This article originally appeared on EventTeam.Com:
The Event Team’s 20th Anniversary Celebration continues with a look at one of our favorite Los Angeles suburbs, Santa Monica! This laid-back beach community is the perfect place to catch some rays and experience the softer, sunnier side of Los Angeles! Check it out:
1. Santa Monica Pier: Recently celebrating its 100th
birthday, Santa Monica Pier combines the nostalgic charm of a
turn-of-the-century seaside pleasure park with many modern attractions.
Whether it is the carnival rides, midway and arcade games, souvenir
shops, fishing, artists and entertainers, dining, the aquarium, or
trapeze school, there is surely something for everyone at this historic
Los Angeles landmark. After dark, the pier lights up in a brilliant
display of multi-colored lights. The pier’s Seaside Pavilion is an
incomparable venue that can accommodate groups from 25 to 300.
2. Commitment to Sustainability: Santa Monica has its own intensive Green Business Certification Program that
encourages resource conservation and waste reduction. It is also the
first city to buy 100 percent renewable energy. With green building
incentives, hybrid transportation fleets, reduced dry weather pollution,
“A” rated clean beaches, and free charging stations for electric
vehicles, Santa Monica ranks among the top green cities in the country.
The pier’s LED light-clad Ferris wheel is even solar-powered, a world’s
3. Third Street Promenade: A variety of stores,
restaurants, bars, theaters, art galleries, and entertainers line Santa
Monica’s famous 3-block, pedestrian-only shopping district, the Third
Street Promenade. This lively outdoor mall is the perfect place to
shop, eat, and people watch. Find a variety of organic California-grown
produce at the certified farmers market here on Wednesday and Saturday
4. The Beach: Santa Monica’s world-famous beaches
offer a bevy of recreation opportunities from surfing to sunbathing.
Bicycling, volleyball, and yoga are also popular along this pristine
shoreline frequently seen in film and television.
5. Healthy Dining: Home to innumerable innovative
and world class eateries, Santa Monica’s wealth of healthy dining
options is unequaled. Assemble custom salads at Greens Up!, devour
vegan versions of food favorites at Euphoria Loves RAWvolution, and
sample whole bean brews at Urth Caffe, the country’s first all-organic
coffee company. An array of tasty and nutritious eateries will fulfill
all your fresh, seasonal, and organic desires.
6. Beachside Hotels: Dine, meet, and relax at a
collection of luxury and boutique hotels lining the Santa Monica coast.
Business and pleasure travelers are bathed in beach-side elegance at
Shutters, Casa Del Mar, Viceroy, Shore Hotel, Sheraton Delfina, Lowes,
and JW Marriott, among many others.
7. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area: Hike
up to glorious views of the mountains, ocean, and city at the Santa
Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the world’s largest urban
national park. Miles of trails stretching from the beach to the
mountains showcase California’s biodiversity in this unique coastal
ecosystem. Just outside the city, Will Rogers State Historic Park
offers opportunities to hike, bike, horseback ride, and tour the
legendary singing cowboy’s historic ranch house.
8. Pubs: While there is no shortage of fantastic
drinking establishments in Santa Monica, it is the traditional (and not
so traditional!) English pub scene that is deeply rooted in the city’s
culture. Anglophiles can enjoy soccer, darts, and English ales at The
Daily Pint, Cock ‘n’ Bull Pub, Britannia Pub, and the atmospheric Ye
Olde King’s Head (home of world-famous fish and chips!).
9. Aero Theater: A restored 1940’s-era movie house,
Aero Theater is home to the American Cinematheque, a non-profit,
viewer-supported organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving
Picture. Everything from classics to abstract art films not generally
available to the public are screened and often followed by Q&A
sessions with cast, crew, or film historians. Celebrity sightings are
not uncommon at this cinema-lover’s haven.
10. Bergamot Station: Formerly a historic Red Line
trolley depot, Bergamot Station has been transformed into Southern
California’s largest art gallery complex and cultural center. Home to
the Santa Monica Museum of Art and over 30 galleries, it is a true
artist’s paradise. For a break from gallery hopping, the Bergamot Café
offers a creative menu and eclectic lunch crowd. It doubles as a unique
event venue as well!
11. Museum of Flying: The newly remodeled and
expanded Museum of Flying honors the history of air travel and aviation
traditions. The nearly two dozen aircraft, a flight simulator, and
ride-film experiences are popular attractions at this museum that
highlights the history of Santa Monica’s famed Douglas Aircraft. A
40-seat screening room and the well-known Donald Douglas Boardroom make
this a special venue for events of all kinds.
13. Annenberg Community Beach House: This five-acre
public beach club was originally built as a 100-room mansion by William
Randolph Hearst and became a popular Hollywood A-lister hangout.
Awarded the 2010 “Best New Venue” award in the BizBash L.A. Event Style
Awards, the beach house features courtyards, a pool, beach courts and
fields, children’s play area, splash pad, historic Marion Davies Guest
House, gallery, and a viewing deck.
14. Spas: Pampering a who’s-who of Hollywood
celebrities and star athletes, Santa Monica’s huge selection of
luxurious day spas is sure to excite even the most experienced
relaxation seekers. The variety of wellness treatments are limitless
and include massages, manicures, facials, peels, waxes, tannings, steam
rooms, and deep-heating Japanese enzyme baths!!
15. Burgers: For the less health conscious, Santa
Monica has become a renowned burger mecca. Design your own burger at
The Counter, indulge in the Wagyu beef burger at Cora’s, or try the
extravagant $28 bison-meat burger at Josie. While Chef Sang Yoon’s “no
substitutions” Guyere and Maytag blue cheese burger at Father’s Office
may be the most famous, it is the creative burger innovations at
newcomer Umami Burger that have become the local favorite and burgeoning
burger champions. The truffle burger and secret menu cheesy tots are a
16. Palisades Park: 13 blocks of palms and greenery
perched on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean is the romantic
Palisades Park. Rose gardens, cobblestone gates, and an Arts and Crafts
pergola give this city escape an old-world feel. A crushed asphalt
running path traverses the charming 1.6 mile park.
17. Santa Monica History Museum: The Santa Monica
History Museum houses a treasure trove of artifacts, photographs, and
memorabilia celebrating the rich culture of this famous city. The
museum is one of the largest in the country for a city of its size.
18. Santa Monica Playhouse: A local tradition for
over 50 years, Santa Monica Playhouse is an intimate professional
theater that has played an important role in the California theater
community. With children’s programs ranking among the top in the world,
the playhouse also offers year-round Main Stage productions, Family
Theatre musicals, workshops for adults, classes in private and public
schools, and birthday parties.
19. Automobile Alternatives: Unlike most of Los
Angeles, cars are not a necessity for exploring Santa Monica. With a
total 8.3 square mileage and primary tourist districts in close
proximity, the city is easily navigable by foot or bicycle. In fact,
well-marked lanes, routes, paths, and bike racks give Santa Monica the
distinction of being one of America’s most bike-friendly cities. Santa
Monica’s Mini Blue Buses, small and eco-friendly, provide quick and
cheap transport around the neighborhood for the less fitness inclined.
For a more unconventional mode of travel, Segway tours and rentals are
20. Santa Monica Place: Santa Monica Place is the
city’s newest state-of-the-art shopping destination. A roof-top dining
deck offering spectacular 360 degree views of the area tops this A-list
retail complex. The open-air mall, with a one-of-a-kind design inspired
by the city itself, features a brand new Nordstrom’s and a custom-built
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