When beach calls, go to Santa Monica and treat yourself with a healthy dose of life. Californian yoga, vegan cuisine and fresh air, the beach city of Los Angeles has got it all covered. Rent a bike or just walk it off—it’s up to you. Speaking to Misti Kerns, President and CEO, Santa Monica Travel and Tourism, we came across the must-visit places for your next trip. By Priyanka Chakrabarti
What makes Santa Monica a chosen holiday destination for wellness-seeking Indian travellers?
Santa Monica is Los Angeles’ beach city, making us a great base for a nice Southern California visit. We are a small city that is highly explorable either on bike or on foot, and with 3.5 miles of coastline there are plenty of natural spaces to relax and enjoy abundance of fresh air, wide beaches, and ocean breezes.
Yoga is a way of life for Santa Monicans so Indian travellers may enjoy a Californian take on yoga with their toes in the sand or on the world-famous Santa Monica Pier. With four weekly farmers markets, healthy eating is also the way of life in Santa Monica. Of course, our many luxury properties have spas that will rejuvenate the weary traveller, both for overnight guests as well as day visitors.
Tell us about some of the best vegan food joints of Santa Monica.
With more than 400 restaurants in just 8.3 square miles, there is an option that will meet every traveller’s taste in Santa Monica. Many locals are vegan, so most restaurants in the city are quite familiar with vegan cuisine and have several options on their menus. However, there are a few notable restaurants that are known specifically for vegan cuisine. Flower Child makes every bite from scratch, sourcing many ingredients from the Santa Monica’s farmers market, while True Food Kitchen located at Santa Monica Place, is a health-driven seasonal restaurant. For travellers looking for a taste of home, Tumbi Craft Indian Kitchen offers a Californian twist on many classic Indian dishes.
What is the best way to spend a wellness-filled weekend in Santa Monica?
For starters, Santa Monica is a perfect place to go car free. With more than 100 miles of bike lanes (along with plenty of easily accessible rentals) and walkable streets, travellers can enjoy a weekend without getting into the car.
Santa Monica offers number of ways to rejuvenate in nature. Walk along the beach, pedal down our beach bike path, and soak up the fresh air with Perry’s beach butler service—a luxurious way to experience the beach with your own private butler. Many of our hotels are also home to renowned spas that offer treatments to truly refresh, relax and even meditate with a local expert.
What are the top wellness travel trends that Santa Monica will cater to in 2020?
In 2020, Santa Monica Proper Hotel will open the highly coveted 3,000-square-foot Surya Spa. The flagship location is a collaboration with Martha Soffer, an internationally acclaimed Ayurvedic doctor, chef and herbalist. One can explore age-old Indian wellness principles from the leaders of modern Ayurveda, including therapeutic massages, steam and oil treatments, cooking, yoga, meditation, and three to 21-day Panchakarma programmes designed to cleanse and restore balance of the body, mind, and emotions.
What are the hidden gems of Santa Monica that Indians should definitely check out while visiting the city?
For a day at the beach, head to Annenberg community Beach House, the country’s only public beach house. For just $10 (INR 712) you can enjoy facilities like a historic pool, a splash pad and a vintage café that serves healthy meals while children play in the sand by the tables.
See Santa Monica from a different angle at Camera Obscura, an antiquated lens located along the Ocean Avenue. Walk along the Santa Monica Pier and discover the ‘Route 66 End of the Trail’ sign that commemorates the conclusion of this historic highway, or head to the California Heritage Museum to learn about the region’s unique history. Afterwards, spend time in one of our local parks.
On Third Street Promenade The Void offers immersive virtual reality experiences. Looking to satiate your sweet tooth? The Sweet Spots Dessert Bike tour offered by Santa Monica Bike Tour takes you to some of the tastiest locations in our downtown.