Winter is settling in across the United States, and if you live in one of the northern states, you are probably thinking about taking a vacation somewhere warm. While you could spend your hard-earned money on a distant tropical vacation, you can also head to Santa Monica in southern California for a great time on the warm beach. Consider this Golden State destination for your escape from this year’s snow drifts.
What to do
When you hear the name “Santa Monica,” the image that pops into your mind should be of a long pier that extends out into the ocean. The Santa Monica Pier is more than a century old and is always open for guests to stroll and feel the sea breeze. There are several restaurants and shops on the structure as well as a historic carousel, aquarium, arcade and Pacific Park Amusement Park. If you head to Pacific Park, you can get unique views of the water from its roller coaster or big Ferris wheel.
There is so much more to this town than just its pier. The Santa Monica Pier is also adjacent to a beach, if you would prefer to comb the sand for shells or just relax by the water. If you want to take a break and enjoy some art, the 18th Street Arts Center is open with events and exhibitions showing off the work of its resident artists. A visit to the Camera Obscura Art Lab is a great idea if you want to get involved and learn how to create your own art.
Where to stay
Santa Monica has a wide variety of accommodations available for every type of visitor. If you are interested in ghosts and the things that go bump in the night, consider a stay at the Georgian Hotel. It is reportedly one of the most haunted spots in town, and the official page for the city says that the hotel used to house a speakeasy and that guests can sometimes still hear voices from past partiers.
While ghosts can be fun, you might not want them butting in on a good night’s sleep. In that case, you should consider a stay at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel for a peaceful view of the water and easy access to the beach. Some rooms at this hotel include fire pits to help you enjoy the beach all night long.
Where to eat
When you take a trip so close to the ocean, it’s only natural to want to enjoy some seafood. One of the best places to do that is at The Albright, located right on the Santa Monica Pier. Not only is the restaurant on the water, its crab and lobster come from its saltwater tank to ensure maximum freshness for your meal.
If you’re looking for a completely American dining experience, Michael’s Santa Monica is known for starting the wave of “California Cuisine” and satisfying diners for more than 30 years. The menu has several dishes that combine the great tastes of America with the influence of groups that immigrated to California over the years, including Asia and Mexico.
Santa Monica is a great escape from your everyday life. Consider a trip to the beach this winter to warm yourself up and have some fun.