Staff Picks

  • woman running stairs

    Step Up to the Santa Monica Stairs

    Californians have perfected the art of exercising outdoors, and it makes sense because one of the best parts of living in Los Angeles is the incredible year-round weather. The mild climate and sunny days make spending time outside such a treat. If working out is on your agenda during your vacation, make sure you stop by the Santa Monica Stairs to workout like a true local. It’s approximately 170 stairs to the top and is a pretty intense workout. Oftentimes you can spot actors, actresses, musicians, and even the occasional professional blogger doing their thing. Oh, and did we mention that this activity is completely free, aside from the parking at the top. Lace-up your running shoes and make your way over to this iconic exercise spot. After feeling the burn, stop to soak in incredible views of the beautiful hillside homes and the sparkling Pacific Ocean.

    Address: 4th Street & Adelaide Drive, Santa Monica, California 90402

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    Biking in the Santa Monica Mountains

    Looking to get some exercise out in nature? Running parallel to the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Monica Mountains make up part of Southern California’s Transverse Ranges. With stunning scenery and challenging terrain, this system of parks, ridges, valleys, and canyons offers some of the best mountain biking on the west coast.

    Between beautiful hills and cliffs, bikers can find an excellent network of trails within the Santa Monica Mountains. For a pleasant ride that ascends gradually to heights of 1,000 feet, Mandeville Canyon Road is a great option. As the longest dead-end road in all of Los Angeles, it offers peace and privacy with panoramic views. For greater distance and adventure, the Sullivan Canyon - Westridge Singletrack Loop features breathtaking ocean views with steep climbs and historic stops along the way.

    For the ultimate challenge, head to the mountain range’s Backbone Trail. At 14.2 miles long, the bicycle route spans from Will Rogers State Park to Temescal Ridge. Along with gorgeous wildflowers and canyon views, the trail is full of exciting turns and switchbacks. Whichever bike path you take, expect a jaw-dropping journey from start to finish.

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    All About the Z-Boys

    It’s hard to talk about the history of modern skateboarding without mentioning Santa Monica. Specifically, the group of young surfers who began innovating the sport in the 1970s as the Zephyr Team (or "Z-Boys"). This group helped completely revolutionize the skate world, and they got their start along the beaches and streets of Santa Monica. Or, as they called it, Dogtown.

    The group would surf in a secret cove around Santa Monica Pier, which included a rickety, abandoned amusement park at the time. These 12 young surfers ended up forming the Zephyr Team with the help of Jeff Ho and Zephyr Surfboard Productions. Initially, skateboarding was just a hobby the boys enjoyed after a day of surfing. But once they formed the skateboarding team, they went on to compete in various competitions, bringing their own skating styles and modifications. Their innovations gained the most attention at the Del Mar Nationals in 1975, after which the Z-Team - and the skateboarding industry at large - surged in popularity.

    Nowadays, the legacy of Dogtown skate culture is still alive and well in Santa Monica and Venice Beach. While exploring the boardwalks and seaside skateparks, keep in mind where it all began!

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    The First Solar-Powered Ferris Wheel

    Sustainability in Santa Monica goes beyond our own hotel. Did you know that the Santa Monica Pier is home to the first-ever solar-powered Ferris wheel? Originally built in 1996, The Pacific Wheel is the world’s only Ferris wheel powered by solar energy. While it was replaced with a new wheel in 2008, the original solar panels remain, which can generate a maximum of 71,000 kilowatt-hours of photovoltaic power.

    In addition to the wheel itself, the 160,000 LED lights on the Ferris wheel are also a sustainable feature. While cutting energy consumption at a substantial rate, the bright lights continue to illuminate the evening skyline across Santa Monica’s beachfront. As a cornerstone of scenic landmarks in Santa Monica, the Ferris wheel at the end of the pier is also a must-see for anyone with a passion for green energy initiatives!

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    A First Look at the Santa Monica Pier

    One of the most famous landmarks in the Los Angeles area is the nearby Santa Monica Pier. With its amusement park, concession stands, lookout points, and fishing posts, the double-jointed boardwalk and pier is a scenic LA site filled with excitement.

    So how did this local beach landmark come to be? Well, the original pier - built in 1909 - offered no amenities. It was constructed mainly to carry sewer pipes past the breakers. However, Charles I.D. Looff - the architect of Coney Island’s very first carousel - began to build an adjacent pier in 1916 with the intent of opening an amusement park. He opened the Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome Building, which is now considered a historic landmark, in addition to merry-go-rounds, a wooden roller coaster, and a funhouse.

    After a number of restorations over time, the oceanfront Pacific Park was opened at the end of the pier in 1996. This Southern California center of merriment still offers visitors admission-free fun to this very day!

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    For Shore You'll Love The Strand

    Get outside and make some moves this summer because The Strand is calling your name. If you’ve never heard of “The Strand”, allow us to explain — right out front of our hotel is a great walking, running, and biking path that is right along the sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean. This iconic path stretches between Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach. If you decided to hang out on The Strand, you can expect to pass through Muscle Beach, the Venice Beach Skate Park, and an assortment of restaurants and shops. In our opinion, The Strand is the best spot for people-watching and a great place to get in some outdoor exercise. If you’re the more adventurous type, roller-skates and skateboards are available for rent along The Strand and make for a great photo-op! Adventure like a local and hang a left out of the hotel, a right at the first light, and follow the crowd straight to the pier — just a few more steps and you will find the infamous Strand! 

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    Don't Snooze on Our Sleepover Package

    With the rush of the new year and new goals, we can sometimes get burned out a little too quickly. There is no better place to catch a little R&R than in Santa Monica, where the sun is always shining and the weather is just right. We are steps away from the beach and our cozy ocean view rooms provide the perfect place to retreat for a few days while you and your significant other recharge your batteries. But before you book your stay here with us at the Shore Hotel, be sure to check out our Deep Sleepover Package. It includes an ocean view room for two, a Sweet Dreams sleep ki,t and a bedtime snack prepared each evening of your stay. The Shore Hotel is an ideal place to relax and focus on yourself—lay by the pool, grab dinner within walking distance, and then strut yourself back to your hotel room where you can close the curtains, snuggle up in bed, and catch up on all the z’s you’ve been meaning to take this 2020.

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    Jazz up Your New Year With Live Music

    Our New Years' resolution for 2020 is to spend more time outdoors, having fun! And if there's one thing we know, it's that Santa Monica is just the place to do it. If you love live music as much as we do, we suggest you head over to Santa Monica Place for their weekly January Set. Every Thursday from 4-7 pm and Saturday from 3-6 pm, artists will be debuting their live music for all to hear. Not only is it a fun afternoon out, but it’s also a great excuse to catch up with friends, have cocktails, and enjoy the beautiful weather that Santa Monica has to offer. January Music at Santa Monica Place is family-friendly and in close proximity to some of LA's premier shopping and dining hotspots. If this event is one that piques your interest, you can see their full schedule of events here.

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    Third Street Promenade Knows How to Do Holiday Cheer

    We may not be considered the city of lights, but that does not mean we don’t know how to put on a fabulous holiday display. If your travels bring you to Santa Monica Beach this holiday season, we suggest you swing by the Third Street Promenade when the sun begins to set. The entire promenade is lit up with dazzling white and green lights and will be adding more shine on December 22nd for our Menorah lighting—the display on the promenade is downright impressive. Not only is it the perfect place to people watch and sightsee, but you can also grab a quick pic with Santa Claus and his dear wife Mrs. Claus, go for an ice skate, and even do a little holiday shopping. We always suggest spending time in the Third Street Promenade because it is gorgeous and there is so much to do, but spending time there during the holiday season truly brings a new element to one of our favorite areas in Santa Monica. We hope these special seasonal festivities bring you just as much cheer as they do for us—Happy Holidays from your friends at the Shore Hotel! 

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    Enjoy This Getty-Way from LA

    The Los Angeles area is truly full of surprises, which ironically should not surprise you at all. With a surplus of great restaurants, bars, and beautiful beaches, once in a while, some of our most beautifully unique attractions can sometimes take a back seat. This month we wanted to take a moment to tell you about the Getty Villas, but more specifically the gardens. The Getty Villas are a perfect way to get away from an always busy LA. Set just off the Pacific Coast Highway, the Getty Villa opened its doors in 1974, completely for free. This gorgeous space is a replica of Herculaneum’s Villa dei Papiri—a literal mirrored image. The architecture is based on ancient Roman structure, allowing for tons of natural light and fresh air. But the true beauty of this property is the gardens that share the grounds. There are four of them in the Villas that are home to 300 different types of Mediterranean plants. Tickets to the Villa are completely free, so you can enjoy the aesthetics of this hidden gem, set along one of the most famous highways in the United States. 

  • colorful pumpkins

    Hoard All the Pumpkins This Halloween

    Do you typically prepare for the holidays last minute? Then this silly event might just be for you. Whether you are participating or just a bystander, you should definitely swing by Arizona Avenue and Second Street to watch the All-You-Can-Carry Pumpkin Patch unfold. This $5 event will be on Halloween morning starting 8:30 am. The idea is that you can have all the pumpkins you can carry for just $5. This event is particularly great for procrastinators because of the great price and surplus of pumpkins—as long as you have a decently long wingspan or a creative strategy to hold a ton of giant orange orbs. Come dressed in your costume for an added element of fun and leave with the perfect pumpkins to carve. This event is a fun way to kick off your Halloween day festivities! 

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    R&R and Retail Therapy

    The month of September brings an exclusive offer from the Shore Hotel in partnership with Bloomingdales: Shop and Shore Package. This end of summer special provides an opportunity for retail therapy along with some R&R at the Shore Hotel in sunny Santa Monica.

    Along with overnight accommodations for two guests at the Shore Hotel, you’ll receive a Bloomingdale’s Little Brown Bag with a $30 gift card, a 15% off savings certificate, a Bloomingdale’s signature gift, as well as a 30-minute beauty consultation. On top of all the Bloomingdales treats, you’ll also be given access to the Meditation Garden at the Shore Hotel for a morning self-guided meditation session.

    Indulge a little and then clear your mind. Take advantage by booking any time between September 1–30, 2019. You must book 48 hours in advance of your stay, and blackout dates do apply. Pricing for the package starts at $359, and the offer is subject to availability.

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    Run off Positivity in Santa Monica

    Santa Monica is full of festive events all year long, but one of our most cherished traditions is the 5k, 10k, 15k, and half marathon that is put on every month by A Better World Running. Created by two passionate runners, A Better World Running was designed to share their love of running with the community, while also providing a positive impact on other runners and humanity. 

    Each month this group hits Santa Monica, Long Beach, and Huntington Beach in hopes of bringing fellow local runners out on the streets of Southern California. The best part about these monthly runs is that each run is themed around the season. Whether it's a Summer Sizzle or a Turkey Trot, you’re bound to have a great time with other runners in your community. The outcome is typically around 100-150 people, which makes it the perfect size to meet like-minded people and get in a quick workout before you start the weekend. Running off positivity, this run will be a great boost for your vacation in Santa Monica! 

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    It's a Shore Thing That Your Fourth of July Will Be Great in Santa Monica

    Do your Fourth of July plans include a stop in Santa Monica Beach? If so, make sure you get ready for this year's annual Fourth of July activities. There are so many fun things to do in and around Santa Monica on this day. Kick your Fourth of July morning off right, by attending the 13th Annual Fourth of July Parade—that will most definitely be a sea of people colored in red, white, and blue. You can catch this parade right on Main Street but get there early because the streets will fill up quickly to cheer on this patriotic procession. The afternoon is a perfect time to set up camp on Santa Monica Beach for a little holiday people watching and relaxing summer satisfaction. Cap your evening off with a little red, white and boom! Santa Monica Beach does not have fireworks but there are tons of locations around the area that have inexpensive or free shows, and you can find them HERE! From all of us at Shore Hotel, Happy Fourth! 

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    Summer SOULlstice Is the Place to Be in Santa Monica

    If summer could talk, it would tell you to head down to The 19th Annual Main Street Santa Monica Summer SOULstice Festival. As we anxiously anticipate this year's SOULstice Festival, we wanted to clue you into some of the details. The Summer SOULstice will be taking place on June 23rd at 1 pm right here on Main Street. The festival will be a mile-long from Pico Blvd. to Marine Street. The open festival will have six stages playing music and showcasing other events, a few beer gardens, and even tents for the kids and the pups! This one-day event has become a summer favorite and there truly is something for everyone to enjoy. The festival is completely free to attend, but if you’d like to amp up your experience VIP tickets are available here. Celebrate summer the right way and spend time in the sunshine with thousands of other festival-goers this June! 

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    Surf Down 'The Strand' in Santa Monica

    Be your own tour guide on your next visit to Santa Monica by renting a bike and hitting ‘The Strand.’ Become one with the locals of Southern California and treat yourself to an inexpensive, not to mention a completely green way to explore Santa Monica. There are so many beautiful places to see in this area of California and you don’t even need a GPS to see them all. The Strand is a multi-use recreational trail that stretches along the Pacific Coastline for 22 miles, making it a great way to explore without getting lost. You can walk or run on this trail but we prefer to bike ride as it's a little more fun! Pick up your rental bike at Will Rogers State Park and take it all the way to the end at Torrance County Beach. Trust us when we say that there is some seriously great people watching along the way and you’ll have no problem hitting every important spot that Santa Monica has to offer along the way! 

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    Save the Earth in Santa Monica

    April is all about the earth and in honor of Earth Day, we wanted to take a moment to recognize an amazing organization in the Los Angeles area that is constantly working towards a healthier planet. With a focus on the ocean, Heal the Bay was created 34 years ago in an effort to help make the bay a thriving, healthy place to live. The month of April is an important one for Heal the Bay because they have officially recognized it as Earth Month and have planned planet-friendly activities all month long. Be sure to get involved in the beach cleanup on actual Earth Day or swing over to Ben & Jerry’s to get a chance to meet the team behind Heal the Bay and snag a free ice cream cone! Santa Monica is one special place and so is our earth, which is why we applaud Heal the Bay and can’t wait to see what this April brings.

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    Segway Your Love for Santa Monica

    There are tons of ways to get around in Santa Monica, but one of the most fun ways to see the entire city is by Segway! Suit up and bring out the entire family for this unique way to see what Santa Monica has to offer. This two-wheel tour will take you along a bike path throughout all the coolest parts of downtown and lead you to the most happening area of Venice Beach. We know you might be here for sightseeing, but the best part is always the people watching! You’ll see everything from famous graffiti walls to the infamous Muscle Beach and Venice Skate Park. This tour is perfect for you and your teens or as a romantic trip for two. See what all the rave is about and get wacky with your tour guide on this quirky tour. 

  • actors jumping on stage

    10 Years of Storytelling in Santa Monica

    In Santa Monica, we welcome and celebrate the arts. We believe that art and culture are what make our society so unique and colorful. One of our favorite theaters that we support just happens to be one of the oldest in Santa Monica, and it's just a few blocks away from the Promenade. The Miles Memorial Playhouse is our neighborhood theater, built in 1929 with the funding provided by a passing J. Euclid Miles. He wanted the theater to be built for children and young artists as a way to express themselves in a public arena. 

    Fast forward to 2019 and the lovely month of February, Miles Playhouse is doing just that. Fireside at the Miles is celebrating their 10th Season and want you to come along. Enjoy organic snacks, an open fire, and incredible performances from all different genres. Cozy up and support our local theater and flourishing art community!   

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    It's Food Truck Frenzy in Santa Monica

    It is no secret that Food Trucks have paved the way of affordable fine dining and delicious fusion restaurants since they rolled into our lives. These pop-up establishments took the country by storm a few years ago and the fascination has continued to grow ever since. Santa Monica has tons of incredible eats all over the city, but a fun way to experience more than one flavor at a time is by attending the Santa Monica Food Truck Lot that pops up every Tuesday. 

    Just a short trot away, you can find everything from poke bowls to taco trucks, the options are endless in this little lot! The lot is located between Main Street and Ocean Park Boulevard and is full of fun and locals. See what the Santa Monica community is all about while enjoying some of the best food around town. It's time to spice up your life mid-week with this fun and creative way to experience the local food scene! 

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