What was once a small farming community only fifty years ago has grown to a city of over 100,000 people. Costa Mesa is now one of the affluent, mid-sized cities that dot the landscape of Orange County. Retail is now incredibly important to the local economy, and the South Coast Plaza, a huge local mall, is one of the busiest malls in the entire country. Costa Mesa is also home to Orange Coast College. Education is a very important employing industry in the area, with the College, the Coast Community College District Foundation and the Coast Community College District all being among the 5 largest employers in the city. Orange Coast College has been around the late 1940s, and has grown to a student population of more than 23,000.
The high prices of apartments in Costa Mesa means that many people prefer to start their house hunt early, in order to try and find a deal. Spring is a great time to look, as this is when many people have given their notices to vacate before the summer turnover, which is when you see the most people actually moving in and out of their apartments.
Along with expensive California housing comes the typical discerning California landlords. A good strategy when applying for an apartment is to have roommates to lower the cost that each individual faces, and ensure that each individual can provide proof of income. This can take the form of scholarships, a job, or a consignor willing to back your rental.
Costa Mesa benefits from the Orange Country Transportation Authority, which has lines that connect all the small cities throughout the region. The OCTA lines work well for crossing Costa Mesa, and for checking out some of the neighboring communities. With the fantastic weather in the region, as long as you stay relatively close to home a bicycle is a practical vehicle year-round.
Entertainment throughout Orange County involves the beach. Although Costa Mesa itself doesn't share the coastline, famous Newport Beach is only a few blocks to the south. If you want to dance the night away, head to the Pierce Street Annex or the Shark Club. An annual event that draws people from throughout Orange Country takes place in the last two weeks of July and the first two of August, when the County fair takes place in Costa Mesa.