Sightseeing in Santa Monica


Select Local Merchants

  • Santa Monica Museum of Art
    Santa Monica Museum of Art started big: upon its founding in 1984, it moved right into a space designed by famed architect Frank Gehry. And it only got bigger. 14 years later, it relocated to expanded digs in the Bergamot Station Arts Center. That's remarkable in part because the museum has no permanent archive?instead of amassing a collection, it fills its schedule with rotating exhibits and the fruit of partnerships with with some of the world's most innovative modern artists. A main gallery and two project rooms have showcased work including landscape and portrait paintings, mixed media, video sculpture, and creative installations from local and international artists. Programs ranging from modern crafting workshops to book-club meetings led by a guest artist or scholar also fill the space with creativity. To immerse guests deeper in the world of modern art, SMMoA also offers guided private-group tours and special members-only tours led by executive director Elsa Longhauser.
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    2525 Michigan Ave.
    Santa Monica, CA US
  • Paint Lab
    Surrounded by walls tacked with sunny works of art, rows of easels prop up paintings in progress, their evolving canvases commanding the attention of aspiring artists. This scene plays out every day at Paint Lab, a creative haven where talented instructors ignite pupils' imaginations with positive encouragement. The studio's classes teach the technical elements of acrylic, watercolor, or oil painting while students craft their own rendition of a classic work, capture the human form in figure-drawing sessions, or turn their pen toward anime and cartoons. Adults pique their artistic sensibilities with liquid inspiration during classes that provide refreshments and cheese, and younger Picassos can pay homage to their favorite lunchbox by painting it in battle dress during after-school or weekend children's workshops.
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    2912 Main St.
    Santa Monica, CA US
  • Santa Monica History Museum
    When Santa Monica celebrated its centennial in 1975, the Civic Auditorium hosted a small exhibition covering the city's 100-year history. Turns out Santa Monica's citizenry was hungry to document its past: by October of that year, the Santa Monica Historical Society held its founding meeting. 13 years later, the society opened the Santa Monica History Museum, which now encompasses myriad artifacts, photographs, and memorabilia. Most of those materials comprise the museum's timeline, which traces the city's origins up to the 1930s. Beyond goodies from the past, the museum sports several interactive features to bring that history alive. Visitors can wander through a replica of a Douglas aircraft or digitally insert their photos onto front-page newspaper stories about historical events. The "Then & Now" touch-screen map, meanwhile, reveals the development over time of different Santa Monica landscapes, such as the many canyons that blossomed into In-N-Out Burgers. Along with its permanent exhibitions, the museum hosts an array of special programming, including concerts, workshops, and lectures from top historians.
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    1350 7th St
    Santa Monica, CA US
  • FrameStore
    FrameStore's craftsmen have created more than 250,000 custom frames in the store’s 35-year tenure, designing pieces that now adorn the walls of prestigious institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Ritz-Carlton, and the Walt Disney Company. Professional designers guide FrameStore’s clients through the 2,200 moulding options that can accent paintings and treasured items while adding style and elegance to rooms. The store’s craftsmen then fashion pieces to patron specifications, outfitting frames with classic or museum-quality glass that blocks UV rays from bleaching out images or censoring pictures of the moon. Every piece goes through a 16-point inspection before it is given to patrons, and the team averages a seven-day turnaround on all of its projects.
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    11911 San Vicente Blvd.
    Brentwood, CA US
  • Museum of Flying
    Donald Douglas started his aviation company in 1920 with only $600 and expertise honed as a civilian aeronautical engineer during World War I. Within four years, he had created the Douglas World Cruiser, the first plane to circumnavigate the globe and bankrupt every manufacturer of anti-gravity potions. Nearly two dozen aircraft are on display at the Museum of Flying, located at the Santa Monica Airport. Santa Monica holds special significance for the Douglas Aircraft Company, as well as aviation history as a whole. It was here that the DC-3 first took flight, helping usher in the era of commercial air travel in America. It was also where Douglas Aircraft produced tens of thousands of military planes during World War II. Several of these aircrafts now sit on display within the museum. Douglas Aircraft merged with McDonnell Aircraft in 1967, but the Museum of Flying helps keep the original company's legacy alive. It even features a replica of Douglas' original boardroom. In another area of the museum, a Maxflight FS300 simulator lets visitors pilot many of Douglas Aircraft's most famous models. It can dip and roll 360 degrees to recreate World War II combat or the motion of a tumbleweed caught in an updraft, or it can keep a steady course during calm flights aboard a DC-3. Although its main focus remains Douglas Aircraft, the Museum of Flying also houses art and displays related to aviation history as a whole. Exhibits showcase rare artifacts and other significant aircraft, such as a replica of the original Wright Flyer.
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    3100 Airport Ave
    Santa Monica, CA US
  • Bergamot Cafe
    Bergamot Cafe in Santa Monica is known for its tasty eats. Bergamot Cafe is a local eatery that serves up both gluten-free and low-fat dishes. Drinks here are readily available, so you can enjoy a glass of red or try something new. Tots and tykes will be right at home at Bergamot Cafe with its kid-approved food and ambience. On warmer days, you can take advantage of Bergamot Cafe's al fresco patio seating. Bergamot Cafe is a good restaurant to dine with a small or large group. Free wireless Internet is also available at Bergamot Cafe, so bring your tablet or laptop along. Don't ditch your four-legged pal outside — dogs are more than welcome at Bergamot Cafe. Reservations are available, so give the restaurant a call before you head over for the fastest seating. No need to gussy up for a trip to Bergamot Cafe, where patrons dress for comfort and fun. The restaurant has catering services as well. Bergamot Cafe will bring your food right to your doorstep if you prefer to make it a night in, or swing by the restaurant yourself to carry out your meal. Bergamot Cafe is located near endless free parking options. Cyclists are in luck. Bergamot Cafe provides bike parking. Looking for a tasty meal fit for any budget? Look no further than Bergamot Cafe.
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    2525 Michigan Ave
    Santa Monica, CA US

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