Credit: Erik Hale

How to Spend Spring Break in Costa Mesa Like Gen Z

Here’s Where to Thrift Shop, Develop Film, Get Boba and Browse Vinyls

From thrift shopping to finding the best ramen in town, if you want to know what’s trending, just ask a Gen Z-er—they know a thing or two about cool. According to those born between 1997 and 2012, Stanley Cups and oversized sweatshirts are in and Hydroflasks and skinny jeans are out. They say you don’t want to be caught doing something “cheugy,” but they can assure you it’s trendy to be doing the below activities. Spring Break Costa Mesa Like Gen Z

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The sun is finally out in Southern California and spring break is officially in session. While some are hopping on flights to Cabo and others are chasing those final moments of winter on the slopes, why skip town when we have paradise right here in Orange County? Costa Mesa is the place for Gen Z to be this spring break and we’re here to tell you why. 


Thrift Shopping at Landers Supply House and Crossroads

Credit: Henry Munksgaard

If there’s one thing you can find a Gen Z doing in their spare time, it’s thrift shopping. Whether you’re trying to find the coolest vintage leather bomber jacket or hoping to stumble upon a one-of-a-kind designer gem, thrifting is much more than just your standard trip to the mall.

Thrifting never goes out of style and it’s sustainable—a major win-win in our book. Lander’s Supply House gives coastal cowboy and western vibes galore (you’ll find your next pair of cowboy boots here) while down the road at Crossroads, you might find a dress with the tags still on.

Local Insight: Grab a Devil’s Delight cocktail or booze-less No Drama Guava Sour and a Fried Chicken Sammy at Landers Liquor Bar after a little shopping.


Boba Guys at The CAMP

Quench your thirst with a large Hojicha Banana Milk at The CAMP in Costa Mesa. Serving high-quality bubble milk tea, Boba Guys is our pick for the best boba in town. A Gen Z-er’s favorite drink, you’re going to want to pick one of these delicious beverages up at least twice during spring break.


Dine at Santouka Ramen Inside Mitsuwa Marketplace

Santouka Ramen inside Mitsuwa Marketplace is known to be home to the best ramen outside of Japan. The Toroniku (special pork) ramen or spicy miso ramen are must-order menu items. Located inside a supermarket, it’s not the most assuming of ramen spots, but we can assure you it’s the best in town. The portions are generous for the prices you pay and you’ll leave planning your next trip back.


Visit Mercado González

Credit: Erik Hale

Recently opened in Costa Mesa, Mercado González is a place one could spend hours at and we think you should! From mariachi bands to various puestos where you can browse and purchase food, Mercado González allows guests to immerse themselves in the culture and essence of authentic Mexican cuisine. Don’t leave without a churro from Churrería El Moro and tamales from La Tamalería

Local Insight: Dine here for lunch and then grab some fresh tortillas and guacamole for later. 


Browse Port of Sound Records 

“Girl, put your records on…” Oh wait—is that what we hear, millennials? The lines are a little blurred here, but are you even Gen Z if you don’t have a record player? Kidding, but will vinyls ever go out of style? The answer is no, so it’s time to start building your collection now if you haven’t already. Browse Port of Sound Records in Costa Mesa for new and old records. 


Take a Trip to Costa Mesa Skate Park 

Credit: shawn henry

Whether you’re a skater yourself or you’re headed to Costa Mesa Skate Park to watch the talent, 15,000 square feet of ramps, bowls and pools await. Open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, this is the perfect place to practice your kickflips with your besties. If you’re looking for a new hobby that lets you log off and get some fresh air, skating just might be your thing. Remember helmets and full pads are required for your safety! 


Sustainable Stock-Up at Fill Up Buttercup

Spring break also means spring cleaning. Fill Up Buttercup is the place to get all of your non-toxic, plastic-free and sustainable home and body essentials. From laundry detergent to micellar cleansing water, Fill Up Buttercup is the refill shop you’ve been looking for. It’s never been easier to strive for a zero-waste lifestyle, and we love that Gen Z cares deeply about our planet and making an impact. Bring your own containers to fill up on all of your essentials (think shampoo and all-purpose house cleaner), and move into a new era feeling good about your lifestyle choices!


Enjoy a Matcha at Work in Progress 

Work in Progress, otherwise known as WIP, is one of Costa Mesa’s best coffee shops for many reasons. The ambiance, the food, the coffee—all in all, it’s a place every OC Gen Z-er knows and loves. Pop in early so you can snag a seat and order a Lavender Matcha and a loaded breakfast burrito. Get ahead on some work or meet a friend for brekkie here. Just be prepared to run into at least one person you know! Pick up a bottle of natural wine for later to keep the good times flowing. 


Picnic at Noguchi Garden 

Not sure what to do this spring break? Pack a picnic and head to Noguchi Garden—one of our favorite things to do in Costa Mesa. We recommend picking up the picnic essentials from Mother’s Market! Immerse yourself in the zen atmosphere of Noguchi Garden—it’s the epitome of peace and quiet and it’s free to explore! This garden in Costa Mesa is one of Southern California’s most publicly accessible outdoor sculpture oases.

We love this for a solo picnic moment or a way to spend quality time with someone you love this spring break. 


Visit the Orange County Museum of Art 

Credit: Orange County Museum of Art

Orange County Museum of Art is home to over 4,500 different works of art. These stunning and unique art exhibits focus on art from the 20th to 21st centuries with ties to California. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and entry is free. Take a trip here for major inspiration, a quiet afternoon and a way to connect with your inner artist.

Local Insight: Make it a lunch date and grab lunch or dinner at Verdant, on the rooftop of OCMA. 


Get Your Film Developed at The Photo Lab 

Credit: Erik Hale

Obviously, if you’re Gen Z, you have a film camera. And if not, you can buy a disposable camera for every major moment. Get your latest roll of film developed from all of your fun spring break memories in Costa Mesa at The Photo Lab. You’ll receive digital files of your images with the option for prints as well—plus you’ll receive your photos in 24-48 hours!

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Taylor is a graduate from the University of Southern California with a degree in journalism. She is our Los Angeles and Orange County editor. You can find her dining at a new restaurant, in the ocean or planning her next adventure. Say hello!

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Erik Hale is the visionary and publisher behind LOCALE Magazine. He launched the magazine in 2010, wanting to give the community of OC a premiere lifestyle magazine that knew all the native knowledge behind OC. “Six years ago Ashley and I sat at a table scratching the name LOCALE (among some other names) onto a sheet of paper,” says Erik, “coming up with story ideas and basically dreaming. Everything we imagined has happened and we have been blessed with so much more. I am so grateful as we start another year for my family, my two wonderful children, my health, our amazing writers, designers and photographers, our advertising partners and you.”




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