SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Spring has sprung in Santa Monica! As sea breezes fill the air and temperatures rise, this season is ideal for a beach getaway. While in town, check out fun, seasonal events, new restaurants, and take advantage of Santa Monica hotel deals. During your stay, be sure to visit Santa Monica State Beach, recently named one of the top ten best beaches in the U.S. by TripAdvisor’s 2018 Traveler’s Choice Awards. Read on to discover the latest restaurants, shops, events and more that are blooming this spring in Santa Monica.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
1 Pico (Pico Blvd.) – The premier beachfront dining destination at Shutter’s on the Beach, 1 Pico, has appointed David Almany as Chef de Cuisine. Following a globetrotting career that has taken him from his native Los Angeles to Singapore, Almany returns stateside to develop 1 Pico’s new culinary program. Almany joins 1 Pico from his most recent position as Executive Chef and Partner at Angeleno, a Michelin-recommended, Italian-American restaurant in Singapore. Set to launch in mid-April at the renowned Shutters on the Beach hotel, the refreshed menu of 1 Pico will feature light, coastal-Californian cuisine and market-fresh seafood. Updated brunch and lunch menus will follow.
10 Speed Coffee (Mid-City) – 10 Speed Coffee, a bike-themed coffeehouse, is opening up a location on the corner of 20th and Santa Monica Boulevard this Spring. Originally founded in Oregon, 10 Speed Coffee serves as a social hub for the cycling, active lifestyle and coffee community. Whether coming or going, beginning or ending an adventure, or getting a little work done in a dynamic and inviting environment, 10 Speed Coffee is your personal local base camp. Responsible sourcing practices and micro batch roasting ensure that 10 Speed is always producing the highest quality cup of coffee.
Bluestone Lane (Wilshire Blvd.) – The Australian-inspired coffeehouse, Bluestone Lane, has opened a location on the palm tree-lined Wilshire Boulevard. The quaint coffee shop will introduce premium coffee and progressive healthy fare. Influenced from the renowned coffee culture hub of Melbourne, Australia, where premium coffee is a way of life, Bluestone Lane Santa Monica is offering all of its classics, including the Antipodean Flat White and Avo Smash. Customers can enjoy a full range of coffee and tea, as well as cold-pressed juices and wellness lattes. Light bites, grab and go items and a delicious selection of open-faced toasts are on the food menu, making this the perfect destination for a beach-day break!
The Gables (Downtown Santa Monica) – This new all-day neighborhood restaurant will further cement Santa Monica’s status as a world-class culinary destination. Located in the heart of Downtown, on Wilshire between Third and Fourth Streets, The Gables will emphasize a market-driven menu, with local and seasonal fare, drawing inspiration from the California coast utilizing purveyors from the nearby famed Santa Monica farmers market. Set to open in May 2018, the name pays homage to Santa Monica’s first beach club that opened 1926.
Little Prince (Main St.) – Little Prince is Santa Monica’s new weekend-only brunch pop-up. Located on bustling Main Street, Little Prince is run by Chef Ari Taymor, formerly of Alma at the Standard, who lets his phenomenal brunch skills shine at this standalone concept for weekend revelers. Serving elevated breakfast favorites with a modern twist, the menu includes soft scrambled eggs, smoked salmon hash, chia seed pudding with sorrel, and Taymor’s buzzed-about patty melt. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 9a.m. to 4p.m.
Mélisse Pre-Theater Menu (Wilshire Blvd.) – Mélisse, the two Michelin-starred contemporary American restaurant with French influences, has debuted a pre-theatre menu available Tuesday-Friday’s from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Visitors and residents can enjoy a three-course seasonal menu, featuring fresh produce offered at Santa Monica weekly farmers market, for $65 a person. With menu items such as egg caviar, crisp jidori chicken and passionfruit parfait, Mélisse pre-theatre menu is the perfect complement to an evening out at one of Santa Moinca’s many theatres.
Seaside on the Pier (Pier/Ocean Ave.) – Taking over the historic beachfront location on the Santa Monica Pier is Seaside on the Pier, a new restaurant set to open in April 2018. Featuring a grill, sandwich shop and rooftop lounge, Seaside on the Pier takes over the 9,000 square-foot space that was formerly home to Ristorante Al Mare.
Sweet Rose Creamery (Main St.) – Santa Monica’s celebrated, home-grown Sweet Rose Creamery has opened its sixth location along Main Street. Located within walking distance from the beach, families, visitors and friends can stroll over to enjoy Sweet Rose’s classic and seasonal scoops, sundaes, milkshakes and more. The cozy, neighborhood ice cream parlor has a rustic simplicity with reclaimed wood walls and playful pops of red are featured throughout. Sweet Rose Creamery is one of the few small-batch ice cream shops that truly makes everything from scratch, right down to its dairy base. Small batches of ice cream and homespun frozen desserts are crafted every day in Santa Monica, using organic dairy products and farmers’ market produce.
Tumbi Craft Indian Kitchen (Downtown Santa Monica) – Santa Monica welcomes Tumbi Craft Indian Kitchen to downtown, located on Santa Monica Boulevard in between 2nd St. and Ocean Avenue. Indian food gets a modern twist at this upscale eatery with an industrial chic vibe. On the menu is Afghani-style Seekh lamb kabobs, thoughtful versions of dosa, Goan prawn masala, and more. This ocean-adjacent spot is the work of longtime restaurateur and hotelier RJ Singh, who previously operated the Tantra in Silver Lake and the greater India’s Oven group. Tumbi will keep dinner hours to start, with eventual lunch hours to follow soon.
The Georgian Hotel (Pier/Ocean Ave.) – This spring, The Georgian invites you to break free. Take advantage of the direct beach access at a premier Santa Monica location and endless Southern California adventure with 20% off your stay of four nights or more. Subject to availability, four-night minimum stay required. Offer valid through May 24, 2018.
Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica (Pico Blvd.) – Plan a group event or meeting at Le Méridien Delfina and receive one complimentary room per 35 occupied. As an event organizer you can also upgrade to an ocean view room, enjoy a private “house beer and wine hour,” and receive a 5% room revenue credit among other offers. Offer available through May 31, 2018.
Oceana Beach Club Hotel (Pier/Ocean Ave.) – Oceana Beach Club Hotel is offering a Sunday Stayover Spring package, available for stays on Sundays and Mondays. Get 15% off your stay and receive complimentary parking for one vehicle. Offer available through July 12, 2018.
Palihouse Santa Monica (Downtown Santa Monica) – Book four nights and get 15% off when you prepay at Palihouse Santa Monica, a beautifully restored 1920s Mediterranean garden-style hotel. Filled with old world charm, Palihouse Santa Monica offers elegant, spacious and tastefully appointed suites with fully equipped kitchens, high speed internet, and is located just a few blocks from the Third St. Promenade, beach and the Pier. Offer valid through December 31, 2018.
HEALTH & FITNESS
Pedal on the Pier (Pier/Ocean Ave.) – Pedal on the Pier is an outdoor physical philanthropy event held on the iconic Santa Monica Pier on June 3, 2018. With more than 100 stationary bikes overlooking the ocean, hundreds of riders will cycle for 5 hours with top cycling instructors to benefit the Harold Robinson Foundation, working to improve the lives of impoverished children by providing them with a life-changing camp retreat. With great DJ’s, musical and special guests, dancing, vendors and food and drink, this fundraising event will be filled with energy and excitement.
Wanderlust 108 Los Angeles (Pier/Ocean Ave.) – Wanderlust 108, The World’s Only Mindful Triathlon – brings the community together for a 5K run/ or walk lead by adidas, a DJ-powered yoga session, and guided meditation on the world-famous Santa Monica Pier on April 28, 2018. Enjoy uninterrupted views of the Pacific while breaking a sweat during this fun filled day of activities. Following the triathlon, you can choose your own mindful adventure by enjoying bonus activities, perusing a Kula Market of local artisans, and stopping by Wanderlust’s True North Cafe for a healthy snack or lunch.
Anthropologie Home Design Center (Downtown Santa Monica) – Anthropologie, located on Third Street Promenade, has opened an innovative in-store home design center. Find everything you need to make your house a home, including custom furniture, carefully curated accents, and complementary styling appointments. Need help designing your dream space? With home styling services you may book a complimentary appointment with an in-store home stylist. Browse an expanded assortment of furniture and décor, mix and match fabrics, silhouettes, and finishes on an iPad before placing your order. Designing your perfect piece is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
b8ta (Downtown Santa Monica) – b8ta Santa Monica – designed for discovering, trying and buying the latest tech products – has been named Store of the Year by the 47 annual Shop! Awards, which honor the best designs in retail environments and experiences around the globe. b8ta also won awards in two additional categories: Use of Technology Award for data collection and In-Store Communications Award for tablet-enabled bricks. Designed by Gensler, b8ta captures data from shopper interactions and feeds it back to product makers to aid the R&D and marketing efforts. b8ta is located in Santa Monica Place shopping center, just off Third Street Promenade and a few blocks from the famous Santa Monica Beach.
Gateway Virtual Reality Showroom (Downtown Santa Monica) – Los Angeles’ destination for virtual reality and interactive technology experience, the Gateway Showroom is home to a professional staff of virtual reality developers, designers, artists, directors, and entrepreneurs all focused on broadcasting virtual reality and immersive tech to the mainstream. The showroom blends its internal mix of original development work with best in class experiences from single/multiplayer VR to augmented reality art. If you’re looking to experience virtual reality for the first time, forge new experiences with your team, or even license the next exciting title for your VR center or arcade, then the Gateway has something for you.
Shop Santa Monica – Whether you’re shopping for a Santa Monica-inspired gift or forgot to pick up keepsakes during your last visit, you can now shop for official Santa Monica souvenirs all year long at santamonica.com/store. The new online store, Shop Santa Monica, features a collection of souvenirs, clothing, toys, books and more – all of which make great gifts for anyone, even yourself. You may also see what’s in store by stopping by Santa Monica’s Walk-In Visitor Center during your next visit and enjoy 30% off your purchase through May 31, 2018. (See website for restrictions.)
ARTS & CULTURE
2018 Art @ Tongva Series (Pier/Ocean Ave.) – Art @ Tongva is a series of intimate and informal events in Tongva Park. All events are free and open to the public. This year’s season includes performance theater by the company The Wilderness in April, an interactive audio-theater experience Among Us in April and May, and performance and art by contemporary indigenous artists in May. Art @ Tongva is co-produced by Santa Monica Cultural Affairs and Dyson & Womack.
Candytopia (Santa Monica Place) – If you ever dreamed of nibbling your way through Candyland or scoring a Golden Ticket, you’ve come to the right place. Treat yourself to Candytopia in Santa Monica and let your taste buds and your imagination soar! This four-month interactive art installation – running March 4, 2018 till July 4, 2018 – celebrates the vibrant colors and flavors of our favorite sugary delights across over a dozen environments, from flying unicorn pigs to a marshmallow tsunami. Bring your family, your friends, and your sweet tooth for an experience like none other. Tastefully curated by Hollywood Candy Queen Jackie Sorkin, realized by master fabricator Zac Hartog, and brought to life by life-long retailer, John Goodman, Candytopia is a cultural and foodie blend you could only dream of.
ROAM Santa Monica (Downtown Santa Monica) – ROAM Santa Monica, the rotating public art program in Downtown featuring some of the most exciting and ground-breaking contemporary artists, debuted a new instalment from Los Angeles-based visual artist Jen Stark. The exhibit titled “Tunnel Vision” features a series of ten sculptures composed of 20-foot linear rings, offering the sense of peering into a giant kaleidoscope. Starks sculptures are on display at Triangle Square, across the street from Santa Monica Place. ROAM Santa Monica aims to create environments that foster positive social interactions and enliven public spaces.
Annual Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race & Ocean Festival(Pier/Ocean Ave.) – Join the fun on June 9, 2018 for the 8th annual Pier Paddleboard Race & Ocean Festival at the Santa Monica Pier. The event is free for spectators and fun for the whole family. Watch as top athletes from across the nation compete in stand-up paddleboard, prone paddleboard, dory, and swim races at the iconic Pier. Or compete in the races yourself. The ocean festival takes over the deck of the Santa Monica Pier with live music, a beer garden, Polynesian dancing, a beach volleyball showcase, delicious food, and a one of-a-kind surf history museum. Come celebrate decades of surf, paddleboard and lifeguard history.
Esters Wine Shop & Bar Guest Chef Burger Series (Mid-City) – Esters Wine Shop & Bar monthly Guest Chef Burger Series is back by popular demand! Esters has lined up more local chef pals for the 2018 iteration. Every Guest Chef Burger Night begins at 6 p.m., until burgers sell out. Esters is walk-in only, so reservations aren’t required. The 2018 lineup includes Hinoki & The Bird’s Brandon Kida, serving a Okonomiyaki Burger on April 10, 2018. Followed by Nancy Silverton, acclaimed restaurateur, chef and cookbook author behind Mozza Restaurant Group, serving a decadent burger using peak-season ingredients on May 22, 2018.
MAINopoly: Taste of Main Street (Main St.) – Experience Main Street’s best restaurants, coffee shops, juiceries and more at the 5th Annual MAINopoly: Taste of Main Street, benefiting Summer SOULstice and The Main Street Business Improvement Association. Enjoy tastings at 20 participating locations and get your board stamped for a play on the classic game. MAINopoly: Taste of Main Street is on May 27, 2018 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., GA and VIP tickets are available to purchase online.
Big Blue Bus – Big Blue Bus has announced its next phase of fleet upgrades, which included new amenities that enhance comfort, safety, and security for both customers and Motor Coach Operators, and further reduce vehicle emissions. Nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to a cleaner environment, the entire fleet operates on alternative fuels, including renewable natural gas, a form of liquefied and compressed natural gas, which helps cut emissions by up to 90%. Serving Santa Monica since 1928, Big Blue Bus has won numerous awards for its marketing, customer service, safety, and efficiency.
Ride Metro for Free on Earth Day – To encourage environmentally friendly transportation options and attract new transit riders, the Los Angeles County Metro Board announced it will offer free rides on the entire Metro Bus and Rail System on Earth Day on Sunday, April 22, 2018. All 170 Metro bus routes and six major rail lines will be free to the public from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
Go Metro to Dodger Stadium – As the 2018 Major League Baseball season gets into full swing, many baseball fans will be heading to L.A.’s favorite stadium to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers play. If you don’t feel like braving traffic or siting in your car, take advantage of the multiple public transportation options to get to the stadium this season. Santa Monica’s wealth of dining options makes it a great base to grab a bite before the game. With the Metro, fans can get to the stadium from Santa Monica via the Expo Blue and Red line, which drop off at Union Station. From Union Station, Metro operates the Dodger Stadium Express, a dedicated bus offering service to and from the stadium that is free to all ticket-holders.
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 www.santamonica.com; or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow SMTT on Instagram (@SeeSantaMonica), Twitter (@GoSantaMonica) or Facebook