Lifestyle & Parenting

Surf, Sand and Santa Monica

August 2, 2012

On a recent trip to Southern California, we were blown away by the
beachy-chic lifestyle of Santa Monicaso weve decided to drop everything
and move there.


Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the luxury Fairmont
Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
used to be the private mansion
belonging to Senator John P. Jones, the founder of Santa Monica. With
that history lesson in mind, its easy to see that this 123-year old
SoCal staple is one lavish and classy stay. Work up a sweat (for real)
in a barre class at Exhale
, and reward yourself later with a dip in the outdoor hot tub and
a nightcap at FIG
before returning to your elegant suite and freshly
turned-down bed. Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, 101 Wilshire Blvd.,
Santa Monica, 310-576-7777,


Apart from the obvious beach appeal, Santa Monica is a bike lovers
paradise, spanning just 8.3 square miles. The citys new Bike
is the largest in the U.S., and has two downtown locations
for rentals, valet parking, and tours (we did a self-guided exploration
of the excellent vintage shops). In the next few years, look for the
light rail system that will connect to Los Angeles and Hollywood. Bike
Center, Unit A 1555 2nd St., Santa Monica, 310-656-8500, and one other


West Coast hot spot Michaels
, just a few blocks up from the Fairmont estate, has a
romantic garden patio, mind-blowing seafood dishes, California Cults
wine list, and another equally successful restaurant New York. (Anna
Wintour is rumoured to be a regular, and allegedly likes her steak
blue-rare). Michaels Restaurant, 1147 Third St., Santa Monica, CA,


In this town, beach is the new black, but that doesnt mean theyre short
on clothing. Stroll Third
Street Promenade
for classic American retailers and the first West
Coast Converse store, where you can customize your own souvenir-pair of
kicks à la Santa Monica, complete with palm trees and the infamous pier.
At the end of the strip, get lost in Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, and
Barneys Co-Op at Santa
Monica Place


for celebrities. While our brush with fame happened in our hotel lobby
with funny man Adam Sandler, the Fairmont Miramar has a history of
welcoming celeb guests (Greta Garbo, Cary Grant, Eleanor Roosevelt and
the Kennedys, to name a few). Outside the hotel, the place to see and be
seen is Montana
. Caroline Gault

Booking info at


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