5 Reasons Holiday Season is Best Spent By the Beach

November 21, 2016

Holidays on the Beach

Santa Monica Wellness Holiday Gift Guide


Believe it or not, the holidays are meant as a time to unwind and decompress. But since that’s not always, shall we say, realistic, this year we suggest a radically different approach. Escape to a place with sand, not snow; with Christmas trees surrounded by palm trees; and with nothing on your to-do list but everything on your wish list.

Here is why Santa Monica Beach is exactly the place to be this holiday season:

1. Leave the Cooking to Us

It is a simple formula: Relaxation comes easy when you can spend your time actually enjoying the culinary delights of the holidays, not just planning for them.

Consider it a preview of your upcoming stay at Shutters and Casa, where our gourmet culinary teams handle every minute detail of your holiday dinners for one simple reason: So you do not have to. And it is not like you are sacrificing quality, considering Chefs Vittorio Lucariello and Gemma Gray are known for some of LA’s finest menus blending exquisite flavors with locally sourced ingredients.

Christmas at Shutters features several specials at Coast—including a herb-crusted prime rib and chocolate spring roll “Yule Log”—plus individual Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus at 1 Pico, including dishes like grilled angus rib eye, roasted Mediterranean Branzino, and prime rib filet mignon. 1 Pico also offers both early and late dinner seatings on New Year’s Eve, featuring delicacies like Maine Lobster, homemade tagliatelle, and grilled domestic Wagyu tenderloin.

Or head over to Casa, where Catch offers two three-course menus from 3-9pm on Christmas Eve and and 11am-9pm on Christmas Day. For $95 per person, choose between savory appetizers like roasted almond soup with black truffle, tuna tartare, and lobster cake benedict; entrées like center cut prime beef filet, gigli and porcini, and grilled Maine Lobster; and homemade desserts like warm apple tart, chocolate-hazelnut ganache tart, and Bûche de Noël.

Make your reservations in advance by booking online (1 Pico, Coast, and Catch).

2. Take Your Relaxing Seriously

Major brownie points await those who give the gift of pure and utter bliss in the form of beachside spa treatments this season. Choose from a wide array of revitalizing massages and treatments available at ONE Spa or Sea Spa, or take advantage of one of our seasonally inspired spa specials. It is the perfect way to show your appreciation, or if you are on the receiving end, to finish the year feeling refreshed, re-energized, and completely rejuvenated.

Note: Nobody said you can’t be on the receiving end of your own gift. After all, you know what you want better than anyone else.

3. A Shopper’s Paradise

If your holiday shopping is not quite done, chances are it will be after a day stroll through Santa Monica. Big-name stores abound at Santa Monica Place and Third Street Promenade—think Louis Vuitton, Bloomingdale’s, Anthropologie, and Nike—and if that is not enough, try the trendy boutiques nestled along Montana Ave and Main Street.

For specific shops, we recommend Santa Monica fashion originals like Margaret O’Leary, Jill Roberts, and Michael Stars. Or for unique accessories and home décor, try Mindfulnest (handmade jewelry, art, décor), Clouds (candles, jewelry, chimes, etc), or Limonaia (jewelry, handbags, ceramics, frames, etc). Better yet, simply stroll through town and chances are you will find the exact style, feel, and genre you are looking for. Santa Monica has it all.

4. Party Like It Is 2017

LA’s most spirited New Year’s Eve beach party is back! Ring in 2017 with a long night of dancing at Casa’s Terrazza Lounge, featuring live tunes by Soul Station and vocalist Lola Delon, craft cocktails, and most importantly, a healthy flow of premium bubbles. Tickets are available at the door for $90, and for guests bringing more than just their own dance moves, we’re also reserving VIP packages at our cabanas, couches, or tables for groups up to 14 people. Call (310) 581-7724 to reserve in advance.

5. Family, Fun, & Festivities

A busy holiday calendar ensures Santa Monica doubles as the perfect family getaway this season. Festivities begin on December 1st with the annual tree lighting ceremony on the Third Street Promenade, followed by the Cinema on the Street’s screening of Gremlins on the Promenade the day after. December 2nd also kicks off the yearly Montana Ave Holiday Walk, which lights up the streets of Santa Monica with holiday caroling, live music, and festive treats.

Whichever weekend you visit the city, do not miss the annual spectacle of ICE at Santa Monica, an 8,000-square-foot outdoor ice rink that returns to the corner of Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue for its 10th year this season. It is a wonderful activity for parents and kids alike, offering all-day admission and skating for $15 per person and open through January 16th.

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