Having started as a predominantly farming community in the 1950s, Costa Mesa is now a major Orange County destination that is known for some of the best shopping, dining, and performing arts experiences in Southern California. Most of that activity is around South Coast Plaza, which is ranked among the top shopping destinations in the world and offers more than 250 luxury boutiques and a plethora of restaurants and other entertainments. Just across the street from South Coast Plaza is Segerstrom Center for the Arts (SCFTA); it is the leader of performing arts in Orange County and just one of many exciting Costa Mesa event venues.
Costa Mesa is just over two miles from the John Wayne/Orange County airport. Nonstop destinations include Atlanta, Cabo San Lucas, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Mexico City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and Vancouver. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has several bus lines that run from John Wayne Airport through Costa Mesa, and many hotels offer complimentary shuttle service to/from the airport.
Chief among major convention venues in Costa Mesa is Segerstrom Center for the Arts, which features a 1,954-seat concert hall, a 2,994-seat theater, a theater that seats 300, a room that can seat 269 theater-style, and a 46,000-square-foot outdoor plaza that can host up to 2,000 for a reception.
Hotels venues in Costa Mesa include the 486-room Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa, which offers 48,000 square feet of meeting space, making it one of the largest meeting spaces in Orange County; in addition, the 393-room Westin South Coast Plaza offers 30,000 square feet of space, the 253-room Costa Mesa Marriott offers 3,200 square feet, the 228-room Crowne Plaza Costa Mesa Orange County offers 9,000 square feet, the 238-room Avenue of the Arts Wyndham Hotel offers 7,200 square feet of interior meeting space and 8,000 square feet outdoors, and the 284-room Ayres Hotel and Suites has 12,000 square feet of meeting space.
Along with the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, locations for special off-site events include the OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa Speedway, the historic brick clubhouse at Costa Mesa Country Club (which can host a dinner for up to 350 people), and the Japanese-influenced "Noguchi Garden," which can accommodate a gathering for up to 110 in its Zen-like setting.
Second only to shopping, Costa Mesa is known for its culinary scene, which means there is no shortage of possibilities for dining during a meeting in town. Among the top-notch offerings are Mastro’s Steakhouse, ARC Food and Libations, Old Vine Cafe, Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza, with a bar that is among the most popular happy hour destinations in Orange County.
For dry-aged steaks, the lobster bisque, and an extensive wine menu with 350 selections, The Golden Truffle is a local gem, owned and operated by lifetime Costa Mesa resident Chef Alan Greeley. Every Wednesday, Chef Greeley chooses a different country and prepares its authentic cuisine.