Shop, Eat and Drink the "Alternative" at The Lab
The Lab Anti-Mall is a spot especially for the alternative crowd or whomever yawns over the standard strip mall of suburbia.
The urban chic staple Urban Outfitters is the main stop here for shopping. But by no means is this just a place to shop for long (just less than a dozen of other clothing/jewelry/accessoriesmisc boutiques here)- rather one to see and experience the stopping grounds of particular O.C. youth culture- from teeny boppers- to young hipster and hipster-ish adults, I 'd say up to 40 years old or so. Many grown-ups older than 40 usually feel "out of touch" here- and i suggest you stick to going to South Coast Plaza.
Do come here for some excellent dining options- including the very popular vegetarian Gypsy Den, emerging vegan food truck-turned restaurant, Seabirds, organic java lovin' Cafecito Organico, and for the meat eaters, be satisfied at Havana Cuban Bistro.
The LAB is home to the Sobeca Art Walk, usually held on last Tuesdays of the month. Check out the artsy scene featuring colorful (in all ways) local work.
- Arts and Culture
- Women's Travel
Visit the Quaint, Eco-lovin' Camp
The CAMP, "masculine" twin of the LAB shopping/dining spot, is worth a stop. If you are not impressed by the ultra commercial South Coast Plaza or think the latter is way too massive and crowded to enjoy, you may find charm at the nature-loving CAMP.
Local flair is ever-present at the CAMP. The dozen+ eco-friendly businesses located in the area reflect well of the community. Eateries like Ecco serve up soulful meals with ingredients only from nearby farms.
Throughout the year, apropos events are hosted here- from garden and yoga seminars, lectures on healthy living, to film screenings that focus on eco-lifestyle.
Get here by bus- OCTA 57, exit Bristol/Baker
- Food and Dining
- Family Travel
Experience the Ultimate South Coast Plaza
South Coast Plaza is the premiere shopping area of Orange county, consisting of the main SCP mall and a wing adjacent, Crystal Court Promenade. Almost half of the plaza is not "shoppable" for the average shopper looking for deals. However, if you are looking for ultra-designer goods and got the dollars and gold cards, come here and you'll be dazzled by various exclusive boutiques like Versace, Armani, Tiffany's Prada, Burberry, and Gucci, among several others. Luckily for the regular folks, there are more affordable options here like Sears, GAP and Macy. Other major department store anchors here are Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus. There are roughly 250 retailers at the center at any given time.
If you don't like shopping at all (my God, what planet are you from ? :-), come here to appreciate the architecture of the place, including the Bridge of the Gardens, pictured. It is really impressive! Also, SCP is great dining. Expect no food court here. There is no central place to get fast food, rather, just a McDonalds, located by Sears and Starbucks for coffee and quick bite. Visitors can choose from a number of cafes and restaurants like the ever popular, aromatic Lawry's, Quattro Cafe and several more. For those who like to sit around while shopper delight from store to store (read: a good number of old men), there is plenty of comfortable seating throughout.
Various events and special exhibitions, including public art displays and musical performances are scheduled during the year. Check out web site for current happenings.
Other major shops: Harry Winston, Cartier, Calypso Christiane Celle, Montblanc, Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Valentino, Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Hermès, Christian Louboutin, Barneys New York Co-Op
Nearby (walking distance) is another shopping/dining area, Metropointe
Newer stores open now: Lego Store, Microsoft Store, Forever 21
- Women's Travel
- Family Travel
- Luxury Travel
See Segerstrom Part II: The Concert Hall
Adjacent to the main Segerstrom Hall is the gorgeous Henry and Renne Segestrom Concert Hall. The latter is suited for more intimacy and often is host to classical music performances. Within the concert hall is Samueli Theater and Founders Hall for even more intimate events. Check calendar for scheduled visits and updates.
Box Office: (714)556-2787
- Theater Travel
Come for the O.C.'s grand celebration- the fair!
The annual O.C. Fair is the biggest multi-day event in good ol' Orange county, California- and it happens each year in Costa Mesa. Many from sister county L.A head down south to live it up in the O.C. for summer concerts, little roller coasters, prize booths, petting zoo, face painting and very sugar-filled or fatty food! Hurray!
I've been to the fair at least 4 times...oh, but I have lost count over the years! But each time here, I feel like a lil' one all over again!
Expect major crowds here! Pack major patience and allow yourself to come early. There are many discounts offered to attend the fair. Usually on the first day of fair, there is free or $1 admission. On some weekdays, there are special deals (such as on Wednesday when contributing to donating charitable goods in 2011 could be done in exchange for free admission). Check website for promotions like this). If you are a kid (about 12 or younger) or from U.S. military, there is usually a discounted fare for you on certain days.
Check out the latest schedule of the concerts and other events on the website but here are some listed from 2005. These were some stand-outs:
Heart (The Wilson gals still are rockin') Repeat performer
Garbage (Brit alt-rock)
Julio Iglesias (for the lovers!)
Leann Rimes (classic voice)
Hillary Duff (former teen star!)
Dana Carvey (cool comedian who does dead-on impersonations)
Steve Miller Band (classic rock especially for the grown ups)
Tears for Fears (classic 80s band have made a comeback!)
Scorpions (the loudest , most rockin' band on the lineup!)
Aterciopelados (wonderful fresh rock en espanol sound)
OC Reggefest featuring Burning Spear, Third World and Yellowman
( hmmm... I can smell this concert anytime- and get high!)
- Family Travel
Orange County Fair Grounds
There is always something going on at the Orange County Fair Grounds. The actual fair runs for 1 month but other events are going on throughout the year. One of the fun events is in April, the Pet Expo. The Pacific Amphitheatre is also on the premises of the OC Fair Grounds. Lots of great concerts/performances happen at this outdoor venue.
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Massage at OC Body care
My friend live in this area over 10 yr ,just bring me to this very clean and nice place
call Oc Body Care (Massage ) we have 60 min Massage by a pretty Chinese lady, the 60 min session felt like week long vacation
nothing funny or dirty, just very enjoyable time and good service
too bad I am not live here ,will go back for sure next time I visit OC area.
660 Baker St #417 Costa Mesa .CA
located in front of the Building
- Spa and Resort
- Business Travel
California Scenario or Noguchi Garden
An interesting short diversion is the California Scenario, a sculpture garden of abstract designs representative of the state's terrain, designed by Isamu Noguchi. Located near Jerry's Famous Deli on Park Center Drive, off Anton Blvd. It's surprising to experience the serenity and sometimes even solitude of this little 1.5 acre park in light of it's location about 100 yards from the 405 freeway and only about a 10 minute walk from the bustle of the South Coast Plaza mall. Admission is free.
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
Massage at Massage Envy
Ever wanted to pay a flat monthly fee for a massage subscription? It sounds like a great idea, and now you can do just that at a new franchise chain called Massage Envy. They have locations in several states around the United States, with many more slated to open soon.
This was my first visit so not only did I not have to be a member already but I also only paid half the normal rate for my massage. At that price, it was worth checking out at least once.
To my surprise, I requested a 90-minute session of both deep tissue and trigger point massage and received it. Ok, the actual bodywork was only 70 minutes, which was a little disappointing even though I spent a couple of minutes in the bathroom beforehand. Usually, there is supposed to be 5 minutes for dressing/undressing and another 5 minutes for Q & A with the masseuse to understand your specific needs.
Speaking of whom, my masseuse was a wonderful and very accommodating girl who asked questions as she was going along to make sure she was hitting the right spots with just the right pressure. She asked me to disrobe only to the extent I felt comfortable, which I did completely since I think it makes the work that much easier. She then described what each would be doing on each area of my body before she did it and kept the room very comfortable by dimming the lights and speaking softly.
Afterward I started to feel a little bit sick, but this was just some residual detox from the deep tissue massage, which does tend to release toxins. But whatever type of massage you go for, make sure to drink plenty of water and take ample rest for several hours after the massage so your body can receive the most benefit from the bodywork.
Finally, tipping of 15-25% is still expected on top of the flat fee for the massage, and there is even a printed tipping guide in the front to make that easier. It does make it that much more expensive of course, so you may consider swapping a rub down with a friend or significant other instead to get your chi flowing on the cheap.
- Luxury Travel
See Any Show at the Segerstrom!
O.C Performing Arts Center/ Segerstrom Hall
This is an absolutely gorgeous venue, perhaps the best in the county. I saw La Bohème here in 2002. Most of the performances here are classical concerts/opera and musicals but performers like Mariah Carey and comedian Bill Cosby have also been here to entertain. Check the website for the latest schedule of acts.
You will fall in love with the crystal interior inside! The beautiful auditorium is newly opened in fall 2006 is somehow looking even more fabulous! Take a date here and maybe he or she will fall in love with you!!
- Theater Travel
Drive up and down the Pacific Coastal Highway!!
During the first few months of living in Costa Mesa I spent many hours driving up and down PCH stopping along the way at various beaches and cafes.
If you can get out of bed before 6 watching the sun rise and spill over the ocean is beautiful. Luckily my drive to work was up PCH so I had the pleasure of watching this everyday.
The road is lined by palm trees, which look slightly surreal, especially when they have just been planted and haven't yet been "unwrapped".
I am getting a henna tatoo on...
I am getting a henna tatoo on the fair. It should stay on my leg for 3 weeks but because I was swimming almost every day it only lasted for 1 week.
On this picture you see how...
On this picture you see how they shave the sheep, my grandpa is a farmer who shaves his own sheep but he never did it like this. He is using an electric shaver and puts the sheep on their back between his legs. The way they are doing it on the picture is much nicer for the sheep and the back of the farmer.
On the fair there was a...
On the fair there was a building where all the local authorities had there own stand. Here you see me with a local police-officer.
looking and cuddling the...
looking and cuddling the animals at the Fair.
The Fair is a nice way to meet te locals.
- Wine Tasting
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