Virtual performances, art walks, online shopping and cooking demonstrations offer a taste of the Southern California city

As the world continues to adjust and adapt to effects of the coronavirus outbreak, including practicing social distancing, the in-person connections will be few and far between for a while.  Until travel restrictions are eased and normal operations can resume, Travel Costa Mesa and other local attractions have created content and virtual “armchair” experiences to stay engaged  with those at home doing their part to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Following is a roundup of Costa Mesa’s virtual activities to remind visitors and locals alike that the city will be ready to welcome them again when the time is right. 

Travel Costa Mesa Content

  • For continued travel inspiration – 11 Zoom virtual backgrounds that provide a glimpse of Costa Mesa’s arts, culture and outdoor attractions are available to anyone interested in downloading and using them for their virtual meetings and happy hour gatherings.
  • A how-to DIY de-stress blog offers ideas from local Costa Mesa retailers and businesses about how to meditate, experience a yoga lesson or create a luxurious spa at home. 
  • Experience Costa Mesa from home by taking a virtual vacation to the City of the Arts®; see the city through 360-degree videos and a video highlighting the Costa Mesa Art Walk, plus updated blog posts and content to inspire future travel to the city.
  • To learn more about Costa Mesa, listen to a 30-minute podcast on Travel Itch Radio talking about the city’s history, annual events and what a visitor can look forward to in the future when traveling to the city. 
Costa Mesa Virtual Vacation

Performing Arts & Culture

  • The Pacific Symphony put together free digital content featuring members of the symphony playing live from their quarantine location, and never-before-seen concert highlights from the 2019-20 season. Additionally, Pacific Symphony recently announced their 2020-21 Pops Concert season with a video montage featuring music by David Foster, Boz Skaggs, ABBA and from Broadway shows. 
  • Segerstrom Center for the Arts can’t open its theaters for Broadway musicals, the ballet, symphony and other musical events just yet, so they created Center at Home, featuring free online dance lessons, acting classes and streaming performance highlights from popular Broadway musicals like Frozen and Ain’t too Proud.  A full montage of the planned 2020-21 Broadway season can be viewed online.
  • South Coast Repertory is Costa Mesa’s premier Tony Award®-winning resident theater, and recently announced its 2020-21 season of plays to look forward to. Until shows can be attended in person, the theater’s artistic director is hosting weekly interviews called “At Home with Ivers” and has spoken to Pacific Symphony conductor, Carl St. Clair, and actress Aimee Brenneman, to name a few.
  • The Philharmonic Society of Orange County is offering live-stream concerts and videos and includes new daily performances with different selections every hour – some from the living rooms of the artists, and others from previous concerts at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
  • Orange County Museum of Art is offering virtual experiences of video discussions with artists, screenings of films featured in the Newport Beach Film Festival and haiku readings by local writers – all intended to provide relaxation, learning opportunities and ways to open one’s mind to various cultural experiences. 
Costa Mesa’s “City of the Arts” mural by Joshua Madrid in the parking lot of the the Costa Mesa Skate Park on Arlington. 

Culinary Experiences

  • Learn to cook from Top Chef alum Amar Santana of Costa Mesa’s Vaca and The Food Hall – A Global Eatery. From 10-minute fried chicken to charcuterie boards, he’ll share his recipes and offer tips and tricks to show off your skills – once you can host dinner parties again.
  • Host a wine tasting event with your friends, including Chef Mark McDonald and Sommelier Kate Perry of Old Vine Kitchen & Bar. For $99 per household, guests will pick up four pre-selected bottles of wine, and over a one-hour Zoom call, will be taken through a wine tasting with notes and conversation on parings. Old Vine’s bar manager Mitch is also slinging cocktails on Instagram offering his perfected recipes for popular drinks. 
Old Vine Kitchen & Bar


Online shopping isn’t quite the same as visiting South Coast Plaza or small retailers at SOCO and The OC Mix or The LAB Anti-Mall, but many of their retailers are still open online, and if  shoppers are looking for ideas for Mother’s Day or a gift for an upcoming graduate, Costa Mesa businesses have some options to shop local.

  • South Coast Plaza boutiques are offering shop from home ideas or partnering with non-profits where a percentage of proceeds goes back to a charity. Hammitt did exactly that with Project Angel Food, donating a portion of their sales of a limited edition VIP bag.
  • Prism Boutique has plenty of ideas in their Mother’s Day gift shop, including jewelry, t-shirts and personal care sets.
  • Signature initial and zodiac-sign jewelry from Bearfruit Jewelry at SOCO and The OC Mix offer personalized gift ideas. 

Travel Costa Mesa continually updates its website with new content to keep the travel inspiration alive. Follow the FacebookInstagramand Twitter  social media channels for #TakeOutTuesdays featuring local restaurants, and on Fridays featuring businesses giving back for #FeelGoodFriday.