It’s hard to think of Valentine’s Day romance without thinking of long walks on the beach. And while it’s true that Santa Monica has a renowned beach, this Valentine’s Day, lose the sandy shoes and clichés. Instead, hop in an uberX or UberLUX and check out these great date spots.
Enjoy dinner and a show on Third Street Promenade
The Third Street Promenade may look like a typical shopping and dining center, this iconic pedestrian-only street offers more than meets the eye. Nestled among the chain stores and restaurants are highly acclaimed local establishments such as 1212 Santa Monica, a New American eatery influenced by global flavors, as well as The Misfit Restaurant + Bar, a casual hangout specializing in thoughtful comfort food and cocktails. Complete the night by catching a screening at one of the promenade’s two movie theaters, or swinging by M.i.’s Westside Comedy Theater for a stand-up show.
Admire artwork at Bergamot Station
A former trolley stop turned arts center, Bergamot Station features a museum, trendy café serving sandwiches and salads, and more than 20 curated art galleries situated across its sprawling complex. The relaxed ambiance and many surreal exhibits make Bergamot Station a dreamy date destination. From sculptures to paintings to mixed media, the center showcases a multitude of provocative abstract and contemporary pieces. Admission to the galleries is free, but there may be an entry fee for special museum events.
Get some fresh air at Sonoma Wine Garden
Sonoma Wine Garden, one of the city’s few rooftop restaurants, perches atop the Frank-Gehry-designed shopping mall Santa Monica Place. Besides boasting an extensive wine list and Mediterranean-inspired menu, Sonoma Wine Garden’s outdoor patio also provides a mesmerizing view of Santa Monica’s bustling downtown area.
Have a ball at Santa Monica Pier
Relive the carefree excitement of childhood at Santa Monica Pier. With a Ferris wheel overlooking the ocean, small amusement park, and brightly lit arcade, the pier’s reminiscent of a carnival or county fair. Even eateries like Pier Burger and Soda Jerks, a classic soda fountain and ice cream parlor, lend to the pier’s nostalgic charm. Underneath the pier is the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, a hands-on educational center dedicated to environmental and marine conservation.
Taste the finer drinks in life at Wine Expo
You don’t need to venture to the rural countryside to sip high-quality wines. Located only a couple of miles from the beach, Wine Expo allows patrons to sample a vast selection of wines, spirits, and craft beers paired alongside tapas and cheese plates. Happy hour features half-priced drinks. Best of all, nearly all the wines served are also available for purchase.