Eclectic, diverse, funky, happening—Ocean Park is all of the above, and more. Set at the southeastern edge of thecity and linked directly to the beach, Ocean Park Boulevard boasts an authentic local vibe, a crop of talked-about restaurants, and “Where did you get that?!” boutiques and shops. Accentuated by spacious Clover Park, the neighborhood is also home to the Santa Monica Airport and its dynamic aviation museum, the Museum of Flying. The airport’s observation decks, eco-friendly gardens, and twice-monthly antiques market are also big draws.
Viva arepas! Cafe Bolivar specializes in South American arepas (think Venezuelan circular empanadas), organic sandwiches, and specialty roast coffees. The cozy neighborhood ambience is heightened by a shelf of books and the work of local artists.
“Howzit, brah?” If you’re at Shaka Shack Burgers and you brought your appetite, you’re doing just fine. This ’60s-themed burger emporium is a tiki-surf-burger hangout. Hang ten at the surfboard counter and place your order—maybe the Kobe Kahuna burger. Shaka on!
Find your inner artist while sipping your favorite libation. At Society Kitchen, you’ll get the chance to wax creative while enjoying a cocktail. Art supplies are provided. If you get hungry, plenty of food is served—try the celebrated fish tacos.
Having taken flight as the Lindaire Coffee Shop back in 1954, the eatery is now the aviation-memorabilia-filled Spitfire Grill at Santa Monica Airport. If your appetite is flying high, order up the B-52 Bomber Burger made with a double patty.
Looking for a gift on a budget? Then Artful Handcrafted Gifts is the place. Loads of items are available for under $25. Choose from among a selection of functional and decorative art with many pieces from local artisans. Check for sale days when the store offers 20 percent off.
This trusted pet spa and boutique has been eliciting contented yelps and purrs since 2004. Bark Williams uses natural products and offers full-service as well as self-wash grooming. Amble in during “Yappy Hour,” Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., for the daily $10 self-wash special.
Blast into the past at Evett’s Model Shop for old-time customer service and a huge selection of model kits—from those using glue and Testor paint to remote-controlled planes and boats. The store also carries supplies for building models and hobby projects.
Make your own salad and pay by the pound at Mrs. Winston's Green Grocery. This natural foods market has organic groceries, great smoothies, and an impressive salad bar. You can create a healthful salad with ingredients ranging from arugula and cilantro to a posse of proteins. Top it off with a cool coconut water.
The Ruskin Group Theatre Co. presents “L.A. Cafe Plays,” also known as the “Fastest Theater in Town.” Every third Sunday of the month, the theatre mounts five short plays that have made it from conception to execution in 10½ hours. This is adrenaline-charged theater at its finest.
Check out vintage aircraft up close and personal at this Santa Monica Airport gem, Museum of Flying. The nearly 22,000-square-foot warehouse holds about two dozen aircraft, a flight simulator that rolls and pitches 360 degrees, and an interactive area where kids can climb into a cockpit.
Watch soccer and rugby games on weekends or take advantage of the barbecue grills, picnic tables, and playground at Airport Park.
This former airplane hangar is now home to a community of artists. Here at Santa Monica Art Studios, art is both created and showcased. Look for the annual Airport Art Walk, an open-studio event held each March that brings thousands of visitors.