SANTA MONICA, Calif. (April 9, 2019) – Clear blue skies, balmy weather, and an extra hour of daylight make spring an ideal time for a Southern California beach getaway. Santa Monica has a host of new attractions, unique events and exciting hotel updates this season. Read on for a few of the latest ways to experience Los Angeles’ beachside city.
Santa Monica Proper Hotel (Wilshire Blvd.) – Santa Monica Proper Hotel, the first luxury hotel to debut in the city in more than a decade, has announced an opening date of July 2019. Artfully elevating a vintage landmark building with new, contemporary architecture, the 271 rooms and suites of Santa Monica Proper reflect the local history and landscape with original design by Kelly Wearstler. Essentials include three restaurant-bar destinations, including a first-ever collaboration between the iconic chefs of Sqirl and Contramar. Wellness will also be placed front-of-mind through a partnership with the celebrated founders of Surya Ayurvedic Spa, fitness center with a yoga terrace and a rooftop pool, deck and restaurant-bar with majestic ocean views. Original works by emerging L.A. artists and 16,000 square feet of meeting and event spaces complete the property. Santa Monica Proper is now accepting reservations from July 1, 2019.
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 in May 2019. The new Oceana will evoke a stunning beachside home-away-from-home and deliver 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 and bar, a lush outdoor courtyard lounge with swimming pool and stylish social gathering space, state-of-the-art fitness studio and spa and additional space for intimate events. Oceana is accepting reservations for May 22, 2019 and beyond.
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows (Wilshire Blvd.) – The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, an iconic hotel set along Ocean Avenue, has launched a new Suite to Suite package. The offer pairs accommodation at the Fairmont with the exclusive services and amenities of The Private Suite at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), a lavish private airport terminal. Whether coming or going, the ‘Member’s Only’ access allows travelers to spend precious time relaxing ‘Head-of-State style’ in a gated private suite far from the public terminals. The Suite to Suite package includes one way use of The Private Suite at LAX, roundtrip airport transfers, daily breakfast, a reserved table at The Bungalow and a VIP welcome amenity.
Preferred Hotels & Resorts (Santa Monica) – Preferred Hotels & Resorts has added two Santa Monica hotels—Shutters on the Beach and Hotel Casa del Mar—to its Legend Collection. The prestigious collection features exceptional properties in the most remarkable destinations of the world, offering exquisite accommodations, renowned dining, exceptional spas, coupled with stellar and intuitive personal service. All guests of Shutters on the Beach and Hotel Casa del Mar are now eligible to enroll in I Prefer Hotel Rewards, which extends points redeemable for cash-value reward certificates.
Cayton Children’s Museum (Downtown Santa Monica) – The Cayton Children’s Museum, formerly named the Zimmer Children’s Museum, will open in a new space in Downtown Santa Monica in June 2019. Sprawling across 21,000 square feet of Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica’s open-air luxury shopping center, the museum will offer expansive, discovery-based exhibits, public programming and a calendar of arts and culture programming to inspire children and youth to practice being their best selves. The Cayton Children’s Museum will also house an art studio, gift shop and community and workshop rooms.
Big Bus Tours (Santa Monica) – Big Bus Tours, the world’s largest privately-owned operator of open-top sightseeing tours, has landed in Los Angeles with a new hop on, hop off bus service. The brand-new ‘Beach Loop’ provides visitors a new way to discover all that the Santa Monica has to offer with stops at ten ‘must- see’ landmarks including the Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade as well as nearby Venice Beach, Muscle Beach and Marina Del Rey. Each bus is escorted by English-speaking guides as well as pre-recorded audio commentary available in nine languages.
Blue Ribbon Store (Pico Blvd.) – Nike’s first employee, Jeff Johnson, has reopened the brand’s first-ever location. Formerly named Blue Ribbon Sports, Nike originally opened in Santa Monica in 1967 as a gathering place for members of the then-small running community to discuss training, racing and ultimately, footwear. Over 50 years later, the location has reopened with the intention of serving the same purpose – a community space for local runners to gather and talk. The Santa Monica store, located at 3107 Pico Boulevard, invites runners from around the world to stop by on Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
THE VOID (Downtown Santa Monica) – THE VOID, a whole-body, fully immersive virtual reality experience, has opened on Santa Monica’s world-famous Third Street Promenade. The hyper-reality experience is full of surprises at every turn and places visitors inside the action. One second, you’re standing on solid ground, the next you’re stepping deep into darkness, looking at unimaginable beauty – or fending off danger from another realm. THE VOID currently offers three experiences, Ralph Breaks VR, Nicodemus: Demon of Evanishment and Star Wars Secrets of The Empire.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken (Main St.) – Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken has made its Santa Monica debut with its newest location on Main Street. The location features a kitchen that allows visitors to peer into the magic of doughnut-making and an inviting outdoor patio. The diverse all-day dining menu includes Astro’s classic crispy fried chicken with creative takes on sandwiches, vegetarian-friendly options, and a variety of seasonal and signature doughnuts, including vegan hot cake doughnuts. Joining the city’s happy hour lineup, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken also serves locally-sourced wine and beer with playful recommendations on pairings.
Belcampo (Wilshire Blvd.) – Belcampo, California’s organic meat company, has made its debut in Erewhon Markets, bringing its organic, humanely-raised meat—sourced directly from Belcampo Farms in Shasta Valley—to the Southern California retailer. Belcampo’s products can now be purchased at Erewhon Santa Monica on Wilshire Boulevard, including grass-fed, grass-finished ribeye and New York steaks, organic pasture-raised eggs, organic pasture-raised Cornish chicken, organic ground beef and more.
Bento Moderno (Ocean Park Blvd.) – Bento Moderno, a fast-casual Asian fusion restaurant, has opened along Ocean Park Boulevard, providing a healthy take on modernized Asian cuisine with build your own bento boxes, entrees and wraps made with locally sourced and organic ingredients. The menu also features gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, and keto friendly options.
Kanpai (Wilshire Blvd.) – Kanpai, a Japanese sushi bar and grill, has opened its third Los Angeles location in Santa Monica. Kanpai is a fusion of traditional Japanese cuisine with California flair, prepared with subtlety and skill. Seafood is flown in from the Atlantic, Pacific, and even Indian oceans depending on the migration of the fish during peak harvesting periods to ensure Kanpai provides their customers with the highest quality of sushi.
Pblc Trde (Main St.) – Pblc Trde (public trade) brings Tokyo-style Neapolitan pizza to the Main Street neighborhood. Chef Eduardo Salcedo’s menu empathizes wood-fire pizzas, pastas and small plates – with classic pies like Margherita plus new creations including carne aside pizza with chimichurri, ricotta and Oaxaca cheese.
Rakkan Ramen (Pier/Ocean Ave.) – Rakkan Ramen has opened its third Southern California location on Ocean Avenue, just blocks from the beach. What began as a tiny, four seated ramen bar in Tokyo in 2011, has expanded overseas bringing authentic Japanese ramen to the U.S. Rakkan Ramen serves 100% plant-based broth, made with Dashi and jam packed with flavor. Rakkan Ramen slowly simmers the carefully chosen vegetables and kombu to extract the best flavor and lock in umami. The marriage between the Oishii Japanese broth and silky slim noodles will help you discover the existence of another level of pleasure for your palate.
Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee (Wilshire Blvd.) – Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee has launched a new chef series this spring. On the first of each month, Sidecar will feature a new rotating flavor of the month, created by local chefs and notable food figures. A portion of the proceeds from the flavor of the month will benefit a charity of the guest chef’s choosing. April’s limited-time flavor will be created by Brandi Milloy-Simon of Food Network’s Let’s Eat!
Sweetgreen (Montana Ave.) – Sweetgreen, the casual salad-chain, has opened on the corner of Montana Avenue, Santa Monica’s tree-lined shopping district. Founded in 2007, Sweetgreen is destination for simple, seasonal, healthy bowls and salads. Sweetgreen’s produce is prepared in-house every day, following a seasonal menu that uses whole fruits and vegetables delivered that morning.
The Gallery Food Hall (Downtown Santa Monica) – Join the recurring Tap Takeover series upstairs at The Gallery Food Hall, Third Street Promenade’s premier dining collective. Occurring the last Friday of every month, the Tap Takeover series features $3 beers all day at Azulé Taqueria, STRFSH, and Paperboy. Every restaurant offers a different specialty brew and board games like Jenga, Connect Four, Checkers, Uno are available on the outdoor dining deck.
The Place To Be (Main St.) – The Place To Be is a French café that has opened along Main Street in Santa Monica. The bakery is owned by a husband and wife duo, who moved to California from France to share their love of French pastries through an indisputable know-how. The menu includes freshly baked breads, pastries, desserts sandwiches and salads – with a large selection of gluten free and vegan options.
Indochino (Downtown Santa Monica) – Indochino, the global leader in made to measure apparel for men, has opened a new 2,3000 square foot showroom at Santa Monica Place, offering a truly personalized luxury shopping experience. Customers receive their own style guide who walks them through the process of designing their one-of-a-kind suits, shirts, blazers, chinos and overcoats. Garments are made to their precise measurements and shipped directly to their door within two weeks for a perfect fit. Customer profiles are also stored online for easy repeat shopping in the showroom or from the comfort of their home.
Natura Nail Spa (Wilshire Blvd.) – Wilshire Boulevard has welcomed a new salon, Natura Nail Spa, offering a wide range of beauty services such as nails, eyelashes, skin care and waxing. Natura Nail Spa prides itself on its use of organic products, such as all-natural nail polish and scrubs, tailored to help rejuvenate your skin and leave you feeling relaxed and pampered. Palm tree wallpaper lines the walls in this bright and welcoming space.
Eat|See|Hear (Pico Blvd.) – Eat|See|Hear is an outdoor movie series featuring timeless classics and newer blockbusters. The film series runs May through September and takes place at Santa Monica High School and other locations around Los Angeles. This year’s lineup includes Get Out, Beetlejuice and Do the Right Thing. Food trucks are on-site and leashed pets are welcome.
EEEEEATSCON LA (Ocean Park Blvd.) – The Infatuation, a popular restaurant discovery platform, will hold the third annual EEEEEATSCON LA at the Barker Hangar on May 18-19. This unique food experience is built in the spirit of a music festival, but with restaurants as the headliners. With live music performances throughout the day and panels from thought leaders and industry pioneers, EEEEEATSCON is as much about connecting with a community as it is about eating and being entertained. This year’s festival will feature a variety of panel discussions and featured speakers including writer and actress Awkwafina and writer, producer, actor Dan Levy, as well as musical performances from Aaron Colbert & Audiomoe and Suga Shay & Darling Chuck.
Le Creuset Factory-to-Table Sale (Ocean Park Blvd.) – Le Creuset, the premium cookware brand, will hold its first Southern California factory-to-table sale at the Barker Hangar on May 2-5. The event will feature exclusive discounts on a vast selection of the Le Creuset products, including limited-edition colors and rare shapes and styles. Le Creuset will donate a majority of ticket sale proceeds from the event to Meal on Wheels America, supporting seniors facing isolation and hunger, as well as After-School All-Stars, which provides students with free, comprehensive afterschool programs for low-income youth.
MAINopoly: Taste of Main Street (Main St.) – MAINopoly is a fun, interactive community event that mirrors the classic board game, and gives participants a culinary walking tour of Main Street’s finest local businesses. The 5th Annual MAINopoly will be held on May 26, benefiting Heal the Bay and Summer SOULstice & The Main Street Business Improvement Association. Participants can enjoy tastings at 20 Main Street businesses and get their board stamped for a play on the classic game. Themed attire is encouraged.
Michael’s 40-Year Anniversary (Downtown Santa Monica) – On April 28, iconic Westside dining destination Michael’s Santa Monica celebrates its 40-year anniversary with a commemorative tasting event and party. Proprietor Michael McCarty welcomes back an all-star line-up of his chef alumni, including opening chef Jonathan Waxman, Miles Thompson, Brooke Williamson, Sang Yoon, Mark Peel and more. From noon to 4 p.m., the esteemed chefs will serve custom plates from stations set up throughout the Michael’s lounge and legendary patio. Michael’s wine director Gabriel Pérez and former sommelier Roni Ginach will offer wine pairings to complement.
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.
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 (800) 544-5319 or (310) 393-7593; visit santamonica.com; or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow SMTT on Twitter @GoSantaMonica or become a Facebook fan at facebook.com/visitsantamonica.Contact: Lauren Salisbury
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism