Costa Mesa, CA

Population: 112,439

Key findings

  • Costa Mesa has a Livability Score of 67/100, which is considered average
  • Costa Mesa crime rates are 28% higher than the California average
  • Cost of living in Costa Mesa is 18% higher than the California average
  • Costa Mesa real estate prices are 56% higher than the California average
  • Rental prices in Costa Mesa are 27% higher than the California average

Best Places to Live in and Around Costa Mesa

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      Costa Mesa Real estate & Rental prices

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      Costa Mesa, CA

      Costa Mesa is one of the biggest cities in Orange County, California and it has managed to grow from a small rural community into a mid-sized city in a very short period of time. Despite that rapid growth, much of the city has kept its small-town feel and that makes it the perfect place to move for people who might be coming from smaller areas. The economy has grown just as quickly as the population and this city is certainly an up-and-coming place with lots of potential.

      Costa Mesa's economy is primarily based on the service and retail industries, though it has begun to develop corporate relationships as well. Some of the largest employers currently are El Pollo Loco, Experian and the Orange Coast College. All types of workers will be able to find opportunities here, regardless of their specialty.

      For those interested in moving with their family or starting one, Costa Mesa has some excellent public and private school options. In terms of higher education, the city is home to Orange Coast College and Vanguard University, among several others. Costa Mesa has plenty of options for outdoor recreation and entertainment, including a beautiful fairgrounds and Pacific Amphitheater, where the Orange County Fair is held annually. For shoppers, you can find most of what you need at South Coast Plaza or the Costa Mesa Shopping Center. You likely won't have any trouble finding interesting things to do in this area.

      Public transportation is available in Costa Mesa and it connects much of Orange County. There are also well-kept highways and roads which have much less traffic than busier parts of California like Los Angeles. Most residents prefer cars for transportation but biking is also an option if you're looking to be environmentally friendly.

      The cost of living in Costa Mesa is expensive compared to the rest of the United States but cheaper than many parts of California. The average rent is a little over $2,000. Groceries are about the same as anywhere else in the country thanks to the number of local supermarkets and low-cost alternatives. Costa Mesa has a higher minimum wage than much of the United States but you should still probably aim to have a high paying job or savings to help with the high cost of the area.

      Moving to Costa Mesa is about joining a community of friendly, hardworking people. The city has grown incredibly in the past few decades alone and there is still plenty of room for positive change. If you decide to move to Costa Mesa, you will have a chance to make your own positive influence on the area and you will likely feel at home in no time at all.

      Top Rated Schools in Costa Mesa

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Maude B. Davis ElementaryKG - 656975%
      Heinz Kaiser Elementary3 - 668160%
      Occs:chep/pchsKG - 121,34354%
      Killybrooke ElementaryKG - 642553%
      California ElementaryKG - 643053%
      Magnolia Science Academy Santa Ana6 - 1216045%
      Costa Mesa High7 - 121,77938%
      Sonora ElementaryKG - 652738%
      See all Costa Mesa schools

      Costa Mesa Reviews

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      Attractions0/10
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      Costa Mesa - Not The Typical Southern California Beach City

      Attractions9/10
      Community8/10
      Nightlife7/10
      Dining7/10
      Shopping7/10
      Located near the ocean, Costa Mesa's mild climate is delightful during all months of the year. Being a gun collector, I travel to Costa Mesa quite often to visit the Crossroads of the West Gun Show. The show is filled with vendors and individuals selling guns, accessories and many other intriguing novelties. For the gun collector or appreciator, this show is an absolute must. Admission is slightly high, but there are several buildings packed with great deals for rare treasures.

      One of my top five favorite restaurants in all of the Los Angeles area is Maggiano's Little Italy in Costa Mesa. Menu selections are all very scrumptious, but I recommend the crab cakes. I have never tasted a better crab cake in my entire life. Service at this Costa Mesa restaurant is impeccable, the premises are spotlessly clean and the menu offers choices to suit every person's tastes. The staff remind me of the staff one would find in a small restaurant in Italy, being very friendly, hospitable and accommodating. Visitors to the city of Costa Mesa must stop at the famous Newport Beach. In my opinion, this beach is truly one of the most beautiful beaches in Southern California.
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      Reason for reporting
      Source: The Costa Mesa, CA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).