Living in So Cal, I’m fortunate enough to get to visit Santa Monica throughout the year, but my absolute favorite time to visit is during the holidays. The city transforms into a winter wonderland complete with shimmering lights, holiday decor, a giant Christmas tree, and an outdoor ice skating rink. It’s the perfect getaway for couples, families or a girls trip!
Top things to do during the holidays
Third Street Promenade
Third Street Promenade is my favorite spot in all of Santa Monica. This pedestrian only entertainment district offers a mix of shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and street entertainers. During the holidays, festive lights run the length of the promenade, making it truly a magical sight.
Just because it doesn’t snow in Santa Monica, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little outdoor ice skating. Located at the corner of Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue (a few blocks from the Third Street Promenade), Ice at Santa Monica offers ice skating from November 1st – January 20th. Skate rental and all-day admission will run you $15.
There is no shortage of shopping in downtown Santa Monica. Between Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place Mall, you will find everything from luxury boutiques to surf shops to novelty stores. It’s my absolute favorite place to holiday shop and check everyone off my list!
Pacific Park on the Pier
Located on the world famous Santa Monica Pier is Pacific Park, an oceanfront amusement park. The park offers rides, games, food, and seaside shopping. Pacific Park is open 365 days a years. Hours vary by season and day. It’s the perfect spot to play or capture that perfect IG photo!
Rent a Motorized Scooter
Looking for a super fun way to get around? Try a motorized scooter! There are four scooter brands operating in Santa Monica – Lime, Bird, Lyft and Jump, They are super easy to locate and operate. You must have a valid driver’s license and download the brand specific app first. Then you just scan the bar code, hop on, and off you go. You can pick up and drop off the scooter in any safe location throughout the city.
Looking for the perfect place to stay?
When I was looking for accommodations, my primary concern was the location. I wanted to stay somewhere centrally located to all the activities we wanted to do. We chose to stay at the Shore Hotel and could not have been happier. The location was perfect, directly on Ocean Avenue, across from the pier, and walking distance to the Third Street Promenade.
The Shore Hotel is also revolutionizing sustainability in the hotel industry, as Santa Monica’s first LEED Gold Certified hotel. I am constantly striving to reduce my carbon footprint so I was ecstatic to learn this!
The rooms were so cute, designed with what I would call coastal chic decor. The bathroom has a glass wall so you can see directly into the room, however there is an automated shade for privacy. The best part about the room, however, was the view! Our balcony looked directly over the resort pool with a full view of the Pacific Ocean.
There are all the amenities you would expect at a luxury resort… room service, valet parking, pool & jacuzzi, fitness center, and a cafe. And as an added bonus, you are provided with a glass of champagne on check-in 😊
The Shore Hotel is also the perfect place to recharge after all the holiday craziness. From January 1 – February 29, 2020, Shore Hotel will invite sleep-deprived travelers to catch up on their zzz’s, reset their body clock and make well-being a priority for 2020 with their Deep Sleepover package. Package includes overnight accommodation for two in an Ocean View room, a Sweet Dreams Sleep Kit from LATHER (which includes a luxurious selection of slumber-inducing products), and a bedtime snack of chamomile tea, almonds and chocolate truffles from KC Chocolatier in Santa Monica. Rates starting at $389. Click here to Book.
Let me know if you are planing a trip to Santa Monica and need any additional recommendations.
This post in collaboration with Shore Hotel. All opinions are my own.