The Santa Monica beach lifestyle is what tourists enjoy most about the city and why many of the locals would never live anywhere else.
If you really want to savor the beauty, here is my list if the top ten best ocean views in the city, with one for every occasion:
1. Evening Cocktail: Huntley Penthouse Bar and Shangri-La
It was hard to pick just one place that is the best to view the sunset so I decided to make it a tie. The sunsets at the Penthouse Bar at the recently renovated hotel are really spectacular. If you get there early enough, they even have happy hour specials. And if you decide to stay for dinner, there is a nice city lights view. If you prefer sipping a cocktail outdoors in the fresh ocean breeze, the rooftop bar at the Shangri-La Hotel is a wonderful place to savor the sunsets.
2. Lunch: Shutters
You can sit right outside at Coast Beach-side Cafe watching the bikers go by on the bike path while enjoying delicious seafood.
3. Hotel: Casa Del Mar
As the translation of the hotel name implies, it is the “House of the Sea.” If you are not fortunate enough to get a room with a view, you can still enjoy the scenery at either Catch restaurant and wine bar or the lobby lounge which features live entertainment.
4. Dinner: The Lobster
A must for tourists, plenty of locals frequent this spot as well for the view overlooking the pier as well as the fresh seafood.
5. Entire City: Paseo Miramar Hike
The trail is in the Pacific Palisades, right off of Sunset. Drive to the top of Paseo Miramar and that is where the hike begins. If you are able to make it to the top, then you’ll see an amazing view of the whole city, which is well worth the two hour trek.
6. Condos: Ocean Avenue
If you want to be close to the beach, then the condos on Ocean Avenue are the place for you. Although more expensive then the rest of the area, you really can’t put a price on waking up to a view of the sunrise over the ocean.
7. Houses: Adelaide Drive
In my opinion, some of the best views from houses can be found from Adelaide Avenue. In fact if you have a seven million dollar budget there is a 7,000 sq. ft, 6 bedroom Italian Villa style house currently on the market with spectacular whitewater ocean views – you feel like you are on the Amalfi Coast.
8. Shopping: Rooftop Deck at Santa Monica Place
Recently opened, the newly updated Santa Monica Place has great shopping options, including Nordstroms and Bloomingdales and when you are all shopped out and need a break, the Sonoma Wine Garden offers a relaxing view.
9. Music: Summer Pier Concerts
Every Thursday during the summer, grab a picnic basket and blanket and head down to the beach at the south side of the pier to enjoy live bands and great people watching. Best of all, it’s free.
10. Exercise: Bike Path
Starting in Santa Monica on Ocean Avenue if you follow the bike path all the way, it will take you through Venice and ultimately putting you in Manhattan Beach. It’s a great way to enjoy the beach while getting a good workout at the same time.
What do you think of this list of the best ocean views in Santa Monica? Are there any additional locations you think should be added? Please share your ideas and leave your comments below.