You don’t expect to find a Zen retreat wedged between monolithic office towers and the stark white walls of a parking structure. But at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, famed Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi’s installation “California Scenario” lets you escape into nature just off the 405 Freeway. In its abstract way, the sculpture garden captures the diversity of California’s landscapes. A prominent stack of ruddy granite boulders called “Spirit of the Lima Bean” will remind you of the distinctive formations at Joshua Tree National Park. Depicting mountain runoff, a serpentine stream flows through the sandstone-paved plaza after pouring down a water chute from a 30-foot triangular sculpture. A side walkway leads around a hillock of grasses and stand of coast redwoods to a bench overlooking the garden, while prickly pear and other desert plants grow on another low rise nearby. Costa Mesa lets you travel California!
California Scenario is located in the plaza behind 611 Anton Blvd. (map), just off Interstate 405 at the Bristol St. exit in Costa Mesa.