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Costa Mesa

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About Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa is a mid-size Southern California city just north of Newport Beach. It offers a blend of two worlds: It's a small community-focused city with access to many attractions you find in the larger cities. It's also centered between Los Angeles and San Diego, so you can easily take a day trip into either one of these major cities for entertainment, sports and cultural attractions.

If you'd prefer to stay within city limits, you'll find that Costa Mesa offers plenty of amenities and attractions all its own. The Segerstrom Center for the Arts is an excellent place to see world-class performances like "Phantom of the Opera" or take in local and sometimes quirky art exhibits. You can shop or dine in the massive South Coast Plaza or relax in one of the many parks throughout the city.

Costa Mesa offers a peaceful, residential small-city atmosphere that still puts you within reach of big-city amenities.

Living in Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa is known for its own unique culture and a great laid-back atmosphere. It's home to a variety of neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character that attracts families, professionals, retirees or a mix of all three. Eastside Costa Mesa is very accessible to Interstate 55, and it has most of the things you'll need, though the area can have heavy beach traffic in the summer. Central Costa Mesa is filled with attractions and fun and is also the home of a fair in the summer. Mesa Verde, to the northwest of the city center, is mainly residential and has a number of large homes with spacious lots that are ideal for families.

Keep in mind that Costa Mesa is farther south than Los Angeles, so it can get fairly hot during the summer months. However, when the weather is nice, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, including beaches, national parks and forests.

Jobs in Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa's economy is based largely on retail and services, and the commercial center of the city is South Coast Plaza. This shopping mall with over 300 stores boasts revenue that puts it among the top in the nation. You'll also find several manufacturing companies, mostly in the southwest region.

If you're going to look for a job in Costa Mesa, you'll find plenty of options in retail. Other large employers in the area include the El Pollo Loco headquarters, Experian, the Automobile Club of Southern California and several educational institutions.

Costa Mesa Schools

The Newport-Mesa School District manages public schools in Costa Mesa, including preschools and elementary, middle and high schools. The district offers alternative school programs including an early college high school and adult education.

There are several postsecondary schools in the city, including Orange Coast College, Vanguard University and Whittier Law School.

Resources for Moving to Costa Mesa

Here's a quick list of resources to help make your move to Costa Mesa as easy as possible:

  • Utilities: The city's major energy providers are Southern California Gas and Southern California Edison. Mesa Consolidated Water District supplies water to Costa Mesa.
  • Garbage and Recycling: You can expect regular collection of your trash and recyclables. Your specific pickup schedule depends on your location.
  • Transportation: Although personal vehicles are the most common form of transportation in Costa Mesa, you do have the option of using several public bus routes in and around the city.

Costa Mesa Housing

Because of its many amenities and central location, Costa Mesa has a high median home price. Homes in the city are generally more expensive than both the state and national averages, and rent is also fairly pricey.