Santa Monica

Still, what Santa Monica does best is provide a luxurious landscape for those yearning to be pampered. You’ll discover a mix of haute and historic attractions with lines often blurred as old buildings and relics receive new leases on life, resulting in swank surroundings and unexpected pleasures.

An escape to Santa Monica can be simple or simply indulgent. Whether navigating a tandem bike along the paved oceanfront pathway or rubbing toques with celebrity chefs at the local farmers market, Santa Monica is proof that paradise has indeed been found.

santa-monica1Where to Stay:

Victory Hotel

With its A-list celebrity clientele, this is a dream destination for paparazzi – if only they could get past the velvet rope. This luxe hideaway fuses together a coastal cosmopolitan vibe with a collection of spectacular guestrooms. If money is no object, book the penthouse-level Monarch Suite with its incredible ocean views, whirlpool tub, steam shower and a fully-stocked, ready to uncork private bar. All guests enjoy Champagne upon arrival, a pair of cabana-laden swimming pools and complimentary poolside yoga.

Where to Eat:

santa-monica3Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen

If there’s one thing Santa Monica isn’t lacking, it’s good restaurants. The new darling to whet the appetites of restaurant writers is Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen. Contrary to its name, Rustic Canyon isn’t located in such a setting. The moniker is more an homage to founder Josh Loeb and the intimate dinners hosted at his nearby treehousestyle home. What he’s recreated through the talents of Chef Jeremy Fox is a menu of farm-to-fork favorites with communal tables for a shared culinary experience.
The menu is seasonal and ultra-fresh with some quenchable crafted cocktails that are worthy of a toast.

santa-monicaWhat to Do:

The great thing about Santa Monica is you can do as much or as little as you want. There’s the historic Santa Monica Pier with plenty of amusements and, of course, the weekly farmers market where foodies and celebrity chefs convene. A few of our favorite distractions include:

The Beach Butler

Want to work on that tan? You certainly can and with as little effort as possible thanks to The Beach Butler, a service offered by Perry’s Café. Your personal beach butler, clad in khaki shorts and a white polo, will have done all the heavy lifting by the time you arrive: lounge chairs and table set up with a shaded umbrella. He’ll leave you with towels and a walkie-talkie so you can summon him when needed. When hunger strikes, he’ll bring you a meal. Forgot your sunscreen? No worries, he always has an extra stash. Packages start at $50.

The Annenburg Community Beach House

f you prefer to pose poolside, the Annenberg Community Beach House is the way to go. Located on a five-acre oceanfront sprawl that once belonged to a magnificent estate built by publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst for actress Marion Davies, philanthropist Wallis Annenberg, of the Annenberg Foundation, helped to usher in a new era of
seaside elegance when she spearheaded the site’s multi-million dollar rehabilitation, opening it for public use in 2009. The Beach House combines elements of the historic Marion Davies Estate, including an original guest house and historic pool, with new splash pads and a gallery. Docent tours are also available.


Shopping in Santa Monica can be likened to a sport, and the competition, at least for retailers, can be fierce. It all takes place in the open-air, multi-level Santa Monica Place, featuring such favorites as Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, along with the likes of Kate Spade and Kitson. Adjacent to Santa Monica Mall is the Third Street Promenade, a wide
pedestrian-only esplanade featuring wellknown brands, such as Anthropologie and Forever 21, along with some local favorites as well. Then there’s leafy Montana Avenue with its throngs of celebrity shoppers, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and never-ending parade of designer togs and luxury vehicles.