Credit: Kambria Fischer

Anti-Malls and Natural Wine: Your Complete Guide to 48 Hours in Costa Mesa

Get Ready for the Perfect Day Ahead!

Looking for your next SoCal getaway? Look no further than Costa Mesa, where urban energy meets suburban vibes. Thanks to its central location and affordable living, this Orange County city is home to young professionals, laid-back locals and countless promising businesses. If you’re looking to explore a new area, this hip OC hideaway is a must-visit. With its trendy coffee shops, peaceful parks and swanky bar scene, there is no shortage of entertainment when visiting the “City of the Arts!” From dawn to dusk, here’s how to spend a splendid day in Costa Mesa. 


Enjoy: Jack Henry

Credit: Ariane Moshayedi

When you wake up in the charming city of Costa Mesa, the best way to start your day is by visiting local wellness club Jack Henry for some self-care. We especially love their Infrared Sauna + Red Light Therapy treatment, which can be enjoyed with a friend for an additional $20. After sweating and melting your stress away, clean up with a complimentary shower with Jack Henry’s award-winning, organic hair, face and body products. Their doors are open to everyone, and they prove that with their inclusive, gender-neutral atmosphere.

@localemag Gotta love #randolphstreet in #costamesa for #selfcare @jack henry #artimebarro #workinprogress #mellowist #costamesa #saltybear #gunwhale #greencheek #selfcareiscool #localemagazine ♬ Treat You Better – RÜFÜS DU SOL

Local Insight: Jack Henry sources organic and wildcrafted ingredients from around the world from eco-cert family farms. All of their products are plant-based and cruelty-free!



Stay: Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel

Avenue Of the Arts
Credit: Avenue Of the Arts

With proximity to some of the best shopping, dining and entertainment Orange County has to offer, Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel is the place to visit this summer. This theater-inspired, boutique hotel breaks beyond the typical hotel experience with its opulent design, sumptuous amenities, and prime location in the heart of Costa Mesa. Their award-winning team is dedicated to helping you make the most of every moment, which is why the property is currently offering a Foodies’ Escape Package! The promo was created to allow visitors to get a taste of Costa Mesa’s culinary scene, starting with a $75 food and beverage credit per day at the hotel’s AAA Three-Diamond restaurant, Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar, and a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine upon checking in.




Coffee: Work in Progress

Work in Progress
Credit: Brandon Shigeta of WIP

When you wake up in the charming city Costa Mesa, the best way to start your day is by visiting the neighborhood bodega, Work in Progress. This local coffee bar and shop provides a thoughtfully curated selection of natural wines, fresh brews and crafted eats. They understand that life is a work in progress—but also believe that getting there is half the fun!




Visit: Noguchi Garden

After picking up your coffee and pastry, Noguchi Garden is the spot to savor it. This zen zone is an outdoor oasis and recognized as one of the country’s preeminent sculpture gardens. The site was commissioned by philanthropist Henry Segerstrom, who had parlayed his family’s lima bean fortune into the South Coast Plaza mall (hence the lima bean sculpture). The garden’s centerpiece sculpture was created in recognition of Segerstrom’s friendship with artist Isamu Noguchi and the family’s contribution to SoCal agriculture.

Costa Mesa Itinerary

Lunch: Outpost Kitchen

Outpost Kitchen
Credit: Outpost Kitchen

Roaming around the garden will definitely work up an appetite, so we suggest stopping in at Outpost Kitchen for some midday snacks. This Aussie-inspired eatery embodies the familiar feeling of a neighborhood kitchen. Since opening their doors in 2015, the Costa Mesa restaurant has become a go-to spot for locals to enjoy fresh food, alluring art and moving music in an industrial yet modern environment. From the food to the beer, their menu honors all-things organic, sustainable, local and all-natural. 



Shop: The LAB Anti-Mall

Credit: Golden Poppy Photography

Burn off your beer buzz with a shopping session at The LAB. Not everyone knows this, but The LAB stands for “Little American Business,” and that’s exactly who they are and what they strive to support. Shop for one-of-a-kind threads at Buffalo Exchange, reset your spirit with new crystals from the House of Intuition or pick up a new vinyl at Creme Tangerine Records. The LAB has an unconventional energy and embraces a vibrant community of art lovers, musical meatheads and fashion fanatics!




Do: The Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Center for the Arts
Segerstrom Center for the Arts campus – © RMA Photography Inc. (714.259.1332)

Once you’ve picked out a new outfit from The LAB, it’s time to show it off—literally! Next up on the Costa Mesa day trip is a live show at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. This stunning performing arts center believes that the exploration of the arts and the shared experience it provides will unite Orange County by creating a more connected and vital community. From musicals to string quartets, there is no shortage of elaborate entertainment at The Segerstrom!



Dine: Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar

Credit: Avenue of the Arts

Chances are, by this point of the day, you’ll be famished and ready for a decadent dinner. Lucky for you, Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar is conveniently located across the street from the Segerstrom Center for The Arts (and inside the Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa Hotel). Whether you’re craving ahi tuna tartare as an appetizer or looking to indulge in a sizzling wagyu sirloin steak, Silver Trumpet’s menu offers creative cuisine that aligns perfectly with the local culture of Costa Mesa!


Eat: Boil and Bake 

You may have to wait in line, but we’re here to tell you it’s worth it. Costa Mesa’s hip character is attributed to the city’s culture of craftsmanship. Boil and Bake is one of those businesses that makes Costa Mesa special. Opened by Carlos Perez and Chef Luke Bramm in Summer 2022, Boil and Bake is revolutionizing the locals’ breakfast routine. Scratch-made cultured butter, house-cured fish and thick-cut bacon are a few toppings you can expect sandwiched between hand-rolled bagels. Order The M.F.—no bagel will ever be the same!


Do: ArtTime Barro

Credit: ArtTime Barro

Care for your creative side with a pottery class at ArtTime Barro. Founded by mother-daughter duo Gabriela and Nicole Moreno, the vision for Barro is to offer a place for locals to find their own creative solace and feel at home making unique pieces. Learn the basics of ceramics by signing up for a one-time class or try taking their Wheel Thrown Planter class and make a pot for your plant baby! 



Credit: Orange County Museum of Art

Make your way through Costa Mesa to where local archives intersect with contemporary trends for a walk-through of history at the Orange County’s Museum of Art. This recently revamped, innovative museum boasts cutting-edge artwork, from the building’s architecture itself to the treasures within. The museum’s sleek geometric design was dreamt up by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne. Inside, find rotating exhibits from influential voices in the art world. From now through August, view the “13 Women: Variation II” art gallery, which showcases the museum’s most successful female artists over the years.


Enjoy: Milligram Coffee + Kitchen 

Credit: Ed Visions

Drive down 17th St for a quick trip to Australia! This Aussie-inspired cafe is everything we could hope for on a Sunday afternoon. Milligram Coffee + Kitchen is an elevated cafe concept that’s more than a grab-and-go coffee shop. With thick-cut toasts for brunch, glasses of wine in the evenings and even charcuterie, Milligram Coffee + Kitchen is designed for you to stay a while. The minimalist interior is effortlessly sleek, and the tree-lined, warm-wood patio transports you to a tranquil paradise away from the hustle and bustle.


Eat: Folks Pizzeria

Local, California ingredients and fresh, homemade dough shine at Folks Pizzeria. From Salame Caprese and Bianca pizza to chicken wings and burrata, this pizza shop has something for everyone. Opened in May 2019, it’s been a neighborhood joint ever since! Pair your ‘za with a bottle of natural wine from their curated selection. It only makes sense this trendy, welcoming pizza spot lives in Costa Mesa.    


Eat: Michelin Star Dining 

Photography By: Emi Rose Kitawaki

Costa Mesa is home to some of the finest dining establishments in California, and three restaurants that have received Michelin star recognition are Hanare, Taco Maria and Knife Pleat. Hanare offers an exquisite dining experience with their traditional Japanese cuisine, including a variety of sushi and sashimi. Taco Maria is known for its Mexican-inspired cuisine made from locally-sourced ingredients, where guests can indulge in dishes such as pork belly tacos and smoked trout tostadas. And Knife Pleat offers a French-inspired menu, with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients and exquisite presentation. Each of these restaurants provides a unique culinary experience, from the ambiance to the attentive service, making them all go-to dining destinations for special occasions and celebrations.

Unwind: Semi Tropic Wines

Every great day should end with a nightcap. So what better way to wrap your Costa Mesa tour than with an all-natural bottle of wine from Semi Tropic Wines. Their bar features a rotating selection chosen by their skillful crew on a day-to-day basis. Which means there is always something new to try. You can enjoy a bottle of their wine in-house, or you can take it back to enjoy while soaking in the tub of your suite at the Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa. It’s been quite the day, after all!  



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