With the ocean as a backdrop, Santa Monica’s shorefront setting provides the perfect place to sit back and relax, with a drink in hand. This is a decidedly upscale Los Angeles neighbourhood that has a collection of bars and restaurants that are as diverse as the city it lives in – so whatever you’re looking for, Santa Monica will have it.
The endless stretch of coast that Santa Monica calls home has a sophisticated hum to it; by day you will find joggers, skaters and surfers dominating the sun-drenched landscape, cafes and juice bars thriving with activity. As the sun dips, the cocktail bars, restaurants and pop-up food shacks that line Ocean Boulevard start to come to life. Mingle with bronzed surfers and sun-worshipers who glow from the energetic ethos of life here and add to the glamour of it all. A sun downer at Shutters on the Beach is a must for any trip; an iconic bar with an iconic view, it’s an integral part of the Santa Monica experience. Or, if you visit between July and September, emulate the life of a true local by catching one of the weekly series of twilight concerts on the pier, which seem to remain gloriously off the beaten tourist trail. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy something a little different and watch the sun set against the iconic skyline of Santa Monica.Read more
Moving away from the shorefront, on Third Street Promenade you’ll find lots of lively bars and late night dining spots along a street that buzzes with performers. At Brilliantshine you can sip cocktails from old light bulbs as you snack on shrimp ceviche, or hunker down to some live music in the nearby craft beer bar, The Craftsman. For a drink infused with some retro Californian glamour, we recommend the Cameo Bar at the Viceroy. Set around the pool, the hotel’s chic set-up has long been drawing sophisticated locals and discerning visitors who rendezvous for champagne cocktails, sipped to the sound of a DJ on a Fridays and Saturdays.
And if an evening of drinking in the chic city detracts you from some much-needed food, you can always pop into iconic Santa Monican bar Chez Jay on route to your hotel. A steak-centric, seaside shanty shack, it is an overwhelmingly charming bar with good grub (and cocktails that pack a punch, for those who wish to carry on the fun).
Nightlife in Santa Monica can be tailored to your wants and needs; whether it’s a simple sun-downer with Californian wine, a hip craft beer establishment with live music or glitzy poolside cocktails, the options here are wonderfully diverse. And whatever you opt for, one thing is for sure; it will give you a taster for more.