Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa offers 26 parks, a municipal golf course, 26 public schools and 2 libraries. It is also home to the Orange County Fairgrounds, which hosts one of the largest fairs in California, the Orange County Fair, each July. The Fair receives more than one million visitors each year. Adjacent to the Fairgrounds is the Pacific Amphitheatre, which has hosted acts such as Madonna, Jessica Simpson, Steppenwolf, and Kelly Clarkson

Costa Mesa is located 37 miles southeast of Los Angeles, 88 miles north of San Diego and 425 miles) south of San Francisco, Costa Mesa encompasses a total of 16 square miles with its southernmost border only 1-mile from the Pacific Ocean. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.7 square miles. 15.7 square miles of it is land and 0.05 square miles (0.29%) is water.

Institutions of higher learning located in Costa Mesa include Orange Coast College, Vanguard University (affiliated with the Assemblies of God), Whittier Law School (a satellite of Whittier College) and National University (a private university based in La Jolla, California).

Costa Mesa has two high schools, Costa Mesa High School and Estancia High School. Costa Mesa has two public middle schools; Tewinkle Middle School, which was named after Costa Mesa’s first mayor, and Costa Mesa Middle School which shares the same campus as Costa Mesa High School. Costa Mesa also has two alternative high schools that share the same campus, Back Bay High School and Monte Vista High School and another, Coastline Early College High School which is on its own facility.

Costa Mesa’s local economy relies heavily on retail and services. The single largest center of commercial activity is South Coast Plaza, a shopping center noted for its architecture and size. The volume of sales generated by South Coast Plaza, on the strength of 322 stores, places it among the highest volume regional shopping centers in the nation. It generates more than one billion dollars per year.

The commercial district surrounding South Coast Plaza, which contains parts of northern Costa Mesa and southern Santa Ana, is sometimes called South Coast Metro.

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