What’s New in Santa Monica – Summer 2019

Posted June 25, 2019

SANTA MONICA, Calif. [June 25, 2019] – With highly-anticipated restaurant openings and a brand-new luxury hotel to new shops and host of outdoor concerts, head to Santa Monica to experience all the coastal city has to offer this season.


Santa Monica Proper Hotel (Wilshire Blvd.) – Santa Monica Proper Hotel, the first luxury hotel to debut in the city in more than a decade, opened on June 17, 2019.  Each of the 271 rooms, suites and spaces successfully optimize the city’s abundant ocean breezes and natural light, while the interior design by Kelly Wearstler finds inspiration in the organic tones and textures of the local coastline. Santa Monica Proper beckons guests with the only rooftop pool deck on the Westside of Los Angeles, a one-of-a-kind setting that includes a Balearic restaurant, bar, and cabanas, where guests are front-row for sunsets over the Pacific. With an emphasis on Eastern inspired wellness, the hotel’s Surya Spa, presided over by internationally renowned Ayurvedic guru Martha Soffer, offers custom-designed programs supporting physical, mental and spiritual health.

Oceana (Pier/Ocean Ave.) – Oceana Beach Club Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel in Santa Monica, will re-emerge as the all-new Oceana following a $25 million head-to-toe transformation at the end of June 2019. The new Oceana will evoke a stunning beachside home-away-from-home and delivers a rare private residential experience in a quiet neighborhood north of Wilshire Boulevard – where the sun-kissed ocean meets the prestige of walkable Montana Avenue. Oceana will feature an all-new entrance and lobby, 70 striking guest suites with ocean views and custom high-end furnishings, a private indoor-outdoor restaurant led by famed chef Raphael Lunetta, a lush outdoor courtyard lounge with a swimming pool and stylish social gathering space, state-of-the-art fitness studio and spa and additional space for intimate events.


Annenberg Community Beach House (Pier/Ocean Ave.) – It’s officially pool season at Annenberg Community Beach House, the country’s only public beach club. Annenberg Community Beach House is kicking off summertime with a host of events and classes including Santa Monica Public Library at the Beach, SoCal’s’ only seaside pop-up library, and Sunset Swims, an evening at the pool with fun activities for adults (18+) only. Annenberg also offers weekly classes including yoga, youth volleyball, swim lessons, synchronized swimming, floating fitness workout, and standup paddle boarding.

Cayton Children’s Museum (Downtown Santa Monica) – The highly anticipated Cayton Children’s Museum is set to open on June 30, 2019 at Santa Monica Place in Downtown Santa Monica. The new flagship facility, which will open as the city’s premiere children’s museum, will feature a 21,000-square-foot space designed for children, youth and families to practice being their best selves through immersive play. Building off of the values and history of the former Zimmer Children’s Museum in Los Angeles, the reimagined Cayton Children’s Museum will feature hands-on exhibits and a robust calendar of arts and cultural opportunities for children and youth, seven days a week. The new space will house more than 35 child-directed exhibits, multipurpose rooms, art studios, a start-of-the-art theatre, curated murals, a rotating exhibit gallery, gift shop, community and public space, and administrative offices. The space is designed as five exhibit wings that work in concert to inspire visitors to explore core universal values, such as kindness, compassion, respect and hospitality.

Heal the Bay Aquarium (Pier/Ocean Ave.) – The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium has changed its name to Heal the Bay Aquarium. Heal the Bay is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds of Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy and clean. Located under the Santa Monica Pier, Heal the Bay Aquarium features over 100 local species on exhibit, hands-on activities, and daily educational programs. Heal the Bay Aquarium is the perfect place to immerse yourself in marine science without getting your feet wet. Come see what Heal the Bay’s work is all about: protecting the animals that call the Bay home.

Tacotopia (Downtown Santa Monica) – Tacotopia is a larger than life playground presented by Cholula Hot Sauce, a hybrid amusement park and taco festival all rolled up into a funky, tacotastic, immersive exhibit located on Third Street Promenade. The imaginative experience is fun for all ages, and for all the non-taco lovers out there, there are plenty of swoon worthy photo opportunities throughout the exhibit that aren’t tacocentric. The space features more than 25 unique environments with larger-than-life installations ranging from the Goddess of Tacos to an oversized bowl of Guac in the Guac is Extra installation. Tacotopia will run Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Sunday each week until September 2, 2019.


13th Annual Fourth of July Parade (Main St.) – Produced by the Ocean Park Association, celebrate home and country at the 13th annual Santa Monica 4th of July Parade, from 9:30 am. to 12 p.m. The Santa Monica Fourth of July Parade has grown every year and brings together families, musicians, civic groups and exhibitionists of all stripes. Come dressed in your red, white and blue. The parade will begin at Pico Boulevard on Main Street and will conclude at the southernmost beach parking lot.

Esters Guest Chef Burger Night Series (Downtown) – Esters Wine Shop & Bar is kicking off the summer iteration of its popular Guest Chef Burger Night Series. Every month since September 2017, Esters has welcomed a slew of celebrated, local talent to make their favorite burger for just one night. Guest Chef Burger Nights begin at 6 p.m., until burgers sell out, so grab a seat early. The summer 2019 line-up of chefs includes Daniel Cutler of Ronan on July 9, and Brittany Cassidy, chef de cuisine behind Birdie G’s, on September 10.

Jazz on the Lawn (Mid-City) – Jazz on the Lawn, Santa Monica’s family-friendly concert series, returns this summer for its 14th instillation. Held in Gandara Park, the free concerts take place each Sunday in August. Bring friends, family and dancing shoes and enjoy a sampling of genres curated through the jazz lens, free dance lessons and intermission performances. Come hungry to enjoy some of the area’s finest food trucks. New this year, Jazz on the Lawn will feature family-fun activities for children and adults at each concert beginning at 4 p.m. and running until 7 p.m.

KCRW Night Market at The Bungalow (Wilshire Blvd.) – The Bungalow has partnered with KCRW to launch a special series of events called Night Market, held every Thursday night this summer in the parking lot in front of The Bungalow Santa Monica. Each week Night Market features specialty food trucks, picnic tables, and outdoor festoon lights to set the mood under the stars. These free events are family-friendly, open to the public, and accessible to all ages! KCRW DJ’s will be on hand spinning the hits with additional special performers to be announced.

Summer Open House at Bergamot Station (Mid-City) – Bergamot Station, Southern California’s largest art gallery complex and cultural center, is holding their annual Summer Open House event on July 27. Bergamot Station is an internationally renowned creative arts complex, boasting numerous galleries and creative businesses. The Summer Open House highlights gallery exhibitions and brings together live music, food trucks and special events. Come enjoy a thriving arts community gathering at this free and family-friendly event.

Twilight on the Pier (Pier/Ocean Ave.) – Twilight on the Pier is a weekly festival as iconic as the Pier itself. As the premier free outdoor music series in Southern California, Twilight on the Pier is an expansive, awe-inspiring and immersive environment for concert-goers from around the world. Entering its 35th year, Twilight on the Pier will bring a mix of classic-meets-contemporary music to the Pier every Wednesday evening, August 21 through September 25. With a focus on “Local Meets Global,” the series will spotlight the best and brightest SoCal has to offer and the unique sounds from around the world – with the idyllic Pacific Ocean as the backdrop. Featuring art installations, best-in-class culinary offerings, a wine and beer garden, interactive games, multiple artist stages, and more, Twilight on the Pier is truly an experience unlike any other.


Michelin Guide California (Santa Monica) – The inaugural edition of the Michelin Guide California recognized Santa Monica restaurants Dialogue and Rustic Canyon with prestigious one-star distinctions. The world-famous Michelin stars identify establishments serving the highest quality cuisine – taking into account the quality of the ingredients, the mastery of techniques and flavors, the levels of creativity and consistency. In addition to the stars, Downtown Santa Monica’s Cassia was recognized with a Bib Gourmand Award, which indicates inspectors’ favorites for good value. Four more Santa Monica restaurants are included in the guide – Chinois on Main, The Lobster, Lunetta and Michael’s. These restaurants are denoted with a Michelin Plate, indicating good cooking, fresh ingredients, capably prepared, or – simply a good meal.

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken (Main Street) – Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken is now offering a brewery-inspired doughnut each month, available June 1 through August 31, at the Santa Monica location. The Main Street restaurant is teaming up with local-favorites Boomtown Brewery, Three Weavers Brewing Company and Smog City Brewing Company for a summer full of brews and exclusive beer-infused doughnuts, chicken, and more. The month-long partnerships will kick-off on the first Saturday of each month with a pop-up tap room hosted on the outdoor patio. Attendees will have a chance to sample a variety of craft beer, including flights from the hosting brewery paired with bites made by the Astro’s culinary team.

Birdie G’s (Mid-City) – Birdie G’s, the long-anticipated dining destination from the Rustic Canyon Family and James Beard-nominated Chef/Owner Jeremy Fox opened on June 21, 2019. Located within Santa Monica’s historic Bergamot Station, the classic neighborhood restaurant is  named after Jeremy’s daughter Birdie and grandmother Gladys. The menu showcases Jeremy’s fresh and playful interpretation of rustic European fare that’s evolved to American tastes over the course of generations – recipes that have changed and been passed down to reflect regional traditions and ingredients, including areas where he’s lived like the Midwest, South and California. The menu is delightfully big and offers something for everyone, whether it’s a comforting bowl of Moules Frites, a 32 oz. Wood-Grilled, Bone-In Rib Eye to split with family, or a round of hors d’oeuvres and martinis in the bar and lounge with friends.

Cassia Rice & Noodle Kitchen (Downtown Santa Monica) – Chef Bryant Ng has launched a spinoff to his critically acclaimed Santa Monica restaurant Cassia. The “virtual” restaurant, called Cassia Rice & Noodle Kitchen (short for RNK), serves dishes similar to what you get at the chef’s Southeast Asian brasserie, but only available for pick-up or delivery via apps like Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash, Caviar and ChowNow. RNK’s menu of appetizers, rice dishes, and noodle options will range from $8 to $16.

Crimson (Downtown Santa Monica) – Mediterranean restaurant Crimson has expanded to a second location in Santa Monica. The fast-casual restaurant’s new location is on 6th Street and Broadway. The menu features marinated chicken, ground sirloin, filet mignon, lamb, salmon, trout and falafel in kabob plate or wrap formats as well as an assortment of salads and Mediterranean sides. Crimson’s hormone and antibiotic free meats are marinated, seasoned to perfection and grilled over an open flame, a proven method for low fat grilling. All sauces are homemade and prepared fresh daily.

Haruchan (Main St.) – Japanese restaurant Haruchan is now open in Santa Monica. The menu focuses on ramen, including a spicy soy jalapeno and creamy vegan version. The menu also features a 7-course set omakase dinner, baby hotate scallops and karaage fried chicken, as well as cocktails, sake, beer and wine. Haruchan offers happy hour seven days a week, 5 p.m. to close.

Jameson’s Pub (Main St.) – Jameson’s Pub, formerly Finn McCool’s, has been revamped after changing ownership. The newly decorated Irish sports bar features live music, games, and a daily happy hour from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., when all regular priced drinks are two for one. They also have a late-night happy hour Sunday through Thursday, 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Stop by to have a drink, watch sports on the many HD televisions, or grab a bite to eat from their large menu of entrees and appetizers.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tour (Santa Monica) – Lip Smacking Foodie Tours expands its award-winning group culinary experience to Santa Monica, offering a new tour designed specifically for private and corporate groups. The Santa Monica Lip Smacking Foodie Tour visits four different venues in one fun-filled outing that includes personalized service without the hassle of making reservations, with each restaurant presenting an array of its most distinctive dishes to all guests. Cocktail packages enable guests to indulge in signature cocktails at each stop along the way. The Santa Monica stops include The Bungalow, Élephante Beach House and Meat on Ocean.


PAIGE (Downtown Santa Monica) – Premium denim apparel retailer PAIGE has opened at Santa Monica Place, the city’s open-air shopping center. First launched in February 2005, the brand’s designs became an instant obsession of consumers, celebrities, and prominent fashion editors. Shortly after PAIGE unveiled men’s, petites and maternity ranges – all created with the same commitment to the craft. From the beginning, founder and creative director Paige Adams-Geller embraced every moment, aiming to inspire and empower as her story evolved. Her journey began in Los Angeles, where her entrepreneurial spirit took her from working as one of the top fit models in the industry to launching her namesake collection in 2004. Today, she sits at the helm of PAIGE as the only female founder in the denim industry, continuing to challenge convention and infuse her colorful spirit and chic sensibility to every collection she designs.


Be Crystal Clear (Downtown Santa Monica) – Be Crystal Clear is a Santa Monica studio space and healing center for classes, workshops, sessions and shopping. The bright, open and energetic space welcomes all to release negative blockages physically, mentally and emotionally. Offering yoga, dance, meditation and sound baths, Be Crystal Clear’s mission is to help everyone reignite and rediscover their inner selves again, find clarity within and remind them to live their lives with passion and purpose, to be grateful for what they have and to always pay it forward.

Phoenix Classical Pilates (Wilshire Blvd.) – Santa Monica’s wellness offering has expanded with the opening of a new Pilates spot, Phoenix Classical Pilates, on Wilshire Boulevard. Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise that aims to strengthen muscles while improving postural alignment and flexibility. The brand-new studio features private and group classes and has three instructors. Owners Hector Mercado and Molly Niles Renshaw are committed to teaching the same exercises, in the same order that Joseph Pilates taught on equipment closest to the original Pilates design, Gratz.

ROGA (Pier/Ocean Ave.) – Santa Monica’s free workout series, ROGA, returns to the Santa Monica Pier on Saturday mornings, March 23 through August 3. Meet at 8 a.m. under the Santa Monica Pier sign for a 2- or 5-mile run or walk around the beach and pier. At 9 a.m. meet at the far west end of the Pier for a yoga class. Bring your own mat and have your peace of mind restored by Santa Monica’s top instructors while surrounded by panoramic ocean views.

About Santa Monica Travel & Tourism

Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) is a non-profit organization designed to increase visitor expenditures, tourism revenues and local employment opportunities through the promotion of Santa Monica as a travel destination. For travel and accommodation information or a free copy of the official Visitors Guide, the public can write to the Santa Monica Visitor Center, 2427 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405; call (310) 319-6263; visit www.santamonica.com; or email  info@santamonica.com. Follow SMTT on Instagram (@SeeSantaMonica), Twitter (@GoSantaMonica) or Facebook (@VisitSantaMonica).

Contact: Lauren Salisbury
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism


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