A suburban city located in coastal Orange County, the city of Costa Mesa, California, is home to a population of more than 116,000, as of 2009 estimates. The city makes up an area of over 15 square miles, with a population density of nearly 7,500 people per square mile. The town has an economic base that revolves around its retail commerce and light manufacturing industries. Costa Mesa is 37 miles southeast of Los Angeles, 88 miles north of San Diego and 475 miles south of San Francisco, and most importantly, just one mile from the Pacific Ocean. It was incorporated as a city in 1953. The city is one of the more modest in Orange County in terms of wealth, as its median income for a household is just over $50,000. The city began as a Spanish land grant in 1801.
The city's best known landmark is the South Coast Plaza, a large shopping center that is among the highest-selling retail centers in teh country, with more than $1 billion in sales annually. There are also some manufacturing centers in the south of the city, with some electronics, pharmaceuticals and plastics firms. Several bus lines operated by the Orange County Transportation Authority provide public transportation in and around town.
Attractions in the city include the Orange County Performing Arts Center, eVocal, the South Coast Repertory Theater and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, which includes the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and Samueli Theater. The city has its own daily newspaper, The Daily Pilot, which is operated by Los Angeles Times. There are 26 parks, a municipal golf course, 26 public schools and two libraries, and State Route 73 and State Route 55 both terminate here, while The San Diego Freeway runs through.
Costa Mesa is the home of the Orange County Fairgrounds, the site of the Orange County Fair every year in July and an attractions the brings in more than one million visitors annually. Next to the fairgrounds is the Pacific Amphitheater, a large venue that is home to various concerts and performances. Colleges here include Orange Coast College, Vanguard University and Whittier Law School.