This is the biggest, most luxurious mall in So Cal. It is worth a look, although you may leave it disappointed because of the high prices for apparel, shoes and various items. Come here for several choices of dining, mostly at reasonable or moderate cost; and to people watch if not to shop.
Unique Suggestions: For family entertainment, go to the Rainforest Cafe here. Kids just love the colorful zoo of animals in front of the restaurant/store.
When you park, go to the Sears lot. Here, it is easier to find a place.
There is a convenient newstand with international magazines and those of various interests. Also, there are maps of Orange County /L.A. and snacks.
About the major department stores--Macy, Nordstrom, Robinsons-May, Saks and Sears:
Sears by far the place for bargains on modest fashion and household items. But Macy and Robinsons-May are more fashionable. Both of these are equally moderate, so here I recommend for high quality and somewhat afforadble shopping . Nordstrom and Saks are catered to those who love high fashion and luxury items.
Fun Alternatives: Go a few steps away to shop for bargains. On Sunflower St heading north towards Santa Ana. More on this soon
I LOVE Disneyland, but know that many people are not so enamoured with the "happiest place on earth"!
Twenty minutes from Costa Mesa will find you in the heart of Disneyland, complete with helium balloons, screaming children, hour long lines for a five second ride, and permanently smiling employees.
Unique Suggestions: Make sure you understand the tricks to using the "fastpass", there are only a certain number of fastpasses per ride per day, and one has your name on it!
Here is a local hangout where you can see a movie in a quaint Edwards theater, try on new styish sneaks at Niketown and dine at the swank Sutra Lounge where there have been some star sightings (Yes, stars appear outside of Hollywood and Beverly Hills).
This place used to be great, with a convenient Whole Foods Market, Virgin Megastore and more dining options but they have long since closed. There is a Yard House on the upper level for those wanting a casual night crowd spot. Developers are giving this place a makeover but having been since years! It is likely that TS will be yet another residential/retail/restaurant complex- the new urban American trend. here I still recommend this place as it is on the way to the beach along Newport Blvd.