantings called California Scenario.


Costa Mesa's skyline features many tall modern office buildings; the ones in this picture are part of the South Coast Plaza


Tea for sale at Mitsuwa



Stay safe

Costa Mesa can be one of the safest cities to visit but it also has its share of crime. Regions near Santa Ana can have criminal incidents spill over into the city as a result of gangs and narcotics. The city's Westside is lower-income and highly industrial, making it a somewhat popular destination for homeless people and panhandlers. The local police department does patrols on a routine basis, however, so criminal incidents are limited at worst.

Go next

You can leave the city either through the John Wayne Airport or by taking the local freeways out of the city. CA-73 and I-405 will lead to Los Angeles if you head north or to San Diego if you head south.

Considering that the CA-55 South terminates at Costa Mesa's 19th Street, CA-55 North will lead to northern Orange County and will connect to CA-91, which leads to Riverside California.

Routes through Costa Mesa

Long Beach Fountain Valley  N  S  Irvine END
Anaheim Santa Ana/Irvine  N  S  Newport Beach Jct

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, December 21, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.