If you are anything like us, the focal point of your stay in Santa Monica is the beach.
But while we too enjoy spending hours at a time by the Pacific, we also recognize that there is so much more to explore in Southern California.
From hang gliding to street art tours, this destination has much to offer for those who venture Beyond the Beach. Hence, a list of five curated experiences – all of which can be arranged by the concierge at Shutters on the Beach or Casa del Mar:
Classic Cars | Drives
Classic cars go hand-in-hand with Los Angeles, where you can find world-class displays and experiences in the city, as well as beautiful coastal drives. Visit The Petersen Automotive Museum to delve into car history and the Porsche Experience Center to drive a Porsche up to 100 miles per hour on a four-mile track. Then, set out on Mulholland Drive for one of two scenic drives in Old Town Hollywood or from Calabasas to Malibu.
Discover the magic of Santa Monica with a visit to the promenade-adjacent magic shop, Magicopolis. An afternoon apprenticeship for two will have you and a friend or family member performing tricks after a close-up show and tutorial in the dark arts.
Should you wish to really dazzle someone special, plan a Custom Magical Moment with our magician in residence, Derek Hughes, who has been nominated four times for the Magic Castle Parlour Magician of the Year. Derek will create a completely customized showing for you and your other half – be it for a proposal or simply an unforgettable evening.
Muck’s Map of Art in the Streets
The ever-changing world of street art awaits with a self-guided tour of Venice, provided by acclaimed artist Jules Muck. (See if you can spot some of her work in Casa!) Although she paints all over the country, Muck has always loved Venice Beach, which brims with artists and art lovers. Take a stroll around town to see Muck’s diverse art and the murals of her contemporaries, and keep your eyes open for new pieces that may have only just appeared.
Greenwald’s ‘Go Green’ Gallery Guide
With more than 120 art installations nearby, Santa Monica is a haven for those who appreciate fine art. Take an eco-friendly, self-guided tour of Santa Monica, Culver City, and nearby Venice to see memorable works from the likes of Ellsworth Kelly, William Wegman, and Roy Lichtenstein. Your stops have been chosen by ETC Hotels Fine Art Advisor Cynthia Greenwald, who curated the diverse art collection at Shutters, and offer a glimpse into LA’s thriving contemporary art scene.
Take your day to new heights with an AIR Adventure over the coastline. You can fly tandem over the Santa Monica Mountains with a certified hang gliding instructor, or learn to maneuver the glider solo on the soft sands of the beach. Then, take a lesson in anti-gravity aerial yoga or the art of trapeze at the Trapeze School of Los Angeles, located on Santa Monica Pier.
Closer to the ground, the fascinating Museum of Flying beckons, and at Shutters and Casa, you can pick up a kite from the concierge to fly on the beach.