What’s New in Santa Monica – Winter 2018

Posted January 17, 2018

Head to Santa Monica this winter to escape the cold and experience the city’s latest wellness, shopping and dining offerings

SANTA MONICA, Calif. [January 16, 2018] – Winter is the ideal time to visit sunny Santa Monica and escape the cold. With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, Santa Monica provides the ideal climate for outdoor shopping, physical activity or dining al fresco during sunset. This season, escape to one of Santa Monica’s cozy hotels. From world-famous beachfront luxury to vintage gems, the city’s hotel collection provides a welcome home for any Southern California stay.

Just steps from our beautiful hotels, the historic Santa Monica Pier was the most popular Instagram location in Los Angeles in 2017, ensuring this icon will carry into the New Year popular as ever for visitors and locals alike. In addition to classic Southern California charm and the abundance of year-round blue skies and warm weather, this ocean-side city has a long list of new offerings heading into 2018. From unique culinary offerings from former Top Chef contestants and innovations in the health and wellness movement to new shopping and contemporary art installations, read on for some of the new ways to experience Los Angeles’ beachside city this winter.


Casa del Mar (Pier/Ocean Ave.) –Located where the sidewalk ends and the beach begins in Santa Monica, Casa del Mar is offering a new alternative for communal work and meeting space with the launch of Casa Cabanas. Available to locals and hotel guests, parties of 4 to 12 fit comfortably in these exclusive havens by famed interior designer Michael S. Smith. Casa Cabanas also offer three tiers of food and beverage service for meeting or private parties to sit back, relax, and be catered to, while also enjoying a custom-stocked bar cart. The Favorites Package includes the private bar cart stocked with choice of a fine liquor, a specialty welcome drink and an array of three canapés.

Gateway Hotel Santa Monica (Mid-City) – The former Best Western Plus Gateway Hotel Santa Monica, has undergone a modernization and is now the independently operated Gateway Hotel Santa Monica. The hotel’s newly completed renovation reached all 123 guest rooms and bathrooms as well as the lobby, corridors and fitness room. The renovated guest rooms include luxury flooring, plantation shutters, pillow top mattresses, furnishings and décor emphasizing a California Coastal Style. The contemporary bathrooms have been enhanced with Illuminated mirror lighting, beach inspired floor tiles, expanded bathroom vanities, plumbing, bath fixtures and fresh paint.

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Santa Monica (Downtown Santa Monica) –The former Hampton Inn & Suites Santa Monica has been renamed Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Santa Monica. Newly built in April 2017, the hotel is positioned just three blocks from the iconic Santa Monica Pier where guests can enjoy a fun-filled day at the beach. The hotel is also within walking distance of Downtown Santa Monica’s best entertainment, dining and the world-famous open-air shopping of the Third Street Promenade. Located adjacent to the Metro Expo Line, guests can catch the Expo Light Rail for easy transportation to Downtown Los Angeles.

Sea Blue Hotel (Pier/Ocean Ave.) – The Hotel California located on Ocean Avenue has been renamed and rebranded to Sea Blue Hotel. The laid-back, oceanfront hideaway on the Pacific encourages guests to bask in the sun and soak up the carefree lifestyle of Southern California. Head to their new website to check out Sea Blue Hotel’s new logo.

The Ambrose Green with Envy Package (Mid-City) – The newly launched Ambrose Green with Envy Package, encourages visitors to get off on the right foot this new year by taking advantage of first-rate amenities and Southern California’s unparalleled climate. The package includes: overnight luxury accommodations, access to a 24-hour, state-of-the-art fitness facility featuring Peloton and Technogym, preferred access to bespoke Republic bicycles and two extra hours of rental time, a map of local running and biking routes, healthful breakfast in bed for two with options like avocado toast and a chia parfait, and access to sustainable offerings including an all-electric BMW i3 house car.


Carlo’s Bake Shop (Downtown Santa Monica) – Carlo’s Bakery, best known as the setting of the TLC series “Cake Boss,” recently opened its first California location on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. The whimsical bakery turns out dozens of sweets and pastries a day, from brownies and cupcakes to croissants and everything in between. The Third Street Promenade location is the first West Coast outlet for Valastro’s chain of shops, with most situated up and down the eastern seaboard.

Little Ruby (Pier/Ocean Ave.) – Australian café Little Ruby makes it West Coast debut in Santa Monica, opening along Santa Monica Boulevard just one block from the beach. Little Ruby is the work of Nick Mathers (Eveleigh, Goldie’s), Tim Sykes, and chef Thomas Lim, who teamed up to bring NYC hit Ruby’s Cafe to the coastal shores of Santa Monica. Little Ruby’s maintains a year-round summer vibe with a menu filled to the brim with toasts, avocado, egg sandwiches, grain bowls, burgers, and the like.

Native (Downtown Santa Monica) – Celebrity Chef Nyesha Arrington has opened a new Santa Monica restaurant called Native. The former Top Chef contestant set up shop just blocks away from the Wednesday farmer’s market – and the proximity shows. Arrington’s New American bistro pulls inspiration from the Santa Monica farmer’s market, with every dish having a seasonal and culturally driven component. The menu includes short rib dumplings that are a tribute to her Korean grandmother, as well as classics like roast duck and weekend brunch fare. To drink, Native offers a well-rounded collection of local beers.


Amplify Acupuncture (Main St.) – Opening its doors on Main Street in Santa Monica, Amplify Acupuncture sets out to make the ancient Chinese practice mainstream. Founder Yunen Beristain’s goal is to create an environment where acupuncture is both accessible and welcoming. The Santa Monica location invites customers to drop by for a treatment – no appointment needed. A one-hour consultation and treatment is $90 and 30-minute sessions are $60.

Bulletproof Labs (Main St.) – Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey has opened what he calls the first “human upgrade” facility in Santa Monica named Bulletproof Labs. Dedicated exclusively to biohacking, or tweaking your biology for better performance, the gym of the future offers everything from cell massages to cryotherapy. The machines are the latest in technology to “cheat” workouts – some delivering a week’s workout in only 15 minuets. Bulletproof Labs also features several meditation rooms and contraptions aimed at increasing focus or harnessing mental potential and an in-house lab and clinic area where members can have vitamin IV infusion in between treatments.


Allen Schwartz (Montana Ave.) – Allen Schwartz, formerly named ABS by Allen Schwartz, on Montana Avenue has a new look and feel as of late. The Santa Monica flagship store has been redesigned and revamped to reflect the evolution of designer Allen Schwartz. Selling items made exclusively in downtown Los Angeles, the Allen Schwartz collection now includes contemporary sportswear, dresses, signature pants, duster coasts and a variety of tops. In addition, the boutique now features a back section where shoppers will find a rotation selection of vintage tops and dresses from previous labels by Schwartz, plus a California-made gift pop-up for customers to shop locally made home products.

Hallmark Signature Store (Downtown Santa Monica) – The Hallmark Signature Store, a boutique-style retail experience developed by Hallmark Cards, Inc., introduces a first-of-its-kind store at Santa Monica Place. Santa Monica is the first city in the nation to welcome this new store concept which brings to life Hallmark’s Signature brand of premium greeting cards. The stylish, modern and upscale shopping experience offers shoppers unique, premium greetings cards, stationery and gifts that are as perfect for celebrating life’s special people and occasions as they are for making every day moments even better.


Art Los Angeles Contemporary (Ocean Park Blvd.) – Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC), now in its ninth year, will return to the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica January 25-28, 2018. Serving as the International Contemporary Art Fair of the West Coast, the fair presents top established and emerging galleries from around the world, with a strong focus on Los Angeles. With over 65 galleries participating, the ALAC offers a sophisticated yet accessible environment for art collectors, curators, and patrons of the arts alike to enjoy.

ROAM Santa Monica (Downtown Santa Monica) – ROAM Santa Monica, the rotating public art program in Downtown Santa Monica featuring some of the most exciting and ground-breaking contemporary artists, will return in late January 2018 with new art installations from Natasa Stearns, Jeanine Centuori and Russell Rock, Nate Frizzell, Brendan Monroe and Jen Stark.

Santa Monica’s Tears Sculpture (Downtown Santa Monica) – A new sculpture is being installed at the west end of the Downtown Santa Monica Expo station along 4th Street. Titled “Santa Monica’s Tears,” the sculpture by artist Walter Hood was inspired by the city’s namesake. Water has shaped the geology of Santa Monica, eroding the sandstone at the coastline. The artwork will reference both the geological and cultural history of Santa Monica through the use of sandstone and hand-formed glass that recall Saint Monica, Kuruvungna and the Palisades.


Breeze Bike Share Turns Two (Santa Monica) – Breeze Bike Share celebrated its second anniversary on November 12, 2017. Since the City of Santa Monica launched Los Angeles County’s first bike share system in 2015, 80,000 active subscribers have taken more than 628,000 trips, riding more than 1.3 million miles – equivalent to pedaling around the world 53 times.

Dedicated Bus Lane on Lincoln Boulevard (Santa Monica) – As of this fall, Big Blue Bus passengers enjoy faster rides on the busy stretch of Lincoln Boulevard during weekdays from 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Since opening the bus-only lane in late November, commuters are experiencing improved bus flow and travel time, including as much as an 8-minute saving for one-way trips, or more than 60 hours saved on round-trips per year.


Santa Monica Airport Antique Market (Ocean Park Blvd.) – Noted as One of the Top Ten “Flea Markets’ in America, visit the Santa Monica Airport Antique Market, a fun outdoor (and dog-friendly) market full of many great dealers with furniture, antiques, collectibles, art, vintage clothes, jewelry, rugs and much more. Shop for ancient to antique, Victorian to Mid-Century, from vintage to the eccentric. Located next to the Museum of Flying. Occurs every first and fourth Sunday of each month.

Santa Monica Restaurant Week (Santa Monica) – To celebrate California Restaurant Month and highlight Santa Monica as an award-winning, health-conscious culinary destination, more than 30 Santa Monica restaurants and their chefs will craft delicious, healthy, and custom dishes centered around this year’s special ingredient – the pomegranate. This year’s culinary program will take place January 8-14, 2018 and continue to accentuate the city’s progressive dining scene. Throughout the week, diners will have the chance to win a $500 dining gift certificate by sharing their Santa Monica Restaurant Week experience on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #SMRestaurantWeek.

Treat Yourself LA (Ocean Park Blvd.) – Indulge in your ultimate foodie fantasy at Treat Yourself LA, a new food festival bringing together the best of L.A.’s food scene for once exclusive day of eating in Santa Monica on March 17, 2018. The “millennial-focused” event will feature tasty vendors including: Sprinkles Cupcakes, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, The Pie Hole, Cheezus, Hopdoody and more. Tickets go on sale January 15, 2018 and included all-you-can-eat food samplings and drink tickets.


About Santa Monica Travel & Tourism
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT), formerly Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau, 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 (800) 544-5319 or (310) 393-7593; visit santamonica.com; or email info@santamonica.com. Follow SMTT on Instagram (@SeeSantaMonica), Twitter (@GoSantaMonica) or Facebook (@VisitSantaMonica).

Contact: Lauren Salisbury
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism