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Home to several landmarks and attractions coined “iconic”, Santa Monica’s unmistakable landscape and culture have played stunning backdrops in famous photos, films and T.V. shows. From the famed Pacific Coast Highway to the Santa Monica Pier, the beachfront city is an alluring destination for homeowners and visitors drawn to its captivating atmosphere and unbeatable weather. Bathed in nearly year-round sunshine, Santa Monica offers an impeccable lifestyle that can be appreciated every season of the year.

The Agency has put together an engaging neighborhood guide featuring endless ways to enliven the senses, relax the mind and inspire the spirit on your next visit to Santa Monica.

Where To Stay:

The exquisite Hotel Shangri-La transports vacationers to the Hollywood Golden Era with Art Deco-inspired architecture and rooms that emulate luxury cabins on an exclusive ocean liner. Located on Ocean Avenue, the hotel is a short walk from the beach, but those who want to soak up the sun poolside can do so underneath a cabana at Shangri-La’s own private outdoor pool.

Blog_Santa Monica_4Huntley Santa Monica Beach perfectly reflects California’s relaxed yet refined glamour, with chic furnishings and finishes that feel elevated and luxe. The Penthouse Restaurant on the top floor is the place to be for drinks or dinner, with epic views of the coastline and subtle, sexy lighting that’s ideal for date nights and special occasions.

Where To Live:

Located on 14th Street between Colorado Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, AIRE Santa Monica features a collection of luxury residences that offer a seamless indoor-outdoor lifestyle and casual vibe that encapsulates Santa Monica. Nineteen residences are centered around an open-air courtyard and feature spacious private outdoor living areas that allow residents to embrace modern living with ease. Each new residence includes a bike to encourage an eco-friendly footprint around the neighborhood.

And Santa Monica – which has been named one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S. – offers several bike trails and lanes. Weekend farmers’ market rides, pedaling to the beach or quick stops to the gym create a healthy and fun way to see and enjoy the area.

Where To Eat: 

18th Street Coffee House perks up mornings with delicious brews and breakfast sandwiches. A writer’s paradise, the Wifi and phone-free zone is an escape for those who prefer quiet mornings and intimate conversation without distraction.

After coffee, brunch at Ivy at the Shore is a scrumptious way to start the day. A hotspot for celebrities and locals, Ivy at the Shore’s seaside menu is plentiful and delicious with items like fig, apricot and pecan brioche French toast and Santa Barbara crab cake Benedict. Be prepared to leave full and happy.

Cocktail hour is done well at The Misfit, where vest and tie-clad bartenders shake and stir delicious drinks like the “Goodnight Emilie” and “Your Money Or Your Life” to start evenings off right.

Blog_Santa Monica_2With its new addition of a fire pit and revamped menu from executive chef Yousef Ghalaini, FIG Restaurant‘s impeccable wood fire and grilled dishes deliver bold Mediterranean flavors, with plates including grass fed lamb shank, seared Eastern scallops and vegetarian options, like the squash curry. There’s even an in-house fromagier who puts together delectable cheese plates that pair wonderfully with the California-heavy wine list.

Where To Shop:

Get ready to shop ’til you drop at Third Street Promenade, an outdoor shopping center with a plethora of stores and boutiques, including Barneys New York, Club Monaco and Zara.

Lost & Found on Main Street is a fantastic boutique shop with classic, comfortable wear for men, women and children, as well as an array of stylish home goods. Here, you’ll find inspired seaside looks that will take you from Santa Monica Beach to the Greek islands.

Pink Chicken‘s adorable children’s wear features bright colors and cute designs for your little one. The boutique’s display of casual beachwear will keep kids cool on hot summer days.

Where To Play: 

The Santa Monica Pier is simply the place to be. Right off Ocean Avenue, the pier is fun for all ages, with everything from an arcade and funnel cakes to fishing and seal watching. While you’re there, make sure to dine at The Albright, where seafood and cocktails make waves, and engaging service ensures a wonderful experience. Family-friendly and date nights charm at Pacific Park, a mini-amusement park located right on the pier where roller coasters and fair games will take you back to childhood memories.

And don’t forget to check out Santa Monica Beach, where the sand and saltwater offer a relaxing or active beach day – whichever you prefer. Rent a bike along the boardwalk and pedal all the way down to Venice, or take advantage of the volleyball nets for an afternoon game with friends.