Once a semi-rural farming community, Costa Mesa is an "edge" city in the Orange County of California cloaked in suburbanism with an economy based firmly in retail and services. The largest employer in the city is the business services company of Experian and there are some electronics, pharmaceuticals and plastics firms dotted around. The pride of the town is its South Coast Plaza shopping center with 322 stores generating one of the highest volumes of sales for a regional shopping center in the country.
The city has a swathe of places to satisfy any hunger pangs and funky cafes to hang out whilst sipping espressos. There are plenty of golf courses to chase little white balls with sticks and it is only moments away from the sandy shores of the Pacific Ocean. From mid-July to mid-August there is the Orange County Fair to poke around and the Pacific Amphitheater to catch a live band performance. You can waltz around the community plaza and gawk at a towering sculpture designed by Richard Sera or take a meander of the district to see some fantastic art works of Jean Dubuffet and Henry Moore to name a few. Make sure you take the time to look around the 1.6 acre "California Scenario" that is a collection of sculptures and plantings. If you want some outdoor fun then you should head to the Fairview Park where there is 208 acres of wetlands, wildlife and trails to explore.
Don't forget to go shopping to keep the local economy healthy.
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