Costa Mesa, California: 5 Reasons to Visit!

Costa Mesa is known as the home of South Coast Plaza. I was thrilled to partner with Travel Costa Mesa for a ‘Galentine’s’ weekend away with some girlfriends, to experience ALL Costa Mesa has to offer. South Coast Plaza is the largest shopping destination on the west coast and is filled with the most luxury brands anywhere in the country, fine dining, hip restaurants, and many cultural exhibits.

Canada Goose recently opened their first-ever “Snow Room” in the U.S., that is chilled to temperatures as low as -10°F to simulate a polar bear habitat and snow storm.   This is designed to replicate various weather conditions so you can experience Canada Goose’s functionality and performance for yourself.

lunar new year in costa mesa

Lunar New Year, Year of the Tiger exhibit is free to the public and is an art installation with a digital interactive element. The exhibit features a beautiful fresh and dried flowers, accented with dazzling surfaces and infused with tradition The Lunar New Year exhibit will be on display in Jewel Court until February 20, 2022.

Costa Mesa Marriott is located directly across from South Coast Plaza mall. The hotel staff were a delight and eager to ensure we were very well looked after. My Deluxe Waterview Suite was beautiful, clean, and modern, with a lovely view of the pool and gardens.

costa mesa marriott

While aMuse, the on-site restaurant in the hotel is delicious, you can find other dining options and shopping galore if you cross the street elevated pedestrian bridge to South Coast Plaza. Costa Mesa Marriott is conveniently located in the heart of Costa Mesa with with easy access to multiple freeways.

We ate dinner at the newly opened hotspot Tableau, with Chef John Park and Ed Lee (co-owner of Wahoo’s Fish Taco).

tableau restaurant

restaurants in costa mesa

Tableau serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a strong focus on fresh seafood with global influences. Tableau has a lovely warm atmosphere, knowledgeable staff, and  the presentation of the food was served with little twists on familiar dishes with special attention to detail. Not only is the food fresh, clean and interesting, the restaurant donates 10% of its proceeds to a rotating slate of causes and prioritizes charitable endeavors.  So you can eat for a cause – how perfect is that!?! I especially love the fact that the owners employ veterans, the formerly homeless, foster kids and victims of abuse. 

segerstrom center for the arts in costa mesa

If art and culture is your jam, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts is architecturally stunning, easily accessible from South Coast Plaza by a pedestrian bridge, and has a broad range of world class performances and productions. I love love love the theater and there’s not a bad seat in the house in this beautiful building. SCFTA is currently presenting one of their most popular shows, WICKED the Musical.

We laughed, cried, and sang our hearts out to this fantastic score. Wicked is a story of friendship, and how deep female bonds can overcome their differences to become allies. To quote Glenda the good witch, “Think of what we can do together” was a running theme for our weekend conversations, and was the quintessential production to complement our ‘Galentine’s’ weekend.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is the perfect setting to enjoy a beautiful musical production. The acoustics in the hall are phenomenal, the lighting and costumes are superb, giving the incredibly talented cast the perfect canvas to shine. Thank you Segerstrom for bringing quality theater to Orange County.

moulin south coast plaza

Nothing beats an alfresco lunch with your girlfriends. MOULIN is located on the Bridge of Gardens at South Coast Plaza and as we sat in the gorgeous morning sun pondering life, we could not have felt more relaxed. The menu at MOULIN includes tarts and pastries, many salads and sandwiches and baguettes and breads, all baked fresh every morning by the team of artisan chefs.

I ordered the chicken pesto baguette which was dressed to perfection with a light sauce, and their almond and pear tart. As we drank our strong coffee, we enjoyed the perfect morning. If you appreciate authentic French cuisine Moulin is the place to be. It’s like they took a café right out of France and dropped it in Southern California.

Be prepared to be transported to Paris with your first bite –  Truly a REAL French bakery!

moulin in south coast plaza

Here are five reasons to visit Costa Mesa:

  1. It’s the largest shopping destination on the West Coast filled with more luxury brands than anywhere in the country.
  2. There are over 30 hip restaurants for fine dining and over 250 gorgeous boutiques to browse
  3. It’s connected to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts to soak in some culture
  4. It’s centrally located to many Southern California theme parks and only a 25 minute drive to Disneyland, 1 hour drive to Legoland and Universal Studios, 30 minutes drive to KnottsBerry Farm and more!
  5. The weather is GORGEOUS all year long and it’s only 15 minutes drive from the BEACH!

Costa Mesa has something for the whole family, and if you love browsing malls and people watching, this is the place for you!

galentine weekend away to south coast plaza in costa mesa

*** This article is sponsored but all opinions are my own***

What is your favorite shop or restaurant at South Coast Plaza?

Let me know in comments below and Join me on Instagram and Twitter!

About The Author


I’m a travel and health writer, digital brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising an active family, life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.


  1. Alamara Munshi | 16th Feb 22

    One of the first places I went in 2015. Absolutely massive selection of shops and eateries to suit all tastes and pockets plus wheelchair ♿ hire.

    • Samantha | 18th Feb 22

      Yes the whole facility is ADA compliant. You’ll have to visit again! 😉

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