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A quick trip inland from Orange County’s prized beaches, Costa Mesa is a power-shopping destination. The gargantuan South Coast Plaza mall alone brings in tens of thousands of shoppers every day. But don’t worry, that isn’t all you’ll find to entertain you in Orange County’s “City of Arts.”

The cultural hub of Costa Mesa is the dramatic-looking Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Inside its symphonic concert halls and theater, you can catch top-notch performances of anything from ballet and opera to world music and cabaret jazz. A short drive away is the progressive Orange County Museum of Art, where rotating temporary exhibits spotlight cutting-edge contemporary California artists.

Whether you’re here on business or for a weekend getaway, make sure to visit neighboring Newport Beach, with its yacht harbor, seafood restaurants and idyllic beaches on the Balboa Peninsula. It’s also a quick drive along the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) north to Huntington Beach, where California surf culture was born, or south to Laguna Beach, a chic artists’ colony.